John Kerry became the most senior US official to visit the Hiroshima peace park on Monday, more than 70 years after the city was devastated by the world’s first atomic bombing.
He did not, however, offer an apology for the bomb, which killed around 1,60,000. Japanese. And the city is still experience the horrific ill-effects.
Kerry laid a wreath at the cenotaph for the victims of the bombing, in a move that may preclude a visit to the memorial by President Barack Obama next month, when he visits Japan to attend the G-7 Summit on May 26 and 27.
“Everyone in the world should see and feel the power of this memorial,” Kerry wrote in the guest book for the Hiroshima Peace memorial Museum.
“It is a … harsh, compelling reminder not only of our obligation to end the threat of nuclear weapons, but to rededicate all of our effort to avoid war itself. War must be the last resort — never the first choice.”
Kerry was in Hiroshima for the G-7 Foreign Ministers Meeting, where diplomats agreed to work together to fight terrorism.