A-bomb survivor to share his story with the G8 Speakers

by Hiromi Morita, Staff Writer

On August 14, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba announced his intention to arrange for an A-bomb survivor to share his story with the participants attending the G8 Summit of Lower House Speakers in Hiroshima on September 2.

At a press conference, Mayor Akiba stressed the importance of the summit, remarking, “The fact that the legislative leaders of major countries, including nuclear-weapon states, will visit an A-bombed city is highly significant. The value of this visit cannot be overstated.” Then he revealed, “I am exploring the possibility of the speakers listening to an A-bomb survivor’s testimony during their visit to Peace Memorial Museum.”

Mayor Akiba added, “I am also hoping to have time to speak with them directly” to explain various initiatives that Hiroshima has been taking toward the total abolition of nuclear weapons.

More specifically, he plans to convey a “message from Hiroshima” based on the activities of Mayors for Peace, for which he serves as president, as well as the thoughts he has expressed in his annual Peace Declarations every August 6.

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On August 15, the city of Hiroshima announced that Akihiro Takahashi, an A-bomb survivor and former Director of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, will share his story with the G8 Speakers who will attend the G8 Summit of Lower House Speakers on September 2.

Prior to the formal talks at the International Conference Center in downtown Hiroshima, the speakers will offer flowers at the Cenotaph for the A-bomb victims and visit Peace Memorial Museum. At that point, Mr. Takahashi, who was severely injured in the blast, will share his experience for about ten minutes.

On the same day, at the beginning of the luncheon to be held at a hotel, Mayor Akiba will make a speech describing Hiroshima’s initiatives for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

(Originally published on August 15-16, 2008)

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