As the director of the Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, I am greatly honored to be holding this Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bombing Exhibition in the Republic of Iceland.
The two atomic bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima instantly destroyed both cities and took the lives of over 200,000 ordinary citizens. The Government of Japan, which gravely acknowledges the sacrifices made and suffering inflicted, has now established Peace Memorial Halls for the Atomic Bomb Victims in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to commemorate all the lives lost. The halls also provide information about the realities of the atomic bombing to people in Japan and around the world and stand as memorials to eternal peace.
Since 2005, the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall has been staging overseas exhibitions in order to tell people across the globe about the realities of the atomic bombings and further efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons. This current exhibition is the first to be held in the Scandinavian region.
Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik was the site of the 1986 Reykjavik Summit, one of the landmark occasions in the era when the East-West Cold War came to a close. Furthermore, calls for the elimination of nuclear weapons are made here every August 6 or 9, when floating lantern ceremonies are held to mark the anniversaries of the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
I feel it is deeply significant that this Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bombing Exhibition is being held in a country where peace is valued so highly, and believe it will serve to strengthen ties between Japan and Iceland and lead us closer to the realization of a peaceful world free of nuclear weapons. To this end, I sincerely hope that it will be attended by as many people as possible.
In closing, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who worked so hard to make this atomic bombing exhibition possible.
Mr. Masanobu Chita
Director of Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims