Itinerary for the G8 Speakers Summit announced by the city of Hiroshima

by Junichiro Kanai, Staff Writer

On April 15, 2008, the city of Hiroshima revealed a tentative itinerary for the participants of the 7th G8 Summit of Lower House Speakers, which was initially proposed by the Lower House of the Japanese Diet. The Speakers Summit will be held at the International Conference Center in downtown Hiroshima in September. Plans include a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and attendance at a commemorative concert.

The itinerary was announced at a meeting of the G8 Speakers Summit Promotion Board (Director General, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba). According to the tentative plan, the speakers will first travel to Tokyo, where they will join in several official functions, and then arrive in Hiroshima on September 1, a day before the meeting. That evening, they will attend a special performance by the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra, hosted by the city and other sponsoring organizations.

On the second day, the participants will offer flowers at the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims in Peace Memorial Park and visit Peace Memorial Museum. They will then move to the International Conference Center to engage in discussions concerning the theme of “Peace and Disarmament.” After this meeting, they will visit the nearby island of Miyajima, like the A-bomb Dome, a World Heritage Site.

At this point, there are no tangible plans for the speakers to meet with A-bomb survivors or interact with local citizens' groups. However, the city will continue exploring these possibilities since the agenda may still be modified.

At the meeting of the Promotion Board, it was resolved that 17 activities would be undertaken in preparation for the event. These activities include drawing up security plans, creating sightseeing pamphlets for overseas visitors, and arranging welcome events at which elementary school and junior high school students will take part. Mayor Akiba urged the people of Hiroshima to “strive for a successful Speakers Summit and help secure the safety of the proceedings.”