National / Politics

Abe will meet former U.S. President Obama on Sunday, Japanese government says

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet with former U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday over lunch in Tokyo, the Japanese government said Thursday.

“There is no special meaning” in the meeting, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in a news conference, stressing it is aimed at “renewing friendship.” Obama was in office between 2009 and 2017.

The former U.S. president will come to Japan after visiting Singapore, New Zealand and Australia. In Tokyo, he will attend an international forum to be hosted by a private organization.

In 2016, Obama — who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his stated intention to seek a world without nuclear weapons — became the first incumbent U.S. leader to visit Hiroshima, which was devastated by the first U.S. atomic bombing late in World War II.

Obama and Abe also visited Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor in a show of reconciliation between the two former wartime foes.