Obama urged to visit Hiroshima

2010-08-26 09:22
Tokyo - Five Nobel peace laureates are calling on President Barack Obama to visit Hiroshima later this year to re-energise his call for a world without nuclear arms, strengthening a drive by the site of the world's first atomic bomb attack to host the US leader.

A visit to Hiroshima, which the US bombed in 1945, killing about 140 000 people and hastening the end of World War II, would be unprecedented for a sitting US president and would be highly controversial.

Many Japanese feel the bombing was an unjustified use of excessive force, while many in America believe it saved countless lives by forcing Japan to surrender.

Hiroshima is seeking to have Obama join the 11th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, which it will host in November.

Will be in Japan

The White House has said Obama currently has no plans to visit Hiroshima, but he is expected to be in Japan around that time to attend another summit meeting in Yokohama, just outside Tokyo.
Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.

The letter to Obama was signed by former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa of Poland, former South African president FW de Klerk, East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta and former Costa Rican president Oscar Arias Sanchez.

In their letter to Obama, the peace laureates said that they were encouraged by his determination to eliminate nuclear weapons, and urged him to join them in paying respects to those who died in the August 6 1945, attack.

Hiroshima mayor wants Obama there

"There could not be a better venue for such a speech than Hiroshima - nor, perhaps, a more fitting forum than one presented by fellow Nobel Peace Laureates," the letter to Obama said, asking the president to be the keynote speaker.

Organisers of the event were not available for comment on Thursday. The letter signed by the laureates was posted on their website.

Hiroshima's mayor has strongly urged Obama to visit the city. Former US president Jimmy Carter visited Hiroshima after leaving office, but no president has travelled there while in office.

This month, US Ambassador John Roos attended the annual memorial ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of the bombing, becoming the first US representative to participate in that gathering.
 

Read more on:    barack obama  |  japan  |  us  |  nuclear  |  nobel peace prize
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/Motoring
 

Middle-seat kids: Why are they special?

Limited legroom, a siblings on each side... the middle seat has long been considered the short straw in a car but does it have a secret?

 

Stay safe

Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Mom's driving-school dream come true
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may need to re-look at the fine print. Things are not what they seem. Trust your intuition and look into things a bit deeper...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.