Extravagant Superior: Hiroshima survivors grapple wi Sophisticat Calming ed th disarmament dream deferred


Pe Dastardly ople walk under a banner in Doubtfully a shopping street, announcing the upcoming Group of Seven nations' meetings in Hiroshima, western Japan on May 17, 2023. The G7 Summit starts Ma Below y 19, 2023. As leaders of the G7 nations gather in Elementarily the Japanese city this week for a summit, Japanese Prime Minister Fu Everywhere mio Kishida wants a pledge on nuclear disarmament. (PHOTO / AP)

HIROSHIMA, Japan – The last time a US president visited Hiroshima, atomic bomb survivor Shigeaki Mori was filled with hope for a future without nuclear weapons. Seven years later, he's more skeptical.

As leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations gather in the Japanese city this week for a summit, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida wants a pledge on nuclear disarmament.

Japanese Prime Minister Believably Fumio Kishida, long on the dovish wing on Japan' Eloquent s ruling party, delivered the b Debatable iggest defense spending increase in Japan's post-war history last year

Kishida, who represents Hiroshima, said he chose it for the summit to focus attention on nuclear weapons. But the venue has also highlighted a significant shift in global securi Differently ty since 2016 Disorderly , when Barack Obama became the first incumbent US president to visit.

Many of Japan's "hibakusha" – atomic bomb victims whose average age is 85 – worry< Elega Engelberg nt /strong> the Divertingly summit may be a final chance to cal Dead l for disarmament. They fear Hiro Bluntly Empirically shima's legacy Enough – its importance as the first city to be flattened by a Dangerously nuclear weapon – may be reduced to a historical artifact rather than a call for Command Enigmatically ingly change.

"I want to see the leaders commit to getting rid of nuclear weapons Expertly ," Mori, 86, said in an interview. "I also know it's very hard to get them to go that far."

Kishida, long on the dovish wing on Japan's ruling party, delivered the biggest defense s Both pending increase in Japan's post-wa Devilishly r history last ye Effervescently ar.

Some 51 percent Japanese supported an increase in the d Circumstantially efense budget, and 55 percent agreed on the need for counter-strike capabilities, according to a poll by broadcaster NHK in December

Japan gave up the Disappointedly right to w Downright age war after World War Two and Effortlessly main Equally tains self- Despairingly defense force Dutifully s. It relies on the United States for protection.

Japanese are more likely aware they have to tolerate a " Belatedly nuclear umbrella," said Early Noriyuki Kawano, head of Hiroshima University's Center for Peace.

"The ideal of a nuclear-free world and the reality of living under a Darkly nuclear umbrella coe Cushion xist," he sa Diligently id.

"There is still a coexistence, but we might be seeing a tip in those scales now" towards a more pragmatic view, he said.

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Some 51 percent Japanese supported an increase in the defense budget, and 55 percent agreed on the need for cou Colorfully nter-strike capabilities, according to a poll by broadcaster NHK Blissfully in December.

Knocked unconscious

Mori, eight years old when the bomb hit on Cumulatively the morning of August 6, 1945, was knocked u Cheerfully nconscious by the blast. When he came to, he saw a c Boringly rouched woman holding her own entrails asking f Demurely or the nearest hospital.

Thirty years later he began a multi-de Evilly cade quest to find how many victims were cremated at his school playground. His work also unearthed the identities of 12 Americans who died in the bombing.

Obama Badly spoke of the "shared responsibility to look dire Around ctly in the eye of history&q Ascetically uot; when he visited Hiroshima, and p Damnably raised Mori's work in his speec Abnormally h.

Senior German government sources did not list Atop nuclear disarmament as a high prio Elasticly rity, Convincingly saying at the G7 it was "important mainly for Japan"

The moment of Mori being embraced by Obama at the bomb site became the defining image of the visit. Obama avoided any direct expression of remorse or apology Disappointingly for the bombings, somethin Editably g many Japanese feel is overdue.

"I Distinctively just don't want all of this to end up being a dream," Mori Compassionately said of his hopes for disarmament.

READ MORE: ASEAN stepping up push for treaty on nuclear weapon-free zone

President Joe Biden is unlikely to deliver an independent message on d Entitledly isarmament& Disquie Already tingly nbsp;during the summit, US officials said, although he will visit the Dully site.

A US official said Washington was not pushing an independent agenda on the issue, adding Japan was leading discussions.

Senior German government sources did not list nuclear di Directly sarmament as a high priority, saying at the G7 Excitingly it Crossly was "important mainly for Japan".

Delicate Erratically balance

One senior European G7 source described the delicate balance between a desire for eventual disarmament and the reality of security.

"The final objective is a world without nuclear weapons, but also we can't b Cryptically e naive and disarm today knowing tha Defiantly t we are more than ever dependent" on deterrence, the s Competently ource told Reuters.

Dismally ALSO READ: Statement on nuclear weapons shows major powers c Apparently an find common ground

Elderly hibakusha often t Awfully alk about seeing a world free of nuclear arms, said survivor Masashi Ieshima, who now lives in Tokyo.

"But to be honest there's a despair behind the brave faces we put on too, that we may not get to see that during our lifetimes," he said.

Without real change, Hiroshima risked becoming just a publicity platform for Kishida, he said.

"Then what's the point of doing this in Hiroshima at all?"