May 30, 2011
On May 21 (Sat) and 22 (Sun), 2011, forty residents of AP House from ten different countries and regions including Vietnam, China and Iran, took part in the AP House Students' Nagasaki Peace Tour. During the tour, students visited Nagasaki, a city that experienced the world’s second atomic bomb attack, and also joined high school students involved in the “10,000 High School Students Signatures Campaign” to build a peaceful and nuclear-free world.
Through providing opportunities for students to visit Nagasaki and hear stories of the tremendous force of the atomic attack that occurred 66 years ago, The Nagasaki Peace Tour aims to raise students’ awareness of the suffering that Japan experienced as a result of atomic weapons. Now in its third year, the tour began in 2009.
Guided by locals who actually survived the atomic attack, students visited the Atomic Peace Park, the blast epicenter, viewed photographs, relics and other materials that told of the terrible nature of the bomb. As with last year’s program, the participants also heard a first-hand account of the atomic bomb from Mr. HIROSE Masahito who survived the attack. On day two of the visit (Sun 22), students took part in the “10,000 High School Students Signatures Campaign” in Nagasaki City and called for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Tour participants gave their impression of the program.
SUENAGA Shizuka (APS1, Japan)
“It was a precious opportunity to meet and hear from someone who actually experienced the atomic attack. Working alongside international students and high school students made me see that although we may have different nationalities or come from different age groups, our feelings towards peace are the same. I want to do what ever I can to help the cause of world peace”.
EDELEN Ashley Nicole (GSAM, USA)
The Nagasaki Peace Tour was a unique and beneficial experience. As an American student I have learned about the dropping of the atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, but being able to meet a victim of the bombing and see the hypocenter was a life changing event. Programs such as the Nagasaki Peace Tour are very important to the future of peace and as an international university APU has the opportunity to spread the message of peace to other countries around the world.
CHNG Yee Siang (APM, Singapore)
The Nagasaki Peace Tour was my first time to Nagasaki and was a great experience for me. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the Atomic Bomb Museum, the Nagasaki Peace Park, and hear first-hand from a survivor of the atomic bomb, Mr. HIROSE. Despite loosing his family members during the explosion, Mr. HIROSE still carried on with life strongly, and became a teacher thereafter. His was a truly inspiring story.
In addition to the Nagasaki Peace Tour, APU provides a range of opportunities for students to learn more about peace, history and Japanese culture including a similar peace study tour to Kyoto with Ritsumeikan University students.
*The "10,000 High School Students Signatures Campaign" began in 2001 during the India/Pakistan nuclear tests as a way to send Nagasaki's hopes for peace to the world. In this program, "High School Student Ambassadors" were dispatched to the United Nations and upon their return to Japan, began through their own efforts activities working towards the eradication of nuclear weapons. The collected signatures are presented directly to the United Nations by the High School Student Ambassadors.