Statements by China and the United States during the inscription of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial on the World Heritage List

Hiroshima Peace MemorialCHINA: “During the Second World War, it was the other Asian countries and peoples who suffered the greatest loss in life and property. But today there are still few people trying to deny this fact of history. As such being the case, if Hiroshima nomination is approved to be included on the World Heritage List, even though on an exceptional basis, it may be utilized for harmful purpose by these few people. This will, of course, not be conducive to the safeguarding of world peace and security. For this reason China has reservations on the approval of this nomination.”

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: “The United States is dissociating itself from today’s decision to inscribe the Genbaku Dome on the World Heritage List. The United States and Japan are close friends and allies. We cooperate on security, diplomatic, international and economic affairs around the world. Our two countries are tied by deep personal friendships between many Americans and Japanese. Even so, the United States cannot support its friend in this inscription.
The United States is concerned about the lack of historical perspective in the nomination of Genbaku Dome. The events antecedent to the United States’ use of atomic weapons to end World War II are key to understanding the tragedy of Hiroshima. Any examination of the period leading up to 1945 should be placed in the appropriate historical context.
The United States believes the inscription of war sites outside the scope of the Convention. We urge the Committee to address the question of the suitability of war sites for the World Heritage List.”

Photo of the ruins of the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall (which became the Hiroshima Peace Memorial), October 1945. Photograph by Shigeo Hayashi.