Workshop and Symposia

Peace Education Videoconference Linking Spain and Japan

Participants listening to atomic bomb survivors' experiences in Rivas-Vaciamadrid, Spain
Participants listening to atomic bomb survivors' experiences in Rivas-Vaciamadrid, Spain

On January 30, in an effort to directly expose youth to the tragedies of nuclear weapons use, SGI-Spain helped organize a live videoconference between some 150 high school students and local citizens in Rivas-Vaciamadrid, Spain, and atomic bomb survivors in Nagasaki, Japan.

The exchange was held as a part of the Peace-Net program, an initiative of the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall and Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace, which uses online technology to promote peace education for those unable to physically visit the atomic bomb sites in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

The teleconference opened with a video message by Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue, welcome remarks by Rivas-Vaciamadrid Deputy Mayor Marcos Sanz Salas and greetings by SGI-Spain General Director Enrique Caputo.

From Nagasaki, Mr. Yoshiro Yamawaki of the Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace then shared his experience of losing his father in the nuclear bombing that devastated Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. He was at his home at the time, just 2.2 kilometers from the hypocenter. Mr. Yamawaki expressed his determination to ensure that the consequences of nuclear weapons are not left unknown to future generations and to contribute to the realization of a nuclear-weapon-free world. A question and answer session between Mr. Yamawaki and the students followed.

Rivas-Vaciamadrid's interest in nuclear abolition was galvanized when SGI-Spain first showed the SGI anti-nuclear weapons exhibition "From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace: Transforming the Human Spirit" (THS) at its culture center in the city in September of 2012.

The exhibition was on display again from January 28 to February 6, 2013, at the same convention center where the videoconference took place, sponsored by the city of Rivas-Vaciamadrid.

[Adapted from an article in the February 7, 2013, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan and a report from the SGI Office of Public Information; photo courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]

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