Mr. Yasuyoshi Komizo, Secretary General of Mayors for Peace, visited Des Moines (Iowa), Chicago (Illinois), Indianapolis (Indiana), and Washington, D.C. He asked the City of Des Moines to take on a lead city role in the U.S., attended the United States Conference of Mayors’ 84th Annual Meeting in Indianapolis and had meetings with government officials and representatives of NGOs in Chicago and Washington, D.C., accompanied by Ms. Yasco Suehiro, Director of Mayors for Peace, Ms. Jackie Cabasso and Mr. Randy Rydell, both of whom are executive advisors of Mayors for Peace in the U.S.
Mr. Komizo’s trip to the U.S.: June 21 (Tue) to June 30 (Thu), 2016
June 22 (Wednesday), Des Moines
Meeting with Des Moines Mayor T. M. Franklin Cownie
Mr. Komizo asked that the City of Des Moines become a lead city in the U.S. and help build a foundation for member cities in the U.S. to promote independent activities. Mayor Cownie signed the acceptance form on the spot and said that he would start considering the ways to promote regional activities in the U.S.
June 23 (Thursday), Chicago
Meeting with Toshiyuki Iwado, Consul-General of Japan in Chicago
Mr. Komizo reported to Mr. Iwado that the Mayor of Des Moines had just agreed to become a U.S. lead city of Mayors for Peace and explained the plans to further strengthen the Mayors for Peace structure in the U.S. for the future.
June 24 (Friday), Indianapolis
June 25 (Saturday), Indianapolis
Meeting with USCM President Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Mr. Komizo handed Mayor Rawlings-Blake a wreath of one thousand paper cranes folded by students of two local schools in Hiroshima. When President Obama visited Hiroshima this May, he handed paper cranes he folded himself, one apiece, to the two children from these schools.
Meeting with Mr. Donald L. Plusquellic, Former Mayor of Akron
Mr. Komizo met with Mr. Donald L. Plusquellic, former mayor of Akron, Ohio and presented him a letter of appreciation for his longstanding contribution to Mayors for Peace and a commemorative gift.
Delivering a Speech at the International Affairs Committee Meeting
Mr. Komizo attended the International Affairs Committee meeting and delivereda speech,in which he appealed that while Mayors for Peace is a non-partisan organization pursuing our common goal of a peaceful world without nuclear weapons, it also honors each member city’s innovative approaches to serve their own needs and aspirations in their own countries and regions.
June 26 (Sunday), Indianapolis
June 27 (Monday), Washington D.C.
Meeting with representatives of the Stimson Center
Mr. Komizo met with Dr. Barry Blechman, Co-founder of the Stimson Center, and Mr. Brian Finlay, the President and CEO of the institution and gave a briefing about the activities of Mayors for Peace. Dr. Blechman and Mr. Komizo exchanged their views on the elimination of nuclear weapons and agreed on the significance of civil society partners working together to realize the goal.
June 28 (Tuesday), Washington D.C.
Meeting with Director of Policy for the Ploughshares Fund
Mr. Komizo met with Mr. Tom Z. Collina, Director of Policy for the Ploughshares Fund, and gave a briefing about the development and activities of Mayors for Peace. Mr. Collina expressed his high expectation on the role of Mayors for Peace in nuclear disarmament led by its lead cities.
Meeting with Mr. Daryl Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association
Mr. Komizo explained the purpose and outcome of his visit to the U.S. Mr. Kimball agreed on Mayors for Peace approach to respect U.S. member cities’ autonomy in taking initiatives in their activities in the country.
Meeting with U.S. Under Secretary Gottemoeller
Mr. Komizo met with Ms. Rose Gottemoeller, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security for the U.S. State Department. Mr. Komizo said he came to the U.S. as part of Mayors for Peace efforts to strengthen activities in the U.S., as he believes it is especially important now when the momentum for nuclear disarmament is building with President Obama’s visit to the U.S. and the USCM had just adopted a resolution in support of Mayors for Peace unanimously.
Meeting with Deputy Chief of Mission of the Japanese U.S. Embassy
Mr. Komizo also met with Mr. Atsuyuki Oike, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Japanese U.S. Embassy and exchanged their views on various topics such as public reactions to President Obama’s speech in Hiroshima. Mr. Komizo also gave a briefing about Mayors for Peace activities in the U.S. and asked Mr. Oike for support.