Obama Rejects Visit to Hiroshima, Nagasaki
President Obama is in Japan today in the first stop of his inaugural visit to Asia since taking office earlier this year. Obama is set to hold talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, whose party was elected in August on a platform that included revisiting Japanese-US military ties. Hatoyama has suggested he wants to move a US military base off the island of Okinawa, while the US says it wants to relocate to a different location. Before his arrival, Obama rejected an invitation to visit the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, site of the US atomic bombing sixty-four years ago that killed an estimated 220,000 Japanese. Obama’s call for ending nuclear weapons and his recent Nobel Peace Prize win had raised expectations in Japan that he would become the first sitting US president to visit the two cities. Asked about his refusal earlier today, Obama said he would visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki at a later date.