John Kerry arrived in Japan on Sunday for a Group of Seven meeting in Hiroshima, in the first-ever visit to the atomic-bombed city by a US secretary of state.
Kerry arrived at a US military base west of Hiroshima from Afghanistan for the two-day G7 gathering set to discuss a host of global issues including terrorism, Ukraine and North Korea, though the symbolism of his visit is overshadowing the broader diplomatic agenda.
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During his stay in Hiroshima, Kerry and other G7 foreign ministers are scheduled to visit a park and museum dedicated to the August 6, 1945 destruction of the city by an American atomic bomb.
Kerry’s trip is seen as possibly paving the way for Barack Obama to become the first serving US president to journey to the thriving metropolis next month when he visits Japan for the G7 Summit.
The Hiroshima meeting begins on Sunday and will also be attended by diplomats from nuclear-armed Britain and France, as well as Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan.
The gathering is part of the run-up to the G7’s rotating annual summit, scheduled this year from May 26-27 in the Ise-Shima region between Tokyo and Osaka.