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PM Kishida mulls visiting Hiroshima with Ambassador Emanuel on Feb. 26

All national dailies except Yomiuri reported on Sunday that according to GOJ sources, arrangements are underway for Prime Minister Kishida to visit Hiroshima on Feb. 26 together with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Emanuel. According to the papers, they are considering offering flowers at the Peace Memorial Park. Nikkei and Asahi wrote that Kishida and Ambassador Emanuel discussed the possibility of visiting Hiroshima together when they met at the Kantei on Feb. 4. Noting that Hiroshima is currently under a quasi-state of emergency, the papers said the GOJ will make a final decision on the visit after assessing the infection situation in the nation. TV Tokyo’s evening news program “World Business Satellite” aired a similar story on Friday.

 

Asahi and Nikkei noted that the joint statement on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty released by the governments of the United States and Japan in January called on world political leaders and youths to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Asahi said that Kishida, who represents the No. 1 district in Hiroshima, has made striving to achieve a world without nuclear weapons his lifework. Nikkei also said Kishida was instrumental in realizing President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima in 2016 when he was serving as foreign minister. Noting that President Obama traveled to Hiroshima when he visited Japan to attend the G7 Ise-Shima Summit, Nikkei speculated that the G7 summit to be hosted by Japan in 2023 could be an opportunity for President Biden to visit the city. The papers also noted that during his policy speech in January, Kishida referred to President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima by saying: “As a prime minister with his roots in Hiroshima, where an atomic bomb was dropped, I will carry this thought forward and courageously pursue a world free of nuclear weapons.”

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