"Come to Hiroshima, Mr. Obama": 335 letters are sent to Representative Kucinich

by Toshiko Bajo, Staff Writer

On May 14, 335 letters addressed to U.S. President Barack Obama were sent to U.S. Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich, 62. These letters were collected after a call by junior writers for “Peace Seeds,” a children’s newspaper produced by teens in Hiroshima that appears as a regular feature in the Chugoku Shimbun.

In the 40th issue of “Peace Seeds” published on November 11, 2008, the junior writers appealed for readers to write letters of invitation to Mr. Obama to visit the A-bombed city of Hiroshima. The letters were written mainly by junior high and high school students, but elementary school students and atomic bomb survivors also sent in letters. The letters were then translated into English by volunteers in the Hiroshima area and by high school students in the U.S.

Seeking a sure way for the letters to be delivered to Mr. Obama, the junior writers asked Mr. Kucinich for his support. At the end of April, they received an email from his office that said Mr. Kucinichi would be happy to hand these letters to the president.

Mr. Kucinich was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996 after serving as mayor of Cleveland, Ohio and an Ohio state senator. He is known as a supporter of nuclear abolition and has proposed establishing a U.S. Department of Peace.

(Originally published on May 15, 2009)

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Letters invite President Obama to visit Hiroshima (April 6, 2009)