Hiroshima and Nagasaki mayors request that world leaders visit A-bombed cities

by Osamu Kido, Staff Writer

On December 24, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui and Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue visited the Tokyo embassies of nations that will take part in the Group of Seven (G7) Summit (Ise Shima Summit) in May 2016 and appealed for world leaders to visit the A-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in conjunction with that meeting.

The mayors visited U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy at the U.S. Embassy and handed her their letter of request to President Barack Obama. After the meeting with Ms. Kennedy, Mr. Matsui said to reporters, “Ms. Kennedy said that she will properly convey our message to the president because this is a special request. She also said that the president had begun setting a schedule and would give careful consideration to our request.”

In their letter, the mayors appealed, “If you visit the A-bombed cities, our citizens will welcome you with respect and friendship,” and stressed that this visit would add momentum to the global movement for a world free from nuclear weapons.

After their visit to the U.S. Embassy, the two mayors called on the French and Italian Embassies. They mailed further letters of request to the Canadian, German, and British Embassies.

This was the first appeal by the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for world leaders to visit the A-bombed cities since Ise Shima was selected as the host of the upcoming summit. President Obama has received five such requests since 2009.

(Originally published on December 25, 2015)