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Nuclear anxiety growing in countries to attend Hiroshima peace ceremony: Mainichi poll

Representatives of the people of Hiroshima are seen laying flowers at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima's Naka Ward on Aug. 6, 2021, during the ceremony marking the 76th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of the city. (Mainichi/Kenji Ikai)

HIROSHIMA -- A Mainichi Shimbun survey has revealed Russia's invasion of Ukraine has triggered rising worries among the countries and regions set to send representatives to the Aug. 6 Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony, commemorating the 77th anniversary of the atomic attack on the city.

    There were a record 114 countries plus the European Union scheduled to attend this year's ceremony as of July 6. The Mainichi sent questionnaires to their embassies and missions in Japan asking about their reasons for coming, and other information.

    The Hiroshima Municipal Government sent Peace Memorial Ceremony invitations to 156 countries with embassies in Japan or that are nuclear states, as well as the Delegation of the European Union. Among nuclear powers, the United States, United Kingdom, France and Pakistan stated their intention to attend, while India said it would decline. China has not replied, and the city did not send invitations to Russia or Belarus.

    The Mainichi Shimbun had received responses from 40 countries as of Aug. 4, after sending letters and emails to each country's mission. Below are the questions sent by the Mainichi Shimbun:

    1. What motivated your country to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony this year?

    2. In the midst of the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine, what significance does the Peace Memorial Ceremony hold for your country?

    3. Do you have any plans in Hiroshima besides attending the Peace Memorial Ceremony?

    The U.S. explained that "the ceremony is emblematic of the deep and close relationship between the United States and Japan." Canada expressed concern about the threat of the use of nuclear weapons by Russia, and the danger it poses to humanity. It stressed, "Canada is committed to working together with Japan and others to further global peace and security and to address such issues as nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament so that the horror inflicted on Hiroshima is never repeated."

    Colombia claimed it will attend to reiterate the country's "full commitment to peace both within our territory and abroad, including the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons."

    Germany called the Russian invasion of Ukraine an "unprovoked war of aggression" and an example of "flagrant disrespect for international law." It also said the Peace Memorial Ceremony is even more important this year because of Moscow's "reckless nuclear threats," and discouraged war mongering.

    A representative of Israel described it as their "duty and as a privilege to be able to attend" the Peace Memorial Ceremony. They explained, "I believe that when we are looking at the situation which has unveiled in Ukraine and the suffering caused by it, we understand that no country is immune to the horrors of war. The Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima is also an opportunity for us to send our thoughts and prayers to the Ukrainian people and wish for peace."

    Maldives, which has ratified the Treaty of the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, replied that though the war in Ukraine is far away geographically, it effects the lives of its residents.

    A representative of Tonga, which was hit by a volcanic eruption and tsunami in January 2022, answered, "Without peace and security, there can not be any sustainable development, which is crucial for small island developing States like mine." They added that "the fate of humanity hinges on the lessons and tragedy sourced from Hiroshima."

    (Japanese original by Kensuke Yaoi, Hiroshima Bureau)

    ***

    Below are the answers provided by the foreign missions in Japan:

    -- Embassy of the United States of America in Japan

    In 2010, U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos became the first U.S. ambassador to attend the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony. Every year since then, a representative from the U.S. Embassy has attended the August 6 ceremony in Hiroshima. The Embassy's attendance at the ceremony is emblematic of the deep and close relationship between the United States and Japan.

    -- Embassy of Canada in Japan

    1. Canada has traditionally participated in the Hiroshima Peace Ceremony, and plans to do so again this year represented by our Charge d'affaires. As in the past, Canada is participating in the ceremony to remember and honour those whose lives were lost in the bombing of Hiroshima and to ensure that the unacceptable cost of using atomic weapons is never forgotten.

    2. Canada is concerned about Russian threats to use nuclear weapons and the danger that this poses to humanity. Canada is committed to working together with Japan and others to further global peace and security and to address such issues as nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament so that the horror inflicted on Hiroshima is never repeated.

    3. Our Charge d'affaires' program in Hiroshima is still being finalized.

    -- Embassy of the Republic of Chile in Japan

    1. The 77th anniversary of the atomic bombing that occurred in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 not only allow us to remember this tragic event and to pay respect to all those who lost their lives that day, but also to be aware of its aftereffects that are perceptible even until now.

    Being present on this occasion reflects our vision as a nation, promoting peace and human rights that, in this sense, considers disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, fundamental.

    2. Chile has condemned the aggression against Ukraine, carried on despite the international community's repeated calls for dialogue in order to find a peaceful solution. The Peace Memorial Ceremony calls on us to never forget the dire consequences that war can inflict on people.

    3. Yes, I'm going to participate in the Dedication of Flowers at the Cenotaph for the A-bomb victims, and I will visit the Peace Memorial Museum. Also, I will share with local junior high school students from the Hiroshima Project, and listen to the testimonies of the hibakusha. I hope that I can visit the Radiation Effects Research Foundation as well.

    -- Embassy of the Republic of Colombia in Japan

    We received the invitation to attend the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and, as it has done in the past, we would attend to commemorate the victims and their families and reiterate Colombia's full commitment to peace both within our territory and abroad, including the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.

    It is important to reiterate that Colombian foreign policy principles include disarmament and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as the use of nuclear energy, biological agents, and chemical substances for peaceful purposes.

    The Political Constitution of Colombia bans the manufacturing, import or use of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological, and chemical), as well as the introduction of nuclear and toxic waste in the national territory (Article 81). By adopting the National Action Plan for the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1540, Colombia has put in place measures that enhance its capacity to meet obligations under the International Treaties on disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

    Colombia is a State-Party to the Treaty of Tlatelolco, whereby the countries from Latin America and the Caribbean constitute the first densely populated nuclear-weapon-free zone.

