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Ruling, opposition parties react to Obama’s Hiroshima visit

By Katsuya Takahashi

 

Both ruling and opposition parties hailed President Barack Obama’s visit to Hiroshima. Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Sadakazu Tanigaki stated at a news conference on May 27: “It is of great significance that the president of the United States, which fought with Japan at that time, made the visit.”

 

Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi told reporters: “A visit to ground zero by the leader of the country that dropped the atomic bomb is of great historic significance in itself. We would like to advance together toward a world without nuclear weapons.”

 

Democratic Party leader Katsuya Okada remarked: “The first country to use an atomic bomb and the atomic bombed country will work hard for the eradication of nuclear arms. Japan needs to come up with concrete proposals.”

 

Japanese Communist Party Chairman Kazuo Shii said: “It is necessary to move on to international negotiations on a nuclear arms ban treaty. The U.S. needs to change its policy on nuclear weapons.”

 

Initiatives from Osaka (Osaka Ishin no Kai) leader Ichiro Matsui gave the following comments: “It is of great significance that he sympathized with the feelings of the people of Japan, the atomic bombed country. We must promote greater mutual understanding.”

 

Social Democratic Party Secretary General Seiji Mataichi issued a statement saying: “The visit reminded the world that nuclear weapons should never be used again.”

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