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Hiroshima mayor’s comment on President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima

In response to President Obama’s announcement of his visit to Hiroshima, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui made the following comment on May 10:

 

Today I learned of the decision for U.S. President Obama to take advantage of the G-7 summit meeting (Ise-Shima Summit) to visit Hiroshima.

 

We have called for the world’s political leaders to visit our city so that they can directly see the reality of the radiation damage from the atomic bombing and hear firsthand the feelings of the A-bomb survivors and by doing so firmly resolve to take leadership toward denuclearization. The city has especially taken every opportunity to urge President Obama, as the leader of a nuclear superpower, to visit Hiroshima. We sincerely welcome the president’s taking a decisive step this time based on reason and conscience.

 

We want the president to see the reality of the radiation damage at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, as well as share A-bomb survivors’ experiences and the “heart of Hiroshima,” which wishes for peace. In this way we want the president to make firmer his resolution “to realize a world without nuclear weapons,” which he declared in Prague, and to set a concrete course for world political leaders to follow.

 

I hope that President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima will be a turning point, leading to visits to the A-bombed city by other political leaders of nuclear states and other countries. In addition, I hope the president’s visit will be a historic starting point for advancing international activities toward the abolishment of nuclear arms wished by all people.

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