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US president arrives in Japanese city of Hiroshima

US president arrives in Japanese city of Hiroshima
Barack Obama first US head of state to visit site of August 1945 atomic bombing

By Todd Crowell

TOKYO (AA) - United States President Barack Obama has arrived in Hiroshima, becoming the first U.S. head of state to visit the Japanese city since the August 1945 atomic bombing in which around 140,000 people died.

The White House has said that Obama will lay a wreath at the park's arch-shaped cenotaph and make some brief comments.

Early Friday morning, he left the central Japanese city of Shima, arriving in Hiroshima just after 5 p.m. (0800GMT), according to Kyodo news agency.

Obama is in the country to attend a two-day G7 summit that began in Shima on Thursday.

He had earlier pledged to take a tour of the Hiroshima 's Peace Memorial Park following a meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"Our visit to Hiroshima will honor all those who were lost in World War II and reaffirm our shared vision of a world without nuclear weapons," Obama told a press conference in Shima on Wednesday.

The bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945 and Nagasaki on Aug. 9 led to Japan's surrender in World War II, bringing an end to the war.

At least 140,000 people -- mostly civilians -- are reported to have died in Hiroshima and 74,000 in Nagasaki.

The bombing of Hiroshima was the world's first nuclear bombing.

source: News Feed
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