Fwd: Pool report #9 -- wreath-laying ceremony background

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From: "Parsons, Christi" >
Date: May 27, 2016 at 4:34:42 PM GMT+9
To: Desiree Barnes >, Peter Velz >
Subject: Pool report #9 -- wreath-laying ceremony background

From the White House, here is background info on the ceremony at Hiroshima:

U.S. Delegation:
The President

Ambassador Susan Rice, National Security Advisor

Ambassador Caroline Kennedy

Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication and Speechwriting

Danny Russel‎, Assistant Secretary for East Asia and the Pacific

‎Dan Kritenbrink, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Asian Affairs

Greeter of President Obama:

Sunao Tsuboi

Chairman of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organization (HPCASO)

“I never imagined [the President] would come while I am alive. We do not need apologies. I hope that he will present in Hiroshima what is good for the happiness of humankind. I would like to join hands with each other through the power of reason and beyond hatred.”

Born May 5, 1925, Tsuboi was a 20 year old student at the Hiroshima Vocational School (now the school of Engineering at Hiroshima University) on August 6, 1945. He was on his way to college the morning of the bombing, was concussed by the force of the explosion, and severely injured.  It was not until September when he recovered consciousness.  Due to misunderstandings concerning the long-term effects of radiation exposure, like many survivors or “Hibakusha,” Tsuboi suffered discrimination in marriage and employment.  He has aplastic anemia and receives blood transfusions every two weeks.  Three times his condition has become so bad that he was told he was about to die and he has had two cancer diagnoses.

After he retired in 1986 from a career as a College and Junior High School math teacher in Hiroshima City he started his carrier as an anti-war activist and was active in national groups.  Currently he is the Chairman of the Hiroshima Prefectural group HPCASO.  Tsuboi has conveyed his testimony around the world including to the U.S., China and North Korea.  Tsuboi’s first visit to the U.S. was 1995 and he had challenges conveying his message and was confronted with the opinions of local U.S. citizens So Tsuboi’s focus changed to not only focus on Japan but rather talk about humankind. His tenacious appeal to the cruelty of war and the terror of nuclear weapons has changed many people’s reactions.  Tsuboi has said, “It is not enough to only stay in Hiroshima and call out, No more, No more. This is what I finally realized after I spent so many years visiting different places.”

‎Tsuboi is looking forward to an address from the President and has said “if it is like the one he made in Prague, a sense of gratitude will fill my heart, leading me to say “Mr. Obama, how good of you to come here.”

In 2011, he was awarded the Kiyoshi Tanimoto Peace Prize.  The Prize is named after was a Japanese Methodist minister famous for his work for the Hiroshima Maidens. He was one of the six Hiroshima survivors whose experiences of the bomb and later life are portrayed in John Hersey's book Hiroshima.‎


Guest of the U.S. Delegation:

1)  Mr. Shigeaki MORI (Atomic Bomb Survivor; Created memorial for American WWII POWs killed at Hiroshima)

Mr. Mori, 79, is an atomic bomb survivor, who worked tirelessly to ensure that 12 American POWs killed by the Hiroshima atomic bombing received recognition as victims of the blast.  He spent more than 41 years tracking down their stories and helped their American families find closure and solace.  He also aided the families in obtaining recognition from the Hiroshima Peace Museum for these American POWs.  Mr. Mori currently resides in
Hiroshima and his story is told through the recently released film “Paper Lanterns”: >http://www.paperlanternfilm.com/<.

2)  Ms. Kayoko MORI

Ms. Kayoko Mori is the spouse of Mr. Shigeaki Mori.

3)  Mr. Tsugio ITO (Atomic Bomb Survivor)

Mr. Tsugio Ito, 81, survived the Hiroshima atomic bombing as a child, but lost his older brother to radiation poisoning.  As an adult, he married and raised two children while working for a local bank.  On September 11, 2011, Mr. Ito’s elder son, Kazushige, was working at the World Trade Center when it was attacked; Kazushige was first presumed missing and later declared dead. Despite the loss of his own son, Mr. Ito has channeled his sorrow into a driving force for a more peaceful world.  He has met with several U.S. ambassadors to Japan, including Ambassador Kennedy, and he has participated in several 9/11 commemorations at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.  His story is retold in this Asahi Shimbun 2009 article: >http://www.asahi.com/hibakusha/english/shimen/kikitakatta/kiki2009-03e.html<

4) Ms. Mizuko ITO

Ms. Mizuko Ito is the spouse of Mr. Tsugio Ito.

