Hiroshima Marks 78th A-bomb Anniversary

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People offer prayers in front of the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima on Sunday.

HIROSHIMA (Jiji Press) — Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui called for policymakers around the world to visit the city in an annual peace declaration Sunday, the 78th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

After stressing the significance of the Group of Seven Hiroshima summit in May, Matsui said, “I ask all policymakers to follow in the footsteps of the leaders who attended the G7 Hiroshima Summit by visiting Hiroshima and sharing widely their desire for peace.”

Matsui read out the declaration in the city’s annual peace ceremony at the Peace Memorial Park, which brought together about 50,000 people including hibakusha atomic bomb survivors, bereaved relatives of victims and dignitaries such as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The event was also attended by representatives of 111 countries, a record high, and the European Union.

At 8:15 a.m., the time when the atomic bomb was dropped on Aug. 6, 1945, participants offered one-minute silent prayers as the city’s Peace Bell rang.

In the declaration, Matsui said that the G7 leaders visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, spoke with hibakusha survivors and wrote messages in the guest book.

“Their messages provide proof that hibakusha pleas have reached them,” he said.

“As they stood before the Cenotaph for the A-Bomb Victims, I conveyed the Spirit of Hiroshima underlying its inscription,” he continued. “Enduring past grief, overcoming hatred, we yearn for genuine world peace with all humanity living in harmony and prosperity. I believe our spirit is now engraved in their hearts.”

Kishida vows to show road map

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Sunday pledged to present a road map toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.

At a press conference in Hiroshima, Kishida noted the importance of “ensuring national security and bringing the reality closer to the ideal of a world without nuclear weapons at the same time.”

“It is the responsibility of politics to present a road map for this,” he said.