    As a contribution to global peace and security, historically Colombia has advocated for a full and general disarmament, stood for the creation of nuclear-weapon-free zones, and supported the initiatives on non-proliferation.

    -- Embassy of the Republic of Ecuador in Japan

    1. Because Ecuador has a very strong position at the international fora in favor of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, against their proliferation and the threats of using them.

    Our foreign policy has always been in favor of the peaceful settlement of disputes and the negotiations as the only means to resolve them.

    2. For Ecuador is very significant for the reasons explain above and because we will participate from 2023 until 2024 as non-permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations together with Japan, and one of our priorities will be the peaceful settlement of disputes, the protection of civilians in contexts of armed conflict, among others. We have been very vocal in the framework of the UN to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

    3. I will meet the Mayor of Hiroshima and the board of the Hiroshima Carp baseball team, with whom we have established an important agenda of common collaboration.

    --Embassy of Haiti in Japan

    1. The Embassy of Haiti in Japan is honored to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony this year in representation of the Haitian Government and the Haitian People to pay respect and homage to the memories of all who have lost their life on that tragic day and show solidarity with the Japanese people.

    2. Furthermore, it is also a way to convey the message that each country should work to resolve disputes through international treaties and diplomatic channels. We believe it is important to prioritize dialogue, thus ensuring peace and prosperity for all.

    3. Beside the Ceremony, no other activity is planned.

    -- Embassy of the Kingdom of Tonga in Japan

    1. Denuclearisation and the elimination of nuclear weapons are fundamental to the peace and security of the world we share. And without peace and security, there can not be any sustainable development, which is crucial for small island developing States like mine. The annual Peace Memorial Ceremonies in Hiroshima reminds us of lessons learned lest we forget and repeat them. And the lessons learned from history which was tragically experienced by Hiroshima and its people should warn humanity of the unnecessary suffering and needless loss of life and property, such weapons when used can cause. Attending the ceremonies gives our recognition to this and support.

    2. The military conflict in Ukraine, and other military conflicts anywhere in the world, especially where it involves nuclear powers, gives rise to the threat of the use of such nuclear weapons. The need to remind ourselves and remember the consequences of the use of such weapons is importantly grounded in the annual ceremonies in Hiroshima. It is a national, regional, and global event, and rightly so. The fate of humanity hinges on the lessons and tragedy sourced from Hiroshima.

    3. My main focus in visiting Hiroshima again is to attend, pray, and show my respect at the ceremony. I will continue on to Nagasaki, and do the same soon thereafter.

    -- Embassy of the Republic of Maldives in Japan

    1. The Peace Memorial Ceremony signifies the real value of peace. I am pleased to attend to witness and feel the destruction caused by the Atomic Bomb on people. Never again should we face this horror.

    2. The war in Ukraine although quite far from the Maldives, effects our lives as well. The Peace Memorial Ceremony conveys the meaningful truth that war is destruction and effects all, big and small.

    3. I look forward to visiting Hiroshima and get as much as possible from it. I hope it will inspire me about peace and avoid the ugly face of war in the world and spread love.

    -- Royal Thai Embassy in Japan

    1. Except for the last two years under the pandemic, the Royal Thai Embassy has attended the Peace Memorial Ceremony almost every year to pray for peace with our friends in Japan.

    2. Thailand always attaches importance to find a peaceful settlement and the Peace Memorial Ceremony is a meaningful occasion to remind us of the importance of peace.

    3. Thailand will attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony and its related official events to learn about the tragedy of the atomic bomb and the history as well as culture of Hiroshima.

    -- Embassy of the People's Republic of Bangladesh in Japan

    1. Bangladesh is a peace-loving country propagating the 'Culture of Peace' and also committed to a nuclear weapon free world as a signatory of the TPNW and a non-nuclear weapon State party to NPT. We propagate a Foreign Policy motto of "Friendship to all and malice towards none." Every year, we join the friendly people of Japan and take part at the Peace Memorial Ceremony at Hiroshima. This year too we shall be attending the event to reiterate our strong resolve and commitment to world peace.

    2. Bangladesh born out of blood and destruction through a nine-month long liberation war in 1971, advocates for diplomacy and dialogue instead of conflict and war since its independence. We join the international community at Hiroshima and call to save humanity from the scourge of war and conflict including the threat of nuclear weapons and to join hands for world peace, prosperity and well-being.

    3. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the events hosted around the Peace Memorial Ceremony have been curtailed significantly. We shall be attending a traditional tea ceremony besides attending the main event.

    -- Embassy of Cambodia in Japan

    1. First of all, we would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the souls of the great number of atomic bomb victims and also extend our sincere sympathy to those still suffering even now from the after-effects of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    The reason we attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony this year is that we don't want to see another atomic bombing again in any country in the world, due to the fact that we can only imagine how many people were killed and injured when the atomic bomb was dropped, and how did they suffer? Such atomic bombing dropped on any country must not happen again.

    Although Cambodia has not had a nuclear death, its bitter experiences and lessons during the transitional period of more than two decades of war and the genocide regime of Pol Pot made all of us clearly understand the value of peace and stability, which is the foundation of national development.

    So, the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima is really a reminder that peace brings progress, development, respect for human rights, improving democracy, etc.

    We believe that the ceremony in remembrance of those difficult moments is to give a strong message to the next generation to avoid the same tragic massacre and to value peace.

