Hiroshima University Memorial Service Address for the Victims of the Atomic Bomb (6th August 2019)
The day to mark the 74th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing has come around. On this occasion of the Hiroshima University Memorial Service for the victims of the Atomic Bomb with the attendance of the families of the victims, representatives from Hiroshima University alumni, I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the souls of the victims.
On 6 August 1945, most of the buildings of the 12 forerunner institutions collapsed or burnt down with catastrophic damage. As a result, many students or pupils, the teaching staff as well as overseas students fell victim to the bomb while they were inside/outside the school buildings, or while they were mobilized to serve as volunteer workers in the city.
Four years after the bombing, Hiroshima University was established as a symbol of this world city of peace, Hiroshima. This year marks the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima University. Coupled with the founding principle of “a single unified university, free and pursuing peace” proposed by Mr. Tatsuo Morito (the first president of Hiroshima University following his resignation from the post of Minister of Education), Hiroshima University has continuously moved forward by upholding “the pursuit of peace” from the university’s Five Principles.
Since my inauguration as President of Hiroshima University, I have been committed to cultivating “peace-pursuing, cultured individuals with an international mindset and a challenging spirit”. At Hiroshima University, all undergraduate students are required to take “Peace Science Courses”. From this academic year onwards, Peace-related Subjects have been added to the curriculum for postgraduate students as Common Subjects of Graduate School.
Furthermore, Hiroshima University saw the launch of its “Peace Lecture Marathon” last year. This is an event to which government representatives and ambassadors from around the world are invited to give a lecture on peace. So far, we have invited four speakers to HU including the Lithuanian Prime Minister and the Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
The list containing the names of 1,999 departed souls, including the 18 whose names have been added this year, was just enshrined in the Cenotaph for the Victims of the Atomic Bomb.
Inscribed on the cenotaph, erected in 1974 (Showa 49), are the words by Dr. Soichiro Iijima, then president of Hiroshima University: “Hiroshima University hereby bears deep academic responsibility to bravely contribute to the realization of world peace.”
As we are now in the new era of Reiwa, I would like to mark Dr. Iijima’s words to my heart and offer a tribute to the memory of the deceased: all the students, administrative and faculty members of Hiroshima University pledge their determination to build a peaceful human society through the university’s education, research, and social contributions.
6th August Reiwa 1 (2019)
President of Hiroshima University