Obama and Abe arrive for a joint news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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Japan and the United States are presenting U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Hiroshima as an affirmation of a strong alliance and a step toward world denuclearization, but critics see selective amnesia and paradoxes on nuclear policy. Aides have said Obama will not apologize when he becomes the first sitting U.S. president to tour the site of the world's first atomic bombing next Friday, accompanied by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.Even without an apology, some hope that Obama's visit will highlight the huge human cost of the bombings and pressure Japan to own up more forthrightly to its responsibilities and atrocities.Critics argue that by not apologizing, Obama will allow Japan to stick to the narrative that paints it as a victim.Proponents of nuclear disarmament hope that Obama's visit will breathe fresh life into a stalled process.Critics note Obama has made scant progress towards nuclear disarmament and is spending heavily to modernize the U.S. atomic arsenal.
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