    2. Peace Memorial Ceremony, of course, provides the value of peace, which has been enjoyed by all people in the world. However, we regret the ongoing military conflict that has already happened in Ukraine that has failed to maintain peace and stability in the region and impacted the world. It is too late if we have just started thinking about the value of peace, while peace has already gone away.

    Cambodia co-sponsored Resolution A/ES-11/L.1 at the UNGA "Aggression against Ukraine" dated 2 March 2022, deploring Russia's attack on Ukraine as well as calling for its withdrawal. The decision was made in light of the following statement:

    Cambodia expresses deep concerns over the worsening situation, suffering, and loss of human lives in Ukraine.

    Cambodia reiterates its strong belief in respecting the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of all UN members.

    We do not support the threat nor the use of force against each other and the separation of states within a country to another side.

    Cambodia reiterates the importance of peaceful negotiation for this matter and urges for peaceful settlement as war is not the solution to the crisis.

    3. Besides attending the Peace Memorial Ceremony, we will take a good opportunity to visit historic places and have sightseeing around the beautiful City of Hiroshima.

    We, then, have a schedule to meet Cambodian Intern Trainees, Specified Skilled Workers, and students at Shimane and Hiroshima prefectures.

    The main purpose of the gathering is to provide them with counsel and inform them of the legal and labor assistance services, above all, to encourage them to behave well and abide by the laws and regulations in Japan.

    I will also meet some representatives of Japanese companies and supervising associations to seek their collaboration in broadening the supportive mechanism among the Cambodian Intern Trainees and the Specified Skilled Workers.

    -- Embassy of Israel in Japan

    1. I see it as my duty and as a privilege to be able to attend the Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima.

    This annual event holds importance to the Japanese people, to the survivors, and the families. This ceremony enables us to share their pain and grief.

    2. I believe that when we are looking at the situation which has unveiled in Ukraine and the suffering caused by it, we understand that no country is immune to the horrors of war.

    The Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima is also an opportunity for us to send our thoughts and prayers to the Ukrainian people and wish for peace.

    3. I will be following the agenda of the organizers and respect the memory of the victims.

    -- Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Japan

    1. It's a moral commitment and political stance of my country, Iraq, to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony annually. Iraq maintains to stand beside Japanese people. By attending this ceremony, Iraq sends a symbolic and clear message that we are against all forms of violence and wars, especially the use of weapons of mass destruction, and call upon the international community to extend all efforts to ban using nuclear weapons whatever the conditions are.

    2. The lessons learned from the bombing of Hiroshima with nuclear weapons, which claimed thousands of victims of innocent civilians are to confirm the dire and urgent need to disarmament of nuclear arsenals and to protect and safeguard the civilians during armed conflicts. We urge the international community to maintain international peace and security.

    3. I would love to explore how this city recovered from war and raised up stronger until it became a beacon of peace for the world. I am intending to visit Miyajima, the Peace Memorial Museum and Peace Memorial Park and will experience the tea ceremony conducted by the Grand Master of the Ueda School of Tea Ceremony.

    -- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Japan

    The Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo seeks to attend the memorial ceremonies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki every year. This year, the ceremonies will be attended by our chargee d'affaires a.i. at that time, Ms. Line Aune.

    By attending the ceremonies, we honour the victims and the memory of the nuclear bombings that took place in 1945. This event in dramatic fashion also draws attention to the huge suffering of civilian victims of any war. Norway and Japan are staunch supporters of nuclear disarmament. Russia's ongoing aggression against Ukraine is a stark reminder of the importance of this work.

    -- Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Japan

    1. Germany has always been officially represented at the Peace Memorial Ceremony, either from the side of the German Embassy Tokyo, or the German Consulate General Osaka-Kobe. We hold the view that this horrible day, when for the first time in history a whole city and scores of innocent lives were wiped out by a nuclear bomb, must never be forgotten. It is a common responsibility for all of mankind to remember the terrible suffering of so many people, and to make sure this never happens again. Today, the name Hiroshima globally stands for the need for disarmament and fostering peace, and to that end, we work together with Japan and with all our friends and allies.

    2. The unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine has marked a turning point in history. This flagrant disrespect for international law is not only threatening stability and a rules based international order in Europe, but all over the world. This makes the Peace Memorial Ceremony 2022 even more important - especially with a view to the reckless nuclear threats which have been uttered by some irresponsible elements, when their invasion stalled. More than ever, we must join forces with all people of good will to make sure war mongering does not prevail, neither in Europe, nor elsewhere.

    3. In addition to taking part in the Peace Memorial Ceremony, I would like to pray at the Hiroshima Memorial Cathedral for World Peace. This wonderful and inspiring place of worship is very close to my heart, and it has many spiritual links to Germany. Also, I hope to meet some scientists with whom I'd like to prepare a separate visit to Hiroshima, focused on German-Japanese cooperation in the field of science and technology, esp. concerning energy and climate policy issues. Hiroshima is a prime location for that matter.

    -- Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in Japan

    1. The Peace Memorial Ceremony is an important reminder of the pain, suffering and destruction caused by the atomic bombings. The lessons from Hiroshima and Nagasaki are a warning to humanity never to follow the path of a world conflict. It is as important as ever not to allow such a tragedy to happen again.

    2. We are constantly reminded that peace is fragile. This year Russia's aggression in Ukraine has brought not only horrors of a war, but also veiled nuclear threats. We feel deep sympathy with the Ukrainian people and condemn Russian aggression and threats to use nuclear weapons. It is totally unacceptable. During the Peace Memorial Ceremony, we solemnly commemorate victims of war and express our hopes for world peace.

