By Keiichi Nagayama
Final arrangements are underway for U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty to attend the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima City on Aug. 6 as the representative of the United States government, Chugoku Shimbun learned from sources on Aug. 1. This is the first time for the U.S. ambassador to attend the ceremony since Donald Trump was installed as president of the United States in January last year.
Chargé d’Affaires Robert Rapson attended the event last year as Ambassador Hagerty did not take office until mid-August. The Trump administration has indicated a policy of promoting the modernization of nuclear weapons. The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) released in February mentions the development of low-yield, smaller weapons, called “usable nukes.” The words and actions of Mr. Hagerty in Hiroshima will be watched.
Before attending the ceremony, Mr. Hagerty plans to participate in the “Nippon Scout Jamboree,” the national Boy Scout convention that will open on Aug. 4 in Suzu City, Ishikawa Prefecture. He apparently plans to talk with participants from the Hiroshima Council Scout Association of Japan to learn about the Peace Memorial Ceremony and the state of the damage caused by the torrential rains in western Japan.