President Biden is flying to Japan today for a meeting of the G7 in Hiroshima. The White House has announced he will return to Washington after the summit instead of going to Papua New Guinea and Australia as planned. Biden was supposed to meet with leaders from Pacific Island nations and the so-called Quad. Biden would have been the first U.S. president to ever visit Papua New Guinea.
At the G7, leaders are expected to discuss imposing new sanctions on Russia, including a ban on Russian gas imports through pipelines connecting to Germany and Poland. Biden will become just the second U.S. president, after Barack Obama, to visit Hiroshima, where a U.S. nuclear attack in 1945 killed 140,000 people and seriously injured another 100,000. Ahead of the talks, the Nobel Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons called on G7 member nations to unequivocally condemn any and all threats to use nuclear warheads, and to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. They were joined in their call by survivors of the 1945 U.S. nuclear attack on Hiroshima, including 85-year-old Teruko Yahata.
Teruko Yahata: “I want them, the G7 leaders, to seriously acknowledge the inhumanity of nuclear weapons. These are weapons that can destroy humankind. I want them to strongly feel that these are terrible things and that they have to be abolished.”