John Kerry Visits Hiroshima Memorial


Time: 11:29 a.m. CEST

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park as Seen Prior to Secretary Kerry's Arrival to Commemorate the Atomic Bomb Blast
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park as Seen Prior to Secretary Kerry’s Arrival to Commemorate the Atomic Bomb Blast  [State Department Photo/Public Domain]

The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and foreign ministers of G7 group visited the Hiroshima memorial in Japan on April 10 to commemorate the world’s first atomic bombing. Kerry is the first U.S. secretary of State who visited Hiroshima, where the U.S. dropped its atomic bomb in 1945. Kerry and foreign ministers from the G7 group lead the wreaths and observed a minute of silence at the memorial.

Secretary Kerry And His Counterparts Lay Wreaths at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, and their counterparts lay wreaths on April 11, 2016, at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park to commemorate the atomic bomb blast that ended the World War II Pacific campaign during a break in the G7 Ministerial Meetings in the city. [State Department Photo/Public Domain]

In a Hiroshima museum, Kerry wrote in the guestbook, “a stark, harsh, compelling reminder not only of our obligation to end the threat of nuclear weapons, but to rededicate all our effort to avoid war itself.” Kerry and other G7 countries foreign ministers visited the Bomb Dome, over which the A-bomb exploded.

President Barack Obama is attending a G7 leaders’ summit In Japan in May, and there are reports he is considering a stop in Hiroshima. If it happens, it will be the first time a sitting US president visits Hiroshima.

On 6 August 1945, the US B-29 bomber the Enola Gay dropped a uranium bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” on Hiroshima. It exploded 600m (1,800ft) above what is now the Hiroshima Peace Dome. About 70,000 people died immediately. At least 140,000 people had died by the end of the year through injury and the effects of radiation. The bombing, and a second bomb dropped on Nagasaki three days later, forced Japan to surrender, initiating the end of World War Two.

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