As many readers correctly answered, no U.S. President has ever visited Hiroshima or Nagasaki. I read an interesting article on how President Ford was advised by an aide to make a visit to Hiroshima and give a speech on peace and healing; it’s clear that the Cold War mindset prevailed. It’s stunning to me that no president has made the visit yet. No matter what your politics are, both Hiroshima and Nagasaki are incredible cities and deserve the respect and closure of a presidential visit. I choose to blame Ford for passing the buck and setting a precedent of putting the whole thing off. When a president finally does visit, it’s going to raise an awful stink, especially given the right wing reaction to a simple (awkwardly executed) bow.
(On a side note, Che Guevara famously stole away from his Osaka hotel in the middle of the night so that he could see Hiroshima.)
A couple of readers also noted (update) INCORRECTLY (update) that no presidents have visited Okinawa, and one guessed (correctly I think) that they haven’t visited Taiwan.
The winner this week by random number draw is George. Congrats. Claim your beer when you will.
The puzzle is going on break for the rest of the year. Feel free to send in any puzzle suggestions. If I use your idea, I’ll cite you and link your page.
In the comments, Durf corrects the mistake I made. I have no excuse for Clinton; I searched through the State Department lists but somehow failed to notice that the G8 Summit was held in Okinawa. Ike was news to me. Apparently he had planned a visit to Japan that was cancelled, but still made a one day visit to Okinawa 1960. He doesn’t go down as the first president to visit Japan because the US hadn’t yet returned the island to Japan. Here’s a link to the speech he gave upon arrival, and an interesting policy statement he made with Prime Minister Kishi three years earlier.
A couple of readers also noted that no presidents have visited Okinawa . . .
Except for Eisenhower in 1960 and Clinton in 2000, but who’s counting? :-P
So when can we meet? I want my beer, you see.