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Obama to become first sitting president to visit Hiroshima

The Japanese national flag flutters at half-mast in the foreground of the atomic bomb dome at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. REUTERS/Kimimasa Mayama.

Obama to become first sitting president to visit Hiroshima

US President Barack Obama is to visit Hiroshima this month and in doing so will become the first serving president to visit the Japanese city since it was hit by a nuclear bomb in 1945.

The visit will take place as part of Obama’s visit to Japan and Vietnam from May 21 to 28.

There would, however, be no apology from Obama to the people of Japan for the bombing.

A statement from Obama’s press secretary said: “The President will make an historic visit to Hiroshima with Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe to highlight his continued commitment to pursuing peace and security in a world without nuclear weapons.”

The president’s communications adviser, Ben Rhodes, said on his Twitter page the US would be “eternally proud of our civilian leaders and the men and women of our armed forces who served in World War II”.

Obama would “not revisit the decision to use the atomic bomb at the end of World War II. Instead, he will offer a forward-looking vision focused on our shared future”.

The Hiroshima bombing, credited with ending World War Two, killed 140,000 people.

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