— -- President Obama will become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima when he travels to Japan later this month, the White House announced this morning.
The president and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit the site where the United States dropped an atomic bomb during World War II. The May 27 trip will highlight the president’s “continued commitment to pursuing the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.
Secretary of State John Kerry became the highest ranking U.S. official to visit the site when he attended a memorial ceremony in Hiroshima last month.
The upcoming visit will likely raise questions about whether the president will extend a formal apology for the attacks. Earnest has previously said the president does not believe the Japanese government deserves a formal apology.
In a Medium post describing the tour, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said the president will use the visit as an opportunity to reflect on the significance of the site, but he “will not revisit the decision to use the atomic bomb at the end of World War II.”
The stop at Hiroshima will come as President Obama attends his final G-7 summit in Ise-Shima in Japan. Prior to the trip to Japan, he will make his first visit to Vietnam.