Listen

News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV

member station

NPR
The Two-Way

Secretary Of State John Kerry Visits Hiroshima Memorial

473782493_1733006503.jpg

Secretary of State John Kerry pauses during his remarks about seeing the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, the site of the 1945 atomic bombing, during a news conference at the conclusion of the G-7 Foreign Ministers' Meetings in Hiroshima on Mond
Jonathan Ernst, AFP/Getty Images
Secretary of State John Kerry pauses during his remarks about seeing the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, the site of the 1945 atomic bombing, during a news conference at the conclusion of the G-7 Foreign Ministers' Meetings in Hiroshima on Monday.

Secretary of State John Kerry visited the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima on Monday, making him the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the site since the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb there at the end of World War II.

Kerry didn't apologize for the U.S. attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, as some Japanese activists have pushed for. He did honor those who died in the bombings, NPR's Elise Hu reports.

On the visit, Kerry toured the peace museum and laid a wreath at the monument to the attack, The Associated Press reports.

The memorial is located where the city's political and commercial center used to be, as NPR's Eyder Peralta reported for our Newscast unit. "After the bombing, the Japanese decided to make it a symbol of disarmament," Eyder says.

Afterward, the AP writes, the secretary of state described the emotional visit for reporters:

" 'It is a stunning display, it is a gut-wrenching display,' he told reporters of the museum tour, recounting exhibits that showed the bomb, the explosion, the 'incredible inferno' and mushroom cloud that enveloped Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. 'It tugs at all of your sensibilities as a human being. It reminds everybody of the extraordinary complexity of choices of war and what war does to people, to communities, countries, the world.'

Support comes from

"Kerry urged all world leaders to visit, saying: 'I don't see how anyone could forget the images, the evidence, the recreations of what happened.' "

President Obama is said to be considering making a trip to see the site himself when he's in Japan next month for the G-7 summit.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for.  If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.