A leading Japanese newspaper says U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima when he goes to Japan next month for a G-7 summit.
A stop at Hiroshima would make Obama the first sitting U.S. president to visit the city that was devastated when the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on it, leading to the end of World War II. The bombing of Hiroshima resulted in the deaths of about 140,000 people. Three days later, the U.S. dropped a second bomb on the Japanese port city of Nagasaki, killing about 70,000 people.
The Nikkei business daily on Friday, citing an anonymous U.S. source, said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will accompany Obama to Hiroshima.
The anonymous source told the Nikkei Washington will formally notify Japan early next month about Obama's plans to visit Hiroshima.
Obama was asked Friday at a news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London about going to Hiroshima. He told reporters to wait until he visits Asia before asking him questions about Asia.
Meanwhile, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the stories about Obama going to Hiroshima are "not true." He added, however, that it is "very important" for Japan that world leaders visit Hiroshima to understand the reality of the suffering caused by the atomic bombing.
Earlier this month, John Kerry became the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Hiroshima.
Kerry said the displays at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Museum were "gut-wrenching" and everyone should see them.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center left, puts his arm around Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, center right, after they and fellow G7 foreign ministers laid wreaths at the cenotaph at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan