Japanese football side mark Nagasaki anniversary with special kit

    Japanese J-League Division 2 side V-Varen Nagasaki got together with sportswear company Hummel to produce the "Pray for Peace" kit.

    (CNN)The 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped on Nagasaki was marked on Sunday and the city's local football club has been doing its bit to raise awareness of the date.

    More than 70,000 people died instantly on August 9, 1945, when U.S. forces dropped the bomb during World War Two -- just three days after a first bomb had been dropped on Hiroshima.
    But while the tragedy was remembered in Japan last week, 70% of Japanese citizens are said to not be aware of the actual date of the bombing.
      With this in mind, Japanese J-League Division 2 side V-Varen Nagasaki got together with sportswear company Hummel to produce the "Pray for Peace" kit -- a blue and orange kit featuring an origami crane, a symbol of peace in Japan, as well as an image of Nagasaki's "Peace Statue."
      A pink and yellow goalkeeper's kit was also released, which includes both the origami crane and Seibo Kitamura's iconic statue, which is located in Nagasaki Peace Park.
      "The peaceful pray statue in Nagasaki and the folded paper crane are part of the design of this jersey. We can feel Nagasaki from these points," V-Varen Nagasaki coach Takuya Takagi, who played for Hiroshima's football club Sanfrecce, said in a statement.
      V-Varen Nagasaki unveiled the commemorative kit on Saturday, a day before the anniversary, in a 0-0 draw against Consadole Sapporo.
      The kit was worn by V-Varen Nagasaki on Saturday.
      Around 1,300 people -- including players, coaches and their families -- huddled in formation prior to kick-off, spelling out the word "peace" to 10,184 spectators.
      "Playing in this jersey at the two matches is very significant -- especially the match on August 8, which was the day before the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.
      Nagasaki shirt 3
      "We wanted to face the match with the mindset of 'Pray for Peace' and convey the preciousness of peace to new generations."
      Hummel CEO Soren Schriver added: "Every year V-Varen Nagasaki marks the date of the atomic bombing, and this year the club wanted to pay a special tribute and commemorate the 70-year anniversary with a 'Pray for Peace' shirt. Hummel also wanted to pay our respects to the city's history.
      "This shirt and the peace message are deeply integrated in our philosophy of changing the world through sport. We want to use sport as a tool to unite people, and the V-Varen Nagasaki peace shirt is a strong and remarkable symbol of how sport and football can bring people together."
      V-Varen Nagasaki will wear the kit for the second and final time when it faces Kamatamare Sanuki on August 23.