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Some 70% of A-bomb survivors “hope” Obama will visit Hiroshima, poll

About 70% of atomic bombing victims “hope” U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, according to a survey by The Yomiuri Shimbun and Hiroshima University’s Institute for Peace Science. There have been growing expectations for the U.S. president’s visit to the city since U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, making him the first serving U.S. Cabinet member to do so. Kerry was in Hiroshima for the G7 foreign ministers meeting in April.


The survey is conducted annually from late March toward Aug. 6, the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Responses received by the end of April were tallied, with valid answers collected from 898 people.


In 2009, Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts toward nuclear nonproliferation. That year in Prague, the recently inaugurated president made a speech about “a world without nuclear weapons.”


To the question “Do you hope the U.S. president will visit the bomb site?” 69% of respondents in this year’s poll said they did. Of this group, 51% answered “I hoped he would visit when he won the Nobel Prize and hope he will now,” while those who answered “I didn’t hope he would then but I hope he will now” totaled 18%.


In contrast, 10% responded “I hoped he would then but not now,” and 9% said “I’ve never hoped he would.”


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