Hiroshima Prefectural Governor and Mayor call on Prime Minister to hold G7 in Hiroshima, city of peace symbols

by Koji Higuchi, Staff Writer

On January 27, Hiroshima Prefectural Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki and Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui saw Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (representing Hiroshima Prefecture’s District No. 1) at the prime minister’s office and called on him to hold the 2023 summit meeting of the G7 (the G7 summit is attended by the Group of Seven industrialized nations), which will be held in Japan, in the A-bombed city of Hiroshima. “In order to be chosen as the host city, there needs to be a situation in which many people get convinced. I’ll carefully examine whether Hiroshima is suitable for the G7,” Mr. Kishida responded.

A council for promotion of the Hiroshima summit bid was established with council members from eight public and private sectors in Hiroshima on January 26. Mr. Yuzaki, who served as advisor to the council and Mr. Matsui, who served as its president, were accompanied by Koji Ikeda, chairman of the Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI), who served as its vice president. A letter of request from the council stressed if the leaders of each country are exposed to the reality of the atomic bombing with an eye toward the realization of a world without nuclear weapons, “we believe they will recognize the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and feel they are an absolute evil.” In the letter of request, they also wrote that Hiroshima, which recovered after the bombing, has become “a symbol of hope.”

They also saw Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi (representing Yamaguchi Prefecture’s District No. 3) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After they finished handing the letter of request to the national government, Mr. Matsui said, “There is an effect to discussing global issues in a city that symbolizes peace,” and Mr. Yuzaki said, “We also have an advantage with our urban setting and enhanced security measures.”

In addition to the Hiroshima City government, the Nagoya City government and the Fukuoka City government have also announced their bids to host the 2023 G7 summit in their respective cities. The prime minister has indicated that he would decide on a host city for the 2023 G7 before the 2022 G7 summit, which is scheduled to be held in Germany in late June.

(Originally published on January 28, 2022)