On June 8, Mayor Matsui from the City of Hiroshima visited the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu. He dedicated flowers and gave a speech for visitors. It was the first speech by a Japanese mayor at the Memorial.
His key message was as follows:
- It is my pleasure to be able to visit and offer flowers here at the USS Arizona Memorial on its milestone 50th anniversary.
- I would like to offer a prayer for the peaceful repose of all the individuals honored here.
- This wall is carved with the names of many of the victims. Similarly, Hiroshima has lost 140,000 people in the atomic bombing. The battle between America and Japan began here in Pearl Harbor, resulting in a large sacrifice for the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
- However, the history of friendship between our two countries is very long, and this unfortunate period comprises no more than a moment in comparison.
- What we seek now is peace through reconciliation.
- The reality is that I have a friendly relationship with Mr. Carlisle, Mayor of Honolulu, the city that contains Pearl Harbor. Mayor Carlisle and I know how important it is to sever the circle of past hatred and establish a future-oriented relationship.
- I think all of you are gathered here today to console the spirits of the war victims who lost their lives here. I would like to make a pledge here to one day realize a peaceful world through reconciliation, and I would like for everyone else to make the same pledge.
- The City of Hiroshima desires lasting peace and Hiroshima is continuing to promote world peace.
September 18, 2012
Naomi Maki, Assistant Director