Since 2008, Japan-based international NGO Peace Boat has invited Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to participate in the “Global Voyage for a Nuclear-Free World: Peace Boat Hibakusha Project.” As of 2014, over 150 Hibakusha have travelled around the world giving personal testimonies about the effects of the atomic bombs and calling for nuclear abolition. The messages from Hiroshima and Nagasaki have the potential to deeply move people around the world who are affected by war, violence, poverty and environmental issues. This project is held annually onboard Peace Boat’s global voyages. As the average age of the Hibakusha is now close to 79 years old, the time remaining for them to directly send out their urgent message is very limited.
Peace Boat has for many years campaigned on nuclear related issues, both for the abolition of nuclear weapons and also nuclear power. Since March 2011 Peace Boat has been particularly working on relief and advocacy related to the nuclear disaster which took place after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. This work has been at the local and global level and has included the Global Conference for a Nuclear Free World, bringing the “Voices of Fukushima” to the world and the Fukushima Youth Ambassador Project.
Peace Boat has long been involved in local and global initiatives to eradicate poverty in the world – particularly in recent years towards the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Notably, in 2009, Peace Boat launched its MDGs Campaign, in partnership with the United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC) and the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP-Japan) to raise awareness about the MDGs and the role of civil society in achieving these goals.
Can you imagine a world without war? Can you imagine your country’s constitution making war illegal? Article 9 of Japan’s “peace” constitution renounces the right to wage war and to maintain armed forces for that purpose. Peace Boat US is supporting the campaign to uphold Japan’s Article 9, to encourage the adoption of peace constitutions throughout the world and to abolish war.
Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution is a strong and clear promise to the world by Japan, particularly to the people of the Asia-Pacific, who suffered terribly under Japanese aggression prior to and during WWII, that “we will never repeat such a tragic mistake.” Article 9 has helped build confidence in a very unstable region, keep peace for more than 60 years and is of paramount importance for the prevention of conflict. The philosophy of Article 9 is the logical extension of the UN Charter’s goal to save future generations from the scourge of war. The purpose of our Global Article 9 Campaign is to urge global civil society to adopt the “No War, No Military” message and push for this concept to be included in their own countries’ constitutions.
Learn more about the campaign and how you can be involved!
Peace Boat US is working with the Global Campaign for Peace Education (GCPE) to facilitate the introduction of peace education into all educational institutions as called for by the Hague Appeal for Peace Conference in May 1999.
The GCPE seeks to develop the capacities, in teachers and learners, to face challenges of unprecedented proportion: the continued development of weapons of mass destruction, armed conflicts between states and ethnic groups, the spread of racism, gender inequality, community violence, the huge and widening gap between the rich and the poor throughout the globalized economy, massive violations of human rights and the degradation of the environment. This initiative intends to foster the culture of peace in communities around the world. It has two goals.
The Global Campaign for Peace Education is presently coordinated by the Peace Education Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, and publishes a monthly e-newsletter.
To subscribe or contribute to the newsletter visit:www.tc.edu/peaceed/newsletter/index.htm