The United States ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy paid a visit to Nagasaki on Tuesday to pay tribute to the victims of the atomic bomb attack during World War II in 1945. She was escorted by Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue, together with several survivors of the bombing, to the symbolic Peace Statue where she laid a wreath in honor of the more than 70,000 people who died from the second bomb dropped in Japan in two days.
The only surviving child of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy said she was “deeply moved” by her visit and shared that her father was proud that it was under his administration that the nuclear disarmament process began. She said her family is also committed to the same point of view, as is current U.S. President Barack Obama. During the ceremony at the Peace Park, she also helped plant an American dogwood tree, one of the 3,000 which was given as a symbol of friendship to Japan.
This wasn’t the first time that Kennedy visited an atomic bomb site. In 1978, together with her uncle Senator Edward Kennedy, she went to Hiroshima which was the site of the first bomb attack in August 6, 1945. Her predecessor, John Roos, also participated in commemoration ceremonies in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki during his time, becoming the first U.S. ambassador to do so. The survivors have long asked for an American president to visit the cities, but so far, none have done so.
[ via AFP ]