Explanation panels for the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims to be offered in 8 languages for the G-8 Speakers Summit

by Kyosuke Mizukawa, Staff Writer

The city of Hiroshima will revise the explanation panels for the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims in Peace Memorial Park. With an eye on the G-8 Speakers Summit, to open in Hiroshima on September 2, new explanation panels in eight different languages will be placed in the water of the Pond of Peace in front of the Cenotaph. The languages are Japanese, English, Russian, French, German, Italian, Chinese, and Korean, most of these official languages of the G-8 participating countries.

Each explanation panel, made of reinforced glass, will be 60 centimeters long, 90 centimeters wide, and 2 centimeters thick. On May 27, city officials placed prototypes in the water, 3-5 centimeters deep, to check the design of the panels and the visibility of the writing.

About 150 tourists and other bystanders were asked to offer their opinions on the prototypes and a majority responded positively, remarking, for example, “The simple design matches the cenotaph well.” Until now, the explanation panels have only been available in Japanese and English in a location above the water. The content of the panels will reflect the current message, which includes such key language as “…‘the Heart of Hiroshima’ which, enduring past grief and overcoming hatred, yearns for the realization of true world peace.”

The new explanation panels are being donated by the Rotary International District 2710, which consists of 74 Rotary Clubs in Hiroshima and Yamaguchi Prefectures. Rotary Governor Akito Suwa, 74, said, “We hope the spirit of Hiroshima, which appeals for the abolition of nuclear weapons, will be embraced by people from around the world.”