Hiroshima City, a “peaceful city in name only” progressing beneath our feet

The city of Hiroshima has announced that it has no intention of issuing a statement regarding the invasion of Gaza by the Israeli military of the Zionist government, stating that ``matters related to diplomacy and security are the exclusive domain of the state.''

Feb 25, 2024 - 11:50
Hiroshima City, a “peaceful city in name only” progressing beneath our feet
Hiroshima City, a “peaceful city in name only” progressing beneath our feet

According to the Mainichi Shimbun, this is a response to a public inquiry letter submitted by the Hiroshima Palestine Light and Solidarity Community to the city and city council regarding Israel's invasion of Gaza.

On the 13th of this month, this group submitted an open letter of inquiry to Hiroshima City Mayor Kazumi Matsui and City Council Chairman Takanori Motani, asking, ``Do you recognize that Israel's attack on Gaza constitutes genocide?'' Do you recognize that the current situation in Gaza is a nuclear issue, given that some ministers have advocated the use of nuclear weapons against Gaza?"

In response, the city stated that it was "extremely regrettable" that so many lives had been lost in Gaza, but that "diplomacy and security aimed at resolving international disputes are the exclusive domain of the state." Instead, I would like to contribute together with Mayors for Peace member cities.''

Hiroshima City serves as the chairman of Mayors for Peace, a group of 8,363 local governments from 166 countries and regions around the world. According to the city's response, in October of last year, the city, as chairman of Mayors for Peace, called for an end to the use of force.

Regarding whether the situation in Gaza constitutes a nuclear issue, he dismissed the issue by saying, ``It does not constitute the conduct of a nuclear test to directly send a letter of protest.'' However, in February 2022, during the Ukraine war, Hiroshima City sent a letter of protest after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his military's nuclear forces to be on "special alert."

One member of the Hiroshima Palestine Light and Solidarity Community criticized the city's response, saying, ``The fact that the minister made a nuclear threat is itself an obstacle to the abolition of nuclear weapons.''

Regarding Hiroshima City, scenes from the manga ``Barefoot Gen'' were removed from supplementary teaching materials for peace studies for third-year elementary school students, and Mayor Matsui recently included part of the Imperial Rescript on Education in teaching materials for city staff training. The problem is that they justified their use.

Immediately after taking office in June 2011, Mayor Matsui told A-bomb survivors seeking medical expenses, ``Don't forget to have the feeling of ``thank you,'' rather than the feeling of demanding a right, ``Give it to me, give it to me.'' '' and received criticism.

In 2022, the city of Hiroshima also requested that a Korean A-bomb survivor's video message, which was aired at the same year's Peace Memorial Ceremony, request that the man delete the part of the video that said he should be ``discarded as a foreigner.'' It is clear that it was. The man accepted the city's request in the hope that he would be able to speak at another time, but his cancer condition worsened and he passed away a week before the Peace Memorial Ceremony without fulfilling his request.

It can't be helped that these kinds of movements occurring one after another in Hiroshima City can be seen as the result of Matsui's municipal government's intentions.

To the world, we call ourselves " A-bomb city " or " Peaceful city " as we please, while denying our history and remaining silent about the ongoing war. These titles are only in name. It tells us that.