Hiroshima, Nagasaki extend invitation to Obama

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: November 15, 2012

The mayors of the only two cities to be attacked with nuclear weapons have renewed their request for President Barack Obama to come see evidence of the devastation and talk with survivors.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui and Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue made the request Wednesday to U.S. Ambassador John Roos in hopes that Obama will carry their message of abolishing nuclear weapons to the world, city officials said. Roos told the mayors that Obama would be “honored” by the invitation and said he would pass along their request.

Taue and former Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba made a similar request during Obama’s first term.

Both cities have asked past presidents and ambassadors to attend peace ceremonies they hold every year on the anniversaries of the bombings. No sitting or former president has ever visited Nagasaki, city officials said, but Richard Nixon visited Hiroshima before he became president and Jimmy Carter went there after he left office.

In 2010, Roos became the first American official to officially attend one of the ceremonies in Hiroshima. The U.S. has sent a delegation to both Nagasaki and Hiroshima each year since.

As of March 31, 66,885 atomic bomb survivors remained in Hiroshima and 46,535 in Nagasaki, officials said.

from around the web