High School Peace Ambassadors to speak at U.N.

Express intent to globalize public desire for nuclear abolition

by Kohei Okata, Staff Writer

Akane Matsuoka, 16, a second-year student at Hiroshima Prefectural Hiroshima Senior High School and resident of Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture, and Chiho Kozakura, 15, a first-year student at Hiroshima University Senior High School and a resident of Asaminami Ward, Hiroshima, have been chosen as High School Student Peace Ambassadors. At a press conference at Hiroshima City Hall on June 6, they announced that they, along with 18 students from Nagasaki, Fukushima and other prefectures, will visit UN Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on August 20 to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Ms. Matsuoka, a member of the Ten Thousand Signature Initiative launched by high school students calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, said, “I intend to convey the passionate desire of youth for peace in the world.”

Ms. Kozakura was asked to convey the desire for peace by an A-bomb survivor she met at a peace education program when she was a second-year student in junior high school. With high hopes she said, “Those of us who can listen directly to the accounts of A-bomb survivors have to spread the desire for nuclear abolition.”

The peace ambassador program was launched in 1998 by the High School Peace Ambassador Dispatch Committee, a citizen’s organization located in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This year’s ambassadors are the 16th delegation to be dispatched. Ms. Matsuoka and Ms. Kozakura were selected from among 28 participants in a selection conference held in Hiroshima Prefecture.

(Originally published on June 7, 2013)