WASHINGTON — Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) on Thursday urged President Obama to visit Hiroshima during his upcoming trip to Japan for a G-7 summit.
“I rise today to encourage President Obama to become the first sitting American president to visit Hiroshima, Japan,” Takano said on the House floor. “A visit to Hiroshima is not an apology on America’s behalf. It is a signal that the commander-in-chief of the world’s largest arsenal of nuclear weapons appreciates their power, and it sets an example for other world leaders to follow.
“I did not fully grasp the horror of Hiroshima until I traveled there for the first time in 2002. Only then did I develop a personal and lasting connection to the incredible destruction caused by nuclear weapons. Every leader who has the capacity to use these weapons should have that same experience and feel that same connection.
“One of America’s greatest strengths is the power to lead by example. The president should use that power to lead the world to Hiroshima and away from nuclear weapons.”
According to Politico, Obama on Friday refused to confirm a Nikkei report, citing U.S. sources, that he will visit Hiroshima.