Civic group submits 2,700 signatures calling for preservation of all buildings of former Hiroshima Army Clothing Depot

(by Takafumi Hatayama, Staff Writer)

On January 21, a group of citizens who wish to preserve the former Army Clothing Depot buildings submitted 2,700 signatures to the Hiroshima prefectural government, requesting the preservation of all the buildings of the depot; one of the largest sets of buildings that survived the atomic bombing in Hiroshima. The group collected the signatures in about a month after the prefectural government announced its draft of preserving the outer appearance of one and demolish two buildings. The group said it would continue collecting signatures.

The signatures, addressed to Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki, are for requesting that measures be taken to preserve the depot “in its entirety,” including one building owned by the national government, since the depot “contains memories of Japan’s modern and postmodern eras.” Specifically, the group is urging Mr. Yuzaki to take the initiative and review the prefecture’s draft safety measures and to register the buildings as a cultural property.

Shunsuke Taga, 70, deputy representative of the group and a resident of Nishi Ward, as well as two other members, met Taiki Adachi, manager of the Hiroshima Prefecture’s Property Administration Division, at the prefectural government’s office. Hiroshi Harada, 80, an advisor to the group, is a former director of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and a resident of Asaminami Ward. He said to Mr. Adachi, “The four buildings have overwhelming powers, and there is something you can get only through looking at the real buildings. I urge you to rack your brains and find a way to preserve the buildings and secure financial resources.”

The signature drive was launched in mid-December last year. According to the group, it has already collected more than 3,000 signatures from across the country. Since the compilation of the fiscal year 2020 initial budget of Hiroshima Prefecture is in its final stage, the group has already submitted part of the signatures. The civic group says that it will continue collecting signatures, which will be submitted later.

(Originally published on January 22, 2020)