Posted: 9:36 pm PT
Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Manama, Bahrain, Baghdad, Iraq, Kabul, Afghanistan and Hiroshima, Japan from April 6-10, 2016. Below is a photo taken during a walking tour of the Itsukishima Shrine off Hiroshima, Japan. Secretary Kerry is the first secretary of state to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum & Park. More photos here.
We’d like to note that a mid-level Foreign Service officer Joel Ehrendreich, then an FS-1 political officer in Singapore submitted on five consecutive years a dissent to the policy of non-attendance at the annual ceremony in Hiroshima. While serving in Tokyo in 2005 he was asked on behalf of the embassy to decline an invitation from the mayor of Hiroshima to attend the annual Peace Memorial Ceremony. He recommended changing the policy and accepting the invitation. It took five years, with Mr. Ehrendreich resubmitting his dissent each year, to change this policy. In 2010 Ambassador John V. Roos attended the ceremony, a gesture that helped strengthen bilateral relations. In 2o11, Mr. Ehrendreich was awarded the William R. Rivkin Award for constructive dissent by a mid-level officer.