Hiroshima, hub of Peace


In my lastest article « Future of a single industry city : Toyota city », I challenged the Japanese abilities to get together whereas the Toyota system, often held up as an example, seemed to struggle and put workers’ life in danger.

Then, I remembered my stay in Hiroshima and how thriving the metropolis looked.

The 6th of august 1945, at 8.15 am (local time), Hiroshima was entirely wiped out, on a radius of 2 km (1 mile), by the american atomic bomb. More than 140 000 people died during the bombing and thousands of others got sick because of the radiation effects.

Nevertheless, that tragedy of history didn’t end with Hiroshima city’s destruction. Three days after the bomb impact, electricity was restored and life slowly returned to routine.

During the 60s, Growth in Japan strongly increased, period of time called « the Jinmu boom », resulting of large investments in heavy industry.

Hiroshima took advantage of that industrial dynamism to develop its local economy. Assembly plants of Mazda company were set up in 1964 and 1966, making at the same time steel industry grew.

Local authority encouraged the new firm coming implementing an attractive tax level.

Today, many research centres and design companies for car industry are located in the japanese metropolis.

Despite the city recovered from that traumatic experience, local authority always promoted the incredible mobilisation of the population to rebuild the city. That iron made Hiroshima a symbol of Peace at an international level influencing geopolitical relationship.

On April 8, 2010 a new nuclear disarmament pact « START » was approved by the United States and Russia in Prague.

That meaningful step in international relationship, since the end of the cold war, definitely convinced Hiroshima to promote itself as world hub for Peace building and nuclear disarmament.

Named city of Peace by the japanese parliament in 1949, the community established its « Hiroshima for a global Peace » program in 2011.

Peace memorial, Hiroshima

Peace memorial (photo by B. Hervé)

One of the first tasks of Hiroshima is to support cities and territories highly damaged during conflicts and help them to rebuilt themselves.

Except that expert position, Hiroshima hopes to become, in a near future, a first-line representative and a round tables and talks space on nuclear issues in order to strongly influence international decisions.

Her proposal on nuclear disarmament includes a commitment from the United States, Russia and all the countries possessing the atomic weapon not to use it anymore as a dissuasion tool.

To reduce dependence on nuclear weapon for national Security, it encourages the implementation of a mutual trust between « enemy » countries.

At the same time, the community of Hiroshima actively works on building peace-support mechanisms. It promises to network international institutions, centralise archives and develop an educative policy on Peace issues.

Unavoidably, the sustainable Peace is thought up in Hiroshima.

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