Students from Miyazaki Prefecture make pledge for peace at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

by Uzaemonnaotsuka Tokai, Staff Writer

On November 24, 183 second-year students from Tomishima Junior High School in Hyuga City, Miyazaki Prefecture, offered paper cranes at the Children's Peace Monument in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and read out a pledge for peace. The event was organized in response to the "Hiroshima Children's Peace Council" project, an initiative of the City of Hiroshima calling on students who come to Hiroshima on school excursions to express their views on peace in the A-bombed city.

The students shared the results of their learning on the devastation wrought by the atomic bombing, the miseries of war and other issues. Led by a student representative of the group, the students all read out the pledge, which included four points: do not hurt others, be thankful for being able to live in peace, cherish our lives in the present, and strive to live a peaceful life in the future.

Keito Kozono, 14, president of the school's student government, said, "Seeing the A-bomb Dome really made me recognize the preciousness of peace. I feel it's important for us to pass on the cruelty of war."

The "Hiroshima Children's Peace Council" project seeks to spread the desire of the A-bombed city for the abolition of nuclear weapons through preliminary studies at schools and presentational activities on-site in the city itself. Eight schools and organizations from Hiroshima Prefecture and other prefectures participated in the project for the first time at the International Conference Center Hiroshima on August 6 of this year.

According to the Peace Promotion Division, about five more schools are planning to participate in the project at such venues as Peace Memorial Park and the City Council Chamber by next March.

(Originally published on November 25, 2009)