TOKYO (AP) — A U.S. veterans group says an American who was held by Japan as a prisoner of war during World War II will accompany President Barack Obama on his historic visit to Hiroshima this week, but the White House said Monday that no such invitation has been issued.
Jan Thompson, head of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society, said her group was asked by the White House on Saturday to select a former POW to travel with Obama to Hiroshima, the city hit by the first of two atomic bombs dropped by the U.S. on Japan near the end of World War II.
She said in a statement Monday that the group had chosen a 94-year-old former POW and submitted his name to the White House to join the visit.
However, a White House official said no invitation had been extended.
Obama, who is in Vietnam, is coming to Japan later this week for the annual Group of Seven summit, after which he will visit Hiroshima on Friday, becoming the first serving U.S. president to travel there.