WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, released the following statement Tuesday after the White House announced President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, at the conclusion of his upcoming trip to Asia later this month:
“I thank President Obama for his consistent leadership. As a Senator, a presidential candidate, and as leader of the free world, he has clearly spoken of the danger of nuclear weapons proliferation and taken actions to move us toward an admirable goal the international community must achieve together: a world without nuclear weapons.
“I am proud the President will visit Hiroshima, where in 1945 the United States dropped the first of two nuclear weapons to end the Second World War. So effective to our immediate goal at the time and yet so alarming to the human conscience, 71 years later, no nation has ever again used a nuclear weapon against another nation in war.
“In a complex world of unsolved old problems and mounting new challenges, we have the vision and the ability to solve this one so that future generations might be spared from a nuclear attack. The President’s commemoration at Hiroshima will put this aspiration in stark relief.
“The visit also speaks to the remarkable progress we have made over the same time period in our relationship with Japan and the Japanese people. Our partnership today is deeper and stronger than it has ever been, and the President’s ability to visit Hiroshima is a testament to our shared interests and shared values, and to the strength and genuine friendship that comprise the U.S.-Japan alliance.
“President Obama has set an important precedent for future Commanders in Chief as well as other world leaders through his words, actions, and policies against nuclear weapons proliferation. The United States must continue to lead the world in dismantling old weapons, preventing the growth of new weapons, and translating the scientific ingenuity that led to the bomb’s creation into future tools that might help us reverse the devastating impacts of climate change, prevent droughts that wreak havoc on food and water supplies, or stop the next global pandemic.”