Mainichi wrote that it learned from multiple GOJ sources on Wednesday that Prime Minister Kishida is making arrangements to visit Hiroshima with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Emanuel on March 26. They are planning to lay wreaths at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, the paper wrote. They had initially planned to visit the city on Feb. 26 but postponed the trip due to the escalating tensions in Ukraine. According to the paper, Ambassador Emanuel expressed his desire to visit Hiroshima at an early date when he met with the prime minister on Feb. 4, and Kishida expressed his willingness to accompany the Ambassador. The paper speculated that Kishida is hoping to strengthen Japan’s cooperation with the United States to achieve a world without nuclear weapons. Nikkei ran a similar report, adding that the Ambassador and the prime minister will send out a strong message from the atomic-bombed city following Russia’s indication that it could use nuclear arms against Ukraine.
Kyodo News filed a similar report, adding that Ambassador Emanuel and PM Kishida are expected to underscore the unity of the two countries in opposing any move by Russia to use nuclear weapons in its invasion of Ukraine, as Russian President Putin has hinted at using them in the face of Ukraine’s resistance and severe economic sanctions from Western nations. Kyodo also said that Terada Minoru, a special advisor to Kishida on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, whose mother endured the atomic bombing, is planning to accompany them on the visit and that Kishida is also considering exchanging views with young people who have been promoting efforts toward nuclear abolition in Hiroshima.