Hiroshima mayor calls for Obama’s visit to Hiroshima at U.S. mayors’ conference

by Hiroki Takigawa, Staff Writer

Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba explained at a press conference held at Hiroshima City Hall on June 18 that he asked mayors taking part in the 77th annual meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors to lend their support for the realization of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Hiroshima.

The annual meeting was held in Providence, Rhode Island, from June 12 to 15. Mr. Akiba delivered speeches during the plenary session and the session of the standing committee on international affairs. In these speeches he emphasized the significance of having Mr. Obama visit Hiroshima, citing the visit made by then U.S. President Richard Nixon to China during the Cold War.

At the plenary session, a resolution was adopted which “calls on President Obama to announce at the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference the initiation of good faith multilateral negotiations on an international agreement to abolish nuclear weapons by the year 2020.”

Initially, Mr. Akiba had hoped to meet U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and other U.S. government officials during the conference but was unable to do so due to their absence from the gathering. The mayor expressed regret that these meetings could not take place.

(Originally published on June 19, 2009)

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