Thursday, December 10, 2009

Welcome Home, Global Voyage for a Nuclear-Free World Peace Boat Hibakusha Witnesses!

Global Voyage for a Nuclear-Free World-Peace Boat Hibakusha Project" returns to Yokohama port today.
On August 27th, the SS Oceanic departed Yokohama on a 107-day journey around the world visiting 20 different countries during its global voyage for peace. Amongst the five hundred participants onboard are 10 Hibakusha (Atomic Bomb Survivors) from Hiroshima and Nagasaki who have shared testimonies of their experiences with people around the world.

The 10 participating Hibakusha in the second “Peace Boat Hibakusha Project” come from varying backgrounds, ranging from Tanabe Shunsaburo--who was exposed to the radiation in Hiroshima at the age of 20--to a Hibakusha who was exposed to the radiation while she was still in her mother's womb and has no recollection of the moment when the bomb fell.

Furthermore, on this global voyage, three high school students joined the Hibakusha to help spread the message of peace and nuclear abolition and pass on the testimonies of the Hibakusha to the following generations.

Coinciding with the ship's visit to Italy, the pope delivered a message of nuclear abolition to the world at the Sunday mass in St. Peter's Square, inspired by the fact that a group of Hibakushas were visiting Rome that day.

During the ship's visit to Ecuador, the Hibakusha were received by Ricardo Patino, the minister of politics and a presidential advisor. In the port of Manta, Ecuador Peace Boat also held an international conference related to nuclear abolition and the peace constitutions of Costa Rica, Japan and Ecuador, celebrating Ecuador's adoption of a new peace constitution last year that upholds the "withdrawal of foreign military bases."

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