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Speeches and Statements by the Prime Minister

Comment by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

[Provisional Translation]


It has been decided that President Obama and I will visit Hiroshima, an atomic bombing site, on the 27th of this month, following the G7 Ise-Shima Summit. I sincerely welcome President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima. Many people in the city tragically lost their lives due to the dropping of the atomic bomb 70 years ago. This visit will serve as an opportunity for both Japan and the United States to pay tribute to all of the victims. As the only country to have ever suffered atomic bombings, Japan has consistently advocated the elimination of nuclear weapons, vowing that such a tragic experience should never be repeated anywhere in the world. I am convinced that President Obama visiting Hiroshima, witnessing the realities of atomic bombings, and communicating his thoughts and views to the world will provide significant momentum for the creation of a world without nuclear weapons. I am committed to working with President Obama to realize such a world.

Many lives were lost due to the dropping of the atomic bombs 70 years ago. It is also true that many people are still suffering even now. I believe it is their strong wish that such a tragedy never be repeated. President Obama has always stated that as the only country to have utilized nuclear weapons, the United States has a responsibility to take actions toward creating a world without nuclear weapons. Through this visit, a message will be sent out from the atomic bombing site to the world about the President’s determination for a world without nuclear weapons. I believe this has significance for our generation, our children’s and grandchildren’s generations, and all future generations.

President Obama will be visiting the atomic bombing site. I imagine that this was a major decision for the U.S. President. The leader of the only country to have utilized nuclear weapons in the world and I, the Prime Minister of the only country to have ever suffered atomic bombings, will together extend condolences to the victims. I am convinced that this is in line with the wishes of the victims of the atomic bombings and the people who are still suffering even now.

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