Learn About Hiroshima Related News

Completion ceremony is held for preservation work on A-bomb Dome

A ceremony to mark the completion of preservation work on the A-bomb Dome was held on August 5 from 9 a.m. The work, which successfully prevents further deterioration of the structure, was funded with donations from people around the world who desire peace. The work will help permanently preserve this “witness to history,” which conveys the ravages of war and the horrors of nuclear weapons.

The ceremony was attended by 500 people from inside and outside Japan, including officials from the prefectural and municipal governments such as Hiroshima Mayor Setsuo Yamada; Mitsuyoshi Asao, the chairperson of the Hiroshima City Council; former Hiroshima Mayor Shinso Hamai, who played a central role in seeking to preserve the dome and raising funds for the effort; Iwao Nagano, the governor of Hiroshima Prefecture; and a proxy for Toshihiro Hiyama, the chairperson of the Hiroshima Prefecture Council. Other participants were: Toshikatsu Horii, the head of the General Council of Trade Unions of Japan; Taro Takemi, the president of the Japan Medical Association; Shigeri Yamataka, president of the Federation of Regional Women’s Organization; Toshihiko Hayashi, the head of the International Youth Association Hiroshima; Shozo Uchiyama, the secretary-general of the Committee of Seven for World Peace Appeal, people who donated toward the preservation work; and participants of the World Conference Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, which is being held in Hiroshima.

The ceremony began at 9 a.m. with 100 members of the Hiroshima Boys Choir singing Hiroshima’s city song, led by Masashi Higuchi, the principal of Hakushima Elementary School. Mayor Yamada said, “The A-bomb Dome will fulfill its mission by serving as a warning against war.” Governor Nagano, Mr. Hamai, Mr. Hayashi, Mr. Uchiyama, and others also delivered speeches to mark the occasion.

Mr. Hamai said, “Rather than extending my congratulations, I would like to express my gratitude.” He then said, drawing applause, “The fact that the fundraising target was achieved is proof that the world remains committed to the earnest desire not to repeat Hiroshima’s tragedy.”

The ceremony closed at 9:40, as scheduled, after the “Hiroshima Peace Song” was performed by the boys’ choir. After the ceremony, many people continued to gaze at the A-bomb Dome.

On November 1 of last year, the city government launched a nationwide drive to raise funds for the preservation work on the A-bomb Dome, with a goal of raising 40 million yen. This goal was achieved on March 14, and the campaign then concluded. But even five months later, people are still sending money to the city. As of noon on August 5, a total of 66,804,252 yen has been donated from 11,174 people or groups from inside and outside Japan.

The city government has spent 51 million yen of this money on the preservation of the dome and 13 million yen for improvements in the park around the dome. The work was begun on April 10. The A-bomb Dome was badly damaged not only by the blast of the atomic bomb but also from its exposure to the elements for 22 years. More than 10,000 cracks of various sizes were filled with 18 tons of epoxy resin.

(Originally published on August 5, 1967)