Here are some photos of Tomoko giving a lecture to 13 students who were visiting Japan from 13 countries in the South Pacific region on a 5 month study programme funded by the Japanese foreign ministry in association with ASEAN and related organizations.
The participants are part of the “Kizuna Kyouka” (strengthening of bonds) project and they are in Japan to study Japanese post war reconstruction and to experience Japanese culture while engaging in cultural exchange activities.
As part of that process, Tomoko Watanabe met the students in Hiroshima in her capacity as Executive Director of ANT-Hiroshima, and held a lecture and discussion session with them on the subject of “Transforming Tragedies Into New Tomorrows”.
The lecture went over the history of Hiroshima’s postwar construction in the wake of the atom bomb, and the development of a grassroots peace-culture movement in the city and explained the part that ANT-Hiroshima played in that process.
After the lecture a lively Q&A session took place, and then, after a lunch of hand-made udon noodles, the group reconvened to give their impressions of Japan so far and took turns to speak about their own countries in a cultural exchange session to develop mutual respect and understanding.
Tomoko showed the group a plant and spoke about how we have an obligation nurture the next generation in an environment of peace so that they and future generations can grow and flourish. Afterwards, the students learned about the Green Legacy project and looked at some of the a-bomb survivor trees while strolling around the moat of Hiroshima Castle, and the session ended with a visit to the chrysanthemum exhibition now on in Hiroshima – a good place for a photo opportunity!
We had a good time together with a lively and engaged group of students and were very happy to have spent some time with them. We wish them well for the rest of their time in Japan.