The Japanese city of Hiroshima, devastated by a World War II atomic bomb, has backed the granting of world heritage site status to the D-Day landing beaches in France, a local official said.
Laurent Beauvais, president of Lower Normandy, said in a statement that the support by Hiroshima mayor Kazumi Matsui was a “message of hope and peace.”
If the bid is successful, the beaches will join sites that mark a dramatic moment in human history.
These include the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, Robben Island in South Africa where opponents of the apartheid regime were jailed, and the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima.
The Normandy landings and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima each marked a major turning point in World War II.
In what remains the biggest amphibious assault in history, some 156,000 Allied personnel landed in France on June 6, 1944.