Junior Writers Reporting

Junior writers ask U.S. Ambassador questions about Sadako Sasaki

by Rina Yuasa, Staff Writer

On March 26, six junior and senior high school students in the role of Chugoku Shimbun junior writers had an opportunity to ask questions of U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, who was visiting Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park that day. Amid stringent regulations due to the pandemic, the junior writers asked Mr. Emanuel questions in front of the Children’s Peace Monument including about Sadako Sasaki, the girl who became the inspiration for the monument.

As the ambassador toured the park and addressed questions from reporters in front of the monument at the end of the tour, he took notice of the junior writers. “Are you all student journalists?” Mr. Emanuel encouraged them to ask questions, to which he responded in his own words.

Sakura Tanimura, 13, a second-year student at Senogawa Junior High School, asked, “How did you feel after you heard the story about Sadako Sasaki?” The ambassador responded, “Sadako’s story serves as a lesson to all of us … and her single gesture created a worldwide movement of what it means to make a sign toward peace … you don’t have to wait until you grow up to make a difference and a change in the world.”

After the interview, Ms. Tanimura said, “I was glad I had the chance to hear the ambassador’s thoughts directly. I hope he can take action to abolish nuclear weapons.”

(Originally published on March 27, 2022)