    3. Since it is my first trip to Hiroshima, I will dedicate as much time as possible to get to know the city, its history and contemporary character.

    -- Embassy of Finland in Japan

    1. The Embassy of Finland aims to attend the ceremony as often as we can.

    2. Finland, as a Member State of the European Union and a member of the international community, strives to contribute to world peace. We take responsibility for promoting international peace and want to make a genuine contribution to maintaining and increasing it. During the War in Ukraine all endeavours towards peace are more important than ever.

    3. Our primary aim for the visit is to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony.

    -- Embassy of Georgia in Japan

    1) Because it is an extremely important day not only for Japan but also for the world. Because we want to be close to the people of Hiroshima for their painful memories that cannot be expressed in words. Also, because Georgia has also experienced a very difficult history and we need to show solidarity to the international community that we must not repeat wars and mistakes.

    2) I would like to offer my deep condolences to those who have died in Ukraine. Furthermore, I will offer my sympathy to those who are still suffering and offer my prayers that a ceasefire will be achieved as soon as possible, leading to reconstruction just as Hiroshima has stood up.

    3) While concentrating on the most important Peace Memorial Ceremony, I would like to pay my respects to the city of Hiroshima by confirming the liveliness of the city that has recovered.

    -- Embassy of Romania in Japan

    1. The Embassy of Romania has attended in previous years, at head of mission level, the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima. In 2020, when the ceremony was restricted due to the pandemic, the President of Romania, H.E. Mr. Klaus Werner Iohannis, sent a written message to the City of Hiroshima, in a sign of solidarity and respect.

    Romania and Japan share core values and principles, like democracy, freedom, rule of law, as well as the aspiration to one day live in a world free of nuclear weapons. Together with our EU partners and our NATO allies, Romania is firmly committed to strengthening the nonproliferation regime and is proactively involved in this direction.

    Romania understands the duty we have to the future generations and the importance of keeping the memory of the destruction and devastation that nuclear weapons can inflict on human lives and deeply respects the mission assumed by Hiroshima to send this message to the world. We are honored to be invited and to participate in the Peace Memorial Ceremony at Hiroshima.

    2. The Russian aggression against Ukraine has changed the world in many ways in a short time. Romania, as a neighboring country, is involved in supporting Ukraine at all levels -- bilateral, European Union, international, multilateral. Since the beginning of the conflict, over 1.6 million refugees from Ukraine have been received by Romania. Japan has been a reliable partner and our countries have been cooperating at political level, as well as on the ground, providing humanitarian assistance to the refugees and to Ukraine.

    Regrettably, the war near our borders has brought back to the foreground the imminent danger of nuclear destruction. This is all the more reason to join the voice of Hiroshima in sending a strong message to the world, asking for peace and for finding again our humanity.

    3. I am looking forward to listening to the testimony of the Hibakusha, on the day before the ceremony. I have also signed up for the tour of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation the next day. I also intend to visit Miyajima and, if time allows me, Hiroshima Castle. When I visited Hiroshima in March, I also took a field trip to Okunoshima, which I enjoyed very much. I have great admiration of how the city of Hiroshima has been rebuilt and great respect for the legacy carried forward by the people of Hiroshima.

    -- Embassy of the Republic of Malta to Japan

    1. This is the first time for the Head of Mission of the Republic of Malta to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony since the opening of the Embassy in Tokyo in September 2020. The reason to attend is to be with the Japanese people and the foreign community in Japan not to forget the horrors of war and to avoid such atrocities from ever happening again, especially by weapons of mass destruction.

    2. Apart from the conflict that is going on in Ukraine, let us also not forget other regions and countries that are experiencing the horrors of war. Each human life is equal. Being European, the war in Ukraine is closer to home and it certainly brings memories of World War II which saw a catastrophic loss of life. By attending, I would like to convey that Malta is committed to world peace and the disarmament of nuclear weapons.

    3. Unfortunately, time will be tight as I have to attend the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony soon after. However, during a short trip in December 2019, I have fond memories of Hiroshima where I was welcomed with great dignity and respect by the Governor of Hiroshima Prefecture, the Mayor of Hiroshima and also our Honorary Consul. After such a visit, it will be a great honour for me to represent my country at the Peace Memorial Ceremony.

    -- Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Japan

    1. Croatia is every year represented at the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima. It will be my seventh attendance at the ceremony. It was also the case with my predecessors. We attend the ceremony to show our respect and sympathy to the victims of the atomic bomb and their families and to join all those who are praying and advocating for peace in the world.

    2. Croatia is a country that itself was exposed to brutal aggression and suffered from war less than 30 years ago so we have the special understanding and sympathy for our Ukrainian friends. The Peace Memorial Ceremony reminds us of the direst horrors and consequences of war. There is no better place and time to call for and pray for peace in Ukraine and in the world. It is more important than any time after World War II that we unite in doing everything possible and impossible to stop the suffering and destruction in Ukraine and other war affected areas in the world.

    3. I will join all the events planned by our hosts. All of them have a special meaning for me. I can share with you that the emotionally most demanding one is Hibakusha Testimony. As someone who has direct experience and involvement in two wars, in my country and in Afghanistan, Hibakusha testimony is something that tears my heart.

    -- Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Japan

    1. The Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima has a particular importance for Slovenia. With our activities and in our policies, we are striving for lasting peace in the world and a world without nuclear weapons. The Peace Memorial is not only a very significant reminder of the devastating destructive impact that nuclear weapons and their usage can have but also an important symbol of hope for everlasting world peace, that all nations and people strive for and deserve.

