On Sunday 6th August 2017 Coventry representatives waited at St Michael’s House, Coventry Cathedral to welcome diplomats from the Embassy of Japan who travelled to join Coventry Hiroshima Day 2017. This is an annual event to remember and reflect about the dropping of the first nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
Coventry’s Deputy Lord Mayor John Blundell with Deputy Lady Mayoress Lindsey Blundell greeted Mr Tomohiro Mikanagi, Political Minister and Ms Reiko Kurihara, Second Secretary from the Embassy of Japan.
The reception included five senior students from Cardinal Newman Catholic School – Sonia Sandhu, Eleanor Douglas, Pardeep Sondhi, Delani Jayaratnam and Amritt Natt.
Deputy Lord Mayor John Blundell and Minister Mikanagi gave speeches of welcome to the gathering, recalling the strong bonds of Friendship between Britain and Japan over decades since the last world war.
Then the group joined an audience of about 100 people for the main event in Coventry Cathedral and the Chapel of Unity for the service of reflection, readings and music for all led by John Witcombe, Dean of Coventry Cathedral and with speaker Ruth Longoni, Chair of the Lord Mayor’s Committee of Peace and Reconciliation. Coventry and Hiroshima poet Antony Owen read a poem “The Last Fare Collector of Hiroshima” that will be published by V Press in September 2017.
The five students from Cardinal Newman read “the story of Sadako and the cranes of peace” using a dramatic and widely praised format. The students were wonderful ambassadors for themselves and the school.
All those attending the event made their own Japanese Origami Crane of Peace to take home.
Coventry’s Lord Mayor’s Peace Committee, who have offered Coventry Hiroshima Day annually for 29 years, say “We are so pleased to offer Coventry another event to remember dropping the first nuclear bomb. We are very grateful for all – both our dignitaries – including Deputy Lord Mayor John Blundell and Minister Mikanagi Embassy of Japan, and everybody else from Coventry who took part to offer a moving memorable event. We hope our efforts will contribute to ridding the world of nuclear weapons soon, and build the friendship of world peace”.
This was truly an event to remember.