Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced today that Hiroshima will host the 2023 G7 Summit. This will be the first time the summit has been held in an A-bombed city since it began in 1975.
In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and hints at the possible use of nuclear weapons, the Prime Minister, who represents a Hiroshima district, decided that Hiroshima was the best place to discuss international peace and nuclear disarmament.
The Hiroshima Prefectural Government, the City of Hiroshima, the Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and other organizations have lobbied hard to bring the summit to the city. The city has proposed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the participating leaders offer flowers to the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims in Peace Memorial Park and visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. It is thought that the summit could be a historic occasion on which the leaders of three nuclear weapon states (the United States, the United Kingdom, and France) are forced to come face to face with the reality of the atomic bombings.
At a joint press conference following the Japan-U.S. summit at the State Guest House in Tokyo, the prime minister said, “There is no better place to demonstrate our commitment to peace than Hiroshima. I would like to demonstrate to the world our pledge that humanity will never again suffer the horrors of nuclear weapons, and to affirm that we will unite in defense of peace, world order, and values.”
NHK reports that the Prime Minister informed U.S. President Biden of the plan at the Japan-US summit meeting and that the idea has Biden’s support.
Hiroshima Mayor Matsui is quoted as saying, “We welcome the idea of holding the summit in the A-bombed city of Hiroshima as I believe it will provide a good opportunity for everyone to review the current world situation.”
Hiroshima Governor Yuzaki said, “We hope that people will come into contact with the reality of the A-bombing and understand the importance of nuclear abolition.
In an interview with NHK, Hiroshima Governor Yuzaki said, “I am sincerely pleased that the G7 Summit will be held in Hiroshima, and I would like to extend a warm welcome to the heads of state and all those involved in the G7 Summit.”
He went on to say, “I believe that having the world’s political leaders discuss peace and prosperity in the international community in Hiroshima, which has made a remarkable recovery from the destruction caused by the atomic bomb, will symbolize hope for the restoration of international cooperation based on dialogue and rules, which has been damaged by the invasion of Ukraine, and for the Ukrainian people as they move forward toward recovery.”
“I hope that through coming to Hiroshima, the leaders of the world will be able to understand the reality of the atomic bombings, fully recognize the inhumanity of nuclear weapons, and understand once again that the only and certain way to escape the fear of their use is to abolish them”, he added.
Tomoyuki Minomaki, President of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations, also expressed happiness at the news. He added, however, that “This should not end with a ceremony. I want people to visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, see the photos of the loss of precious children’s lives and burnt clothing, and experience the reality of the atomic bombing. I would also like them to make it a common statement that nuclear weapons should not be used until the very end. I hope that the summit will not be a disappointment to us.”
Kunihiko Sakuma, President of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations, said, “I think the most important thing is for people to come to Hiroshima, talk with A-bomb survivors, hear about their experiences and visit the Peace Memorial Museum. If they do so, I believe we will be able to move in the direction of eliminating nuclear weapons. I hope that during the summit, the participants will discuss how to move forward with nuclear disarmament in concrete terms.”
The City of Hiroshima and Hiroshima Prefecture have submitted a plan to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to hold the summit at the Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima in Hiroshima City’s Minami Ward, near Hiroshima Port.