Asia Reacts to Secretary of State John Kerry's Historic Visit to Hiroshima

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On April 1, 2016, US Secretary of State John Kerry became the first Secretary of State to visit Hiroshima, Japan. During his visit, Secretary Kerry paid his respects at the Hiroshima Peace Park, which honors the victims of the atomic bomb that was dropped on the city by the United States during World War II on August 6, 1945. His visit was seen as a possible means of paving the way for a visit by President Obama while he is in Japan for the G-7 Summit on May 26-27, 2016. 

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JAPAN

Japanese government reiterates its position that further talk with the US on nuclear disarmament is more important than getting an apology from President Obama on his proposed May visit to Hiroshima. 

"It would be extremely important for our country, which aims to create a world free of nuclear weapons, to have a global leader see the effects of the atomic bomb in person." - Yoshihide Suga, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary

"If the president is coming to see what really happened here and if that constitutes a step toward the abolition of nuclear arms in the future, I don't think we should demand an apology." - Takeshi Masuda, Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor 

"I don't think a visit should be about 'America' or 'Japan,' but learning what the atomic bomb took away." - Yusuke Ono, Hiroshima resident 

"What can you say? It was something that was done so long ago. [...] But it would be wonderful if Obama could express, I hope, the future goal of total nuclear disarmament." - Wayne Leavitt, US tourist visiting Hiroshima

NORTH KOREA

"It is also the U.S. which persists in escalating the tension on the Korean peninsula in a bid to invent a pretext for keeping hegemonic status in the Asia-Pacific region. That the DPRK is getting itself fully ready for nuclear attack to react to the U.S. attack in kind is not only to defend its right to existence but to safeguard the regional and world peace and security from the nuclear threats of the U.S. which is brandishing its nuclear stick at random." 

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