The White House announced early this week that President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima as the first U.S. president after his participation in the G7 Summit in Ise Shima at the end of this month. On May 27, he will visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which was dedicated to victims of the 1945 atomic bombings.
“Finally, the President will make an historic visit to Hiroshima with Prime Minister Abe to highlight his continued commitment to pursuing the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” according to the statement from the White House.
This will be his fourth and final visit to Japan during his eight-year presidency.
A NHK television poll this month found that 70 percent of Japanese respondents wanted Obama to visit Hiroshima.
U.S. Rep. Mike Honda, whose late wife was raised in Hiroshima, released a statement on Wednesday on the president’s first visit to the city destroyed 71 years ago.
“This visit symbolizes our commitment of peace, healing and a nuclear-free world,” Honda said. “President Obama’s visit strikes me to the core. My late wife, Jeanne, was two years old when she survived the atom bombing of Hiroshima. After the war, she and her family remained during the city’s reconstruction. With her family, she immigrated to the United States at the age of 11.
“I applaud the President’s decision to visit Hiroshima, his steadfast commitment for non-proliferation and the ever-growing friendship and partnership between the U.S. and Japan.”
Mayor Murray visits Japan
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is in a mission to build business and cultural relationships with China and Japan this week. Joining the Seattle business executives, development officials and academic leaders, Murray is leading a five-day trade delegation to China this week.
He will also visit Japan for three days to strengthen strategic business and cultural ties.
Murray will visit Kobe, Seattle’s sister city, on May 15 and 16 to commemorate the 60th anniversary friendship in 2017. He will be the parade’s guest of honor in the Kobe Matsuri Festival.
The mayor will also visit Tokyo on May 17 to have a meeting with business executives in Japan including Keidanren and the Japan Association of Travel Agents to create economic ties between Japan and Seattle. He will also meet Ken Hasebe, Mayor of Shibuya, the first ward of Japan to officially recognize same-sex marriage.