Yuta Takahashi of Kakuwaka to participate in C7 summit, opening in Italy on May 14; will exchange opinions with A-bomb survivors, determined to convey reality of atomic bombing

Survivors hope young people will make appeals for nuclear abolition

by Yumie Kubo, Staff Writer

A meeting was held in Hiroshima on May 9 to discuss what appeals for nuclear abolition should be made at the “C7 Summit,” an international conference of citizens’ groups to be held in Italy this month ahead of the G7 summit to be held in the country in June. A young person who will attend the meeting exchanged opinions with A-bomb survivors and was encouraged to have a spirited discussion at the summit.

The C7 summit, which comes from the initial letter of the “Civil Society 7 Summit,” will be held in Rome on May 14 and 15. Yuta Takahashi, 23, co-chairman of Kakuwaka Hiroshima, a group mainly composed of young people in Hiroshima who are actively learning about nuclear policies as voters, will attend the summit and discuss security, climate and energy issues, and humanitarian assistance among others with members of non-governmental organizations and citizens’ groups from around the world. Mr. Takahashi is a native of Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, and now lives in Yokohama.

He met with people from five A-bomb survivors’ organizations, including the two Hiroshima Prefectural Confederations of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations (Hiroshima Hidankyo), in an office in Naka Ward, Hiroshima, to deliberate what should be his appeal at the C7 summit. Toshiyuki Mimaki, 82, chair of one Hiroshima Hidankyo, said, “I want you to straightforwardly convey the fierce outcry of Hiroshima and what happened on that day.”

When the G7 summit was held in Hiroshima last year, Mr. Takahashi worked with people from Japan and abroad and put forward policy proposals for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Some of the members asked him to help stimulate discussions about nuclear abolition in Italy as well. Mr. Takahashi said, “The discussions at the G7 Hiroshima Summit were far from adequate. I want to convey the reality of the atomic bombing to the world and bring about different results this year.”

The Hiroshima NPO Center based in Naka Ward, Hiroshima, and other organizations are raising funds through crowdfunding (CF) for the cost of Mr. Takahashi’s traveling and the cost of holding debriefing sessions for the G7 and C7 summits. A video report by Mr. Takahashi from Italy will be available on the CF website from 9:00 p.m. on May 13.

(Originally published on May 10, 2024)