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Kerry arrives in Japan for landmark Hiroshima visit

HIROSHIMA: John Kerry arrived in Japan on Sunday for a Group of Seven meeting in Hiroshima, marking the first-ever visit to the atomic-bombed city by a US secretary of state.

Kerry landed at a US military base west of Hiroshima from Afghanistan for the two-day G7 gathering set to discuss a host of global issues though the symbolism of his visit is overshadowing the broader diplomatic agenda.

Kerry’s trip is seen as possibly paving the way for Barack Obama to become the first serving US president to journey to the thriving metropolis next month when he visits Japan for the G7 Summit.

The Hiroshima meeting begins Sunday and will also host diplomats from nuclear-armed Britain and France, as well as Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan.

The gathering is part of the run-up to the G7’s rotating annual summit, scheduled this year from May 26-27 in the Ise-Shima region between Tokyo and Osaka.

The US secretary of state, Britain’s Philip Hammond, France’s Jean-Marc Ayrault and other ministers are expected to discuss global hotspot issues including the Middle East, the migration crisis, the conflict in Ukraine and terrorism. AFP