Obama to visit Hiroshima to promote nuke-free world – USA TODAY

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WASHINGTON — President Obama will promote his vision of a nuclear weapons-free world by becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, since the atomic bomb attack of 1945, the White House announced Tuesday.

Obama and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make the May 27 visit “to highlight his continued commitment to pursuing the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

The Hiroshima event caps a week-long presidential trip to Vietnam and Japan, with the latter country hosting a Group of Seven nations economic summit.

The atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945 forced the Japanese surrender that ended World War II.

Administration officials said Obama does not plan to apologize for President Harry Truman’s decision authorizing the atomic attack.

Obama “will not revisit the decision to use the atomic bomb at the end of World War II,” National Security Council spokesman Ben Rhodes wrote in a Medium post. “Instead, he will offer a forward-looking vision focused on our shared future.”

Obama, who has made reduction of nuclear weapons a major project of his administration, said as far back as 2009 that a visit to Hiroshima “would be meaningful to me.”

The White House said Obama will visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, a large open space that includes a museum and the skeleton of a building that somehow survived the atomic blast seven decades ago.

The administration has hinted at a Hiroshima visit in recent weeks, and Secretary of State John Kerry visited the bombing memorial just last month.

Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications and speech writing, wrote that the president “will share his reflections on the significance of the site and the events that occurred there.”

The visits to Vietnam and Japan will be Obama’s 10th trip to Asia as president.

“This trip will highlight the President’s ongoing commitment to the U.S. re-balance to Asia and the Pacific, designed to increase U.S. diplomatic, economic, and security engagement with the countries and peoples of the region,” Earnest said.

Obama to visit Hiroshima to promote nuke-free world – USA TODAY

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