Junior writers meet with Yohei Kono, Speaker of the House of Representatives

by Keisuke Yoshihara, Staff Writer

Four junior writers interviewed Yohei Kono, Speaker of the House of Representatives, at the speaker's official residence in Tokyo on March 24, 2008. The children write articles for Peace Seeds, a “peace newspaper produced by Japanese teens in Hiroshima,” which is published regularly as an insert in the Chugoku Shimbun newspaper. They asked Mr. Kono about his support for the G8 Summit of Lower House Speakers, to be held in Hiroshima on September 2, 2008, as well as his ideas about peace.

In a message for children in Hiroshima and beyond, Mr. Kono remarked, “By hosting the G8 Summit of Lower House Speakers in Hiroshima, I hope the city will be recognized as an important place to contemplate peace. More than 60 years have passed since the end of the war and the number of A-bomb survivors is dwindling. I want young people to listen carefully to the experiences of the survivors and understand the importance of passing on their message of peace to future generations.”

In response to a junior writer's suggestion of holding a children's summit in Hiroshima, Mr. Kono said, “The opportunity for young people from different countries to speak together about peace in Hiroshima is a wonderful idea. I hope such an event can be realized.”

Miyu Sakata, 12, one of the junior writers, commented, “I could feel Mr. Kono's strong commitment to the G8 Summit of Lower House Speakers. And I agreed with his view that war itself is wrong.”