Responses from John Kerry, United States Secretary of State, to questions from Chugoku Shimbun in written interview

Q. What do you hope to experience in Hiroshima this time?
I’ve been to Japan countless times as a Senator and as Secretary of State. It’s always great to be here and to spend time with the Japanese people, but this will be my first visit to Hiroshima. I am looking forward to learning more about its people and history and I very much look forward to a discussion with the G-7. There are many important strategic challenges, and we need to continue working together as a unified community. I’m grateful to Japan for hosting us.

Q.What hopes do you have for the upcoming foreign ministers’ meeting? What would you like to discuss?
Again, I want to thank Japan for its active leadership of the G7, and in particular Foreign Minister Kishida for convening counterparts to discuss how we can strengthen our partnership to address emerging and ongoing international political and security challenges.

Most of today’s global threats to international peace require collective action. Gatherings, such as this one, are important opportunities to help us address urgent international political and security concerns and to speak with one, clear voice on concrete actions needed to address threats to peace and stability.

There are many challenges before us: the threat of extremism and terrorism, nuclear proliferation, climate change and the pervasive problem of corruption around the world, just to name a few. We may not be able to address all of these here, but it is important to keep looking for possible solutions together.

Q. Do you support “a world without nuclear weapons?”
Yes, the United States has long been committed to global nuclear disarmament. President Obama has endorsed that goal and laid out a vision for a world without nuclear weapons and his agenda for reducing nuclear dangers. The President made clear that while global nuclear disarmament would not happen quickly, or even in his lifetime, that the United States had a special moral responsibility to take concrete steps and to lead in this global endeavor.

In support of this agenda, President Obama hosted the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC, earlier this month, in which Prime Minister Abe and over fifty counterparts took part. These Summits have contributed many tangible, meaningful and lasting improvements in nuclear security to international security, spurring concrete actions to decrease highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium stocks, improve security measures for safeguarding nuclear facilities and transporting nuclear materials, and strengthen capacity to counter nuclear smuggling. In pursuing nuclear disarmament, we embrace a realistic and practical approach. We can never separate disarmament from the global security environment or strategic stability considerations, or divorce it from our security commitments to friends and allies. Progress on nuclear disarmament must be made in a way that reduces nuclear and security risks for ourselves, our allies and all humankind.

Q. Do you have any suggestions as to what the youth of Hiroshima can do to promote peace?
My best advice to them – and to everyone here – is to stay engaged and continue to read, write and think about the world around them. We all inhabit the same planet. We all breathe the same air and even though we may speak different languages or practice different religions, we have a special obligation to each other and to future generations to keep talking to one another. Only by being willing to consider the perspectives of others can we truly build mutual understanding and find lasting solutions for peace. It’s all about relationships.