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Warm reception for Secretary Kerry prompted President to decide on Hiroshima tour

This morning’s Sankei gave top play to a behind-the-scenes account of the run-up to the White House’s decision on President Obama’s trip to Hiroshima, noting that the White House decided to go ahead with the visit in view of the warm reception accorded to Secretary of State Kerry by local residents when he toured the Hiroshima Castle, a shop, and a restaurant unexpectedly right after the G7 ministerial meeting in mid-April. According to the article, the USG was initially worried that the President would be encircled by mobs of protesters when touring the Peace Memorial Park. The daily said Ambassador Kennedy was instrumental in arranging the President’s trip to Hiroshima, noting that she participated in bilateral meetings by working-level officials and lobbied hard.   

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