The Future of Hiroshima’s A-bombed Warehouses: Have your say

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.

Our guide to the survey is here. Take a look at while you fill in the online survey here.

 

The Former Military Clothing Depot History & Current Situation

  1. 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).
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. A 2017 survey determined that the building were likely to collapse in the event of a Level 6 earthquake.
  5. 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

  1. The safety of the residences on the west side of the buildings can be safeguarded.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The current site can be digitally replicated using VR technology to be utilized in the future.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

  1. Strengthen the western wall of of Building #1 (to protect residences opposite) 200 million yen
  2. Building #1 Preservation work (roof etc) 300 million yen
  3. VR digitization of appearance of all 3 buildings (currently being costed)
  4. 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?

旧被服支廠に係る「これまでの経緯と現状」及び「県が一部外観保存の方針(案)とした理由」は,お読みいただけましたか。 (必須)

Answer:

  • Yes はい 
  • No いえ

Q2: Place of residence
お住まいはどちらですか

Answer:

  • Hiroshima City 広島市内
  • Hiroshima Prefecture 広島県内
  • Outside Hiroshima Prefecture 広島県外

Q3: Select age
年齢はおいくつですか?

Q4: When did you first hear about the Former Military Clothing Depot?
旧被服支廠について,いつ知りましたか。 (必須)

Answer:

  • 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?
何で知りましたか。

Answer:

  • 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?
Q5で「その他」を選択した方は,何で知ったかを記入してください。

Q7: Have you seen the site with your own eyes?
旧被服支廠を現地でご覧になったことがありますか。

Answer:

  • Yes ある
  • No ない

Q8: “Do you agree with the plan to demolish two of the buildings and preserve the remaining one?
県が安全対策を実施する対応方針(1棟のみ保存,2棟解体)についてどう思いますか。 (必須)

Answer:

  • 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)
Q8で「賛成」と答えた方におききします。理由を教えてください。(複数選択可能)

Answers:

  • Concern about collapse and believe it a necessary to put safety first.
    倒壊のおそれがあるなら,安全対策を優先するのもやむを得ない判断だと思う。
  • To preserve and maintain the entire site would be prohibitively costly.
    規模が大きく,全てを保存すれば多額の維持経費がかかり,今後も維持経費も必要。
  • A Virtual Reality representation of the site can be used in various ways.
    VRで保存すれば,いろいろな活用が期待できる。
  • Preserving all the buildings is difficult and if they are all of the same construction, preserving only one is adequate.
    全棟保存が難しく,同じ造りの建物なら1棟でも良い。
  • The process of demolition itself may have value if it helps shed light on structural strengthening etc.
    解体することにより,強度や構造等についての学術的研究などに活用できれば,解体するのにも意味がある。
  • The materials from the demolished buildings can be used in preservations of the remaining building.
    保存する建物の補修にも使えるようにするのであれば,良いと思う。
  • If the remaining building is to be utilized effectively, space for parking lots and visitor services will be necessary.
    きちんと利活用するなら,駐車場などの受け入れ環境整備を行う必要がある。
  • Other → Go to Question 10
    その他→Q10へ

Q11: If you answered “Oppose” to Q8, please give your reasons (multiple selections OK)
Q8で「反対」と答えた方にお聞きします。理由を教えてください。(複数選択可能)

Answers:

  • Once demolished the buildings will be lost forever.
    一度解体したら,元には戻らない。
  • The buildings have stood for 106 years so it’s unlikely that they will soon collapse.
    築106年倒壊せずに現存しているため,すぐに壊れるとは思わない。
  • The government has a responsibility to preserve A-bombed buildings whatever the cost.
    被爆建物は,金銭に関わらず行政として残すべきである。
  • If cost is an issue, the state should pay, or funds be raised from the public.
    金銭の問題であれば,国に求める又は寄附を求めたりすれば良い。
  • The Furusato Nozei system could be utilized.
    3棟保存するためであれば,寄附又はふるさと納税などをしても良い。
  • The preservation of 2 buildings rather than only 1 would make it easier to imagine how the original site once looked.
    1棟ではなく,2棟残した方が建ち並んでいた景観のイメージがしやすい。
  • There are more cost effective ways of preserving the buildings.
    技術が発達しているので,多額の経費をかけなくても保存するための良い方法があると思う。
  • The plan has not been discusses sufficiently to make a decision.
    十分な議論がなされたと思えない。
  • Other → Go to Question 12
    その他→Q 12へ

Q12: If you answered Question 11 wth “Other” please write your reason here.
Q11で,「その他」を選択した方は,自由にご意見を記入してください。

Q13: If you answered Question 8 wth “Other” please write your reason here.
Q8で,「その他」を選択した方は自由にご意見を記入してください。

Q14: If preserved, how should the Former Military Clothing Depot buildings be used?
今後,旧被服支廠を保存した場合に,どのように活用していくのが良いと思いますか。

*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.
    外観のみの保存を行い,敷地内に別途トイレ・駐車場などを整備し,もっと人が訪れやすい場所にする。
  • Preserve exterior. Proceed with earthquake-proofing once future use decided.
    とりあえず外観保存して,活用策が決まってから耐震改修する。
  • Conduct earthquake-proofing measures and use as a Peace Studies center
    耐震改修を行い内部にも入れるようにして,平和学習の場などとして活用する。
  • Conduct earthquake-proofing measures and use as a tourism facility center.
    耐震改修を行い内部にも入れるようにして,観光資源となるよう活用できるようにする。
  • Other → Q15
    その他→Q15へ

Q15: If you answered Question 14 wth “Other” please write your reason here.
Q14で「その他」を選択した方は,自由に意見をご記入ください。

Q16: Please write any further opinions you might have here.
その他,自由に意見をご記入ください

Paul Walsh

Paul arrived in Hiroshima "for a few months" back in 1996. He is the co-founder of GetHiroshima.com and loves running in the mountains.

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