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In Japan, paper cranes are seen as symbols of prayers for peace. The thousands of paper cranes displayed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki's peace memorial parks were made by people all over the world to express their wish for peace. Have you ever made a paper crane? (To find out how, see http://www.wikihow.com/Fold-a-Paper-Crane.)

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On August 6, in a speech commemorating the 66th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the city's Mayor Kazumi Matsui called for a review of Japan's energy policy in the light of the ongoing nuclear situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. This is the first time that one of Hiroshima's mayors has spoken out about nuclear power generation. Do you find it surprising that none of Hiroshima's mayors had spoken out about it before?

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As of June 29, a wildfire approaching the desert birthplace of the atomic bomb, the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, is raising concern about the safety of radioactive material stored there. Meanwhile, the daily threat posed by nuclear weapons continues. Which do you think is more frightening--the detonation of nuclear weapons triggered unintentionally by human error or intentionally by terrorists?

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In the face of the Fukushima nuclear accident, caused by the March 11 earthquake, the names of various radioactive substances have become well-known to ordinary people both in Japan and around the world. However, it is a little-known fact that the radioactive elements contained in the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 were not the same. The Hiroshima bomb contained uranium whilst the Nagasaki bomb contained plutonium. Were you aware of this?

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The fact that South Africa is one of the very few countries to have voluntarily chosen to abolish nuclear weapons was referred to by South Africa's former President Frederik Willem de Klerk in his lecture ( Lecture movie ), given on November 13, 2010, in Hiroshima. Were you aware that such countries existed before reading this?

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The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimates that world military expenditure in 2010 was $1630 billion. Although this figure represents an increase of 1.3 percent in real terms, it is the slowest annual rate of increase since 2001. Do you think that this is a positive sign?

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Fukushima Nuclear Accident caused by the earthquake and following tsunami have triggered debates on nuclear power plants in many parts of the world. Do you know how much does your country's electricity derive from nuclear plants?

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The final document of last year's NPT Review Conference mentioned convening a conference in 2012 for establishment of a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone of the region. Meanwhile, several countries in the region have been keen on building nuclear plants responding to surge of energy demand. Do you think recent public upheavals in the region will contribute to establishment of the zone?

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In his address to the UN General Assembly on January 14 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon outlined the issues that the UN will be prioritizing in 2011. He stated that priorities relating to nuclear disarmament would include the implementation of the agreements reached at the 2010 NPT Review Conference, the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and greater efforts to settle issues concerning both nuclear security and nuclear terrorism. Do you think the UN should be taking bolder steps towards the total abolition of nuclear weapons and be more actively working towards the realization of a Nuclear Weapons Convention?

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International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano visited Japan at the beginning of December, 2010. During a presentation made at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan he emphasized the agency’s new projects in which the IAEA is utilizing its expertise in nuclear science and include the delivery of radiation medicine and the management of water resources. Were you aware of these new IAEA projects before reading about them here?

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This year saw the NPT Review Conference, with some significant resolutions adopted. On the other hand, the disarmament treaty agreed to between the United States and Russia is deadlocked in the process of ratification; meanwhile there is suspicion of further proliferation among non-nuclear-weapons states. Do you think the world has made progress toward abolition of nuclear weapons this year?

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This year quite a few events were held commemorating the 65th anniversary of dropping of atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Did you see or hear anything about those events, including through mass-media?

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This year United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki and participated in the 65th commemorative ceremonies held there. This was the first time the UN Secretary-General has participated. What do you think of this?

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