Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will travel to Hiroshima, Japan, to join the Group of Seven (G7) leaders in person. Previously, Japanese officials had mentioned that Zelenskyy would participate virtually while adding an extra session on Ukraine on Sunday to accommodate his schedule. The visit to Hiroshima holds significant symbolism due to Russian President Vladimir Putin's periodic threats of using atomic weapons in Ukraine.
At the summit held in Japan, discussions are expected to focus primarily on the war in Ukraine, China's growing influence and North Korea's weapons program. In a somber opening ceremony at the summit, G7 leaders attended a memorial for victims of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his wife Yuko welcomed their fellow leaders and spouses at the entrance of Peace Memorial Museum. Here they viewed graphic reminders of 6th August 1945 attack on Hiroshima and its gruesome aftermath. Joe Biden became only the second sitting US president ever visiting Hiroshima; Rishi Sunak marked history as well becoming first British prime minister attending this site related with world’s first nuclear attack.
The media was barred from entering museum during these visits amid speculations about whether attendees would visit just east wing or also pass through main building area where memories reflecting horrors exist further deepening emotions around past event . Later all participating dignitaries laid wreaths before memorial plaques containing eternal flame inscribed with words: "Let all souls here rest peace - we shall not repeat evil."
Prime Minister Kishida said during opening remarks: “It is our responsibility as politicians living today who face various challenges such as conflicts between countries...to learn lessons from history.” He emphasized importance resolving differences through dialogue rather than forceful means .
President Zelenskiy joining other G7 leaders in person is a powerful statement, showing unity and solidarity against potential nuclear threats. "By standing together in Hiroshima, we demonstrate our shared commitment to preventing further tragedies like the one this city faced," said Angela Merkel, German Chancellor.
As discussions focus on pressing global issues at hand – from Ukraine's war situation to China's growing influence and North Korea’s weapons program - world leaders hope that their presence in Hiroshima will remind them of lessons learned from history, urging them towards peaceful resolutions rather than resorting to devastating means again.