Article 219 of
the Hiroshima Peace Memorial City Construction Law, which was passed
on August 6, 1949, played a decisive role in Hiroshima's reconstruction.
This law aimed at "the construction of Hiroshima as a Peace Memorial
City, a symbol of the ideal of making lasting peace a reality." Rather
than simply rebuilding the war-torn city, as was occurring throughout
Japan, the idea was to construct a peace memorial city symbolizing
eternal peace. Enactment of this law made all previous city reconstruction
plans a part of the Peace Memorial City Construction Plan. (Since
then all city development plans have been given this name.) Reconstruction
that had stalled for lack of funds now moved
forward with special assistance (the granting of money and property
previously belonging to the military) from the national government.
We must not forget that the Peace Memorial City Construction Law not only funded physical reconstruction but also enshrined in law the vision of a spiritual city designed to be a center for world peace. As the initial reconstruction plan took shape, this vision exercised great power in developing the concepts that led to Hundred-Meter Boulevard and Peace Memorial Park.