INTERVIEW: Ex-Envoy Roos Urges U.S., Japan to Lead Nuclear Abolition Talks

World Politics

Washington, Jan. 3 (Jiji Press)--Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos has called on the two allies to lead global debates on realizing a world without nuclear weapons, ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's expected visit to Hiroshima in May to attend this year's Group of Seven summit.

"I think that our two countries, really, it's important that we continue to provide the leadership (in global talks on abolishing nuclear weapons) and pursuing that agenda" on the occasion of Biden's possible visit to Hiroshima, Roos said in a recent interview with Jiji Press. Hiroshima was flattened by the Aug. 6, 1945, U.S. atomic bombing in the closing days of World War II.

Biden would be the second sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, after Barack Obama, who set foot in the city in May 2016. The Hiroshima summit among the seven major powers--Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States--plus the European Union is slated to take place May 19-21.

Roos attended the Aug. 6 annual peace ceremony in Hiroshima in 2010 to become the first U.S. ambassador to Japan to do so, laying the groundwork for Obama's visit to the city.

After arriving in Japan to assume the post of ambassador in August 2009, Roos in October that year visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park to lay flowers at the cenotaph for those who died from the atomic bombing and also went to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The visits "had a deep impact on me," Roos said.

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Jiji Press