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Tomoko Watanabe

Tomoko Watanabe: Beliefs Born From Hiroshima’s A-bomb Experience Are Relevant Today

littletomokoRecognize the little girl standing on the left?

It’s Tomoko Watanabe, aged six!

Tomoko was recently interviewed by some teenage amateur journalists who put together the Peace Newspaper, Peace Seeds, which is a supplement of the Chugoku Shimbun, a regional newspaper based in Hiroshima.

Tomoko talks about her memories as a child growing up in post-war Hiroshima where “we didn’t learn about the atomic bombing at school, but we saw the terrible aftermath so often in our daily lives that we got used to living in that sort of environment.”

At college, Tomoko decided to write about the experiences of the A-bomb survivors for her graduation thesis.

I walked all over Hiroshima, listening to the stories of people who had made contributions to the history of Hiroshima. From them, and their way of living, I was able to learn so much, and acquire the courage to endure difficulties and the firm belief that we mustn’t give up.

Today, as we experience another disaster in Japan we realize that that message is as important as ever for the Japanese people.

Here is the complete article in Peace Seeds: Living As A Global Citizen

ANT-Hiroshima.

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Message from Tomoko Watanabe, Executive Director of ANT-Hiroshima

Here is the message which Tomoko Watanabe, Executive Director of ANT-Hiroshima, delivered to the Mayors for Peace conference in Nagasaki in August. Tomoko Watanabe used the occasion to highlight the “Yes Campaign” initiative and explain its purpose…

On the occasion of the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I would like to extend my greetings and best wishes to all my fellow human beings throughout the world on behalf of members of ANT-Hiroshima, a peace organization based in Hiroshima-Japan.

As you recall on August 6 and 9 in 1945 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb was dropped and the blast killed many thousands people immediately, and many more dying of radiation in the years afterward.

While remembering those who died and the Hibakusha (survivors) of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki we need to make sure that such a sad incident will not happen again in any part of the world. But this wish can not be granted as long as there are nuclear weapons in our world. Therefore we need to abolition all form of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.

To make this happen our organization along with other like minded promoting the “YES! CAMPAIGN”. The main purpose of this campaign is to bring to the international community and world citizens together to join hand to say “NO” to nuclear weapons and the death they wreak and “YES” to life and world at peace.

The “Yes! Campaign,” is a network of peace organizations based in Hiroshima, Japan, is engaged in promoting awareness of the “Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol” to help realize its adoption at the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference.

The “Yes! Campaign” posters each feature one-of-a-kind illustrations by Seitaro Kuroda, one of Japan’s foremost artists. Mr. Kuroda created these illustrations during a live event on August 2, 2009 in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

The “Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol,” is a road-map for the elimination of nuclear weapons by the year 2020 that has been proposed by Mayors for Peace. Mayors for Peace and their supporters like ANT-Hiroshima are pursuing the adoption of this protocol at the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, scheduled for May 2010 at U.N. Headquarters in New York.

I appeal to all of you to join us in our “YES! CAMPAIGN” and to do your part in spreading support for the “Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol” throughout the world in the run-up to the Review Conference next May. Together we can make a nuclear weapons free world by the year 2020.

Ant-Hiroshima

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