@78 days until Hiroshima Summit: Visit by head of state

by Hiromi Morita, Staff Writer

In October 1957, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru became the first foreign head of state to visit Hiroshima after the atomic bombing. Mr. Nehru, who led the non-aligned nations and appealed for nuclear abolition during the Cold War era, was enthusiastically welcomed by citizens. In 1974, however, India conducted a nuclear test and became the second nuclear weapon state in Asia. It is important to have the head of state come, but it is not the end.

Among the leaders of nuclear weapon states, Mikhail Gorbachev, the former president of the Soviet Union, visited Hiroshima a total of three times since he left office. In 1990, Boris Yeltsin, before becoming President of Russia, toured the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. He said everyone involved in the fate of the world should visit it. The current president, who has been threatening to use nuclear weapons, should also stand here and face that reality.

(Originally published on March 2, 2023)