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JapanThursday, April 7

Preparations for Historic Hiroshima Visit

Officials and peace activists are both preparing for the arrival of representatives from the world's nuclear powers in Hiroshima.

The city will host a meeting of G7 foreign ministers, who will pay tribute to the victims of the first ever nuclear attack.

Last-minute security preparations are underway outside the hotel that will host the G7 officials.

Officers are running through drills on how to guide VIPs safely to and from the venue, and how to provide protection.

Meanwhile, peace activists have traveled from as far away as India in the hopes their message will reach the ministers. They're calling for a cut in military spending, which is ballooning worldwide.

And among the activists is atomic-bomb survivor Takako Kotani.

"I believe war and terrorism often stem from poverty," Kotani says. "Why do we have to spend money for weapons used to kill people?"

There are other preparations underway. Scaffolding is being removed from the A-Bomb Dome -- the starkest reminder of the horrors of nuclear weapons.

"We want the foreign ministers to see the dome and understand what it was like when the atomic bomb was dropped," said Minoru Hotta, a Hiroshima City official. "We hope they will consider creating nuclear-free world."

And they're certain to get at least part of that wish. There's a scheduled visit to the memorial park.

It will be the first time the foreign ministers of the US, Britain and France will attend. All 3 countries possess nuclear weapons.

US Secretary of State John Kerry's visit is especially significant. State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said it will look toward the future.

"It's an effort to honor to a memory of all of those who died during World War 2, and underscore President Obama's vision of nuclear free world," Toner said.

He also said it will be up to the White House to decide if Obama will follow suit.

Toshiyuki Mimaki, a member of a Japanese organization of atomic bomb survivors, has high hopes for the meeting.

"We will be very happy if the ministers from the other G7 countries see and understand what happened in Hiroshima," said Mimaki, who is with Nihon Hidankyo.

He says he hopes the ministers change their mindset that nuclear weapons keep the world safe.

The G7 meeting will likely include discussions on denuclearization and non-proliferation, along with measures against terrorism.

And they are expected to issue a "Hiroshima Declaration," showing their determination for nuclear disarmament.