8 Leaders Invited to G7 Summit Likely to Visit Peace Museum

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

The government is working to have the leaders of India, South Korea and six other countries specially invited to the May 19-21 Group of Seven summit visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in connection with the meeting, according to several sources.

A visit by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida together with the eight leaders — including the heads of Australia, Brazil, Comoros, Cook Islands, Indonesia and Vietnam — is also being considered, the sources said.

With the G7 leaders likely to visit the museum together, the envisioned tour by the eight invited leaders is aimed at going beyond the framework of the G7 and highlighting the importance of nuclear disarmament for the international community, according to the sources.

The government has unofficially proposed the plan to the eight countries and received positive responses from most of them, including nuclear-armed India, according to a senior government official.

The government has been continuing discussions with the other nations, the official added.

As Russia has threatened to use nuclear weapons in its war against Ukraine, government officials hope that a visit to the museum by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva would “serve as a strong deterrent to Russian President Vladimir Putin” since the two countries have maintained ties with Russia, according to a senior Foreign Ministry official.

The government aims to realize a visit to the museum by Kishida and the eight invited leaders altogether, in order to express as strong a message of nuclear disarmament as possible. However, it is unclear whether the leaders can come together for the visit, as their schedules during the summit have yet to be finalized.

The G7 leaders are scheduled to visit the museum on May 19, their first time to do so as a group. Kishida will serve as a guide in an effort to build momentum for realizing a world without nuclear weapons.

The government is also planning for a visit to the facility by the spouses of the G7 leaders, with Kishida’s wife, Yuko, expected to serve as a guide.

Opened 10 years after the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima to convey to the world the reality of nuclear warfare, the museum exhibits victims’ belongings and materials that show how the city looked before and after the attack.