In invitation to Peace Memorial Ceremony, Hiroshima City calls on Israel to quickly achieve ceasefire, take to heart message from A-bomb survivors

by Michio Shimotaka, Staff Writer

On May 30, it was learned that an invitation letter for the Peace Memorial Ceremony to be held on August 6 had been sent by the Hiroshima City government to officials in Israeli, which continues its war in Palestinian-controlled Gaza. The letter was described as including a call for an immediate ceasefire. It also apparently expressed “deep regret” over the current situation in which so many lives have been lost and implored Israel to make progress toward achievement of world peace, including the abolition of nuclear weapons.

The invitation letter including the wording, “Especially at a time like this, we hope you will take to heart the message of peace from A-bomb survivors, who themselves experienced the carnage of war — ‘No one should suffer as we did.’” The city government called on Israel to achieve an immediate ceasefire and seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict through dialogue. It also urged the country to consider attending this year’s peace ceremony after accepting the city’s demands.

The invitation letter, addressed to both Isaac Herzog, president of Israel, and the Israeli ambassador to Japan, was sent by post to the Embassy of Israel on May 29. Invitation letters to the ceremony sent to other countries did not include the aforementioned message. Some citizens’ groups and others have voiced their opposition to the invitation extended to Israel.

On the other hand, Hiroshima City did not invite Russia, which continues its invasion of Ukraine, or Belarus, which supports Russia’s invasion. Instead, letters sent to those countries explained the reason for not extending an invitation, stating, “The City of Hiroshima would like to avoid a situation in which Japan’s stance toward your country could cause misunderstanding among the representatives of other countries and affect the smooth management of the peace ceremony.” The city also included a message in the letters wishing for a peaceful resolution to that conflict as soon as possible.

(Originally published on May 31, 2024)