“My visit to Hiroshima proves that even the most painful ruptures can be healed”. US President Barack Obama said those words addressing American and Japanese troops at the Iwakuni base, where he stopped before moving to Hiroshima.
The visit to Hiroshima is an opportunity to “honor the memory of all those who fell in the Second World War,” Obama said, noting that it is a “historical chance” to reaffirm their commitment to a world without nuclear weapons and a proof of how former enemies, Japan and the
This is the first visit of a US president in office to the city destroyed by the atomic bomb the Americans dropped on August 6, 71 years ago. Barack Obama’s journey – as the White House repeatedly stated – is not meant to be an opportunity to extend a formal apology, but to promote the solemn commitment to dismantle nuclear arsenals in the world and to honor the victims of the Second World War.
Obama became president in 2009 and was awarded the Nobel Prize the same year for his efforts to encourage the dismantling of nuclear weapons, a desire he expressed in his famous speech in Prague the same year. Before Obama, the highest US office to visit Hiroshima had been the then Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi in 2008.