President of Marshall Islands to visit A-bomb Dome and listen to A-bomb account

by Kyoko Niiyama, Staff Writer

On February 10, the City of Hiroshima announced that Christopher Loeak, president of the Marshall Islands, will visit Hiroshima on February 15 and tour Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and the Atomic Bomb Dome. According to the city, this is the first time that a president from the Marshall Islands will pay an official visit to Hiroshima. He will be in Japan from February 12 to 16.

Mr. Loeak decided to visit the A-bombed city in connection with the 60th anniversary of the Bikini incident. In this incident, which took place in the Pacific Ocean on March 1, 1954, residents of the Marshall Islands, along with the crew of the “Daigo Fukuryu Maru” (“The Lucky Dragon No. 5”), a Japanese boat that was fishing for tuna in the area, were exposed to radioactive fallout from a U.S. hydrogen bomb test conducted at the Bikini Atoll.

The city indicated that Mr. Loeak will offer flowers at the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims and tour Peace Memorial Museum and the A-bomb Dome, guided by Kenji Shiga, the director of the museum. Mr. Loeak will also listen to the testimony of an A-bomb survivor.

(Originally published on February 11, 2014)