Good afternoon. Perhaps ‘I should have visited Hiroshima earlier; the earlier, the better’ – as the writer Kenzaburō Ōe once said. But I am absolutely sure that it is never too late to visit Hiroshima. Because Hiroshima is something beyond time, it is a sign given to humanity for ever. Given, but not always heard, not always seen, not always understood. That is why it would be good if all those, on whom depends the future of the world, visited Hiroshima, if not today, then tomorrow. In order to well interpret this important sign, to decipher it. Therefore, it is worth hearing the stories of survivors, it is worth seeing this place with our own eyes, to remember for all time the message of Hiroshima. Before it is too late.
I come from Gdańsk, a town which was completely burnt down during the war, a town which was rebuilt thanks to the great effort of its citizens, a city-symbol of solidarity that carries hope. And even though the atomic catastrophe of Hiroshima goes far beyond the war experiences of other cities of the world, destroyed by bombs and fire, we are all bound by the belief that “never again”.
Hiroshima is an anticipation of the end of the world, that – if we forget about this tragedy – may happen at any time. This is why it is so important that the testimony of Hiroshima will last as long as possible, and will reach as many people as possible.
The G20 summit in Osaka will begin in two days. The meeting of leaders on whom the fate of our planet will greatly depend. I will tell them what I heard from you today: that you expect determination and courage in their actions for non-proliferation and disarmament, peace and mutual respect. And that they should visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Because, as we all know, it is never too late for that. Thank you.