@84 days until Hiroshima Summit: Peace Flame

by Yu Kawakami, Staff Writer

The Peace Memorial Park in Naka Ward, Hiroshima, has a fire constantly burning throughout a year. It is called Peace Flame, and was lit in 1964 by the National Council for Peace and Against Nuclear Weapons (Kakkin) and other groups to demonstrate their resolution that the flame must continue to burn until the elimination of nuclear weapons. The base of the flame symbolizes the opening of palms to the sky.

August 6 is the day when the flame blazes at its highest during the year. The City of Hiroshima increases the level of its gas feed for burning in phases in accordance with the Peace Memorial Ceremony, and the flame’s size becomes twice as big as usual, when silent prayer is offered during the ceremony at 8:15 a.m.

The size of the flame also increased when Barack Obama, then U.S. president, visited the park in 2016. A City of Hiroshima’s greenery administration section’s official said, “We want to make the flame bigger when leaders visit the park at the time of the summit meeting of the G7 (The Group of Seven industrialized nations) as well.”

(Originally published on February 24, 2023)