barack obama.jpg
Photograph: EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Barack Obama was to be the first sitting US president to visit the western Japanese city of Hiroshima Friday, where where US forces dropped the first of two atomic bombs in the final days of World War II more than seven decades ago.

Obama will visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe "to honour all those who were lost in World War II and reaffirm our shared vision of a world without nuclear weapons,” the president said Wednesday after his arrival in Japan to attend a G7 summit.

Obama will not present US apologies for the bombing, he said, but will use the trip to underscore “the very real risks that are out there and the sense of urgency we all should have" about nuclear weapons, he said Thursday the Japanese resort of Ise-Shima.

The "job is not done" in terms of reducing the prospect of future attacks, he added.

On August 6, 1945, a US B-29 bomber dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing tens of thousands of residents in seconds, and by the end of the year, some 140,000 in total had died.

Three days later, on August 9, a second atom bomb released from a B-29 was detonated over the port city of Nagasaki. Around 74,000 lost their lives by the end of the year due to that attack.

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