Barack Obama to become first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima

Washington: President Barack Obama plans to visit Hiroshima this month, but White House aides insist there will be no apology for the devastation the US caused by dropping atomic bombs there and on Nagasaki in 1945.

It will be the first trip by a US president to the Japanese city devastated when an American plane dropped the first nuclear weapon used in conflict.

Mr Obama will pay tribute to the victims of the attack, which killed 80,000 instantly and tens of thousands more by radiation, but does not plan to apologise for the nuclear bombing, nor for anything else on a week-long trip that also includes a visit to the former war zone of Vietnam.

“In making this visit, the President will shine a spotlight on the tremendous and devastating human toll of war,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said.

The visit comes more than 70 years after an American B-29 bomber delivered the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima. Three days later, the US dropped another atomic bomb that killed an estimated 40,000 people in Nagasaki, leading the Japanese emperor to surrender to the devastation of what he called a “most cruel bomb”.

Full article: Barack Obama to become first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima (The Age)

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