HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) — Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized countries will visit the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima together on April 11 on the occasion of a ministerial meeting there, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Saturday.
Kishida, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the foreign ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Italy will visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in the park and lay flowers at a cenotaph for atomic bomb victims.
It will mark the first time for sitting foreign ministers from the United States, Britain and France, which are all nuclear weapons states, to visit the park.
The park is dedicated to the memories of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of the city and is the site of a large memorial held on the anniversary of the bombing on Aug. 6 every year.
Japanese officials are hoping that the upcoming visit by the G-7 ministers will pave the way for a similar visit by U.S. President Barack Obama on the occasion of the G-7 summit meeting in Mie Prefecture in May.
“For the purpose of building momentum for realizing a world free of nuclear weapons, it is very important for world leaders to visit an A-bomb site and see firsthand the realities of atomic bombing,” Kishida told reporters in Hiroshima.
“I want to send a strong message for nuclear disarmament from the A-bombed Hiroshima,” he added.
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