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Small Steps to International Peace Dialogue in Rural Hiroshima

University Peace Exchange Program at Fukutomi Star Terrace 福富・星降るテラス

At Fukutomi Star Terrace 福富・星降るテラス in the countryside of Hiroshima, an international exchange on peace is sprouting among the next generations of college students while they experienced the rural lifestyle and learned in depth about the history of Hiroshima. A small peace exchange program leaves its footsteps on the trail to future international dialogue and global peace.

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Impressions of Hiroshima 11: When I saw Hiroshima’s situation I could imagine my own country

After attending Tomoko Watanabe’s lecture, Grassroots Peace Activities, the participants were asked:What are your impressions of Hiroshima?Here are the comments of Mohammed Mojeeb, a civil administrator from Afghanistan:

I heard before about Hiroshima, that it was one of the cities of Japan that was bombed by an atomic bomb, but I didn’t have more information: How it happened; what was the effect of the atom bomb in this city.

When I came to this city and on the first day when I saw the video my tears came out when I saw the children in the video in that situation. It was too hard for me; my heart was crying. I was comparing those children to children of my country, Afghanistan. Still in my country I can see children die every day by bomb blasts. When I saw Hiroshima’s situation I could imagine my own country; children go out in the morning for school, their mothers waiting for them, but what happened is they find their children dead in their arms. I can feel the pain of mothers, the pain of fathers, the pain of children in Hiroshima who lost someone in that atomic bomb because we also have that pain in our hearts in our country….

People want peace. I am very happy that Hiroshima became a city where now all the people can live in a calm and relaxing environment. I [feel it is] wonderful that now people of Hiroshima can live in a good condition. I know all the people have the pain of losing someone from their family. I wish my country also one day will have a good situation, a situation or an environment where people can live with a relaxed mind, where a mother won’t be worried for her children to go to school and come back. I wish a good tomorrow for Hiroshima and my country. We only want peace, nothing else.

Mohammed Mojeeb
Civil Administrator
Afghanistan

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Japanese Elementary School In Skype Conference About Peace

On 8th March Fauzia Minulla in Pakistan held a Skype conference with children of Kyukuhoku Elementary School, Akita, Japan, via school computers and a big Panasonic television screen set up in the school hall.

Sadako's Prayer on the big screen

Sadako’s Prayer on the big screen

The children expressed their ideas about “peace” and Fauzia read from her two books, “Children of Light” and “Sadako’s Prayer“. She talked to the children about nuclear weapons and how the world should be free of them.
Fauzia talking to the children via Skype

Fauzia talking to the children via Skype

Sakako's Prayer

Sakako’s Prayer

 

Fauzia presenting her book on Skype.

Fauzia presenting her book on Skype.

A Japanese school class reading Sadako's Prayer and Children of Light

A Japanese school class reading Sadako’s Prayer and Children of Light

 

Some of the Skype conference participants

Some of the Skype conference participants

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Impressions of Hiroshima 9: All Peace Loving People Should Raise Their Voice Against Atomic Bombs

Tomoko Watanabe gave a presentation about Grassroots Peace Activities to some academics and local government administrators from a number of Asian countries. After the session they were asked:What are your impressions of Hiroshima?

This was the response handed in by Akramul Hoque, a local government rural development officer from Bangladesh:

When I was a student in 1965 I learned about Hiroshima. Since then I hated those who had done it…

  • In spite of this devastating event, the people of Hiroshima [turned around] and [created] a better [situation] than before and did a lot of development by dint of their labour, commitment, sincerity and honesty.
  • I strongly believe that the present and future generations will never witness such a black or spiteful event.
  • …My impression from the situation of Hiroshima is that all peace loving people should hate this and should raise their voice against atomic bombs or nuclear energy.
  • Hiroshima should [become] a centre of excellence for the upcoming generation.
  • I would like to thank the people of Hiroshima for bearing this painful event and for overcoming it and facing it with strong morale and determination.
  • The people of Hiroshima, or the Prefectural Government, should take some more initiative in favour of world peace, because they are direct victims of the atomic bomb.
  • The video which we have watched today should be distributed and publicized all over the world so the people of the world can realize the dangerous impact of A bombs.

Akramul Hoque,
Rural Development Officer
Bangladesh

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Impressions of Hiroshima 8: In Hiroshima I Saw the Real Story

Arham, a student from Indonesia, also attended Tomoko’s Grassroots Peace Activities session and when asked what his impressions of Hiroshima were, he wrote:

Before I came to Japan I heard many things about the Second World War. One of the most famous and easy to remember was the atomic bombs which America [dropped on] Nagasaki and Hiroshima… [at a] critical moment during World War II between Japan and the United States. Only the atomic bomb could push Japan to give up… meaning that because of the atomic bombs made by America the war could stop. This story told us about the improvement of American technology, which attracted a young country [such as Indonesia] to learn from America.

However, after being in Hiroshima I saw the real story and deeply, we could understand the reality behind the news we received; so many people killed, so many people suffered no only the day when bombs fell but after 2-3 years later many strange diseases attack the people so finally they died because of the diseases.

Arham
Postgraduate student
Indonesia

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