NTV “News ZERO” reported that the number of foreign visitors to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in FY2015 reached a record 338,891, a sharp increase from 57,205 in 1995, saying that today one out of every five visitors is a foreigner. Many foreign visitors reportedly decided to visit the museum based on information posted on a global travel site called TripAdvisor, citing some of the comments on the site. A British visitor said, “Sometimes we want to turn a blind eye to human tragedy and the suffering of citizens, but we must not forget this history,” while an American visitor who visited the museum three times commented, “Once again, it was disturbing. The leaders of all nations must visit here.”
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is reportedly the second most popular Japanese tourist spot chosen by foreigners on the site, outranking Todaiji temple in Nara and Mt. Fuji. In order to address the surge in the number of foreign visitors, the museum is planning to increase the number of sessions to explain atomic bomb survivors’ experiences in English from 168 times in 2015 to more than 1,000 this year. The head of the museum said he would like President Obama to witness what happened to the people under the mushroom cloud if he decides to visit the museum.