Obama to Be First Sitting US President to Visit Hiroshima

He'll visit during Asia trip later this month
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2016 8:39 AM CDT
Obama to Be First Sitting US President to Visit Hiroshima
In this March 31, 2016, file photo, US President Barack Obama speaks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during their meeting at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

It's been more than 70 years since the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and no serving US president has been to visit the Japanese city since that event, which killed 140,000 people—but President Obama plans to change that during his trip to Asia this month, the BBC reports. "The President will make an historic visit to Hiroshima with Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe to highlight his continued commitment to pursuing peace and security in a world without nuclear weapons," said a White House statement.

Obama's Hiroshima call will take place after his visit to Vietnam during the week of May 21. But no one should get their hopes up that an apology from the US for the Aug. 6, 1945, bombing is forthcoming: National security adviser Ben Rhodes writes on Medium that the president "will share his reflections on the significance of the site and the events that occurred there. He will not revisit the decision to use the atomic bomb at the end of World War II. Instead, he will offer a forward-looking vision focused on our shared future." Jimmy Carter was the only other president to head to Hiroshima, but only after he was out of office. (John Kerry didn't apologize for the US, either, when he visited in April.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.