August 15(Monday)

"No. 26 [Peace] Special Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons Report on Their First Year Activities to the Prime Minister in Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

 

The Special Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons have been commissioned by the Government to pass on their experiences in atomic bombings to the world. This system, launched by a proposal of Prime Minister Kan in his address at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony last year, has produced excellent results after only one year. At meetings with the Prime Minister, the Special Communicators shared some questions posed to them by audiences overseas since March 11.

 

 

 

<Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony (August 6)>

Announcement: It will be 8:15 shortly. ...We would now like to offer one minute of silence.

 

<The Peace Bell was rung at 8:15 a.m., the time that the atomic bomb was dropped>

<The Prime Minister offers a silent prayer >

 

<Address>
Prime Minister: At last year's ceremony I proposed that Japan dispatch "Special Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons." [They have since been] calling attention to the tragedy of nuclear weapons and appealing the importance of peace at various locations throughout the world.

 

So far thirty-five Special Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons (as of August 8, 2011) have been commissioned by the Government to pass on their experiences in atomic bombings to the world.

 

<From Prime Minister KAN's TV No. 14―Mr. Susumu Tsuboi, embarking on "Hibakusha's Global Voyage for Communication">

Mr. Tsuboi: My house was located in a place of the current Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Everyone who was in the town at that time passed away.

 

One year after the establishment of the system, Mr. Tsuboi was present for the first gatherings of Special Communicators, held recently in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

 

<At the meeting in Hiroshima on August 6>

Mr. Tsuboi: We spoke 14 times in 13 ports. In Columbia in particular, we received a warm welcome from President Juan Manuel Santos, and the venues were completely full of people eager to listen to our stories.

 

One Special Communicator, Mr. Masaaki Tanabe, handed a self-produced DVD to the Prime Minister at one of the meetings. Featuring CG reenactments of the area around the center of the explosion just before the atomic bomb dropped, the DVD calls on the world to think about just what was lost through the use of a nuclear weapon.
As a boy, Mr. Tanabe used to live in a home adjacent to the place now called the Atomic Bomb Dome.

 

Mr. Tanabe: While it is quite difficult to raise awareness or appeal to a broad range of people as just one citizen who experienced the atomic bomb, with support from the national government [as Special Communicator] we received extensive coverage by local media.

 

<Again, from Prime Minister KAN's TV No. 14―Ms. Hiroko Sakaguchi, the first member of the second generation of atomic bomb victims to be commissioned as Special Communicator>

Ms. Sakaguchi: The second generation of atomic bomb victims is affected through their parents' body by the after-effects of radiation of the bombings. As such, we have no less strong feelings about the bombings than direct survivors.

 

These are the words of Ms. Sakaguchi from the day she embarked on "Hibakusha's Global Voyage for Communication." Having traveled around the world, she spoke at the meeting in Nagasaki about a new conviction that was developed over the course of the trip.

 

<At the meeting in Nagasaki on August 9>

Ms. Sakaguchi: I believe the role of second-generation atomic bomb victims will increase in importance going forward in terms of passing on the experiences of atomic bombings.

 

Prime Minister: I ask for your continued support in passing on the experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in order that we may realize a world free of the devastation of nuclear weapons for hundreds or even thousands of years after Nagasaki.

 

<Scenes of the overseas activities of the Special Communicators>

The Special Communicators have so far visited a total of 22 countries (as of August 8, 2011). They felt a certain change in the audience responses after March 11.

 

<Special Communicators speaking about that change at the meeting>

Mr. Noboru Tazaki: We received the question, "Even though Japan, having suffered atomic bombings, knows the horrors of radiation ..."

 

Mr. Tsuboi: We received such questions as, "...why do you have so many nuclear power stations?"

 

Ms. Sakaguchi: Hearing how strange they felt about this, our hearts were profoundly touched.

 

Special Communicators were moved by the attention shown by people abroad toward another harm of radiation that hit Japan.

 

<Nagasaki Peace Ceremony (August 9)>

<Address>
Prime Minister: It is our responsibility to take the new lessons, realizations, and what we have learned from this incident and communicate those to the people of the world and future generations.

 

<At 11:02 a.m., when the atomic bomb was dropped>
Announcement: We would now like to offer one minute of silence.

 

<The Prime Minister offering a silent prayer>

<The Bell of Nagasaki, ringing>

 



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