As the G7 summit gets underway in Hiroshima, Japan, world leaders agreed to new sanctions against Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. Ahead of their first joint meeting today, President Biden and the other leaders paid tribute to the victims of the world’s first nuclear attack — the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 — laying wreaths at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and planting a tree. President Biden did not issue an apology for the attack. A group of anti-nuclear activists rallied on the streets.
Niishima: “Biden is in Hiroshima, and he’s brought along with him a button to fire a nuclear missile. I cannot forgive him for this. He needs to apologize to the people in Hiroshima.”
At least 140,000 people died in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which leveled the city. Three days later, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, killing another 74,000 people. Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s family is from Hiroshima, and he lost relatives in the city’s bombing. Kishida has pushed for the abolition of nuclear weapons, while leading the nation’s biggest military buildup since World War II.
Meanwhile, Oxfam reports G7 countries collectively owe poor nations in the Global South more than $13 trillion in development and climate assistance. But instead, these countries are saddled with daily debt repayments of $232 million, deepening the global chasm of inequality.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to appear at the G7 summit over the weekend to appeal for more arms and aid for the war.