Mayors Seek G-7 Leaders’ Visit to Hiroshima Peace Museum

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue, left, and Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, right, meet with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The mayors of the two Japanese atomic-bombed cities asked Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday to realize a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum by the leaders of the Group of Seven major powers.

Kazumi Matsui, mayor of the western city of Hiroshima, and Tomihisa Taue, mayor of the southwestern city of Nagasaki, made the request at a meeting with Kishida at the prime minister’s office.

The two also called on Kishida to create an opportunity for G-7 leaders to speak with hibakusha atomic bomb survivors as they visit Hiroshima to attend the G-7 summit there in May.

The mayors also sought a visit to Nagasaki by the G-7 leaders.

Both cities were flattened by U.S. atomic bombings in the closing days of World War II in August 1945.

Kishida stressed his wish to use the G-7 summit to fuel momentum for nuclear disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation.

On a possible visit to Nagasaki by the G-7 leaders, he only said that the government is “in the process of finalizing the summit schedule.”

Ahead of the meeting with Kishida, the two mayors met with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

Taue told Emanuel that Nagasaki has strong links with Catholicism and that he hoped for a visit by U.S. President Joe Biden, known to be an ardent Catholic.

The ambassador said he will relay the request to his home country.

The two mayors also made a request for a visit to the museum by the ambassadors in Japan of other G-7 countries and the European Union.