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Peace and Disarmament

Back to listJul 26, 2008

Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Okinawa Youth Hold Peace Summit

Youth peace summit held in Okinawa Youth peace summit held in Okinawa

On July 26, 2008, Soka Gakkai youth representatives from Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Okinawa gathered for a youth peace summit at the Soka Gakkai Okinawa International Peace Center in Naha, Okinawa. Soka Gakkai's respective Youth Peace Conferences (YPC) and Young Women's Peace and Culture Conferences (YWPCC) from the three prefectures have collaborated on antiwar publications, video recordings of atomic bombing and war victims' experiences as well as peace education exhibitions, lectures and surveys. The YPCs and YWPCCs aim to raise awareness regarding peace-related issues, especially among young people.

The meeting began with Harumi Uehara, a fourth grade elementary school student, reading her poem entitled "The Sky of Okinawa is the Heart of Peace," which won an award for excellence at the 18th Peace Message Competition for students, organized by the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum. Nobuko Yamada, who lost her parents and brother as a result of the Battle of Okinawa during World War II, shared her harrowing experience and expressed her hope that young people would inherit a passion to create peace.

Youth representatives offer a flower werath at the Himeyuri Monument Youth representatives offer a flower wreath at the Himeyuri Monument

Following remarks from Okinawa Youth Leader Daisaku Oshiro, YPC representatives from the three prefectures reported on their recent activities. National YPC Chair Kenji Shiratsuchi and YWPCC Chair Noriko Takeuchi emphasized that a current of world for peace can be created through steadily engaging in dialogue and encouraged everyone to strengthen their resolve to build lasting peace.

Prior to the meeting, participants went to a bomb shelter site used as an army hospital during World War II. They also visited the Himeyuri Monument to offer a flower wreath and pray for war victims. The Himeyuri Monument is dedicated to female high school students and teachers who served as war nurses and died during the Battle of Okinawa.

[Adapted from an article in the July 27, 2008 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]