Croatian President visits Hiroshima, pledges solidarity for peace

by Hiroshi Obata, Staff Writer

Croatian President Stjepan Mesic visited Hiroshima on March 8, 2008 and toured Peace Memorial Museum and the A-bomb Dome. President Mesic, who experienced the independence of Croatia in 1991 and the conflict in that region which lasted until 1995, remarked, “War destroys all that we hold dear. I would like to stand together with the world in solidarity to build peace.”

Escorted by Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, the President offered a wreath at the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims. Afterwards, he toured Peace Memorial Museum and took in photographs and displays of the bombing's destruction. In a guest book for prominent visitors, President Mesic wrote, “People from all nations should come to Hiroshima to truly appreciate the importance of peace. I keenly felt the horror of the A-bomb's devastation. I hope Japan and Croatia will be partners in striving for a more peaceful world.
President Mesic arrived in Japan on March 4, 2008 to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Japan and Croatia. His visit to Hiroshima was organized upon his request.