(Photo: The Nuclear Abolitionist)
This was a year of heightened hope after Obama's April 5 "Prague Speech" (in which the US president called for a world free of nuclear weapons). Hibakusha and their supporters campaigned for an Obama visit to Hiroshima — to spark the nuclear abolition movement. However, some in Tokyo wanted to dampen "expectations":
VFM [Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs] Yabunaka pointed out that the Japanese public will have high expectations toward President Obama's visit to Japan in November, as the President enjoys an historic level of popularity among the Japanese people. Anti-nuclear groups, in particular, will speculate whether the President would visit Hiroshima in light of his April 5 Prague speech on non-proliferation. He underscored, however, that both governments must temper the public's expectations on such issues, as the idea of President Obama visiting Hiroshima to apologize for the atomic bombing during World War II is a "non-starter."