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White House press secretary implies that President might meet with hibakusha

shot0003NTV reported at noon on its one-on-one interview with White House Press Secretary Earnest conducted on Monday in Washington. The network quoted him as saying: “President Obama thinks that visiting Hiroshima is the right thing to do. If that means the President is going to be criticized back home, he is willing to take that on.” The network said Earnest expressed the view that the President will not review the pros and cons of the atomic bombing during his visit and fended off criticism that his visit constitutes “apology diplomacy.” In addition, the network said the press secretary implied the possibility of the President meeting with atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima, quoting him as saying: “Presumably there will be some survivors who will also attend the event. I don’t know at this point how much of an interaction he will have with them.” The network said, however, that he expressed a cautious view about arranging a special event for the President to meet exclusively with hibakusha. He also reportedly emphasized that the President will not make a long, formal policy speech in Hiroshima, and said that the President will give short remarks reflecting on his visit to Hiroshima.


TBS also carried its one-on-one interview with the press secretary, quoting him as saying: “The President decided just two or three weeks ago that the time is ripe for him to visit Hiroshima on his fourth and last trip to Japan.” The network said Earnest stressed that the President made the decision after careful consideration and hearing directly from Ambassador Kennedy and Secretary Kerry about their impressions of their visits to the Peace Memorial Park. The network also said he explained that instead of making a major speech, the President will reflect on his visit to nuclear ground zero and talk about the significance of the leaders of the U.S. and Japan visiting the site together.

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