Biden Becomes 2nd Sitting U.S. President to Visit Hiroshima

Pool via Reuters
U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are welcomed by Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his wife Yuko Kishida at the Peace Memorial Park during a visit as part of the G7 Hiroshima Summit in Hiroshima on May 19.

U.S. President Joe Biden visited the Peace Memorial Park in the atomic bombed city of Hiroshima on Friday, along with other Group of Seven leaders. Biden became the second sitting U.S. president to visit the park following a 2016 visit by then President Barack Obama.

Biden and his wife, Jill, arrived by car shortly after 11 a.m., and were greeted by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his wife, Yuko. They then toured the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and offered flowers at the Cenotaph for the Atomic Bomb Victims.

In 2016, Obama visited Hiroshima with then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after attending the G7 Ise-Shima Summit in Mie Prefecture. Obama called for a “world without nuclear weapons” in a statement he read.

Ahead of Biden’s visit, the White House announced that Biden would not apologize for the United States’ atomic bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945.

The purpose of the U.S. leader’s Hiroshima visit was to show respect for those who lost their lives 78 years ago, a senior U.S. government official told reporters. The official also made it clear that Biden would stress the need for nuclear non-proliferation during summit discussions on Friday.