Obama, First President to Visit Hiroshima

President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, this month, becoming the first U.S. leader to go to the city where an American warplane dropped the world's first atomic bomb in 1945 during World War II. (NYT)

The New York Times

President Obama to Be First Sitting President to Visit Hiroshima


WASHINGTON — President Obama will become the first sitting American president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, the White House announced on Tuesday, making a fraught stop this month at the site where the United States dropped an atomic bomb at the end of World War II.

The visit, hotly debated in the White House for months as the president planned a trip to Vietnam and Japan, carries weighty symbolism for Mr. Obama, who is loath to be seen as apologizing for that chapter in American history.

“He will not revisit the decision to use the atomic bomb at the end of World War II,” Benjamin J. Rhodes, his deputy national security adviser for strategic communication, said in a blog post on Medium. “Instead, he will offer a forward-looking vision focused on our shared future.”

“In making this visit, the president will shine a spotlight on the tremendous and devastating human toll of war,” Mr. Rhodes added in the blog post.

Image: The Front Page of the The New York Times in 1945: Atomic Bomb Wiped Out 60% of Hiroshima, Japan

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