The White House said people should not view President Barack Obama’s visit to Hiroshima, Japan, as an apology after they announced he will become the first sitting president to visit the city since the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on it in 1945.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that if anyone does “interpret it that way, they’ll be interpreting it wrongly.”

Wrongly? So Obama won’t say the word “apologize,” but is it effectively an apology?

Benjamin Rhodes, President Obama’s national security advisor for strategic communication (who has his own credibility problems), reflected on the decision in a blog:

He will not revisit the decision to use the atomic bomb at the end of World War II. Instead, he will offer a forward-looking vision focused on our shared future.

The President’s time in Hiroshima also will reaffirm America’s longstanding commitment — and the President’s personal commitment — to pursue the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.

That commitment has guided our efforts to promote non-proliferation and nuclear security — a theme at the heart of four Nuclear Security Summits that the President hosted — and to take concrete steps to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our security and in the policies of other global powers.

Finally, the visit will also symbolize how far the United States and Japan have come in building a deep and abiding alliance based on mutual interests, shared values, and an enduring spirit of friendship between our peoples.

Despite these words, some in the administration who believe the Japanese will take President Obama’s words as an apology. Jeffrey Hornun, Security and Foreign Affairs fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, said if he makes a speech “he would be in danger of his words being misinterpreted, politicized, and over-analyzed as pundits debate what he said, what he should have said, and what he did not say.”

President Obama received the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 after he said he wanted to reduce nuclear weapons during his presidency. Yet, the U.S. signed a landmark nuclear agreement that could allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. The regime has already fired off missiles since October 2015, which has “raised U.S concern that Iran wasn’t abiding by” that agreement.

[Featured Image via YouTube]

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