John Rooswill be the first U.S. ambassador to Japan to attend the annual commemoration of the bombing of Hiroshima, which killed 140,000 Japanese but helped end World War II and prevented an American land invasion that could have cost the lives of an estimated 500,000 U.S. soldiers and sailors.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley this week announced that Mr. Roos will represent the United States at the Aug. 6 ceremony at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial on the 65th anniversary of the first use of an atomic weapon. He said Mr. Roos will attend the event to “express respect for all of the victims of World War II.”
“We thought it was the right thing to do,” he added.
Since 1998, the Hiroshima city government has invited U.S. presidents or American ambassadors to attend the annual commemoration.
“This is the first time a government representative of the U.S., a nuclear power, attends the ceremony, and the Japanese government welcomes this,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku said at a press conference in Tokyo.
“The event will become an opportunity for major nations’ officials to deepen their understanding of our desire for nuclear disarmament and resolve never to allow the misery of A-bomb attacks to be repeated.”
Presidents Clinton andGeorge W. Bush did not accept invitations to the event, leading some political observers to conclude that U.S. presidents wanted to avoid the appearance of apologizing for the decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima.
This year’s commemoration also will mark a first for the United Nations, which is sending Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Altogether, officials from 67 nations will attend the event.
President Truman made the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and on Nagasaki three days later, after Japan refused demands for an unconditional surrender. His advisers told him a land invasion of Japan could cost 1 million Allied lives, including those of 500,000 Americans.
“If they do not accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the likes of which has never been seen on this earth,” he wrote.
Members of a congressional human rights panel have introduced a resolution to support Kyrgyzstan’s interim government and call for free elections for a new parliament after years of instability in the Central Asian nation, which serves as a key U.S. supply depot for troops in Afghanistan.View Entire Story
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
It's a big world to play in, and learn from. Join us as we travel the boundaries and beyond.
The Red Thread is written for that special tribe: adoptive families and those who hope to be.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention