A-bomb exhibition opens alongside G8 Summit in Hokkaido

by Tetsuya Miyazaki (from Hokkaido Shimbun)

The “Hiroshima/Nagasaki A-Bomb Exhibition” opened on June 29 in the lobby of Sapporo City Hall in northern Japan. The exhibition conveys the devastating consequences of the atomic bombings through A-bomb artifacts such as a glass bottle that melted in the high temperature of the blast. Mayor of Hiroshima, Tadatoshi Akiba, and Mayor of Nagasaki, Tomihisa Taue, both took part in the opening ceremony. They stressed the importance of promoting the solidarity of cities both at home and abroad toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.

The exhibition was organized by the cities of Sapporo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, along with the National Council of Japan Nuclear-Free Local Authorities, to coincide with July’s G8 Summit held at Lake Toyako, Hokkaido.

In his remarks at the opening ceremony, Mayor Akiba said that about 2,300 cities, in Japan and abroad, are currently members of Mayors for Peace, the international network spearheaded by Hiroshima and Nagasaki that is pursuing the abolition of nuclear weapons by the year 2020. “We would like the world to know that we are fostering world peace from the city level,” Mayor Akiba stated. And Mayor Taue expressed his hopes for Mayors for Peace by adding, “If this network of local authorities can spread further, creating a larger web of municipalities, our world will be able to strengthen its effort to abolish nuclear weapons.”

“War is the worst perpetrator of environmental destruction,” stressed Fumio Ueda, Mayor of Sapporo, linking war to the main agenda of the G8 Summit, the environment. Mayor Ueda announced that Sapporo would soon join Mayors for Peace, making it the third major Japanese city, after Hiroshima and Niigata, to become a member.

Admission to the “Hiroshima/Nagasaki A-Bomb Exhibition” is free and the exhibition runs until July 10. According to organizers, as of June 29, no G8 leaders have announced plans to visit the exhibition, but an ambassador from Mexico, who will join the extended meeting of the G8 Summit, has expressed interest.

(Originally published on June 30, 2008)

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