U.S. Ambassador Kennedy calls visiting A-bombed cities a powerful experience

On December 17, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy held a press conference at the Japan National Press Club, saying that her visits to the A-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were powerful experiences and reaffirmed her desire to make efforts for peace. About the possibility of President Obama visiting the A-bombed cities in connection with the Group of Seven (G7) Summit (Ise Shima Summit) next May, Ms. Kennedy said that the president’s schedule is complex and she was unable to offer anything more on this question for the time being.

Since assuming her post in November 2013, Ms. Kennedy has attended the Peace Memorial Ceremonies held in Hiroshima and Nagasaki for two consecutive years. At the press conference, the ambassador touched upon her visit to the Peace Memorial Park, located in Naka Ward, Hiroshima, this past April and said that she wants to do as much as she can to help create a world without nuclear arms.

Regarding the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, Ms. Kennedy said that the current plan is the best of many options that have been considered. The ambassador stressed the need for the early relocation of this military base, citing its importance to the near future. About the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which has largely been concluded, she referred to ratification by the U.S. Congress, a step necessary for the agreement to take effect, and expressed strong confidence that Congress will endorse the deal.

(Originally published on December 18, 2015)