Mayor says Hiroshima is capable of hosting G8 summit, criticizes Chinese newspaper for mushroom clouds on map of Japan

by Michiko Tanaka, Staff Writer

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui said at a press conference on July 11 that the city can meet the conditions for hosting the 2016 Group of Eight (G8) Summit if the conditions are the same as those involving the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit held in 2008. The city has been seeking to bring the 2016 summit to Hiroshima and will step forward as a candidate as soon as the Japanese government sets conditions for serving as host to the summit, according to the mayor.

This summer, the central government will notify municipal governments of specific conditions for applying to host the summit. After comparing Hiroshima’s conference halls, accommodations, and security with those of the Hokkaido Toyako Summit, Mr. Matsui is confident that the city is capable of hosting the summit. He said that the city is proactively making preparations and working closely with the Hiroshima prefectural government and other relevant parties.

Commenting on an incident in which a Chinese weekly newspaper published a map of Japan that included images of mushroom clouds, Mr. Matsui said that the map carried by the newspaper, which is based in Chongqing, surely offended atomic bomb survivors. The cities of Hiroshima and Chongqing have had friendly exchanges since a friendship city agreement was concluded in 1986. Mr. Matsui said he believes both the people and the government of Chongqing understand how survivors feel and that he hopes appropriate action will be taken.

(Originally published on July 12, 2014)