The leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations visited a small island in Hiroshima Bay containing a world heritage shrine and sat down to a working dinner at a traditional hot-spring inn there at the end of the first day of their summit Friday.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and other leaders arrived at Miyajima Island, a popular tourist destination in the Seto Inland Sea, on a cruiser, while U.S. President Joe Biden arrived separately in a helicopter.
The leaders posed for the traditional summit family photo before the large "torii" gate of the Itsukushima Shrine. "Gagaku" music traditionally performed there was played as they listened to a briefing on the history of the shrine, which, according to its website, was established on the site in 593.
Their working dinner was held at Iwaso, an inn that dates back to 1854. Earlier in the day before they sat down for talks in the afternoon they made a historic joint visit to the Hiroshima Peace Park that commemorates the lives lost to the atomic bomb attack on the city by the United States on Aug. 6, 1945.
Itsukushima Shrine was registered by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a World Cultural Heritage site in 1996.
In 2016, then-Foreign Minister Kishida similarly brought his G-7 counterparts to the island during their meeting in Hiroshima, and they enjoyed a traditional music performance at the shrine.
Following attacks on Kishida and a former Japanese leader in the last year, security has been tight at the annual summit. As part of the measures, Miyajima Island has been closed off to all but residents and authorized personnel, with its reopening set for Saturday afternoon.
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