Tokyo, 14 July 2021 (dpa/MIA) — International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach will visit Hiroshma on Friday in the run-up to the Tokyo Games despite protests, organizers have said.
Bach will lay a wreath at a memorial in the city’s peace park, it was said Wednesday, a week ahead of the July 23 opening ceremony for the Games in Tokyo.
An atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima near the end of World War II in 1945. A citizens group had objected to the visit, saying Bach was using Hiroshima’s role as a messenger for peace for political purposes.
An online petition against the visit had been signed by more than 50,000 people by Wednesday.
Bach will proceed regardless and will also visit a museum documenting the effect of the bomb. He will be accompanied by local organizing chief Seiko Hashimoto.
IOC coordinating commission chief John Coates will visit Nagasaki, the other Japanese city struck by an atomic bomb in the war, at the same time.