Two buildings in Hiroshima that survived the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing are to be pulled down as they have grown old and are at risk of collapsing in the event of an earthquake, a local committee said recently, despite calls from residents to preserve them.
A committee of the Hiroshima prefectural government said Dec. 4 that it plans by fiscal 2022 to demolish two out of the three prefecture-owned buildings of the former Hiroshima Army Clothing Depot.
The two buildings, built in 1913 to produce military clothing and shoes, are located about 2.7 kilometers away from the hypocenter of the attack. They are among the biggest remaining structures left from the atomic bombing of the western Japan city, according to the prefecture.
The buildings, constructed of reinforced concrete with red brick exteriors, have some hinged windows believed to have been deformed in the bomb blast.
There is another building of the army clothing depot nearby that is state-owned.
While the third of the three building owned by the prefecture will be preserved, with its walls and roof expected to be reinforced and repaired, some Hiroshima residents have not given up hope of preserving all three buildings and using them as lecture halls or art studios, citing their historical value.
"They could be used as facilities toward (promoting) the abolition of nuclear weapons," said Iwao Nakanishi, 89, an atomic-bomb survivor who leads a civic group calling for the buildings to be saved.
A seismic-resistance evaluation in fiscal 2017 concluded that the buildings are highly likely to collapse if an earthquake of upper 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 hits the area.