The Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, ICAN, Beatrice Fihn, described her visit to Hiroshima as incredibly moving and special.
The ICAN head addressed reporters, on Monday, after she visited the Peace Memorial Park. Fihn laid a wreath at the cenotaph which commemorates those killed by the 1945 atomic bombing.
“The city of Hiroshima has experienced the worst of humanity. But in rebuilding and working for the abolition of nuclear weapons, it has responded with the best of humanity. Hiroshima is a city of hope, and ICAN will work with you to see the end of nuclear weapons.”
Fihn shared with reporters that she had extensively researched Hiroshima and Nagasaki adding that her visit to Japan has influenced her commitment to ensuring that nuclear weapons are abolished.
ICAN is a global coalition which promotes denuclearization by moving to enforce strict adherence to complete implementation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – a legally binding international agreement to prohibit nuclear weapons.
During the memorial museum visit, she looked at clothes belonging to a child killed in the atomic bombing, panoramic photographs of a devastated Hiroshima and other exhibits. Fihn also met with survivors of the bombing.
She reflected on the photographs from the tragic incident, saying people were “swimming, going shopping, living (their) daily lives the way we do today” but “everything changed in a flash.”
ICAN won last year's Nobel Peace Prize for its contribution to the adoption of the nuclear ban treaty at the United Nations.
Fihn was unable to secure an audience with Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, though ICAN made a request prior to her arrival on the island.
According to the Foreign Ministry scheduling issues prevented the meeting from materializing, ICAN member NGO Peace Boat said.
Japan is the only nation to have experienced a nuclear attack.
Fihn wanted to hold dialogue with Abe to agree on how best ICAN and Japan could “work together to make sure that this never happens again.”