Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony attendees to increase fourfold

3,550 people will attend the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on August 6th year, a fourfold increase on 2020 and 2021.

The City of Hiroshima announced August 20 that the annual August 6th Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park will have approximately 3,550 seats, four times more than in 2020 and 2021, when the number of attendees was reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic. For the first time in three years, seats for the general public and for foreigners will be set aside, and for the first time, applicants will be invited to attend the ceremony in advance.

In 2020 and 2021, the number of seats was reduced to 880 and chairs were spaced 2 meters apart. The space between them this year will be reduced to 1 meter to allow for the increase in number of participants who will be asked to wear masks. The seats for representatives of bereaved families and A-bomb survivors, many of whom are elderly, will be two meters apart, and they will not be asked to wear masks to lower the risk of heat stroke.

In 2020 and 2021, participants were limited to representatives of bereaved families from each prefecture, ambassadors from each country, and other invited guests, totaling less less than 800. This year, 1,000 seats will be available to the general public, 250 for A-bomb survivors and their families, 1,200 for elementary and junior high school students visiting Japan for peace studies and 100 for foreign nationals. Applications will be accepted from June 20 for those who wish to study for peace, and from June 10 for those who wish to attend the other events. There will be no free seating.

The ceremony will be the same as in previous years. The mayor will deliver the Peace Declaration, and a children’s representative will deliver the Pledge for Peace. Access to the park will once again be restricted before and during the ceremony and will closed to the public between 5am and 9am.

Source: Chugoku Shinbun