Hiroshima Prefecture is calling for “public comments” on its plans for the site of the Former Military Clothing Depot in Deshio, which contains 4 warehouses that survived the 1945 A-bombing. Concerned parties can register their views about the future of the site via an online survey.
As the survey is only in Japanese and it doesn’t go through online translation services well, we have put together this rough translation to help as wide a range of people to register their opinions as possible.
The Prefecture “requires” that everyone completing the survey acquaints themselves with the history and current situation of the site, as well as the prefecture’s proposed plan. These are included at the top of the survey page and so we have included a translation of these too.
The Former Military Clothing Depot History & Current Situation
- The Former Military Clothing Depot is classified as an A-bombed building. It consists of 4 warehouses, 3 of which are held by Hiroshima Prefecture (the other is owned by the state).
- As well as, at 106 years old, being affected by the ravages of time, residential buildings are very close to the west wall of the warehouses (across a 4m wide city road).
- After use as a warehouse by a private company ended in 2009, various ways to use the buildings have been considered, but, due to the prohibitive cost of making them earthquake safe, no agreement has been reached.
- A 2017 survey determined that the building were likely to collapse in the event of a Level 6 earthquake.
- An outside consultant estimated that the cost of preserving the exterior of one building would be 500 million yen and earthquake strengthening would be an additional 2.8 billion yen.
Reasons behind the prefecture’s proposal to preserve one of the buildings
- The safety of the residences on the west side of the buildings can be safeguarded.
- Among the opinions canvassed form various experts, although the image of the buildings lined up next to each other, the preservation of one building would be sufficient to preserve the value of the A-bombed building as well as the site’s value as an example of the engineering and architecture of the period.
- Of the 3 buildings under the care of the prefecture, Building #1 was closest to the A-bomb hypocenter and has the higher value both structurally and architecturally.
- The current site can be digitally replicated using VR technology to be utilized in the future.
- How the preserved Building #1 will be used has yet to be decided. It is not appropriate to go ahead with expensive earthquake-proofing until its future use is decided.
- There is the possibility that the process of taking down Buildings #2 and #3 will provide valuable information related to structural engineering and earthquake-proofing. The materials can also be used in the preservation of Building #1.
- The space created by removal of Buildings #2 and #3 will allow for the creation of parking and other visitor facilities.
Hiroshima Prefecture’s Proposed Plan & Costings
See the original document in Japanese here.
- Strengthen the western wall of of Building #1 (to protect residences opposite) 200 million yen
- Building #1 Preservation work (roof etc) 300 million yen
- VR digitization of appearance of all 3 buildings (currently being costed)
- Demolition of Building #2 and #3 300 million yen
*Earthquake-proofing is not included in this plan – that is to be decided and budget allocated once the future use of the building has been agreed upon.
*Discussion about how the preserved building will be used is planned to take place as the other work continues.
Survey of Opinions
Required answers in red.
Q1: Have you read about the history, current situation and the prefectural government’s plans concerning the Former Military Clothing Depot as outlined above?
- Yes はい
- No いえ
Q2: Place of residence
- Hiroshima City 広島市内
- Hiroshima Prefecture 広島県内
- Outside Hiroshima Prefecture 広島県外
Q3: Select age
Q4: When did you first hear about the Former Military Clothing Depot?
- From before 前から知っていた
- Recently 最近知った
Q4: How did you first hear about the Former Military Clothing Depot?
- I live nearby 近くに住んでいるから。
- I have been there or have passed by in the past 行ったこと（近くを通ったこと）がある。
- From recent news reports.最近の報道（TV，新聞等）で知った。
- From friends or relatives.親戚，知人から聞いたことがあった。
- I searched online. インターネットで調べた。
- Other その他
Q5: If you answered “Other” to Question 5, please write how you first heard about the Former Military Clothing Depot?
Q7: Have you seen the site with your own eyes?
- Yes ある
- No ない
Q8: “Do you agree with the plan to demolish two of the buildings and preserve the remaining one?
- 賛成→Ｑ９へ Agree → Go to question 9
- 反対→Ｑ11へ Oppose → Go to question 11
- その他→Ｑ13へ Other → Go to Question 13
Q9: If you answered “Agree” (賛成) to Q8 please select your reasons (multiple selections OK)
- Concern about collapse and believe it a necessary to put safety first.
- To preserve and maintain the entire site would be prohibitively costly.
- A Virtual Reality representation of the site can be used in various ways.
- Preserving all the buildings is difficult and if they are all of the same construction, preserving only one is adequate.
- The process of demolition itself may have value if it helps shed light on structural strengthening etc.
- The materials from the demolished buildings can be used in preservations of the remaining building.
- If the remaining building is to be utilized effectively, space for parking lots and visitor services will be necessary.
- Other → Go to Question 10
Q11: If you answered “Oppose” to Q8, please give your reasons (multiple selections OK)
- Once demolished the buildings will be lost forever.
- The buildings have stood for 106 years so it’s unlikely that they will soon collapse.
- The government has a responsibility to preserve A-bombed buildings whatever the cost.
- If cost is an issue, the state should pay, or funds be raised from the public.
- The Furusato Nozei system could be utilized.
- The preservation of 2 buildings rather than only 1 would make it easier to imagine how the original site once looked.
- There are more cost effective ways of preserving the buildings.
- The plan has not been discusses sufficiently to make a decision.
- Other → Go to Question 12
Q12: If you answered Question 11 wth “Other” please write your reason here.
Q13: If you answered Question 8 wth “Other” please write your reason here.
Q14: If preserved, how should the Former Military Clothing Depot buildings be used?
*Strengthening of the west wall and preservation of the exterior of Building #1 (500 million yen), earthquake proofing of 1/3 of Building #1 1 billion yen (not including cost of demolition of Building #2 and #3)
- Preservation of exterior. Visitor parking lot and toilets.
- Preserve exterior. Proceed with earthquake-proofing once future use decided.
- Conduct earthquake-proofing measures and use as a Peace Studies center
- Conduct earthquake-proofing measures and use as a tourism facility center.
- Other → Q15
Q15: If you answered Question 14 wth “Other” please write your reason here.
Q16: Please write any further opinions you might have here.