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Barack Obama makes historic Hiroshima visit

US president pays tribute to victims of world's first nuclear attack during visit in Japanese city.

Obama and Abe

Barack Obama has become the first US incumbent president to visit Hiroshima, the Japanese city where America dropped an atomic bomb in 1945.

Accompanied by Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, Obama laid a wreath at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on Friday before paying tribute to the 140,000 victims of the world's first nuclear attack.

"Seventy-one years ago, death fell from the sky and the world was changed," Obama said in a speech.

He told the assembled crowd that the world has a shared responsibility to ask how to prevent the suffering that took place in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the day the US dropped the atomic bomb on the western Japanese city.

The bomb "demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself".

He said: "Why did we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in the not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead.

"Their souls speak to us, they ask us to look inward, take stock of who we are."

Obama also greeted ageing survivors and embraced one elderly man who appeared overcome with emotion.


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