Governor talks to U.S. ambassador about visit to Hiroshima by Obama

by Jumpei Fujimura, Staff Writer

Gov. Hidehiko Yuzaki conveyed his desire for United States Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and President Barack Obama to visit Hiroshima at an April 8 meeting with the ambassador at the embassy in Tokyo. According to the governor, Ambassador Kennedy indicated that the president wanted to come to Hiroshima. She also expressed support for the prefecture’s peace-related activities, saying they are very important.

The meeting, which lasted about 30 minutes, was off the record. According to the governor, he described the prefecture’s peace-related activities, including the “Hiroshima Report,” which rated the nuclear disarmament efforts of nations around the world. The governor also outlined the itinerary for his trip to the U.S. at the end of this month and sought the ambassador’s understanding and cooperation.

After the meeting, Gov. Yuzaki said he felt Ambassador Kennedy had a “constructive attitude” toward peace- and nuclear-related issues. With regard to a visit by Mr. Obama to Hiroshima, the governor said he and the ambassador agreed that the president’s busy schedule would make it difficult but that they should take some time to consider the matter.

As for a visit to Hiroshima by Ambassador Kennedy, Gov. Yuzaki said he felt certain she hoped to come. Such a visit would mark her first trip to the city since she first came to Japan in 1978. According to the governor, Ambassador Kennedy is very much looking forward to coming to Hiroshima.

Last December the ambassador met with Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui and Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue at the U.S. embassy.

(Originally published on April 9, 2014)