    2. Slovenia condemns Russian aggression on Ukraine, which we believe is a threat to our international rules-based order. No country has the right to attack a sovereign country nor to unilaterally change internationally established borders. A threat of using nuclear weapons for promoting policy goals is unacceptable. In our opinion, the Peace Memorial Ceremony has the opportunity to send a clear message to the world and all nations that nuclear weapons should never be used again and that all countries should resort to using peaceful means for resolution of outstanding conflicts.

    3. Besides the Peace Memorial Ceremony we will also dedicate flowers at the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims, participate at the event, and Messages from Hiroshima Project and Hibakusha Testimony. We will participate at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation Tour.

    -- Apostolic Nunciature in Japan

    The thoughts of the Vatican Ambassador on the occasion of the Peace Memorial Ceremony 2022. The dates of 6 and 9 August 1945 are written in the history of humanity and represent one of the saddest pages with the monstrous images of the mushroom-shaped clouds that destroyed the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in an instant, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths. and condemning the survivors to unspeakable suffering. We bow in silence to pray, to listen to the voice of the many victims, a voice that no one can ever suffocate. We must remember and not lose the memory because seventy-seven years later, the world seems to have forgotten the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, of the hibakusha, and of the entire Japanese people. On 6 and 9 August the whole world looks at these cities rebuilt from the ashes and from every corner of the planet, a single voice must be raised: "no to war and violence and yes to dialogue and peace". After a long time, those tragic monstrous events still arouse horror and revulsion. They are the symbol of the immeasurable destructive power of man when he makes a distorted use of the advances of science and technology, and constitutes a perennial warning to humanity, to repudiate war and ban nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction. This anniversary today calls all men of goodwill to commit to peace, to spread an ethic of fraternity and a climate of peaceful coexistence among peoples in the belief that it is possible to "rebuild the world from the ashes", finally free from the danger of nuclear weapons.

    -- Delegation of the European Union

    1. As in previous years, the European Union's representative in Japan (this year it will be Mr Haitze Siemers, Charge d'affaires a.i.) will take part in the ceremony commemorating the horrific event that took place 77 years ago in Hiroshima. We must never forget the victims of Hiroshima. With our participation, we are also renewing our pledge that such a tragedy must never happen again.

    2. We have learned from the lessons of the past and must therefore strive to resolve conflicts peacefully. The suffering and devastation experienced by the people of this city remind us of the importance and the urgency of our efforts to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction. We have commonly agreed international rules and global institutions for nuclear disarmament and arms control. We must protect them and strengthen them to secure peace and security. Russia's unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against its neighbour is putting global security under threat.

    3. In addition to attending the ceremony, the representative of the EU Delegation to Japan will meet with the Governor and Mayor of Hiroshima, respectively.

    -- Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Japan

    1. Representatives of Slovakia traditionally visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony in August to express condolences and sympathies to the innocent victims and to the survivors of the atomic bombing. Peace Memorial Day this year will remind us that humankind should never again experience the horrors of atomic power. The Peace Memorial Day sends to the world a strong message calling for lasting peace. It also reminds us that our world is still not free from nuclear weapons, nuclear energy should only be used for peaceful purposes.

    2. As a neighboring country to Ukraine, Slovakia expresses its solidarity and support to Ukraine's independence and territorial integrity. The coordinated response of the European Union, G7 including Japan in condemning the Russian war is the right answer to the unprovoked and brutal aggression.

    Slovakia is firmly committed to preserving and strengthening peace, stability and prosperity in the world. As a reliable and responsible partner on the global stage we support peaceful solutions to disputes, effective multilateralism, respect for international law, disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

    Since the Second World War we began to build our world back together, based on peace and cooperation. It is our duty to protect and strengthen these values for future generations. Today, we really need to show our compassion and solidarity to Ukraine.

    3. I have visited Hiroshima together with my wife before. This time besides attending the Peace Memorial Ceremony we plan to visit Peace Memorial Park, Cenotaph for the A-bombs Victims, Peace Memorial Museum and to meet Hibakusha survivors.

    At the same time we are looking forward to see Hiroshima, that has recovered as a vibrant city with beautiful greenery and Oleanders. (We should not miss famous Hiroshima Oysters.)

    -- Embassy of Italy in Japan

    1. It is a high duty and honor to represent Italy at this landmark event to commemorate the victims of the atomic bomb and to reaffirm our collective moral duty to work towards the realization of a world free of war and of weapons of mass destruction.

    2. In a highly unstable international scenario, scarred by a brutal war aggression has been conducted in the heart of Europe, the Ceremony this year acquires an even more important political and symbolical significance. It testifies with plastic evidence the dramatic and horrifying consequences of war, spurring the governments to spare no efforts in fostering peace among Nations.

    3. It will be my first time in Hiroshima and I will use this occasion to try and explore this beautiful city and its surroundings.

    -- Embassy of Ukraine in Japan

    1. Ukraine and Japan are the only two countries in the world that have suffered the most from nuclear disasters. We best understand each other while knowing how high price of the nuclear consequences for the ordinary people can be. That is why Ukraine was the only country of the world that voluntarily refused in 1994 from the nuclear weapon. Therefore, the Embassy of Ukraine in Japan pays special attention to the issue of international cooperation in the spheres of nuclear disarmament and safety. That is one of the most important elements of Ukrainian-Japanese cooperation. We share Japan's vision and support initiatives of the world without nuclear weapon.

    This year Ukraine will be represented at the events both in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Ambassador of Ukraine to Japan Dr. Sergiy Korsunsky for the first time will visit Nagasaki to participate in the commemoration ceremony. While following his instructions, I will take part in the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima.

