Tokyo: US President Barack Obama said he wants to visit the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were destroyed by US nuclear bombs at the end of World War II, during his time in office. This would make him the first US leader to do so.
His tight schedule does not allow for the visit during his trip to Japan this week, Obama said in an interview on Monday with the Japanese broadcaster NHK in Washington.
On August 6, 1945, the US dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, flattening the city. About 70,000 of Hiroshima`s 350,000 residents died immediately. By late December 1945, the number of fatalities had risen to 140,000. Many more have succumbed to the after-effects since then.
Three days later, US forces exploded a second bomb over Nagasaki, about 300 km west of Hiroshima. Another 70,000 people died there.
Then-emperor Hirohito announced Japan`s capitulation on August 15, 1945.