Peace lantern from Japanese garden in Oregon presented to Hiroshima

Officials of a Japanese-style garden in the US state of Oregon have presented a replica of its Peace Lantern to Hiroshima City as a symbol of peace and friendship.

A presentation ceremony was held in the city on Wednesday.

Community members opened the Portland Japanese Garden 59 years ago with the aim to forge a healing connection with Japan following the end of World War Two.

A stone lantern sent from Japan sits in the garden as a reminder of a desire for understanding and appreciation between the two cultures.

A replica of the lantern was to be donated to Hiroshima in 2020, to mark 75 years since the atomic bombing of the city. But the ceremony was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The lantern, which is a little over a meter tall, is inscribed with the words "Casting the Light of Everlasting Peace."

The garden's CEO, Steve Bloom, described the lantern as a first step in bringing peace to the world. He stressed that mutual understanding through culture and dialogue is what is needed in the world.

Another replica will be presented to Nagasaki City, which also suffered an atomic bombing in 1945.