Students from Hiroshima call for nuclear abolition at youth forum at U.N. Headquarters

by Michiko Tanaka, Staff Writer

New York – On April 29, students from Hiroshima and Nagasaki made presentations on their efforts to help advance the abolition of nuclear weapons at a youth forum held during the third session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, taking place at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The youth forum is the first such event organized by Mayors for Peace and the participants pledged to work together for nuclear abolition beyond national borders.

Dispatched by the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, six high school students from Hiroshima Prefecture took part in the event. The students are from Hiroshima Jogakuin High School and Shudo Junior High & High School, both located in the city of Hiroshima, and Eishin Gakuen in Fukuyama. The students shared the efforts being made by each school, such as pursuing a petition drive to call for a nuclear weapons convention and guiding tourists through Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Their presentations were given in English, and included messages like “Hiroshima should not be just part of history,” and “No one should ever go through the same suffering. That is the A-bomb survivors’ wish.”

A university student from Nagasaki and a high school student from Okinawa also delivered speeches to some 50 members of non-governmental organizations from around the world. In the question-and-answer session, an American college student said that it is hard to make headway with antinuclear activities in the United States. Chisa Nishida, 19, a sophomore at Nagasaki University, advised building bonds with others and the students promised to maintain ties through online chat and other means. Ms. Nishida is a Hiroshima native and a former junior writer for the Chugoku Shimbun.

After the forum, Kazuho Kubota, 17, a third-year student at Hiroshima Jogakuin High School, said, “We were able to convey the wish of the A-bomb survivors and our activities to create a world without nuclear weapons with people from around the world.” Shota Tatsukami, 16, a second-year student at Shudo High School, said, “I will share this experience with my friends and work even harder for nuclear abolition.”

Here is the entire text of the presentation given by Ms. Kubota and Ms. Imai.

Here is the entire text of Ms. Nishida's presentation.

(Originally published on May 1, 2014)