German foreign minister lays flowers at Cenotaph and visits Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

(by Keiichi Nagayama, Staff Writer)

On November 22, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, 53, visited the Peace Memorial Park in Naka Ward, Hiroshima to lay flowers at the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims and tour the Peace Memorial Museum.

At the Peace Memorial Museum, Mr. Maas was guided by the museum’s deputy director, Shuichi Kato, and looked at the computer graphics display which depicts the catastrophic destruction of the city caused by the U.S. atomic bombing and the belongings left behind by children who perished in the bombing. In the museum’s guestbook, he wrote in German, “We all assume the common responsibility of ensuring that such suffering never happens again. With my wish for a peaceful world without nuclear weapons.” After talking with A-bomb survivors, Mr. Maas visited Hiroshima Jogakuin Senior High School in Naka Ward to speak with the students there.

Mr. Maas arrived in Japan on November 21 to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya and the Foreign Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI). It was his first visit to the city of Hiroshima.

(Originally published on November 23, 2019)