U.N. General Assembly president to visit Hiroshima

by Kohei Okata, Staff Writer

On October 19, at a regular news conference, Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara announced that Joseph Deiss, former president of Switzerland and now president of the U.N. General Assembly, will visit Hiroshima on October 28. This is the third visit to Hiroshima by a president of the U.N. General Assembly, following last year's visit by Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann.

According to the United Nations Planning and Administrating Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Japan, Mr. Deiss will arrive in Japan on October 26 and stay until October 30 at the invitation of the ministry. He will visit Hiroshima at his own request and tour Peace Memorial Museum and listen to the account of an A-bomb survivor. During his stay in Japan, he will attend the Aichi-Nagoya tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBO) to be held in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture.

Meanwhile, with regard to a possible visit by U.S. President Barack Obama to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in conjunction with the president's attendance at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Yokohama, Mr. Maehara indicated that this would be unlikely due to Mr. Obama's tight schedule. He went on to say: "I hope that many of the world's leaders will come to Hiroshima and Nagasaki to learn about the devastating consequences of the atomic bombings and work for a world without nuclear weapons. I will continue to appeal to every leader in the world to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

(Originally published on October 20, 2010)