Miyoshi City NPO offers Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park tour and discussion platforms to elementary, junior high, and high school students

by Miho Kuwajima, Staff Writer

Peace Culture Village (PCV), a nonprofit organization based in Miyoshi City, has started a peace study program called Peace Dialogue, aimed at elementary, junior high, and high school students. The program combines a tour of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (in the city’s Naka Ward) with workshops. Serving as guides for the program are young students and working adults in their teens and 20s who are involved in Hiroshima peace activities.

Last month, third-year students at Kindai University Hiroshima High School/Junior High School Higashihiroshima (located in Higashihiroshima City) participated in the program for the first time. About 130 students, divided into 16 groups, toured on foot the Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound, Children’s Peace Monument, and other sites. At the A-bombed Rest House, the students discussed what could be done to realize a peaceful society.

Chikako Wakiya, 14, who was guided on the tour by Rina Akahata, 19, a freshman at Hiroshima City University, said, “I felt that until the moment the atomic bomb was dropped, people lived the same way we do now.” Takumi Okusada, 14, said about the tour, “The explanation was easy to understand and emotionally moving.”

The fee-based program anticipates demand mainly from students on school trips. Kenta Sumioka, 35, PCV’s managing director and organizer of the program, said, “I hope students will learn and think about war and peace as issues close to their lives starting from when they are young.”

(Originally published on October 19, 2020)