U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos will attend the annual ceremony that is held in Hiroshima, on Tuesday. The event is meant to mark the 68th commemoration of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of the city. This is the third and last time when Roos represents the United States of America at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony. Roos will be leaving his post soon as he will be replaced by Caroline Kennedy.
The Hiroshima city government said representatives from 70 countries and the European Union will attend the ceremony. The local government sent invitations to 153 countries and the European Union this year, the international media report, quoting Kyodo.
Nuclear powers Britain, France and Russia will also attend, while China will not be represented. The U.S. government is also arranging for Roos to attend a ceremony in Nagasaki on Friday to mark the atomic bombing of that city, as he did last year, sources close to Japan-U.S. relations say.
Roos became the first U.S. ambassador to Japan to attend the Hiroshima ceremony in 2010. That was the 65th commemoration of the bombing. He attended the Nagasaki ceremony last year for the first time.
In the official statement announcing Roos’ attendance at the ceremony, the embassy said the United States “looks forward to continuing to work with Japan to advance President (Barack) Obama’s goal of realizing a world without nuclear weapons”.
The atomic bombings of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan were conducted by the United States during the final stages of World War II in 1945. The two events are the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date. Hiroshima was hit on August 6th, 1945, followed by Nagasaki, on August 9th.