Latvian Parliament Speaker visits Peace Memorial Museum

by Junji Akechi, Staff Writer

Speaker of the Latvian Parliament (Saeima) Gundars Daudze, 43, visited Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and offered a wreath at the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims on March 5. In Latvia, there are people who were exposed to radiation during the clean-up operation after the nuclear power plant accident in Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union.

Inside Peace Memorial Museum, Speaker Daudze, along with his wife and ten members of parliament, looked closely at the exhibits, including a panoramic model of the hypocenter and its surroundings as well as photos of victims with severe burns. He is a medical doctor by profession and asked with keen interest about the acute effects of radiation.

Speaker Daudze is visiting Japan through the invitation of the House of Representatives of Japan, and the visit to Hiroshima was from his own initiative. He expressed his appreciation for the medical support extended from Hiroshima, which has helped radiation victims in Latvia, and stated emphatically that any nation thinking of using nuclear weapons should visit the museum. By doing so, he said, they would understand that there can be no winner in a nuclear war.

(Originally published on March 6, 2009)