All Tuesday evening papers reported on a speech delivered by Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes in Washington on Monday, during which he said that he was greatly impressed by the huge crowds welcoming the President’s motorcade on the way to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on May 27. Rhodes also said that he strongly sensed the importance of efforts to ensure that the tragedy of atomic bombing never happens again when he saw a Japanese boy among the crowd holding a sign saying “Welcome to Hiroshima” and thought about what would have happened to him if he had been standing there 71 years ago. Rhodes stressed the significance of President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima by saying that the President has set a course that has profoundly changed the status quo in nuclear disarmament.
Asahi added that Rhodes told reporters after his speech that the President was very impressed with the people of Hiroshima and Japan when he heard on Air Force One that thousands of people had visited the park to see the wreath he had laid. Rhodes also said that although there had been discussions on whether or not the President should visit Hiroshima, the decision to go there was absolutely right.