Biden to visit atomic bomb-hit Nagasaki early next year

ISTANBUL – If plans materialize, US President Joe Biden may be the first sitting US chief executive to visit atomic bomb-hit Nagasaki in Japan, early next year.

Tokyo and Washington are “considering a visit by US President Joe Biden to Nagasaki in May 2023 when he travels to Japan for a Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima,” Kyodo News reported, quoting sources familiar with such plans.

The visit may coincide with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s hosting of the G-7 summit next May 19-21.

Nagasaki and Hiroshima are the two Japanese cities hit by atomic bombs dropped by American planes in August 1945, killing tens of thousands of people.

Kishida, who represents an electoral constituency in Hiroshima, has been pushing his vision of a nuclear-free world since taking office in October last year.

He would “likely accompany Biden on his visit to Nagasaki, sometime before or after the summit,” the report added. In 2016, Biden’s former boss, US President Barack Obama had visited Hiroshima when Japan hosted a previous G-7 summit.

Kishida had accompanied the US president to the atom bomb-hit city as Japan’s foreign minister then.

Obama had come at the invitation of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was shot dead early this year during an elections campaign. (Anadolu)