US to send ambassador to Hiroshima memorial for the first time
The US ambassador to Japan will for the first time attend the ceremony marking the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the State Department said Wednesday, dpa reported.
The United States has never sent the ambassador to the memorial. State Department spokesman PJ Crowley could not say whether other US officials have ever attended.
"Ambassador John Roos will represent the United States at the August 6th Hiroshima peace memorial to express respect for all of the victims of World War II," Crowley said.
August 6 marks 65 years since a US plane dropped the bomb on Hiroshima to pressure the Japanese government into surrendering. Asked why the US government now decided to send the ambassador, Crowley replied: "At this particular point we thought it was the right thing to do."
Three days after Hiroshima another plane dropped an atomic weapon on Nagasaki. Japan is the only country to be attacked with a nuclear device. More than 200,000 people died in the attacks in the immediate blasts and in subsequent years from radiation.
Britain and France are reportedly also considering sending envoys for the first time.