Russian ambassador to Japan pays tribute to Hiroshima – media

Russian Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Yurievich Galuzin and other officials visit the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan, August 4, 2022, ahead of the 77th anniversary of the city’s atomic bombing on August 6, 2022. Mandatory Credit Kyodo via REUTERS

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TOKYO, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Russia’s ambassador to Japan paid tribute at a memorial in Hiroshima on Thursday, saying he wanted to highlight Russia’s efforts to reduce nuclear weapons and criticizing the decision not to invite him to a memorial on Saturday, media reported.

Hiroshima became the first city to suffer an atomic bombing on August 6, 1945, and it holds an annual remembrance ceremony on the anniversary of the US attack that killed more than 140,000 people at the end of this year, regularly inviting ambassadors from some 100 participating countries.

But this year Russia was not invited due to its invasion of Ukraine, a city official said.

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Russian Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Galuzin, accompanied by about 20 embassy staff, offered flowers to a memorial stone in the city’s Peace Park, the Asahi Shimbun daily reported.

“I came to show Russia’s positive attitude towards reducing nuclear weapons,” he said, adding that the lack of an invitation to Saturday’s ceremony “ignored that.”

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 and soon after Russian President Vladimir Putin indirectly raised the possibility of a nuclear strike.

“We have no intention of using them. It was not mentioned either directly or indirectly,” Galuzin said, adding that the United States was trying to distract world opinion from “its own irresponsible policies.” “.

The Hiroshima city official was unable to confirm Galuzin’s visit. The Russian Embassy did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

The Russian ambassador attended the ceremony some years and absent others, as did ambassadors from other countries, the city official said.

US Ambassador Rahm Emanuel will attend the ceremony in Hiroshima, the US Embassy announced this week, as well as in Nagasaki, which suffered an atomic bombing by the US military on August 9, 1945.

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Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Robert Birsel

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