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Cablegate: Media Reaction to Ambassador Roos's Hiroshima Visit

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2288 2780725
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 050725Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6574
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 6758
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 9105
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 4058
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 7274
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0574

UNCLAS TOKYO 002288

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/PD, EAP/J, EAP/P

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPAO JA
SUBJECT: Media Reaction to Ambassador Roos's Hiroshima Visit

1. Ambassador Roos's visit to Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park with
his family October 4 attracted wide coverage in the Japanese media.
The national editions of the Mainichi and Yomiuri; the regional
editions of the Asahi and Sankei; regional newspapers including the
Sanyo Shimbun and Chugoku Shimbun; two national television networks,
NHK and TBS; and four local TV stations all reported on the visit.
Media outlets reported that in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park the
Ambassador and his son laid a wreath at the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb
Memorial Monument and presented origami paper cranes at the
Children's Peace Monument, after which they visited the Hiroshima
Peace Memorial Museum.

2. The media noted that at the museum the Ambassador wrote in the
visitors' book, "Hiroshima powerfully impresses on visitors the
destructiveness of nuclear weapons. It makes us strongly feel the
importance of seeking the peace and stability of a world without
nuclear weapons." Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, who accompanied
the Ambassador during a portion of the visit, asked the Ambassador
to extend an invitation to President Obama to come to Hiroshima.
The Ambassador reportedly responded, "I will convey my experiences
in Hiroshima to the President." However, several newspapers noted
that the President is unlikely to visit Hiroshima on his expected
trip to Japan in November, because of his tight schedule and out of
consideration for American sentiment.

3. Coverage of the Ambassador and his family's visit was uniformly
favorable. The Mainichi, a left-of-center national daily
occasionally critical of U.S. security policies, noted that although
Ambassador Roos was the eighth U.S. Ambassador to visit the
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, it was rare for an ambassador to
tour the museum unaccompanied by a guide. TBS, a national
television network, commented that it was rare for an ambassador to
visit Hiroshima less than two months after taking up his post.
Hiroshima Mayor Akiba reportedly said he was moved by the empathy
for the atomic-bomb victims shown by the Ambassador and his family.


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