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November 2011

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Wednesday, November 2     Mayor Matsui meets Mr. Patrick Joseph Linehan, Consul General of                                              the United States of America in Osaka-Kobe

写真Mayor Matsui received a courtesy call from Mr. Patrick Joseph Linehan, Consul General of the United States of America in Osaka-Kobe. Mayor Matsui expressed his gratitude towards America’s material and emotional support for the Great East Japan Earthquake. Furthermore, he requested America’s collaboration in attending the Peace Memorial Ceremony, holding the 2015 NPT Review Conference in Hiroshima, and encouraging America’s cities to join Mayors for Peace.  

Mr. Linehan expressed his willingness to keep cooperating for peace, stating that he would by all means like to attend next year’s Peace Memorial Ceremony, and that he holds President Obama’s view on a “world without nuclear weapons.”  

The next day, Consul General Linehan visited the Peace Memorial Museum, offered flowers at the Cenotaph for A-bomb victims, and listened to a testimony by an atomic bomb survivor.

[International Relations Division, Citizens Affairs Bureau]

 

Thursday, November 3     Honolulu Day Commemorative Event (Honolulu Hula Party and                                         Ceremony) 

写真A Honolulu Day commemorative event was held at the JR Hiroshima Station South Exit Underground Event Space. At the ceremony, Mayor Matsui expressed his gratitude towards the many associates helping to uphold the exchange between the two cities and expressed his hope that the friendship between the two sister cities will deepen.  

Furthermore, a video message was presented from Mr. Peter Carlisle, mayor of Honolulu, stating his hope that through this event, the friendship that has been upheld for over half a century between the two cities shall become stronger.  

Many citizens gathered at this event, enjoying programs such as a ribbon lei exhibition and lei-making workshop, as well as an authentic Hawaiian band performance, a hula stage, and other festivities.

[International Relations Division, Citizens Affairs Bureau]

 

Monday, November 14     Mayor Matsui meets Mr. Ole Kobblegaard, Principal of Denmark’s                                          Askov Folk High School

写真Mayor Matsui received a courtesy call from a visitation group led by Mr. Ole Kobblegaard, principal of Denmark’s Askov Folk High School.  

Mr. Kobblegaard expressed his will to collaborate in striving for the 2015 NPT Review Conference to be held in Hiroshima, and stated: “Visiting Hiroshima has been my wish for many years. So that the tragedy of Hiroshima is not repeated again, I would like to continue making efforts to educate people within and outside Japan about Hiroshima.”

In response to this, Mayor Matsui stated: “To realize a peaceful world, we need to overcome barriers of religion and nation, and share our knowledge and wisdom, working together as a whole world. I would be grateful if you continue to work towards deepening the cooperation with Hiroshima, and encourage many people to visit Hiroshima.”

[Peace Promotion Division, Citizens Affairs Bureau]

  

Monday, November 14     Mayor Matsui meets two members of the Austrian Young Workers                                         Movement (OJAB)

写真Mayor Matsui received a courtesy call from Ms. Astrid Meixner and Mrs. Tanya Pockl of the Austrian Young Workers Movement (OJAB) visiting Japan as part of the exchanges with the Japan Young Men’s Association for Fraternity.

Mayor Matsui expressed his gratitude for Austria native Karl Bruchner’s writing the story of Sadako Sasaki, which has since spread worldwide. He further expressed: “In light of the aging of the hibakusha, it becomes ever more necessary to preserve and pass along their experiences to the next generation. I would like for members of OJAB to keep visiting Hiroshima, and work with us in spreading our city’s wish for peace.”

In response, Mrs. Pockl stated: “The visit to Hiroshima and tour of the Peace Memorial Museum greatly moved me. I will strive to spread Hiroshima’s spirit to the Austrian youth, and encourage them to visit Hiroshima.”

[International Relations Division, Citizens Affairs Bureau]

 

Tuesday, November 15     Mayor Matsui meets Mr. Chung Dal-ho, Director of UNITAR’s CIFAL                                           Jeju International Training Center

写真Mayor Matsui received a courtesy call from director Chung Dal-ho of UNITAR’s CIFAL Jeju International Training Center. Mayor Matsui expressed his anticipation: “CIFAL Jeju International Training Center is located in Jeju, the first Korean city to participate in Mayors for Peace, and Jeju Island is designated as the ‘island of world peace’ by the Korean government. I would like to keep working to strengthen our ties.”

Director Chung stated his reason for visiting Hiroshima: “As director of the training center dealing with peace, security, and the environment, I came to Hiroshima in order to personally feel Hiroshima’s historical meaning and importance. Through active interpersonal exchanges and strengthening of solidarity, I believe there will be many positive developments for Korea-Japan relations.”

[International Relations Division, Citizens Affairs Bureau]

 

Thursday, November 17     Mayor Matsui meets Dr. George T. Brown Jr., President of Friendship                                           Force International

写真Mayor Matsui received a courtesy call from Dr. George T. Brown Jr., Friendship Force International (FFI) president, at city hall.

Friendship Force International is an organization established with the goal of allowing citizens of different countries to deepen mutual understanding and widen the circle of friendship through homestays and other exchanges. At the end of next October, FFI is planning to hold the 2012 World Conference in Hiroshima.

Mayor Matsui stated: “I am very pleased to have as many as 400 FFI participants visit Hiroshima. In hope that the circle of peace may further expand, I will cooperate and put in my highest efforts as a representative of Hiroshima to make participants personally feel the importance of peace.”

President Brown responded: “It is a great honor for us to hold the 35th World Conference of FFI in Hiroshima. I believe this will be an excellent chance for many people to feel the excellence of Hiroshima’s people and city, and to deepen understanding about the tragedy of the atomic bombing and about peace. I am confident that the participants will return and spread the message that one should visit Hiroshima to their home countries.”

[Peace Promotion Division, Citizens Affairs Bureau]

 

Monday, November 28     Mayor Matsui meets H.E. Dr. Bujar Dida, Ambassador of Albania to                                         Japan, and H.E. Pero Matic, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina                                         to Japan

写真Mayor Matsui received a courtesy call from His Excellency Dr. Bujar Dida, Ambassador of Albania to Japan, and His Excellency Pero Matic, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Japan.

The reason for the ambassadors’ visit was their countries’ reception of A-bombed stones from the Stone for Peace Association of Hiroshima. Through this organization, an A-bombed paving stone from Hiroshima streetcar tracks that were used in the vicinity of the A-bomb target Aioi-bashi Bridge, was donated to Albania in June this year, and another is due to be donated to Bosnia and Herzegovina next year.

Mayor Matsui stated that our city’s mission is to pass along the wishes of the A-bomb survivors, and to encourage people to think about what they can do towards peace. He also expressed his gratitude to the two countries for participating in the Stone for Peace project to spread thoughts for peace.

Both ambassadors stated that they support Hiroshima’s peace message and endorse Hiroshima’s peace initiatives. Ambassador Matic proposed that Hiroshima deepen the friendship with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital Sarajevo, which has also been ravaged by war in recent years, as well as being the place where World War I started.

[Peace Promotion Division, Citizens Affairs Bureau]

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