    2. Nowadays when the whole civilized world realizes the horrors the nuclear war can bring and when millions of peace-minded people say "Never again!", a number of authoritarian regimes of the world continue to use nuclear threat as a mean of foreign policy. The most dangerous of them is Putin's Russia.

    On February 24 the Russian Federation committed an act of open and unprovoked aggression against the independent and sovereign country Ukraine. The Russians did not take us seriously and expected to conquer in 3 days. They have terribly miscalculated. Today our country, our army and the whole Ukrainian nation for over 5 months are fighting against the Russian aggression. Being unable to conquer Ukraine in a fair fight Russians employ tactics of terror against the civilian population, as well as threats of usage of nuclear weapon.

    Therefore, for us our presence at the Peace Memorial Ceremony has a great symbolic and emotional meaning.

    Together we need to remind to the world about the utmost importance of peacekeeping and nuclear security in the modern world, to urge the countries of the world to act together in order to prevent a repeat of the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    3. Officially I will be participating also in Dedication of flowers at the Cenotaph for the a-bomb victims and take Peace Memorial Museum tour.

    Privately I will visit Hiroshima Castle and Hiroshima Museum of Art. I will come to Hiroshima once again with my family to see also Itsukushima after the reconstruction of the gates is over.

    -- Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Japan

    1. It is customary for a representative from the Netherlands Embassy in Tokyo to attend the annual Peace Memorial Ceremony. This year, it is my honor to attend.

    2. The Peace Memorial Ceremony is a significant 'Lest We Forget' event every time it is held.

    This year, it has an added significance in my view because of the unprovoked and unjustified Russian war against sovereign and independent Ukraine.

    Threatening references by Russian President Putin to the possible use of nuclear weapons in the war are extremely dangerous and irresponsible. Also, this year's Peace Memorial Ceremony is held while the tenth Review Conference of the nuclear-weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty is underway in New York. The NPT aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and work towards the goal of nuclear disarmament. At the Peace Ceremony, my thoughts will be with the victims and survivors of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with the courageous people of Ukraine, and also with the participants of the NPT Review Conference in New York who are committed to make progress.

    3. It will be a short visit, with the Peace Memorial Ceremony as the main event.

    -- Embassy of France in Japan

    1. As the French Ambassador accredited to Japan, it is foremost important to attend in person the commemoration of what is an important and grievous landmark in the contemporary history of my host country and to pay tribute to the victims of the Hiroshima bombing.

    On the substance, it is also an opportunity to reiterate the determination of my country to prevent a nuclear war, to avoid the arms race and the spread of nuclear weapons, but also to promote the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. This is precisely the message France intends to convey at the tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which is the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime today.

    2. In the context of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, this participation is obviously an opportunity to reiterate, as the ministerial declaration of France, the United States and the United Kingdom published on 1 August just did, the condemnation of "all those who would use or threaten to use nuclear weapons for purposes of military coercion, intimidation or blackmail" and, specifically, to call for the observance of the principles and commitments made by Russia in the "Preventing nuclear war and avoiding Arms races Leader's statement" of January 3, 2022.

    3. This trip is entirely focused on commemorating and honoring the victims. It is in this spirit that, in addition to attending the ceremony itself, I will visit the cenotaph and the memorial museum.

    Her Britannic Majesty's Embassy in Japan

    1) The UK shares with the international community grave concerns about the possible consequences should nuclear weapons ever be used again. The Peace Memorial Ceremony reminds us of the horrors that can arise from the use of nuclear weapons and the importance of working to reduce the risk of such an event ever occurring again.

    2) At a time when the global security environment is deteriorating, it is crucial for the international community to work together and build momentum towards the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons. The UK values the Peace Memorial Ceremony for the commitment and willingness of the Hibakusha and their families, and the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to pass on the hibaku experience to the next generation, to serve as a reminder of the horrors that can arise from the use of nuclear weapons.

    3) Helen Smith, the British Charge d'Affaires, will visit Hiroshima Prefecture to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony.

    -- Embassy of the Republic of Angola in Japan

    1. The feeling that moves our country, Angola, to be present at the Peace Memorial Ceremony this year, same as in previous years, is that Angola is a country that desires peace, harmony and brotherhood among peoples and countries and also to say, that never again in the history of any other countries should happen what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    2. This ceremony makes us understand how precious human life is and that we must respect much more ourselves to be human beings. Wars only bring disgrace, destruction, family separation and death, therefore, governments should respect and comply with international laws and the United Nations Charter.

    3. Specifically, my trip to Hiroshima is essentially to participate in the Peace Memorial Ceremony and other activities that are scheduled in honor of the memory of all those who perished and suffered from the hardships caused by atomic bombs.

    -- Embassy of the Republic of Tunisia in Japan

    1. Tunisia has always been willing to participate every year in the Peace Memorial Ceremony to commemorate with Japan and the international community this tragedy that undoubtedly represented a dark moment in the history of humanity.

    As peace-loving nations, the memory of Hiroshima reminds us of the danger of the uses of nuclear weapons and the threat they pose to international peace and security.

    However, and despite this tragic experience, the people of Hiroshima provided a great lesson to all of humanity in the ability of societies to rise again, and Hiroshima succeeded in healing its wounds and building itself again thanks to the determination, resilience and adherence of the people of Hiroshima to life and peace.

    We are proud of the enormous sacrifices made by the people of Hiroshima, and we are here today to affirm our solidarity against all non-peaceful uses of nuclear weapons and to confirm Tunisia's position calling for the need to build a world free of weapons of mass destruction.

