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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 April 30 - May 13  > 50th anti-nuclear peace march starts
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2008 April 30 - May 13 [ANTI-N-ARMS]

50th anti-nuclear peace march starts

April 30 & May 8, 2008
The 50th nationwide peace march for the abolition of nuclear weapons began on May 6. About 1,400 people took part in a departure ceremony at Tokyo’s Yumenoshima Park.

This annual peace march will take place on 11 national routes and numerous local routes and will converge on the atom-bombed city of Hiroshima on August 6.

On that day, marches on two main courses started, one from Tokyo to Hiroshima and the other from Hokkaido to Tokyo.

Invoking the founding principle that everyone who wishes for a nuclear-free world can join the peace march, marchers will call on municipalities, local boards of education, a wide range of civic organizations, temples and churches to participate in, cooperate with, or send messages to the march. They visit all municipalities to ask for support to the campaign to have Japan declare itself nuclear-free.

Speaking on behalf of the organizers at the ceremony in Tokyo to mark the start of the march to Hiroshima, World Conference against A & H Bombs Steering Committee member Noguchi Kunikazu called on participants to develop actions for a nuclear-free, peaceful, and just world toward the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

Peace activists, who took part in the 50th peace march in Aldermaston, Britain, in March, introduced the flag of the British peace march, which will be carried in all main courses.

Overseas delegates from the Philippines and the U.S. spoke in solidarity with the marchers.

Young people spoke of their determination to make the success of the “210,000 paper-crane project” to help remember the number of A-bomb victims who died following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the end of 1945. The project has been launched with the aim of encouraging as many young people as possible to send paper-cranes to the World Conference against A & H Bombs in Hiroshima in August or bring them to the nationwide peace march.

The first anti-nuclear peace march was held in 1958 by Nishimoto Atsushi, who started alone from the A-bomb memorial in Hiroshima in June and walked to Tokyo, the venue of the 4th World Conference against A & H Bombs. Joined by more people day by day, he was walking with about 10,000 people by the time he got to Tokyo. - Akahata, April 30 & May 8, 2008
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