Hiroshima mayor to see Ambassador Kennedy on December 16, request her visit to Hiroshima

by Kohei Okata, Staff Writer

It was learned on December 11 that Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui will visit the United States Embassy in Tokyo on December 16 and request that Ambassador Caroline Kennedy visit Hiroshima at an early date. Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue will join him and ask for her support to realize President Barack Obama’s visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the future.

Before Ms. Kennedy arrived to take up her new position on November 15, the City of Hiroshima had already asked the new ambassador to meet with the mayor. Now that the meeting has been arranged, Mr. Matsui shared this information in response to a question on December 11 during the general inquiry session of the city assembly.

Responding to this question, Mr. Matsui referred to the great achievement of the ambassador’s father, the late President John F. Kennedy, in signing the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. “The ambassador, who cherishes the same desire for peace as that of the late president, is a new bridge between Japan and the United States. I hope she will lend her support to realize President Obama’s visit to the A-bombed cities.”

Ms. Kennedy visited Hiroshima in 1978, when she was 20 and a college student. At that time, she toured Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and met with A-bomb survivors. After assuming the post of ambassador, Ms. Kennedy expressed her intention to visit Hiroshima again.

(Originally published on December 12, 2013)