Obama unlikely to stop by Hiroshima, Nagasaki during visit to Japan

U.S. President Barack Obama is unlikely to stop by Hiroshima and Nagasaki during his possible visit to Japan in November because he would not be here long enough to do so, a senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official indicated Friday.

Expectations have been growing in Japan that Obama, who is calling for a nuclear-free world, may visit the two cities that suffered U.S. atomic bombings in 1945, as the ministry is making arrangements for Obama's possible visit, which would be his first to Japan as U.S. president.

Obama is scheduled to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit in Singapore in November, and it is possible that he may visit Japan around that time.

''We heard that he is going to visit other countries as well. His stay may not be long enough to go to Hiroshima and Nagasaki,'' the official said on condition of anonymity.

But he also said that nothing is yet decided and that, ultimately, it is up to the president to decide whether to go the cities in western and southwestern Japan.

(Distributed by Kyodo News on August 7, 2009)

Related articles
Inviting Obama to Hiroshima: High expectations and imposing obstacles (July 29, 2009)