Time: 7:00 a.m. CEST Update: 11:22 a.m. CEST
President Barack Obama and the Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe payed respect to the victims of the atomic bombings that happened 71 years ago, when American bombarders drop the atomic bombs to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In both bombings about 200,000 people lost their lives.
“In the image of a mushroom cloud, that rose into the skies remained us of the humanities contradictions,” says President Obama after the wreath laying ceremony in Hiroshima to mourn the death of civilians. Obama reaffirmed his commitment for nuclear free world and reducing of stockpiles of nuclear capacities. “We must change our minds about war, to end conflicts with diplomacy,” says Obama, who emphasized that should be with the capacity to build, not to destroy.
Japan’s Prime minister Shinzo Abe said, “This tragedy should not be repeated again.” Abe who greets the effort of the U.S. leader for atomic free world, said this represents a “new chapter of reconciliation of Japan and the U.S.”
Obama lay a wreath in the Hiroshima memorial on Friday, together with bomb survivors, who live now in the city, bombed with an atomic bomb after World War II.
President did not apologize for the act of bombing, which many in the U.S. believe forced Japan to surrender and ended one the biggest sufferings in the world. This will be a first visit of the U.S. sitting president to the city. Obama wrote in the Asahi newspaper, “Even former adversaries can become the strongest of allies.”
“Hiroshima reminds us that war, no matter the cause or countries involved, results in tremendous suffering and loss, especially for innocent civilians,” he wrote in the Asahi newspaper.
U.S. bombed Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and killed at least 140, 000 people. On August 8, second nuclear bomb exploded on Nagasaki, which killed another 74,000 people.
Secretary of State John Kerry, who will be with the President Obama on Friday, lay a wreath during a memorial ceremony in Hiroshima on April 11 for victims of the bombing seven decades ago.