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With Pope Francis expressing his intention to visit Japan next year, hopes are high among Hiroshima and Nagasaki residents and A-bomb survivors’ groups that he may come to their cities.

The Vatican has already ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and the pope’s visit to the A-bombed cities could provide a lift to the campaign for nuclear weapon states and Japan to ratify the treaty and help speed the abolition of nuclear arms.

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