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By Minami Funakoshi HIROSHIMA, Japan (Reuters) - Barack Obama became the first incumbent U.S. president to visit Hiroshima on Friday, laying a wreath at the site of the world's first atomic bombing in a gesture Tokyo and Washington hope will showcase their alliance and invigorate efforts to end nuclear arms. The two governments hope Obama's tour of Hiroshima, where an atomic bomb killed thousands instantly on Aug. 6, 1945, and some 140,000 by the year's end, underscores a new level of reconciliation and tighter ties between the former enemies. "We come to ponder the terrible force unleashed in a not-so-distant past," Obama said after laying a wreathe at a peace memorial.
Barack Obama on Friday paid moving tribute to Hiroshima victims as he became the only sitting US leader to set foot on ground that was seared by the world's first nuclear attack. "71 years ago, death fell from the sky and the world was changed," the president said after laying a wreath at the cenotaph to victims of the 1945 nuclear strike in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. A second nuclear bomb was dropped on Nagasaki three days later.