5)  Ms. Yorie KANO (Atomic Bomb Survivor)

Born in October 1942, Ms. Yorie Kano was two years old when she, her younger brother, and parents survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima just 0.8 kilometer from the blast.  Her brother died six months later from a stomach ailment.  Her mother gave birth in March of 1946 to another child, Toshiharu Kano (see guest number 6), whom she was carrying at the time of the bombing.  The Kano parents were 2nd generation Japanese Americans born in Hawaii, who had returned to Japan before World War II.  The Kano family later returned to the United States.  Thanks to the intervention of Senator Fong of Hawaii, the Kano parents regained their U.S. citizenship in 1960, and their children also became U.S. citizens.  Ms. Kano, now 73, resides in California.  This visit to Hiroshima marks her first return to Japan in 45 years.

6) Mr. Toshiharu KANO (Brother of Yorie Kano)

Mr. Toshiharu “Tosh” Kano was, 70, was born in Hiroshima in March 1946, six months after his mother survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.  He has suffered from a number of illnesses he believes are related to radiation exposure.  He and his wife reside in Utah and have written a book about his family’s history, entitled “Passport to Hiroshima.”  This return to Hiroshima is Kano’s first visit since his family left when he was two years old.  For more information, please see: >http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700123042/Hiroshima-survivor-understands-aftermath.html<

7) Dr. Ohtsura NIWA (Radiation Treatment Pioneer)

Dr. Ohtsura Niwa serves, since June 2015, as Chair of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF), funded jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Japanese Ministry of Health.  With facilities in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, RERF conducts research for peaceful purposes on the medical effects of radiation and associated diseases in humans, with a view to contributing to the maintenance of the health and welfare of atomic bomb survivors.  RERF has been involved with scientists and healthcare professionals researching radiation exposure from Chernobyl and Fukushima. The Foundation is recognized as a leading world center for the study of long-term and cross-generational effects of radiation on humans. RERF’s research is well known for its accurate risk estimates on radiation related cancer and non-cancer diseases. The research is also known for not showing any detrimental effects among children born to radiation exposed survivors. Although these have to be confirmed by further studies, findings have helped to remove some of the stigma from the atomic bomb victims and, more recently, 3-11 Fukushima victims.  Dr. Niwa was born in Kobe, is a graduate of Kyoto University faculty of science and obtained a Ph.D in biophysics from Stanford University in 1975.

8) Ms. Emiko IWATAKE (Atomic Bomb Survivor)

Ms. Emiko Iwatake, 86, survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and later married Mr. Nobuaki “Warren” Iwatake.

Mr. Iwatake was an American citizen who was drafted by the Japanese Army after his family moved from Hawaii to Hiroshima following the death of his father.  Mr. Iwatake was serving in the Pacific when is youngest brother, Takashi, 13, died during the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.  In September 1944, Mr. Iwatake was in Chichijima in the Pacific when he saw a downed U.S. pilot rescued from a life raft by a U.S. submarine; that pilot would later become former U.S. President George H.W. Bush. During his time on Chichijima, Iwatake befriended a U.S. POW named Warren Vaughn.   Following the war, Mr. Iwatake adopted “Warren” as his own name and dedicated the rest of his life to promoting friendship between the United States and Japan.  He worked for 34 years for the Public Affairs Section of U.S. Embassy Tokyo. In 2002, he met with President Bush on Chichijima in a symbolic reunion of war veterans.  Mr. Iwatake died in 2012.  He is survived by his wife, Emiko, and two children, Kazuaki Iwatake and Midori Matsunaga (see guests 9 and 10).  For more information, please see the links below:



9) Mr. Kazuaki IWATAKE

Mr. Kazuaki Iwatake is the son of Ms. Emiko Iwatake and Mr. Nobuaki "Warren" Iwatake. (See guest 8)

10) Ms. Midori MATSUNAGA

Ms. Midori Matsunaga is the daughter of Ms. Emiko Iwatake and Mr. Nobuaki "Warren" Iwatake (see guest 8). Ms. Matsunaga is married to Daisuke Matsunaga, a Japanese diplomat currently serving as Japan’s Consul General in Edinburgh‎.‎


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