    2. Undoubtedly, the challenges that the world knows today on more than one level and the growth of conflicts, prompt all of us to intensify efforts to remove the causes of tensions and resolve differences by peaceful means and dialogue, away from the language of weapons and the sound of bombs.

    From this point, Tunisia has endeavored, since its independence, to promote the principles of mutual respect, understanding, compromise, cooperation and solidarity, both bilaterally and multilaterally.

    These principles are reflected in the contributions of Tunisia to various regional and UN organizations. We have never ceased to serve the causes of peace, justice and freedom, to defend the spirit of tolerance and dialogue. We have always considered these values to be essential for building a better future for all humankind.

    Indeed, Tunisia has been, throughout its history, an actor of nuclear non-proliferation, on July 1, 1968, Tunisia signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and less than two years later, it ratified this treaty. Tunisia also participated in the negotiation of the (TPNW) at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and was among 122 states that voted in favor of its adoption.

    Today, the world is required to join forces to address pressing global risks such as the COVID-19 pandemic. I think peace and security cannot be ensured with nuclear weapons and Tunisia always calls the international community to make further efforts to advance the abolition of nuclear weapons.

    Tunisia's foreign policy is based on a set of principles and as a peace-loving country attached to international legality, we contributed to all efforts and actions for peace, security and stability. We are here in Hiroshima to convey this message on the basis of the common values that unite Tunisia and Japan.

    3. My visit to Hiroshima will be an opportunity to meet with the high officials of this wonderful city that has distinguished relations of friendship and cooperation with Tunisia, including H.E. Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, who will visit Tunisia at the end of this month, chairing the Japanese delegation to the TICAD8 Summit, to be hosted by my country on 27-28 August 2022. It will also be an opportunity to meet with my colleagues ambassadors of brotherly and friendly countries accredited to Japan. Besides that, I will visit Miyajima Island, which is one of the most scenic spots of Japan, and try to enjoy world heritage and local culture.

    -- Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania in Japan

    1. I represent a country (Tanzania) that has a history of embracing peaceful co-existence and one which does not condone violence under whatever circumstances. At a personal level too, I have been looking forward to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki to see for myself how devastating human being actions can be. The visit, although commemorative as it is, it is taking place at a critical moment with what is happening in Ukraine. Unfortunately, in an increasingly globalized world, a crisis in one country can have global repercussions as clearly demonstrated in Ukraine. I believe it is important for us to add voice to a peaceful resolution of conflicts so as to avoid the recurrence of the incidents in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    2. I have partly answered this question in my answer to question one. Tanzania holds the view that it is important to learn from history and that we should not be condemned by it. Certainly, the Santayana's philosophy that those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it does hold water to date. The Peace Memorial Ceremony is timeously and quite appropriate in keeping similar situations in-check in this globe.

    3. As this is my first visit to this historic place, I intend to limit myself to the set programme of the day. In my next visit, I will consider saving more time for other discoveries.

    -- Embassy of the Republic of Malawi in Japan

    1. It is a time to respect those many people who lost their lives and hope for a peaceful war-free future for the world.

    2. No comment at this time

    3. Plans to visit Memorial Cenotaph, Peace Flame, Peace Bells, and Gates of Peace.

    -- Embassy of the Republic of Senegal in Japan

    1. The Peace Memorial Ceremony in the beautiful City, Hiroshima, gathers distinguished officials from all over the world as well as Japanese authorities and thousands of people, and represents indeed great moments of intense recollection and prayers for the victims of the atomic bomb which hit Hiroshima in 1945.

    As the entire world is still facing the nuclear threat, my country, Senegal, fully shares the peace-seeking "Spirit of Hiroshima" and will do its utmost in implementing it as a contribution to the noble fight against nuclear weapons proliferation.

    2. My country, Senegal, is committed to promoting peace and security around the world and the war in Ukraine reminds us of our special responsibility in the peaceful settlement of disputes between countries.

    3. I am scheduled to attend additional events that are organised by the Hiroshima City Hall besides the ceremony, such as a visit to the Peace Memorial Museum, the Radiation Effects Research Foundation and a visit to Miyajima, etc.

    -- Embassy of the Republic of Djibouti in Japan

    1. Like many countries, the Republic of Djibouti has always participated, alongside its friends, in activities and ceremonies paying tribute to those who have suffered atrocities linked to natural disasters or wars like Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    This year, as the new Ambassador of my country to Japan, (the Great Friendly Country of Djibouti), it is an immense honor for me to participate, for the first time, in the coming Ceremony 2022 as Head of our Diplomatic Mission to Japan.

    2. The Peace Memorial Ceremony aims to remind us the importance of preventing conflicts and reinforcing peace on our planet Earth.

    As a matter of fact, Djibouti unequivocally condemned the invasion of Ukraine what, in our view, constitutes a grave breach of the UN Charter.

    In our plea, at the United Nations last March, we proposed an immediate ceasefire and to open political negotiations without delay, under the auspices of the United Nations, in order to preserve the world from the consequences of another unnecessary and terrible planetary conflict.

    3. No particular plans are scheduled so far. However, I might visit the beautiful Miyajima.

    -- Embassy of the Republic of Uganda in Japan

    1. The Embassy of Uganda received a formal invitation from the Mayor of the City of Hiroshima, Mr. Matsui Kazumi, to attend the 2022 Peace Memorial Ceremony. The Embassy's participation at the PMC is historical and as Ugandans, we take this opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life to pray for the souls of the victims of the atomic bombing and give courage to those that are still living but were affected by the bombing in one way or another.

