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Joe Biden, G-7 leaders visit Hiroshima site, offer prayer and warning to Russia

President Biden and the Group of Seven leaders visited the site of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima to get a first-hand look at the impact of nuclear weapons, honor those who died and issue a new warning to Russia.

Mr. Biden and the leaders met with a survivor of the U.S. bombing, Keiko Ogura, at Hiroshima Peace Park and Memorial Museum and laid a wreath at the memorial’s cenotaph, which is a monument to persons buried elsewhere.

They offered a silent prayer with support from junior high and high school students from Hiroshima.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry said the leaders “deepened their understanding of the reality of the atomic bombings and joined their hearts in consoling the souls of lost lives.

“The G7 leaders reiterated their position that threats by Russia of nuclear weapon use, let alone its use are inadmissible,” the ministry said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and he’s deployed rhetoric that suggests he’s ready to use his nuclear arsenal if needed. Many experts believe Mr. Putin would not resort to using the weapons, so the threat itself is the weapon.

The leaders also planted a cherry tree as a symbol of their aspiration for peace, the ministry said.

Mr. Biden did not give a speech or offer an apology for the U.S. decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which helped end World War II.

President Obama was the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Hiroshima site. He visited the site, gave a speech and met with bombing survivors in May 2016. He did not offer a formal apology.

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