Schedule of NPDI meeting announced by city government, foreign ministers to meet A-bomb survivors

by Kohei Okata, Staff Writer

On January 21, the City of Hiroshima announced a tentative schedule for the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Non-proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI), which is scheduled to take place in Hiroshima in April. The gathering will open with a public symposium on April 11. On the following day, the foreign ministers will make a tour of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum to learn about the horrific devastation wrought by the atomic bomb before they attend the main conference. The NPDI is composed of 12 non-nuclear states.

At the April 11 symposium, government officials from the participating nations will discuss measures to promote nuclear abolition with a focus on the inhumanity of such weapons, according to the city. The symposium, to be held at the International Conference Center Hiroshima, will be sponsored by a council comprised of Hiroshima Prefecture, the City of Hiroshima, and the Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce and Industry, among other entities. After the symposium, the foreign ministers will exchange views with A-bomb survivors.

On the morning of April 12, the ministers will offer flowers to the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims, tour Peace Memorial Museum, and listen to the accounts of A-bomb survivors. They will then move to the Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima, located in Minami Ward, and discuss concrete measures for nuclear disarmament in the main meeting. On the afternoon of the same day, they will reveal the results of the meeting at a joint press conference.

The city and prefectural governments will split the expenses of 10 million yen for holding the symposium and the meeting between foreign ministers and A-bomb survivors. The city will also pay 1.6 million yen for flowers to be offered to the cenotaph and for the cost of renting a venue where survivors can give their accounts of the A-bombing. These expenses will be included in the initial budget for fiscal 2014. Hiroshima City’s Peace Promotion Division commented: “Through the foreign ministerial meeting, we hope to convey the message that Hiroshima hopes to see all nuclear weapons eliminated by 2020.”

(Originally published on January 22, 2014)