Tomoko Watanabe of ANT-Hiroshima awarded Kiyoshi Tanimoto Peace Prize for conveying reality of atomic bombing to world

by Fumiyasu Miyano, Staff Writer

On October 14, the Hiroshima Peace Center Foundation announced it had selected Tomoko Watanabe, 68, executive director of ANT-Hiroshima, an NPO based in Hiroshima’s Naka Ward, as recipient of the 34th Kiyoshi Tanimoto Peace Prize. Taking into account the international situation where fears are increasing about the use of nuclear weapons, the foundation, which is located in Saeki Ward, Hiroshima, and chaired by Mamoru Tsuru, recognized her efforts to convey the reality of the atomic bombing to the world.

Ms. Watanabe formed a group of Hiroshima citizens to promote friendship with the people of Asia and became its head in 1989. The group changed its name to ANT-Hiroshima in 2007, and she took the position of executive director. She has been involved in translating a picture book about Sadako Sasaki, who was exposed to the atomic bombing in Hiroshima and died 10 years after, at the age of 12, into 33 languages. The book has been distributed to various countries and regions. She has also been working on recording the testimonies of A-bomb survivors in videos and booklets.

As basis for the award, the foundation said that Ms. Watanabe “has been making efforts to deepen friendship and cooperation with people in Japan and abroad, and has been practicing her ideas.” Ms. Watanabe commented, “I have learned about the absurdity of the world by delving deep into Hiroshima. I will continue to work with many friends in Japan and abroad for a peaceful world without nuclear weapons.”

The foundation established the Kiyoshi Tanimoto Peace Prize in 1987 to carry on the spirit of the late Reverend Kiyoshi Tanimoto, who served at Hiroshima Nagarekawa Church in the city’s Naka Ward. The prize is awarded to individuals and groups engaged in activities for realizing world peace. An award ceremony will take place in Hiroshima’s Naka Ward on November 13.

(Originally published on October 17, 2022)