Kennedy says Nagasaki visit ‘deeply moving’


U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy on Tuesday visited Nagasaki for the first time since taking up her post last month.

After visiting the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, Kennedy said the visit was a “deeply moving experience” and that she would like to support the activities of atomic bomb victims as much as possible.

Signing a visitors’ register at the museum, Kennedy wrote that her father President John F. Kennedy’s “proudest achievement was the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and I am honored to be in a city which has worked for so long to create a more peaceful world.”

“I hope to be a part of your efforts in the years to come — It is an inspiration to the world,” she wrote.

Kennedy also said in a meeting with three hibakusha that she felt the need to increase efforts toward nuclear disarmament, according to Hideo Tsuchiyama, 88, one of the three and a former president of Nagasaki University.

Later, the ambassador offered flowers in front of a statue in the city’s Peace Park and planted a dogwood tree sent from the U.S. as a symbol of friendship.

She is the fifth U.S. ambassador to visit Nagasaki, according to the municipal government.

Kennedy visited Hiroshima and its Peace Memorial Museum on her first visit to Japan, in 1978.

Since becoming ambassador she has visited Iwate and Miyagi prefectures, both severely hit by the 2011 temblor-tsunami disaster, and met with Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima, discussing with him his prefecture’s burden in hosting the bulk of U.S. bases in Japan.