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Bach laid a wreath at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park cenotaph and called the Games a "beacon of hope" for a peaceful future.
He spoke alongside bomb survivor Fumiaki Kajiya, who said he wished "for the success of the Olympics."
Still, Bach's visit has proved controversial, with some critics charging the IOC with using it as a publicity stunt and others worried about contagion. A small group of protesters took to the streets to call for the cancellation of the Games.
The Tokyo Olympics, postponed from last year because of the pandemic, are due to run from July 23 to August 8.