Hiroshima, Nagasaki plan A-bomb exhibition in Washington

Kyodo

The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki plan to hold an exhibit in Washington to mark the 70th anniversary this year of the U.S. atomic bombings in World War II, Hiroshima officials said Monday.

If held, it will be the first exhibition of its kind in 20 years in the United States. The cities are considering featuring the voices of survivors and displaying belongings of the victims, the officials said.

Since 1995, the cities have jointly held Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibitions in 43 cities in 15 countries, including nuclear-armed nations such as the United States, Russia and Britain, as well as nations that are active in efforts to abolish nuclear weapons.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki are looking to hold the event some time from summer to autumn at American University in Washington, the same venue for the last atomic-bomb exhibition, the officials said.

The 1995 exhibition was originally scheduled to be held at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, but it was canceled due to strong opposition from U.S. war veterans.

Former Hiroshima Mayor Takashi Hiraoka, a speaker at the previous exhibit, said the atmosphere seems to be different now, as the country is currently led by President Barack Obama who has called for a world free of nuclear weapons.

“Although the justification of the atomic bombings probably persists in the United States, we have to convey (survivors’) long-lasting suffering and the criminality of using nuclear weapons,” 87-year-old Hiraoka said.

The United States dropped the bombs on Hiroshima on Aug. 6 and Nagasaki on Aug. 9 in 1945. Casualties by the end of that year were estimated at 140,000 in Hiroshima and 74,000 in Nagasaki.