Hiroshima University Memorial Service Address for the Victims of the Atomic Bomb (6th August 2020)
The day to mark the 75th 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.
As the number of the infections caused by COVID-19 is once again on its rise, this year’s memorial service has been scaled down because the health and safety of the attendees are our top priority. I would be grateful if you could understand the precautions we have taken this year.
This year, 23 of the atomic bomb victims’ ashes are to be enshrined in the ‘Hiroshima University Cenotaph for the Victims of the Atomic Bomb’. May the departed souls of the 2,022 victims’ ashes, including the aforementioned 23, rest in peace, and may the bereaved families find some peace and consolation.
On 6 August 1945, most of the buildings of the forerunner institutions of HU such as Hiroshima University of Literature and Science, 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 or badly injured, while they were inside/outside the school buildings, or while they were mobilized to serve as volunteer workers in the city.
Coupled with the founding principle of ‘a single unified university, free and pursuing peace’, HU rose out of its ruins and was established in 1949---only four years after the atomic bombing to Hiroshima. Since then, 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”. Once again, I take the mission of HU to my heart, realizing how profound it is.
Along with natural disasters that frequently strike back in the world, COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire, both of which are posing a great threat to human being. The global warming and ongoing destruction of the rain forests are said to be the underlying causes of such natural disasters. As far as I am concerned, they are negative legacies of globalization: putting economy above anything else.
In the age to come, what is expected to us is not putting more priority to economy. I think that we are held responsible for conserving this precious environment of the planet earth, and pass that down to the next generation together with the wisdom having been accumulated by the people in the past. However, such thinking presupposes the condition that the world stays in peace.
Before concluding my speech, all the students, administrative and faculty members at Hiroshima University shall pledge their determination to build a peaceful human society that cultivates diversity and freedom through the university’s education, research, and social contributions.
6 August Reiwa 2 (2020)
President of Hiroshima University