• Kyodo


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Japan later this month to attend a Group of Seven foreign ministers meeting in Hiroshima, the State Department said Friday.

The foreign ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States will gather from April 10 to 11 to discuss measures to fight terrorism as well as to realize a world without nuclear weapons, sources familiar with the matter said.

In Hiroshima, Kerry is expected to visit and lay flowers at Peace Memorial Park, dedicated to the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of the city, along with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and other G-7 foreign ministers, a source close to bilateral relations said.

Kishida is a House of Representatives lawmaker whose district is in the city. He will chair the two-day foreign ministerial talks.

Kerry would be the first U.S. secretary of state to visit the park while in office.

Japanese officials are also hoping that the upcoming visit by the G-7 ministers will pave the way for a similar visit by U.S. President Barack Obama on the occasion of the later G-7 leaders summit meeting in Mie Prefecture in May.

“For the purpose of building momentum for realizing a world free of nuclear weapons, it is very important for world leaders to visit an A-bomb site and see firsthand the realities of atomic bombing,” Kishida told reporters in Hiroshima.

“I want to send a strong message for nuclear disarmament from the A-bombed Hiroshima,” he added.

Under the Obama administration, two U.S. ambassadors to Japan — John Roos and Caroline Kennedy — have visited the city.

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