@36 days until Hiroshima Summit: Military city

by Hiromi Morita, Staff Writer

Since the modern era, Hiroshima has a history of promoting urban development by serving the nation as a military city. The former Division No.5 of the Japanese Imperial Army was established here, and during the Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters was located on the grounds of Hiroshima Castle. A Temporary Imperial Diet Building was also built on the Western Drill Ground to discuss matters such as temporary military expenses. During the Russo-Japanese War, it served as a gathering place for dispatched troops and played a role as a base for invading Asia.

The Western Drill Ground was located in the area where the current prefectural office and the site of the former Hiroshima Municipal Baseball Stadium were located, and the construction site of the soccer stadium to the north of the Western Drill Ground was the facility for the former Japanese Army’s transport unit. As Hiroshima was a military city, there were many soldiers called up from all over Japan when the atomic bomb was dropped. It is estimated that about 20,000 of the victims by the end of 1945 were soldiers, but the full picture remains unknown.

(Originally published on April 13, 2023)