Barack Obama becomes the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, where an American atomic bombing during World War Two killed more than 140,000 people. Yiming Woo reports.
Hiroshima's the site of the world's first atomic bombing in 1945. Barack Obama has become the first sitting U.S. president to visit. More than 140,000 people were killed, after the bomb was dropped by the Americans during World War Two. Laying a wreath here is a symbolic gesture and a show of alliance between Tokyo and Washington. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED STATES PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "We come to ponder the terrible force unleashed in a not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead." Obama hopes his visit will draw attention to the issue of nuclear disarmament. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED STATES PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "Mere words cannot give voice to such suffering. But we have a shared responsibility to look directly in the eye of history. We must ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again." But there was no apology for the attack. Three days after Hiroshima, another one was dropped on Nagasaki, and Japan surrendered six days later. Whether or not the atomic bombs were necessary is a contentious issue. Many Americans think they were, in order to end the war and save lives, but many Japanese believe they were unjustified.