IOC President Thomas Bach to visit Hiroshima July 16, offer flowers at Cenotaph, and tour Peace Memorial Museum

by Gosuke Nagahisa, Staff Writer

On July 13, the Hiroshima Prefecture and Hiroshima City governments announced that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach would pay a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, in the city’s Naka Ward, on July 16, prior to the opening of the Tokyo Olympics. Mr. Bach’s visit to the A-bombed city will take place in conjunction with the start of the “Olympic Truce Resolution” period. He is expected to call for efforts aimed at achieving world peace.

Mr. Bach is to offer flowers at the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims and tour Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. He is also scheduled to meet with Hiroshima Prefecture Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki and Hiroshima City Mayor Kazumi Matsui, as well as deliver a speech. Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, will be accompanying Mr. Bach.

Accordingly, the city will ban the entry of citizens into some areas of the park from 12:30 p.m. until around 3:30 p.m. on that day. The museum and the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims will also close temporarily during the same hours.

Initially, Mr. Bach was to come to Japan in May and join the torch-relay ceremony at Peace Memorial Park, but he canceled the trip amid the state of emergency that was declared in certain areas of Japan including Tokyo to combat the coronavirus pandemic. On July 8, he arrived in Japan ahead of the start of the Olympics and has been staying in Tokyo as that city remains under its fourth state of emergency. Hiroshima Prefecture’s government has requested its citizens to refrain to the extent possible from traveling to and from areas in which a state of emergency has been declared.

IOC Coordination Commission Chair John Coates is to visit Nagasaki on July 16.

(Originally published on July 14, 2021)