Obama 'to visit Hiroshima after G-7'

The Japanese national flag fluttering at half-mast in the foreground of the atomic bomb dome at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, in western Japan on Aug 6, 1998.
The Japanese national flag fluttering at half-mast in the foreground of the atomic bomb dome at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, in western Japan on Aug 6, 1998. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO • US President Barack Obama will visit the atomic-bombed city of Hiroshima after a G7 summit in Japan next month, the Nikkei business daily reported yesterday, in what would be the first such visit by a sitting US leader.

Washington will "arrange with Japan his visit on May 27 when the G7 leaders' summit wraps up", the newspaper said, citing several US government officials whom it did not identify.

A visit by Mr Obama would have enormous symbolic importance and would follow US Secretary of State John Kerry's journey last week to Hiroshima where he visited the memorial to the 1945 bombing.

Mr Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his call for a world without nuclear weapons, is expected to make a speech about nuclear abolition, the Nikkei said, citing an unnamed high-ranking US government official.

It said Washington will formally notify Japan of the plans early next month.

However, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga denied that the US and Japan were working to arrange a visit to Hiroshima by Mr Obama.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2016, with the headline 'Obama 'to visit Hiroshima after G-7''. Print Edition | Subscribe