HIROSHIMA: Nuclear talks in Hiroshima have called a new treaty to stop producing radioactive fuel for bombs and acceptance "without delay" of a global ban on testing atomic weapons.

But the 12-nation meeting of foreign ministers, including Australia's Julie Bishop, stopped short of calling for a complete ban on nuclear arms.

Disarmament activists are bitterly disappointed the Hiroshima talks - where a survivor from the atomic bombing on the city nearly 70 years ago told her story - did not end with a call for a ban on nuclear weapons.

Akira Kawasaki from the Japanese anti-nuclear group Peace Boat said the statement issued by the ministers was "very weak".

Dozens of flag waving children turned out on a cool Saturday morning in Hiroshima to welcome the ministers to what is known as the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative.

Keiko Ogura, 8 years old when the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, told the ministers about the awful smell of burned hair and seeing people die.

The joint declaration - dubbed the Hiroshima statement by Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida - said the testimony was a "reminder to us all why a nuclear war should never be fought".

The group condemned North Korea for its nuclear program and said the crisis in Ukraine was also the subject of "intense discussions".

There has been growing speculation the nuclear disarmament might be a casualty of Russia's military takeover in Crimea, given Moscow may not have acted had Ukraine not surrendered its nuclear arsenal in 1992.

Asked about the Ukraine, Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the group expected all countries to keep their agreements.

None of the 12 countries - which also includes Netherlands, Poland, Nigeria, Canada, Germany, Chile, Mexico, Philippines and the United Arab Emirates -  possess atomic weapons.

But the group has the stated aim to pressure nuclear armed nations to surrender their bombs.

The meeting pledged again to a "goal of a world free of nuclear weapons".

But Australia will be pleased it also called for a "pragmatic and step by step approach aiming at their total elimination," having opposed what Ms Bishop described as an emotional appeal for a total ban.

Ms Bishop said ahead of the talks a nuclear deterrence is required while ever countries such as North Korth Korea have the bomb.

Netherlands foreign minister Frans Timmermans also said he did not believe unilateral disarmament would lead to a more peaceful world.

The statement called for a treaty to ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, which includes weapons grade uranium and plutonium.

It also called for ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, an agreement reached in 1996 and signed by 162 countries but not in force.

Several nuclear armed countries, including the US, India and Pakistan, are yet to sign or make legal changes needed to ratify the treaty.

Daniel Flitton travelled to Japan courtesy of the Japanese government.