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Date : July 7, 2021

Hiroshima’s Efforts for World Peace and the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, 76 Years After the Atomic Bombing

post date : 2021.06.24

It has been nearly 76 years since the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The anniversary of the bombing, August 6, will take place during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics which have been delayed for a year. What message will be sent to the world by this year’s Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony, held during the “celebration of peace” that is the Olympics? In this online briefing from Hiroshima, Mayor Kazumi Matsui will speak in the first part, followed by atomic bomb survivors Ms. Keiko Ogura and Mr. Fumiaki Kajiya in the second part.



■Please note that you cannot physically attend this briefing, as it will be a Zoom webinar. 


Date: July 7 (Wed), 2021, 10:30-12:30 (Deadline for application: Noon, July 6)

■Theme: Hiroshima’s Efforts for World Peace and the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, 76 Years After the Atomic Bombing

Briefer:  Part 1: Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui 10:30–11:15

                 Part 2: Ms. Keiko Ogura, Mr. Fumiaki Kajiya (atomic bomb survivors) 11:30–12:30

As in our standard press briefings, there will be a Q&A session at the end.
*In principle, questions will only be accepted from members of the foreign press.

Part 1 (10:30–11:15): Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui “76 years since the atomic bombing:

Passing on Hiroshima’s hopes through the generations”

Since becoming mayor in April 2011, Mr. Kazumi Matsui has shown strong determination as the mayor of a city which suffered an atomic bombing in carrying out numerous initiatives. Working to have former US President Barack Obama become the first serving president to visit Hiroshima in May 2016 and calling for cooperation on activities for peace, the mayor also continued efforts over several years to convince the Vatican to have Pope Francis visit Hiroshima, which finally happened in November 2019. As president of the international NGO Mayors for Peace, he plans to participate in the first Meeting of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which is scheduled to be held in Vienna, Austria in January 2022. The mayor will speak about Hiroshima’s initiatives for peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons, the significance of the pope visiting Hiroshima, and what message he would like to send to the world with the opportunity presented by the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.


Part 2 (11:30–12:30): Working to pass on the memories of atomic bomb survivors—

Ms. Keiko Ogura (Director of Hiroshima Interpreters for Peace (HIP)),

Mr. Fumiaki Kajiya (Secretary General of Association of Teachers Continuing to Speak about Hiroshima, Tokyo 2020 Olympics torchbearer)

The average age of atomic bomb survivors in Japan is now over 83 years old. They are running out of time to be able to pass on for themselves their message of the physical and emotional pain they experienced, and that the horrors of nuclear weapons must not be repeated. As atomic bomb survivors grow older, how to pass on the lessons of history has become a critical issue. But at the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it necessary to limit activities. Various initiatives and online efforts have been put in place to continue training people who can pass on the stories of those who experienced the atomic bombing and their desires for peace, and to leave behind objects which can communicate the horrors of nuclear weapons. Two atomic bomb survivors who are actively involved in these efforts will speak about their experiences in the bombing and their thoughts on peace.


*Ms. Keiko Ogura (Director of Hiroshima Interpreters for Peace (HIP))

At the age of eight, Ms. Ogura was at home approximately 2.4 kilometers from ground zero when the atomic bombing occurred. While acting as the director of Hiroshima Interpreters for Peace (HIP), she also frequently speaks in English about her experiences as an atomic bomb survivor, telling the world about the reality of the bombing in her own words. In 2020, when the number of visitors drastically decreased due to the pandemic, she became actively involved in speaking about her experiences online, and on the anniversary of the bombing, August 6, HIP livestreamed Hiroshima on YouTube for foreign audiences.


*Mr. Fumiaki Kajiya (Secretary General of Association of Teachers Continuing to Speak about Hiroshima, Tokyo 2020 Olympics torchbearer)

Mr. Kajiya was six years old, 1.8 kilometers from ground zero in a detached classroom of Kojinmachi Elementary School, when the atomic bombing occurred. He was chosen as an Olympic torchbearer for a section in Hiroshima Prefecture, but due to the state of emergency declaration the portions of the relay on public streets were cancelled. Instead, the torchbearers passed the torch to each other in front of the Peace Memorial Museum and the Memorial Cenotaph for Atomic Bomb Victims. Mr. Kajiya commented that he wanted to tell children that nuclear weapons must never be used for a third time.

■Language: Simultaneous English translation of original Japanese  

*If you would like to listen to the English interpretation, be sure to install the Zoom app ahead of time (the Interpretation button is not displayed in the browser version).                               


■Members of the Foreign Press:

Please send any questions for the briefer or topics you are interested in to by 12:00 noon on June 30.  As there will only be a limited amount of time to ask questions during the briefing, we will collect questions and provide them to the briefer in advance.

Embassy representatives and FPCJ supporting members may also watch the briefing as observers (admission free).


■How to Apply: Please refer to either the email or fax we sent.

*We will not be accepting applications by email.

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