Paper crane made by Obama to be displayed at Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare will borrow a paper crane that former U.S. President Barack Obama donated to the City of Hiroshima at the time of his visit to the city, and display it at the ministry on August 2. The ministry will show it to students from elementary school through high school who will visit for the “Children’s Tour Day in Kasumigaseki,” an event held every summer, and the ministry will also provide the opportunity to listen to the account of a “memory keeper,” a volunteer who helps hand down the accounts of A-bomb survivors. The “memory keeper” program is organized by the City of Hiroshima.

The ministry will display one of the four paper cranes presented by Mr. Obama and held at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, located in Naka Ward. The event will be divided into a morning session and an afternoon session, and the paper crane will be placed in a showcase in a meeting room of the ministry and be displayed to the 50 children who respond to the ministry’s public invitation to apply for the event. Artifacts that have been donated to the museum, including a glass bottle deformed by the heat of the atomic bomb and a replica of the watch that a victim was wearing at the time of the bombing will also be on display.

This will mark the first time that one of the paper cranes made by Mr. Obama is being displayed in Japan outside the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum. Tetsuhiro Minohara, the director of the ministry’s A-bomb Survivor Support Office, said that the survivors’ memories need to be conveyed to all generations and that he hopes the participants will feel the message of peace that is embodied by the paper crane.

Those who wish to attend the event should send return postcards to the ministry’s office. The deadline is July 25. For further information, please call the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare at 03-5253-1111.

(Originally published on July 13, 2018)