Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday that world leaders with nuclear arsenals should visit the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to fully understand and grasp the devastation brought by a nuclear bomb. There will be a ministerial meeting between these states on the initiative toward nuclear disarmament starting on Friday, and Kishida wants to push this agenda to the ministers who will be there.
“It is important for political leaders to see the reality of what happens when atomic bombs are unleashed,” Kishida said in an interview in Tokyo. “Having leaders of countries visit the atomic-bombed cities and see the reality of nuclear weapons use would be a very meaningful step toward building momentum for efforts to create a world without nuclear weapons,” he added. The Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) – which has 12 nonnuclear weapons states as members – will convene for a two-day meeting starting Friday in Hiroshima, which along with Nagasaki was struck in August 1945 with atomic bombs by the United States.
Kishida said that he is looking to push in a joint statement the call for the leaders of nuclear states to visit the two cities. U.S. President Barack Obama, while scheduled to be in Japan later this month, is not scheduled to visit either city when he arrives – his purpose will be mostly for summit meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. But U.S. State Department Undersecretary Rose Gottemoeller, who plays a key role in nuclear policy in the Obama administration, is scheduled to sit as the first observer from any U.S. administration at an NPDI meeting when the countries meet in Hiroshima on Friday.
[via Kyodo News]