Mayor Kazumi Matsui
Dear Mayor Matsui,
It is my pleasure to send you our City’s greetings as you honour us with the annual Hiroshima Coventry Day.
I am so pleased that this year you are able to celebrate together after the restrictions caused by the pandemic in recent years, and I am sure the members of the Hiroshima Coventry Friendship Club will, as usual, provide a fascinating and inspiring day that encourages people to think about our Cities’ messages of peace and reconciliation and how they too can play a part.
This year the City of Coventry was again proud to hold a service on Hiroshima Day. It is a day we will always honour as we remember the victims of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and their families.
We thank you for your friendship and for remembering the fallen in the bombing raids on our own City.
Since those dark times, we have worked together with our friends around the world to spread a message of peace, friendship and reconciliation and we have achieved so much.
Yet, sadly, as we have seen this year, there is still more to do.
The terrible invasion of Ukraine and the suffering of thousands of men, women and children, has shown us that armed conflict remains a threat.
It is incredible and so distressing to know that people are losing their lives and being forced to flee their homes all these years after our own Cities and people suffered so greatly through war. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and for a swift return to peace.
It is clear that some in our world have not yet learned from the lessons of the past – the lessons we teach – and we must continue our work and make our voices even louder.
The Hiroshima Coventry Day is an important and valued part of that work.
This year, with a message from the new Director of the World Friendship Centre and a lecture by the acclaimed Urszula Styczek, you will again provoke thought and discussion and that is what we must do.
Thank you to the Friendship Club and the people of Hiroshima for all you do to make our world a safer place. We send you our best wishes and prayers for a peaceful future and forever stronger ties between our Cities.
Yours in friendship,
Councillor Kevin Maton
Lord Mayor of the City of Coventry