Former Prime Minister Mahathir to speak about renunciation of war at a youth conference in Hiroshima

by Kyosuke Mizukawa, Staff Writer

Mahathir bin Mohamad, 83, former prime minister of Malaysia, will give a talk on the theme “How can young people contribute to World Peace?” at an international youth conference on August 5, a day before the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The conference, called the International Youth Conference for Peace in the Future and organized by the Hiroshima municipal board of education and other entities, will be held at Aster Plaza in downtown Hiroshima.

Mr. Mahathir has been invited to Japan to deliver a speech in Fukuoka. He will come to Hiroshima on August 5 to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony on August 6, in line with his wishes. The organizers of the Hiroshima event, who hold the conference alternately with the city of Hannover, Germany, one of Hiroshima’s sister cities, asked Mr. Mahathir to speak at their opening ceremony in order to convey a peace message from Hiroshima.

Mr. Mahathir held the post of prime minister for a long period of time, from 1981 to 2003. Since 2005, he has been chairman of a nongovernmental organization which appeals for the renunciation of war.

The International Youth Conference for Peace in the Future will be held with the participation of roughly 60 youths from Japan and eight overseas countries from August 3 through 17. The participants will stay in Hiroshima during this time and engage in various exchange activities. The speech by Mr. Mahathir at the opening ceremony will be given from 14:30 to 15:15. The event is open to the public free of charge.

(Originally published on July 17, 2009)

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