Visit to the Embassy of the Republic of Kosovo

On April1 18, 2024, we visited the Embassy of the Republic of Kosovo and met Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Dr. Sabri Kiçmari. The visit was connected with Ms Takigawa Yoko, a member who is posted to the Republic of Kosovo as a Japanese language teacher.

Mr Akiyama Shingo, Director of the Japan Branch of the Kosovo-Japan Friendship Association, who introduced us to the Embassy, was also present. Representative director Takase explained to the Ambassador the origins of the UN Peace Bell and the activities of the Association for the Preservation of the UN Peace Bell, and said that the Association would like to present the Republic of Kosovo with a 4 kg Peace Bell. The Ambassador was very pleased and said he would pass the message on to his country.

The possibility of a visit to the Republic of Kosovo was increased.


10th study meeting

On 6 April 2024, the first study session of the 10th anniversary of the Association for the preservation of UN Peace Bell was held at the Hibiya Library and Culture Centre. The lecturer was Mr IWAASA Toshihisa, representative of the IT Engineering Institute and JICA Specialist for the Palestinian Small and Medium Enterprise Support Project, who spoke about the actual situation on the ground.

At the beginning of the study session, Representative TAKASE explained the establishment of the association, followed by a lecture by Mr IWAASA. As for the Israeli-Palestinian issue, the Gaza Strip has been the focus of media coverage, but the West Bank also exists in Palestine. Mr IWAASA, who has even built an industrial park in the West Bank, explained the history of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, which is not reported in Japan, and the background to the present day.

The participants were so enthusiastic that they asked many questions even after the lecture, and time was not enough. Everyone commented that it was a very good study session.


Presentation of picture books to the Moriguchi City Board of Education

On 3 April 2024, the picture book was presented to the Moriguchi City Board of Education by Mr NISHIDA Kaoru, a member of the Osaka Prefectural Assembly. This will be followed by the presentation of the picture book ‘Coin de tsunagu heiwa no kane’ to elementary and junior high schools and libraries in Moriguchi City. 

The presentation ceremony was attended by Mr TANAKA Minoru, Director of Education, and Mr MIZUKAWA Toshio, Superintendent of Education, both from the Moriguchi City Board of Education, Mr NISHIDA Kaoru , Member of the Osaka Prefectural Assembly, Representative TAKASE, Director TANIYAMA and TAKAI of the association.

On that occasion, TAKASE also asked to give a lecture on the UN Peace Bell to students at elementary and junior high schools in Moriguchi City. 



Participation in the 8th Kozanji WPPC ceremony

On 30 March 2024, the 8th WPPC ceremony was held in front of the main Pagoda of Kozanji temple in Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture, under a wonderful blue sky, a complete change from the stormy weather of the previous day. WPPC is a ceremony in which all participants pray for peace in all countries while raising the national flag of each country.

I was invited to participate by the organizer, Ms ZUSHI Kumiko, and about 30 WPPC members and local residents attended.

The ceremony started with Gagaku music, followed by an opening address by Ms ZUSHI and a greeting by Mr. HAMANO, President of the Kinan UNESCO Association, and a peace message by the representative of a yoga organization Brahma Kumaris in Kobe. I then delivered a peace message on behalf of the association for the preservation of UN Peace Bell, after which the flag ceremony began with the ringing of the Peace Bell. Participants waved the flags of all countries on each continent, wishing for peace in the 193 UN member states and all the other countries, and prayed aloud for peace in their countries and peace in the world. Each time the continents changed, I rang the bell and we all did a short peace meditation, following the lead of the yoga leader. The ceremony was broadcast to the world via ZOOM.



Musashino Place Exhibition

On 20 March 2024, at the Musashino Place ground floor gallery in Tokyo, the themed “Why Do Adults Fight Wars?” of the ‘Prayer for Love and Peace Exhibition’ was organized by the Inamori Art Project Group. Ms SAWA Yukari, who was in charge of the exhibition, invited us to join and to display the4㎏peace bell at the exhibition.

Unlike the normal lecture, I was able to answer questions about the peace bell directly to each visitor. We are grateful for this good opportunity.



New Year Lecture ‘The Lion in the Cage’

On 6 January 2024, a lecture by lawyer Hando Taiki was held in Tama City. Young people and children attended, perhaps because of the unique theme of ‘The Lion in the Cage’. The lecture started at 1.30pm and lasted for three hours, but the lecturer’s speaking style was fun and the tempo was good, making the three hours seem short. The children listened quietly to the talk. In his speech, he compared the ‘cage’ to the Constitution and the ‘country (power)’ to a lion. I learnt that it is thanks to the ‘cage’ that we are able to say what we want to say freely and without worry, and that we are protected by the Constitution. To be honest, I thought that the Constitution was not directly relevant to me, but once again I learnt that it is relevant to our daily lives. The lecture made me feel closer to the Constitution.


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