Hiroshima local governments and HCCI bid to host 2023 G7 summit, considering it opportunity to abolish nuclear weapons

by Taiki Yomura, Staff Writer

On November 30, the Hiroshima City and Hiroshima Prefectural governments, together with the Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI), announced they would bid to host the summit meeting of the G7 (G7 summit, attended by the Group of Seven industrialized nations) to be held in Japan in 2023. Next year, in January 2022, a council for promotion of the Hiroshima summit bid will be established with council members from the public and private sectors, based on the aim of bringing the G7 meeting to Hiroshima. The officials involved hope to have the summit held in the A-bombed city of Hiroshima, where leaders of the United States and other nuclear weapons states will gather, to enhance momentum toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Leaders of the local governments and the HCCI held a press conference at the HCCI offices, located in Hiroshima’s Naka Ward, on the same day, November 30. Mindful that the United States, France, and the United Kingdom will be among the nuclear weapons states represented at the G7 summit, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui explained, “It will be a great opportunity to think about politics and ensure that the tragedy of nuclear weapons is never repeated.” Mr. Matsui expressed his willingness to provide leaders from the different countries with an opportunity to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and to listen to testimonies delivered by A-bomb survivors about their experiences in the atomic bombing of the city.

Hiroshima Prefectural Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki stressed the summit’s significance when he remarked, “If the summit were to be held in Hiroshima, it would be a new step toward the goal of abolishing nuclear weapons. There are many things to consider while in Hiroshima, precisely given the severe safety and security environment the world faces today.”

The council for promotion of the Hiroshima summit bid will consist of members of the Hiroshima City and Prefectural governments, representatives of the local business community including the HCCI, and leaders of peace and tourism groups. Koji Ikeda, chair of the HCCI, said, “It is expected that the G7 summit will have the effect of promoting Hiroshima’s industry and culture and attracting visitors. The summit will vitalize Hiroshima’s stagnant economy, which came about because of the coronavirus.”

The Hiroshima City and Prefectural governments will submit documents to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs by mid-December to convey their intention to invite the summit to the city. Starting in January 2022, the members of the promotion council will proceed with activities to press Japan’s national government to select Hiroshima as the summit venue.

Fukuoka Prefectural and City governments and the Aichi Prefectural and Nagoya City governments have also expressed an interest in calling for the 2023 G7 summit to be held in their respective cities. In a press conference held on November 30, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi indicated he would decide on a host city for the 2023 G7 summit before the 2022 G7 summit is scheduled to be held in Germany. This is the third time since the 2000 and 2016 summits that the Hiroshima City government has made a bid to host the international meeting.

(Originally published on December 1, 2021)