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Obama Will Be the First Sitting President to Visit Hiroshima via Fortune

He will make the historic trip in May.

More than 70 years after the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima that led to the end of World War II, Barack Obama is set to become the first sitting president to visit the site to pay tribute to the tens of thousands of victims who died in the devastating blast.

The Nikkei Asian Review reported the news Friday. The White House press office did not immediately return Fortune‘s request for comment on the report.


President Jimmy Carter visited Hiroshima in 1984, after he’d left office. Secretary of State John Kerry became the highest-serving U.S. official to ever tour the city’s Peace Park and Museum when he did so earlier this month. He called the experience “gut-wrenching.” His visit there sparked speculation that Obama would soon follow.

Visiting the site of the nuclear blast has been something of a third-rail subject for sitting presidents who don’t want to appear apologetic for the U.S.’s decision to bomb Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and Nagasaki three days later. The blasts are thought to have sped up the end of the Second World War in the Pacific, but they instantly killed more than 100,000 people in Japan and are viewed by some there as an unjustified atrocity.

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