This morning the Niigata editions of all national papers, as well as Niigata Nippo, took up Ambassador Kennedy’s two-day visit to Nagaoka City, focusing on yesterday’s ceremony at which she offered a wreath in memory of some 1,500 local citizens who perished on August 1, 1945, in airstrikes by the U.S. military. Noting that the city’s annual fireworks festival in early August is intended to pay tribute to war victims and wish for eternal peace, Niigata Nippo quoted the Ambassador as telling Mayor Mori ahead of the event: “Nagaoka fireworks are a symbol of U.S.-Japan friendship. I am pleased that Nagaoka people have created a wonderful tradition, dedicated it to world peace, and share it with the United States.” According to the paper, city officials and local residents were grateful for her visit, saying that it marked the first step to deepen peace exchanges between the U.S. and Japan.
According to the articles, the Ambassador also met with local students and U.S. students who are visiting on an exchange program. A city official said the Ambassador told them that it is important to respect each other’s culture.