Delegates of Nagasaki Youth Delegation are chosen, will travel to NPT meeting in New York

by Rie Nii, Staff Writer

Eight university students have been selected as members of the Nagasaki Youth Delegation, which will travel to New York in April to attend the Preparatory Committee for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference scheduled to open at the end of that month. One of those chosen, Chisa Nishida, 19, a freshman at Nagasaki University, is a former junior writer for the Chuguku Shimbun, where she wrote articles on peace issues. The members of the delegation were announced on January 14 by the PCU Nagasaki Council for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, the sponsor of the project and comprised of Nagasaki Prefecture, Nagasaki City, and Nagasaki University.

During a press conference held at the university’s Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, Susumu Shirabe, chairman of the council and vice president of the university, said that the members of the delegation have the chance to exchange views in English with others and expressed his hope that they will play an important role in conveying Nagasaki’s message of peace. Ms. Nishida said, “I’m looking forward to meeting many people in New York. I’ll do my best to learn as much as I can.”

The aim of the project is to assist today’s college students in learning about current global conditions involving nuclear weapons and to nurture young leaders who will contribute to realizing a world without nuclear weapons. Last spring, the first such delegation of eight members was sent to a meeting of the NPT Review Conference Preparatory Committee held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Anna Shimoda, 21, traveled to Geneva last year as a delegate. After returning to Japan, she visited Fukushima Prefecture and formed friendly ties with elementary school students there. She told them about the damage of the Nagasaki A-bombing and the city’s reconstruction. Ms. Shimoda, now a senior at Nagasaki University, is originally from Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture. She offered encouragement, saying, “I hope this delegation will also have a good experience and remain active after they return to Japan.”

The eight students will hold study meetings, and draw up individual plans about the activities they will pursue in New York. Afterward, they will report on their trip at a meeting in June.

Besides Ms. Nishida, the other members of the delegation are: Sakura Arasaki, Yuko Tabira, Yuno Hashiguchi, Mariko Hori, Haruka Maekawa, Minami Miyata, and Tomoe Yamanaka.

(Originally published on January 15, 2014)