Top U.S. diplomat arrives in Japan for talks with G-7 nations
Kerry is expected to take a break from talks to tour memorials in Hiroshima
, which was the first of two Japanese cities destroyed by nuclear bombs at the end of World War II.
The meeting with foreign ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan is a precursor to next month’s G-7 summit in Tokyo that U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to attend, according to the Reuters news service
Kerry is not expected to apologize for the Aug. 6, 1945, bombing that killed more than 100,000 Hiroshima residents but hastened the end of the war when he plans to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Japan surrendered nine days later, after the U.S. dropped a second nuclear bomb that leveled the Japanese city of Nagasaki on Aug. 9 and also killed tens of thousands.
“If you are asking whether the secretary of state came to Hiroshima to apologize, the answer is no,” a senior U.S. official said late Sunday.
“If you are asking whether the secretary and I think all Americans and all Japanese are filled with sorrow at the tragedies that befell so many of our countrymen, the answer is yes,” the official said.
Should Obama decide to visit Hiroshima when he is in Japan next month, it would mark the first visit to the city ever by a U.S. president.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida will preside over the two-day meeting of diplomats, who are expected to discuss anti-terrorism efforts, maritime security and issues involving North Korea
, Ukraine and the Middle East, Reuters said.
A second unnamed U.S. diplomat said other issues up for discussion between the ministers include the fight against violent extremism, the battle against Islamic State militants and international efforts to end the five-year civil war in Syria.
Maritime security is expected to be a particularly pressing issue given massive reclamation projects undertaken by China
in the South China Sea, with nuclear proliferation also taking on new urgency since North Korea’s fourth nuclear weapons test in January.
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