Former director of Peace Memorial Museum sends second letter of invitation to Obama

by Uzaemonnaotsuka Tokai, Staff Writer

Akihiro Takahashi, 77, a former director of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, held a press conference on April 21 at Hiroshima City Hall to share the contents of his second letter to President Obama, which asks the president to visit the A-bombed city of Hiroshima.

In the letter, Mr. Takahashi suggests that Mr. Obama’s visit to Hiroshima would help atomic bomb survivors overcome any negative sentiments that still linger toward the United States. “Your visit to Hiroshima would be a historic reconciliation,” the letter says. At the press conference, Mr. Takahashi stressed that Mr. Obama’s resolve for pursuing the abolition of nuclear weapons would even be strengthened through the opportunity to hear the testimonies of A-bomb survivors.

The letter will be sent to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo on April 22. Mr. Takahashi plans to ask Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, to deliver the letter to President Obama. During the G8 Summit of Lower House Speakers held in Hiroshima last September, Mr. Takahashi related his experience of the atomic bombing to Ms. Pelosi.

Mr. Takahashi sent his first letter of invitation to Mr. Obama in January. In response to the vision for nuclear abolition that President Obama revealed in Prague on April 5, he decided to draft a second letter.

(Originally published on April 22, 2009

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