Students deliver 26,000 anti-nuclear signatures to Hiroshima mayor

by Hiromi Morita, Staff Writer

On October 17, student representatives from Hiroshima Jogakuin Junior and Senior High School in Hiroshima City and Eishin Gakuen in Fukuyama City, in Hiroshima Prefecture, visited Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba to deliver a petition with about 26,000 signatures collected from throughout Japan calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Mayor Akiba will visit the United Nations Headquarters in New York sometime soon, taking the signatures with him.

About 20 students from the two schools, both with integrated junior high and high school levels, spoke with Mayor Akiba and made such comments as “We have learned the importance of promoting peace in the world through collecting these signatures.” Ayako Maruhashi, 17, a student at Hiroshima Jogakuin Senior High School and Yuko Arichi, 16, a student at Eishin High School, handed the signatures to Mayor Akiba, who thanked them and stated, “I intend to talk about the peace efforts of young people and their sentiments at the United Nations.”

The idea of collecting signatures was conceived at a Peace Summit held by the two schools, in cooperation with Okinawa Shogaku Junior and Senior High Schools, in Hiroshima and Fukuyama this past spring. Fifteen private schools from northern Hokkaido to southern Okinawa, collected signatures in their communities.

(Originally published on October 18, 2008)