    We believe that our participation in the PMC is a demonstration to the world of our steadfast resolve to uphold the ideal that humans cannot co-exist with nuclear weapons. Indeed, the development, possession and use or threat of use of the same is an antithesis to the preservation of mankind. The sooner the world is freed from the omnipresent threat of nuclear annihilation, the better for us all without any discrimination whatsoever!

    2. As a State Party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NET), Uganda is cognizant of its obligations, both in actions and inactions. Uganda has promoted universal adherence to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), including by consistently voting in favour of an annual UN General Assembly Resolution since 2018 that calls upon all States to sign, ratify, or accede to the Treaty at the earliest possible date. In October 2021, a motion urging the government to sign and ratify the TPNW was submitted to Parliament. It has been referred to Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee for review.

    That said, the Government of Uganda is aware of statements that have been made during the on-going Ukraine-Russia war that imply the use of nuclear weapons. As a country, we condemn and denounce all acts of aggression that threaten the existence or sovereignty of independent Member States of the United Nations. Uganda supports the development of nuclear science for peaceful uses such as energy, medicine, agriculture; etc. To this end, Uganda supports all efforts aimed at resolution of the conflict as the effects of the war have been far-reaching and detrimental to development efforts that the country and the world, developing and developed alike, are currently pursuing.

    3. The Embassy has confirmed to attend side-events such as the Tea Ceremony conducted by the Grand Master of the Ueda School of Tea Ceremony at the Ueda-ryu Wafudo (Furue-higashi-machi, Nishi-ku); the Okonomiyaki Cooking Class at the Otafuku Sauce Company Ltd (Shoko Centre, Nishi-ku); the tour of Radiation Effects Research Foundation at Hijiyama-koen, Minami-ku; and a visit to the Miyajima Island to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Itsukushima Shrine.

    This will be an opportunity for the newly installed Ambassador of Uganda to Japan, H.E. Kaahwa Tophace, to appreciate and learn more about Japanese culture and its rich history.

    -- Embassy of Burkina Faso in Japan

    1. Burkina Faso will attend to the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima in order to pay a tribute to the thousand people who passed away and the affected survivals in Hiroshima after the use of Nuclear bombs in 1945.

    Burkina Faso and Japan celebrates their 60 years of diplomatic relations establishment. Burkina Faso is affected by what happened to Japan and would like to show compassion and solidarity to Japan and also campaign for a complete ban of the use of nuclear weapons.

    2. The Peace Memorial Ceremony is very symbolic in the sense that it calls for promoting peace all over the world.

    Burkina Faso is aware of the importance of peace and fights for it because through peace we can guarantee a better world for the coming generations.

    3. In attending the Peace Memorial Ceremony, I would like to get inspiration from Japan in order to strengthen peace in Burkina Faso and in the entire Sahel Region affected by conflicts undermining the efforts of development.

    -- Embassy of the Republic of Zambia in Japan

    1. Zambia will attend the Ceremony because of its importance to Japan and the rest of the world. By being part of the event, Zambia wishes to show solidarity with the Japanese people over the atomic bombing of the city in 1945 and to express comfort to the survivors. This also will be to show support of the promotion of peace across the world.

    2. The Ceremony signifies the importance of embracing a diplomatic and peaceful resolution to any misunderstanding as choosing a different path causes devastation and affects many.

    3. Yes, the charge d'affaires will take the opportunity of being in Hiroshima to visit some of the tourist sites, especially those associated with the bombing, if these will be open to the public given the Covid-19 pandemic. He will also take time to meet some Zambian nationals living in the city.

    -- Embassy of the Republic of Guinea in Japan

    The Embassy of the Republic of Guinea in Tokyo presents its compliments to the Mainichi Shimbun Hiroshima Bureau, and has the honor to respond to the questionnaire that was submitted by the newspaper within the framework of the commemorative peace ceremony in Hiroshima on 6 August 2022.

    Indeed, with regard to the first question, the reason that motivates the Republic of Guinea to take part in the commemorative peace ceremony this year is the fact that Guinea shares with Japan the great importance of this commemorative day which evokes the sad memory of the atomic bomb's consequences of August 6, 1945.

    Also, in view of the instability of the current world, the Republic of Guinea wants to demonstrate through its participation in this ceremony the particular interest it attaches to peace in the world and to promote the resolution of conflicts through the use of diplomacy and negotiation.

    Secondly, in the midst of the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine, the peace memorial ceremony represents an ideal opportunity for the Republic of Guinea insofar as all the participating countries have the opportunity to propose dialogue and the peaceful settlement of disputes as alternatives which are safe options that can quickly lead to an end to the war and a return to peace.

    Thirdly, besides attending the Peace Memorial Ceremony, the Embassy would be interested in visiting sites that evoke the memory of the Hiroshima atomic bomb such as the Peace Memorial Museum, the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome, the Children's Peace Monument and several sculptures.

    The Embassy of the Republic of Guinea in Tokyo avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Mainichi Shimbun Hiroshima Bureau, the assurances of its highest consideration.

    -- Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in Japan

    In my capacity of Ambassador of Mauritania, I am representing my country to showcase my country's commitment to peace and stability around the world. In Mauritania, we stand firm against the threat of peace. We support dialogue, value cooperation and promote peace and mutual understanding. We think that no place is safe if no one is in Peace.

    The conflict in Ukraine reminds me that people should always have in mind that war is never the solution no matter what the reasons. War is destructive and its consequences might be felt everywhere. Its price tag is beyond imagination.

    I am here in Hiroshima, just as I was in January 2011, to visit the memorial center and to commemorate with deep sorrow what happened here to this beautiful city 77 years ago.

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