Hiroshima City considers youth-based peace meeting after next summer

by Junji Akechi, Staff Writer

On December 9, the City of Hiroshima announced it would consider holding an evening memorial service and peace gathering at the Peace Memorial Park in Naka Ward. The event would be led by youth, following the summer of fiscal 2020, the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing. Due to the aging of A-bomb survivors, Hiroshima City would like to pass on the wish for the abolition of nuclear weapons to the following generations and have young people undertake the planning and administration of peace related events.

In response to a question from Masahiro Yamamoto (Nishi Ward), a member of the Citizens’ Coalition, at the general inquiry session of the city assembly, Akio Masauji, the director general of the Citizens Affairs Bureau for the City of Hiroshima, replied as mentioned above.

Hiroshima City was inspired to hold a meeting as a result of the Meeting for Peace held with the pope on the evening of November 24. Mr. Masauji said, “It will be an event in the quiet and solemn atmosphere of the Peace Memorial Park in the evening. We would like to consider a mechanism that will lead to the growth of youth-led projects that aim to pass along the wishes of the people of Hiroshima to following generations.”

The city has not yet decided on when the gathering is to be held, but it will consider holding it after the August 6 and 9 anniversary dates of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The city will also take into consideration sunset time the day of the event.

Planning and administration of the event will be assumed largely by university students, and junior and senior high school students are also expected to participate. The city expects these events will continue to be held in fiscal years to follow, and that they will gradually increase in scale. It is also taking into account the fact that youth from abroad will also participate in future events.

As the Tokyo Olympic Games and Paralympic Games will be held in 2020, the City of Hiroshima is planning to hold an atomic-bomb exhibition in Tokyo and offer a program in which team members from each country will be able to gain an understanding of the reality of the atomic bombing.

(Originally published on December 10, 2019)