• Kyodo


At a ministerial meeting on nuclear disarmament starting Friday, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday he hopes to call on the leaders of nuclear weapons states to visit the A-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

“Having leaders of countries visit the atomic-bombed cities and see the reality (of nuclear weapons use) would be a very meaningful step toward building momentum for efforts to create a world without nuclear weapons,” Kishida said.

Comprising 12 nonnuclear weapons states, the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative will convene for a two-day meeting from Friday in Hiroshima, which along with Nagasaki was atomic bombed in August 1945.

Kishida said he is looking to include in a joint statement, to be issued at the meeting, the push for the leaders of nuclear states to visit the two cities. It would be the first such call in an official NPDI document.

U.S. President Barack Obama is not scheduled to visit either city when he visits Japan later this month. But U.S. State Department Undersecretary Rose Gottemoeller, who plays a key role in nuclear policy in the Obama administration, is set to become the first U.S. observer at an NPDI meeting when the countries meet in Hiroshima.

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