Obama to make historic trip to Hiroshima
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President Obama will become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, later this month, the White House announced.

The president will visit the site of the world’s first atomic bombing and meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe "to highlight his continued commitment to pursuing the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons," the White House said.


Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, wrote in a Medium post timed to the White House announcement that Obama will visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, a site dedicated to the thousands who died in the city during World War II.

“In making this visit, the president will shine a spotlight on the tremendous and devastating human toll of war,” he wrote.

“To be sure, the United States will be eternally proud of our civilian leaders and the men and women of our armed services who served in World War II for their sacrifice at a time of maximum peril to our country and our world,” Rhodes added.

“Their cause was just, and we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude, which the president will again commemorate shortly after the visit on Memorial Day," he wrote.

"Their visit will offer an opportunity to honor the memory of all innocents who were lost during the war.”

Rhodes added that Obama would use his appearance on May 27 to promote nuclear nonproliferation and America’s strong ties with Japan.

“The president’s time in Hiroshima also will reaffirm America’s longstanding commitment – and the president’s personal commitment – to pursue the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” he said.

“As the president has said, the United States has a special responsibility to continue to lead in pursuit of that objective as we are the only nation to have used a nuclear weapon,” Rhodes added.

“Finally, the visit will also symbolize how far the United States and Japan have come in building a deep and abiding alliance based on mutual interests, shared values and an enduring spirit of friendship between our people.”

— This breaking news report was updated at 8:35 a.m.