Dispatches from Nagasaki No.12
Representatives from Nagasaki and Hiroshima City Visit the Ambassador Kennedy；A request is made to have President Obama visit the sites of the atomic bombings
On January 23, 2015, when the representatives of Nagasaki and Hiroshima city paid visit to U.S. Ambassador to Japan, a letter requesting to have President Obama visit the sites of the atomic bombings was submitted to her. On behalf of Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui and Nagasaki Mayor Tomohisa Taue, Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum Director Akitoshi Nakamura personally handed the written request to Ambassador Caroline Kennedy. According to media reports, Ambassador Kennedy stated that, “President Obama is working to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and believes that it is important to build peace throughout the world (Nagasaki Shimbun; Jan. 24, 2015)” and that “The President has taken interest in and worked towards preventing the spread of nuclear weapons ever since his time as a senator. I definitely plan to convey this message to him (Sankei Shimbun; Jan. 21, 2015).”
The request begins by stating that ever since (President Obama) assumed the presidency in January of 2009 “we have called for and greatly anticipated your visit to the sites of the atomic bombings, but as these hopes have yet to be realized we feel a deep sense of regret.” It goes on to say that “if you would sincerely take to heart the accounts of the atomic bombing survivors and their feelings about peace by hearing directly from them at the sites of the atomic bombings, it would surely confirm for you that the goal you stated in your Prague speech six years ago of achieving ‘a world free of nuclear weapons’ was not mistaken. In closing it is stated that “we strongly request that you grant us a visit to the sites of the atomic bombings at the earliest possible date.”
Furthermore, on December ninth of last year, Nagasaki City sent another letter of appeal to the same U.S. Ambassador to Japan in response to the decision to turn the facilities related to the Manhattan Project into a national historical park. Included was the statement “We strongly request that this should in absolutely no way glorify nuclear weapons, but rather convey the horror of such arms and be linked to efforts associated with bringing about their elimination.” Hiroshima City also sent a similarly-worded letter of appeal to the U.S. Ambassador to Japan (Nagasaki Shimbun; Dec. 17, 2014).
The original written request to have President Obama visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a joint statement by the mayors of both cities, was made in English. While its contents have not been released to the public, a Japanese version of the same letter may be viewed here at the website of Hiroshima City:
The joint request issued by the Mayor of Nagasaki and the Chairman of Nagasaki City Council in response to the decision to turn the Manhattan Project facilities into a national historical park may be accessed here at the website of Nagasaki City:
“Dispatches from Nagasaki” is a nuclear disarmament-related news article from RECNA.