Nobel laureates invite Obama to Hiroshima

HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) Five Nobel Peace Prize winners have issued a letter asking fellow recipient U.S. President Barack Obama to attend the Nov. 12-14 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Hiroshima, according to the permanent secretariat of the summit.

Citing Obama’s plans to be in Yokohama for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum Nov. 13 and 14, their letter to Obama says the Hiroshima event “might present an excellent platform for you to repeat and reinforce the doctrine that you articulated in Prague.”

The letter was signed by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk, former Polish President Lech Walesa, current East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta and former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez.

Obama received the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize after calling for a world free from nuclear weapons in a speech in the Czech Republic capital in April that year.

His attendance at the Nobel Peace laureate summit “would help to focus global attention on the control, reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons and would provide an excellent introduction to our own deliberations,” the letter says.

Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, who agreed to host the summit of Nobel Peace Prize winners as part of the commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, has expressed hope that Obama would visit Hiroshima.

A senior White House official recently said Obama has no plans to visit Hiroshima or Nagasaki.