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Japan

Japanese bishop welcomes Obama's Hiroshima visit

Trip should raise awareness on desire to abolish nuclear weapons, prelate says

Updated: May 25, 2016 04:23 AM GMT
Japanese bishop welcomes Obama's Hiroshima visit

U.S. President Barack Obama's upcoming May 27 visit to Hiroshima is a "pleasant surprise" because it might "raise awareness of the desire of many in Japan to abolish nuclear weapons," a Japanese bishop said.

Bishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi of Niigata called on Obama to heed the "voices of survivors [who] represent so many voices of victims," AsiaNews reported.

The bishop said the visit was a "risky choice" by Obama because it "might be taken as betrayal by their commander in chief of the strategy or choice to use the nuclear weapon at the end of World War II."

The bishop said he hoped Obama would meet with survivors so that he would “realize that one bomb blast is not just one incident in history but an event that involved so many cries and individual stories.”

"Seventy years after the incident, survivors are fewer and fewer. I hope that President Obama realises that the voices of survivors represent so many voices of the victims of just one bomb blast," he said.

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Obama will visit Hiroshima on May 27 at the conclusion of the G-7 summit in Ise-Shima, Japan. He will be the first sitting U.S. president to visit the city.

The United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the final stages of World War II. The two bombings killed at least 120,000 people.

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