NH Peace Activists Urge Specific Proposals for Obama Visit to Hiroshima
CONCORD, N.H. - It is a visit that is sure to make history. President Obama plans to become the first U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, since the bombing.
The White House says Obama will not apologize for the decision to drop the atomic bomb in 1945.
Arnie Alpert, co-director of American Friends Service Committee of New Hampshire, says Obama has gotten off track of his original goal to rid the world of nuclear weapons and he hopes the president will use this visit to get back on track.
"We would like to see that he not go empty-handed, but that he go to Japan with specific steps that the United States is going to take that is going to lead us in that direction," says Alpert.
Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 in recognition of his nuclear nonproliferation efforts.
Cole Harrison is active on this issue in New England and executive director with the group Massachusetts Peace Action.
He says he does not want to prejudge what Obama might say later this month, but he does know the U.S. is spending plenty on the nuclear arsenal.
"The United States under his administration is spending $1 trillion to modernize our nuclear weapons, so they perceive us as a threat," says Harrison. "And we have to stop this, and go for nuclear disarmament, instead of one-upmanship."
On May 27, Obama plans to join Japan's prime minister on a tour of the site of the world's first nuclear bombing.