Peace activists traveling on the Japanese “Peace Boat” have conveyed a message of peace and nuclear disarmament during their one day trip to Cyprus.
The Japanese “Peace Boat” docked at Limassol Port earlier Thursday for a one day visit, as part of its global voyage itinerary, carrying more than 800 supporters of nuclear disarmament, giving testimony and calling for nuclear abolition.
The activists called on Limassol Mayor Andreas Christou and visited the ceasefire line at Ledra Palace in the capital Nicosia, dividing the government controlled areas from the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus.
They were accompanied by Ecologists Movement General Secretary George Perdikis who said missions like the one which the Peace Boat is carrying out and includes Cyprus as one of its destinations, are important. “We drew their attention to the fact that they are visiting a divided city”, said Perdikis.
He added that the people of Cyprus, who are the victims of war, love and pursue peace through the freedom of Cyprus. Perdikis added they informed the peace activists about the concern of the people of Cyprus over Turkey’s nuclear programme, and noted it is significant that after Cyprus, the Peace Boat will make a port of call in Turkey to examine with Turkish environmentalists and activists the issue of nuclear disarmament.
Among the visitors, Hiroshima survivor Susumu Tsuboi said he was 17 when he lost his mother to the atomic bomb and while he survived the blast, he suffered from acute radiation sickness.
He said the countries of the world should decrease their military expenditure and instead, should set up the Olive Peace Foundation to be used to solve the problems of long-term absence from school, poverty, contributing to peace through non-violence.
Eighty-six year old Ohmura Kazuko, a Nagasaki survivor, said her house was located 500 metres away from where the bomb was dropped. She was out of the city at the time of the bombing but returned three days later to find the bodies of her parents and siblings in the debris of her home. Her desire she said, is to pass on her experiences to the young generations and this is what made her participate in the Peace Boat
The Peace Boat`s 80th Global Peace Voyage sailed from Yokohama on July 18 and will return on October 10. This 85-day voyage is an anniversary - both marking Peace Boat`s 80th voyage, and also its 30 year history as an organization. To mark this, special projects are taking place onboard, including the participation of a delegation of atomic bomb survivors as part of Peace Boat's Hibakusha Project, youth ambassadors from disaster-affected Fukushima and Ishinomaki, and education programmes such as Global University and the onboard Montessori kindergarten.
The Peace Boat’s voyage itinerary includes Turkey, Greece, Italy, Malta, Spain, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Morocco, Mexico, Panama and other countries before returning to Japan.
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