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Iconic parks in Hiroshima, Pearl Harbor become sisters

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui
Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui
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29 Jun 2023 11:06:18 GMT9
29 Jun 2023 11:06:18 GMT9

TOKYO: Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui and US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel on Thursday signed a sister park agreement between Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in western Japan and the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in the US state of Hawaii.

The two parks will share documents necessary for the restoration of historic buildings and landscapes, as well as experience in tourism management, and will also conduct exchange projects.

The Hiroshima park aims to pass on the tragedy of the 1945 US atomic bombing of the Japanese city to future generations, while the Pearl Harbor memorial is designed to mourn for the victims of the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The signing of the agreement took place at the US Embassy in Tokyo.

The two parks are “places that symbolize the beginning and end of the war,” Matsui said, adding that wishes for peace are now shared by the peoples of both countries.

“These parks, which were once sites of conflict, are now places of reconciliation,” Emanuel said in a statement. He voiced hope that the sister park agreement will “expand the community of Americans and Japanese who visit Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima, learn their histories, and chart a better pathway forward.”

In a congratulatory message, former US President Barack Obama, a native of Hawaii, hailed the sister park agreement as “another historic accomplishment” following his visit to Hiroshima in 2016, which was the first by a sitting U.S. president, and former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Pearl Harbor later that year.

“By connecting our two peoples to our shared past, we can build a shared future grounded in peace and cooperation,” Obama said.

JIJI Press

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