G7 summit to be held next year in Hiroshima—Local organizations anticipate positive impacts on economy, tourism

On May 23, when the announcement was made that next year’s 2023 summit meeting of the G7 (attended by the Group of Seven industrialized nations) would be held in Hiroshima City, local economic and business organizations voiced their expectations of a positive impact on the local economy. “We hope world leaders see a city fully recovered from the devastation of the atomic bombing,” said one representative. “The G7 summit meeting will be an opportunity to promote Hiroshima’s industry and tourism,” added another.

Yoshihiko Ogawa, chairperson of the Hiroshima City Central Area Shopping District Promotion Association, stated his desire for the leaders of the various countries to “sense many things upon seeing how far the city has come despite being bombed with a nuclear weapon.” While the numbers of tourists from Japan and overseas have plummeted due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Ogawa expressed hope that the G7 summit “will provide the impetus for many more people to visit Hiroshima,” in anticipation of a post-summit boost to tourist numbers.

Six hotels in Hiroshima City will be utilized to welcome the leaders and delegates from the G7 nations. Naoyuki Tanuma, head of the Chugoku-Shikoku Chapter of the Japan Hotel Association, stated with enthusiasm, “All the hotels will work together in the hopes of contributing to the success of the summit.” Norimasa Toyota, head of Okonomimura (Okonomi Village), a complex of 23 okonomiyaki (local delicacy of pancake batter, meat or seafood, and vegetables such as cabbage) restaurants in Hiroshima’s Naka Ward, said he eagerly awaits the event. “I hope the people who visit Hiroshima for the summit take the opportunity to enjoy Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki.”

Tomohide Karita, chairperson of the Chugoku Economic Federation, emphasized his feeling that “this will be a great opportunity to impart to the world a message about the importance of international cooperation and peace.” He urged Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to take a strong leadership position to, first and foremost, lead the world leaders in promoting nuclear disarmament, but also in restoring the global economy, which is currently being buffeted by rising prices and supply-chain disruptions.

(Originally published on May 24, 2022)