Empowering Peace & Prosperity: The Role of Conferences in Hiroshima & Nagasaki

12th April 2024

In 2023, the G7 Hiroshima Summit underscored the significant impact of meetings on global peace initiatives and regional development. This article – a contribution by Congrès Inc. –   explores how such events not only foster international dialogue but also contribute to the cultural and economic revitalization of historical cities like Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The G7 Hiroshima Summit in 2023 garnered widespread attention, particularly for the inclusion of Ukrainian President Zelenskyy as a guest. This marked the first occasion that G7 leaders convened in Hiroshima, a city profoundly associated with peace since the atomic bombing. Here, the leaders recorded their commitments to peace in the guestbook and honored the victims at the Peace Memorial Park’s Cenotaph. 

The summit’s venue setup and operations were contracted to Congrès Inc, a Japanese PCO well known for its comprehensive support in managing meetings and conferences, including significant events like the COP3, where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted, and various other global gatherings addressing peace, environmental, and economic issues.

Congrès manages around 90 cultural and tourism facilities across Japan, including convention centers, exhibition halls, museums, and more. They also engage in urban planning projects aimed at regional revitalization.

A noteworthy example of their work is the management of Dejima Messe Nagasaki, Nagasaki’s premier convention facility, established through a Private Finance Initiative with local government and private sector collaboration, including Congrès. This endeavor is part of broader efforts to attract business events to Nagasaki, involving local community engagement, urban development projects, and initiatives for human resource development. 

Among these are partnerships with Nagasaki University to educate students on meetings and conferences, the “Nagasaki MICE School” for local businesses, and the “Machi MICE” project to integrate business events activities with tourism development and long-term regional revitalization.

Innovation catalized

Makiko Nishimura, Corporate Director/Executive Officer at Congrès, emphasizes that meetings facilities serve as catalysts for gathering people, fostering interaction, and sparking innovation, rather than being mere structures: “MICE facilities are not magical boxes; rather, our role is to breathe life into them, using them as hooks to bring people together, foster interactions, and catalyze innovation.”

In 2023, Congrès played a pivotal role in the successful hosting of the Third Meeting of the International Group of Eminent Persons for a World without Nuclear Weapons, exemplifying its dual expertise in conference and facility management. The choice of Nagasaki for this meeting, especially poignant given its history, underscored the city’s and the participants’ collective commitment to peace and the goal of preventing future nuclear tragedies.

Furthermore, Congrès adeptly managed the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Victims Memorial Peace Ceremony at Dejima Messe Nagasaki, navigating challenges such as typhoon impacts and logistical complexities to ensure a respectful and solemn observance.

Through meticulous planning and a deep respect for local traditions and needs, Congrès has demonstrated its ability to not only manage events efficiently but also to contribute meaningfully to peace and regional revitalization. This includes catering to diverse dietary needs with traditional Nagasaki cuisine and infusing local culture into event spaces, as seen with the decoration of hydrangeas, Nagasaki’s native flower.

Looking forward, Congrès is committed to leveraging its expertise as both a PCO and facility operator to foster business events that are deeply integrated with local communities, aiming to stimulate local economies and contribute to sustainable development and peace.

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