As Hiroshima prepares to mark on Saturday the 77th anniversary of the A-bomb that was dropped on it by the United States in 1945, some of its residents will be brushing up their English and practicing phrases to describe the horrific devastation of the attack to foreign visitors — once they eventually return.

The initiative has been months in preparation, having been launched under the auspices of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in February. Aimed at helping local people answer questions from foreign visitors curious about the city's experience of the A-bombing, it provides a series of conversational scenarios that might take place, for instance, at the cenotaph for atomic-bomb victims in the city.

The step marks just one of the ways that the city has been adapting to the special challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely hampered its activism in pursuit of a world free of nuclear weapons due to the reduced movement of people since 2020, both within Japan and coming from abroad. Nagasaki, the other Japanese city targeted by the United States for a nuclear attack days after Hiroshima was hit, has been grappling with similar issues.