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.
“Global Voyage for Nuclear Free World”: Disarmament Education
Peace Boat’s Hibakusha Project means Hibakusha can share their testimony around the world, including with schools, governments and the media
Students, educators, mayors, diplomats, policy makers, civil society representatives and Nobel
Peace Laureates have joined this project, in ports and onboard the ship.
Two documentary films on the project, by young filmmakers from Costa Rica and Japan, are
screened internationally and, as tools of value for disarmament education, are available for purchase on Amazon here: English and Spanish.
Global Voyage for a Nuclear Free World” working with other victims and survivors
Hibakusha from South Korea, Canada, the United States and Brazil have also joined the project.
Peace Boat’s programs link the issue of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Japan’s wartime behavior, bringing issues about historical recognition and the Asia-Pacific into disarmament education.
The Hibakusha meet with other victims and survivors of war, including Holocaust survivors in Auschwitz and people affected by Agent Orange/Dioxin in Viet Nam, to share their experiences and explore how to pass their knowledge on to future generations and prevent the recurrence of such tragedies.
The sixth Hibakusha Project was held onboard the 80th Global Voyage from July-October, 2013. Nine survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, accompanied by a Youth Communicator for a Nuclear-Free World, gave testimonies onboard and in 12 ports around the world, exploring the theme of “passing on the legacy to the next generations.” Various guests joined the project during different segments of the voyage including Nakatani Takeshi, the only Japanese official guide of the Auschwitz National Museum in Poland, and Clifton Truman Daniel, the eldest grandson of the 33rd President of the United States Harry S. Truman, and many more.
Volunteer Web Reporter for the project, Ari Beser also maintained a blog about the Hibakusha Project’s activities throughout the voyage on the web site of the Breaking the Nuclear Chain campaign, coordinated by the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) together with Peace Boat and IKV-Pax Christi. Read his reports and learn more about the campaign here.
The 83rd Global Voyage, sailing around the world between March 13 – June 24, 2014, will be hosting the 7th version of this project, with a delegation of 8 Hibakusha joining for the entire voyage. Read an overview of the project onboard the voyage here, and the profiles of the Hibakusha and accompanying youth here.