A-bomb survivor presents new “ICAN” rose-variety seedlings to Tama City

On February 17, seedlings of a new rose variety, dubbed “ICAN,” were presented to the city government of Tama, in Tokyo. The new rose variety was created by Kazuzo Tagashira, 90, a rose breeder and A-bomb survivor who lives in the city of Hatsukaichi. Tama City will care for the ICAN rose-variety seedlings at the city’s botanical garden, elementary schools, and junior high schools, with the aim of raising citizen awareness about the significance of nuclear weapons abolition.

Mr. Tagashira was inspired to name his new rose variety ICAN, after the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the NGO International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Hoping for his new rose variety to be of help in realizing the abolition of nuclear weapons, Mr. Tagashira asked Akira Kawasaki, an ICAN international steering committee member and co-chair of the Peace Boat organization, to find a way to make use of the rose seedlings.

Through Mr. Kawasaki’s intermediary efforts, 12 seedlings were presented to Tama City and 28 to Keisen University, also located in Tama, where Mr. Kawasaki serves as a lecturer. Tama City will care for the seedlings at its municipal botanical garden Green Live Center and elsewhere, with the aim of giving access to Tama citizens for viewing.

On this day, a presentation ceremony took place at the Tama City government offices. Hiroyuki Abe, Tama mayor, spoke at the ceremony. “We are truly happy to receive the seedlings and will raise them with great care.” Kasumi Noguchi, 30, a staff member of Peace Boat, read comments on behalf of Mr. Kawasaki. “When ICAN roses begin to bloom, they will provide us with great strength to proceed with our activities toward abolishing nuclear weapons.”

(Originally published on February 18, 2020)