Memory should never fade says Obama on historic first visit to Hiroshima

Barack Obama has arrived at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on a historic visit to the city where the first atomic bomb was dropped in 1945. The U.S. president and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe toured the site, where Mr Obama signed the guest book and laid a wreath. In doing so, he became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the city although he did not apologise for the attack which some say hastened the end of World War II. Instead, he said the memory should never fade while the world shared the responsibility for making sure it never happened again.

Prime minister Abe and I coming to Hiroshima together shows the world the possibility of reconciliation - that even former adversaries can become the strongest of allies

Barack Obama

Mr Obama was making the visit at the end of two days of talks at the G7 summit in Japan. It has proved a controversial gesture, with supporters praising his breaking of a decades long taboo over the issue and critics saying he is allowing Japan to continue to portray itself as a victim in the war. Mr Abe said what happened at Hiroshima should never be repeated and the U.S. president’s visit would give a boost o efforts to achieve a nuclear-free world. However, China said on Friday the massacre of 300,000 civilians by Japanese troops in the city of Nanjing during World War II was more worthy of remembrance.

I want Obama to say ‘I’m sorry’. If he does, maybe my suffering will ease. If Obama apologised, I could die and meet my parents in heaven in peace

Eiji Hattori, 73, a toddler at the time of the bombing who now has three types of cancer