Hiroshima mayor to address Italian parliament and describe reality of atomic bombing

by Kanako Noda, Staff Writer

On November 1, Kazumi Matsui, the mayor of Hiroshima, announced that he would deliver a speech about the devastating reality of the atomic bombing, as well as the city’s efforts to help build a peaceful world, at the Italian Chamber of Deputies in Rome, Italy on November 14. According to city officials, this will mark the first time that a Hiroshima mayor addresses the parliament of another nation.

The mayor will speak for about 20 minutes in front of around 100 members of the Chamber of Deputies. During his speech, he plans to stress the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons and the preciousness of peace, based on Hiroshima’s experience of reconstructing the city after the atomic bombing. He will also call for a wider circle of support for abolishing nuclear arms. At a press conference on November 1, Mr. Matsui said, “I would like to deliver a strong message so that many people will agree with the need to work harder to realize a world without nuclear weapons.”

Mr. Matsui was asked to speak before the Italian parliament by Stefano Dambruoso, the president of the Italy-Japan Parliamentary Association, when Mr. Dambruoso met with Mr. Matsui in Hiroshima in June.

Mr. Matsui will visit Europe from November 9 to 16. In Bonn, Germany, he will take part in events connected to the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the U.N. Convention on Climate Change. As he plans to visit the Vatican, too, arrangements are now being made for a meeting with Pope Francis on November 15 so the mayor can directly ask the Pope to pay a visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the A-bombed cities. At that time, he also hopes to hand a letter of invitation to the Pope that was jointly signed by him and Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue.

(Originally published on November 2, 2017)