Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel on a rainy Saturday in Hiroshima to pay their respects to victims of the 1945 American atomic bombing, with Kishida calling veiled Russian threats to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine a “serious concern.”

“As the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons is becoming increasingly real, I hope that Ambassador Emanuel's visit to the A-bombed city and his experience of seeing the nuclear reality will become a strong message to the international society,” Kishida said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin's nuclear saber-rattling in his country's invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier, Kishida and Emanuel offered prayers and flowers at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.