Baseball game for peace a big hit

by Osamu Kido, Staff Writer

A game between the Hiroshima Toyo Carp and the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, dubbed “Paper Crane Night Game,” was held at the Hiroshima Municipal Baseball Stadium on August 26, in hopes of transmitting a wish for peace at one of Japanese baseball’s official games. About 16,000 spectators showed their support for the Mayors for Peace aim of abolishing nuclear weapons, the organization for which Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba serves as president. The fans created a sea of green, the color of Mayors for Peace, by holding up green signs in their hands.

When the top of the fifth inning was over, Mayor Akiba called out to the stadium from the giant TV screen on the scoreboard, “Let’s send a message of peace through this Paper Crane Night Game!” Then, at the end of inning, the fans raised their green signs in unison, bearing the Hiroshima Carp slogan “ALL-IN.” The “Paper Crane Portable Shrine” float, displayed at the Flower Festival held on Peace Boulevard in May, was also carried into the stadium.

The Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation conceived the project as part of “the 2020 Vision” campaign being implemented by Mayors for Peace, which is seeking the abolition of nuclear weapons by the year 2020. The Hiroshima Carp baseball team offered its support during the special game, too, with the players donning a patch on the sleeve of their uniforms with the image of a paper crane.

Seikyo Hiroshima, a consumer cooperative, located in nearby Hatsukaichi City, took part, too. Members of the organization held a signature drive by the stadium for the “Cities Are Not Targets” project also proposed by Mayors for Peace.

(Originally Published on August 27, 2008) 

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