US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday said that he was “deeply moved” by his visit earlier in the day to the atomic bomb memorial in the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
“I want to express on a personal level how deeply honoured I am, how deeply moved I am” to be the first US Secretary of State to visit the memorial, he said.
He described the memorial as “extraordinary” and called it a “gut-wrenching display that tugs at all your sensibilities as a human being”.
Kerry is the highest-ranking US administration official to pay respects at the spot where American planes in 1945 launched the world’s first nuclear attack.
Asked what kind of message he wanted to send by making the visit, he said, “Everyone should visit Hiroshima, and everyone means everyone.”
Kerry visited the memorial with other Group of Seven foreign ministers who were wrapping up a two-day meeting in Hiroshima before a G7 summit scheduled to be held next month elsewhere in Japan.