Paris mayor visits Hiroshima to pay respects to A-bomb victims

Kyodo

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and laid a wreath at the base of a monument dedicated to victims of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing.

The mayor, with fresh memories of the deadly terror attacks that struck her city last November, exchanged views about peace with local junior high school students.

During the Wednesday visit, she also received a set of strung paper cranes from one of the students near the monument dedicated to Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who fell victim to the after-effects of radiation exposure when the bomb dropped near her home.

Asked by a 14-year-old female student what she thought was important for building a peaceful world, Hidalgo said, “Education and culture can help encourage people to live together by offsetting feelings of hatred.” She also said it was important to keep memories of victims alive.

The Paris mayor also visited the Peace Memorial Museum at the park, which presents the horror of the atomic bomb attack during World War II.

Later, she met with Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, who proposed that French President Francois Hollande visit Hiroshima during his planned trip to Japan in May for the Group of Seven summit in Mie Prefecture.

“(The president) should visit Hiroshima to share in the movement toward peace,” Hidalgo said, adding she would encourage him to do so.