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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 April 25 - May 8  > 60-year-old nationwide antinuke peace march begins
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2018 April 25 - May 8 [PEACE]

60-year-old nationwide antinuke peace march begins

May 8, 2018
Peace marchers on May 6 departed from a Tokyo park for Hiroshima. This is the Tokyo-Hiroshima course of the annual nationwide antinuke march which started 60 years ago.

Along with the Tokyo-Hiroshima course, the annual march has ten other main courses. On the same day, marchers of the Hokkaido-Tokyo and Shikoku-Hiroshima courses set off from Hokkaido’s Rebun Island and Ehime’s Matsuyama City respectively. March participants are scheduled to arrive at Hiroshima City on August 4.

Prior to the start of the Tokyo-Hiroshima march, 800 people held a rally at Yumenoshima Park in Tokyo. The rally participants included four marchers who plan to walk one of the eleven courses in the nationwide antinuke march from beginning to end.

Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo) representative director Taka Hiroshi in the rally said that the leaders of North and South Korea in the summit meeting last month agreed on the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and pointed out that a great undertaking to establish peace in Asia and the rest of the world has begun. He said, “The next step should be taken by Japan. Let us force the government to support the fulfillment of the global demand for a nuclear-free world and the realization of a Japan where Article 9 of the Constitution is fully respected.”

Oiwa Kohei, Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) representative director, in his speech criticized the Abe Cabinet for refusing to join the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty and for continuing to oppose it. Concerning Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s ambition to change Article 9 of the Constitution, Oiwa said that Hidankyo issued a statement urging Abe to give up his ambition. He said, “Let us march together with our commitment to protect Article 9.”

Patricia Angeles, who heads a Philippine peace organization, Peace Women Partners, is one of a number of young people from abroad who will walk in parts of the peace march in relays. Delivering a speech. she said that the annual peace march has taken place in response to Hibakusha’s earnest call to prevent a recurrence of the nightmare of atomic bombings. She also said that she is proud to take part in this event. Angeles said that taking advantage of this opportunity, she wants to listen to many stories from Hibakusha and fellow marchers, and share those stories with people back home.

Past related articles:
> Nationwide peace march bound for Hiroshima/Nagasaki starts [May 7, 2017]
> Calling on all state governments to conclude NWC, annual antinuke march begins [May 7, 2016]
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