Hiroshima governor urges country leaders to visit Hiroshima

On January 23, Hiroshima Prefecture submitted a letter of request to the Japanese Foreign Ministry urging country leaders to visit Hiroshima on the sidelines of the G20 Summit meeting to be held in Osaka in June. The G20 is comprised of 19 nations plus the European Union.

Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and handed the letter of request to Vice Foreign Minister Masahisa Sato. The letter, which is addressed to Foreign Minister Taro Kono, calls on all the leaders who will visit Japan for the G20 Summit meeting and Foreign Minister’s meeting to learn about the damage caused by the atomic bomb directly in Hiroshima. The letter also asks the Foreign Ministry to encourage their visit to Hiroshima.

Mr. Yuzaki also submitted another letter of request which urges the Japanese government to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and asks the government for its cooperation in inviting Pope Francis to Hiroshima. In addition, Mr. Yuzaki is urging the government to create an opportunity where the Pope will meet A-bomb survivors and send out a message regarding the abolition of nuclear weapons, should the Pope’s visit to Hiroshima be fulfilled.

Except for the start of the meeting with the vice foreign minister, the meeting took place behind closed doors. Afterward, Mr. Yuzaki said, “The vice minister explained that the Japanese government is unable to ratify the nuclear weapons ban treaty at this time. But if the government really wants to serve as a bridge builder between the nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear nations, I hope that it will undertake this aim in a tangible way.”

(Originally published on January 24, 2019)