The PEACE Session
"Creating A Society Without Division - Peace Begins With YOU !"
The World HEIWA
Free The Children Japan
Wake Up Japan
Whether it’s religion, politics, or simply just a hashtag, there is so much division in the world today. Society has the power to create the future it desires and the PEACE session was envisioned by OYWJ Ambassador, Misato Nagakawa, to try and have an honest discussion about what it will take for us to come together under common vision and purpose. She invited 3 amazing panelists to share their stories as examples of how we can all do our part to create a more peaceful world.
"Why is peace SDG #16? I think peace should be the first goal. Peace is the foundation for everything."
- Kenji Sekine -
Before the panel discussion began, Misato invited Yuichiro Morishita, leader of The World HEIWA to the stage to share some of his stories and experiences of spreading the message of the world peace domestically and overseas. His journey started by learning the definition of peace from WWII atomic bomb survivors. He has since used that input to create his own “6-step peace policy” when traveling overseas to spread the message of peace:
- Atomic bomb exhibition
- Atomic bomb survivor message delivery
- Receive individual peace messages from those he visits
- Establish peace clubs at various institutions
- Shout messages of peace in the local languages and
- Make friends wherever you go.
As a result of his efforts and journeys, the United Nations has officially boarded his project to help extend and empower the movement.
Kenji Sekine from United People was invited to share his experience first. During his travels in the Middle East, he said he came across a young boy in the Gaza Strip who would change his life forever. He asked the boy what he wanted to be when he grew up and the boy responded that his dream was to kill as many Jewish people as possible. It was then that United People was born, a company dedicated to eradicating hate and to giving new hope and dreams to those who need it most…through film. Kenji’s stories of loss and hope for a peaceful future deeply moved the audience and the panelists.
Sanae Nakajima then shared her story which began in the USA while a student at Berkeley. She was deeply inspired by a 12-year-old boy who started his own NGO named, “Free The Children.” The boy’s story of creating a platform to help those children suffering child labor abuses resonated with Sanae. She decided to reach out to see how she could help. Today, she runs the Japan chapter for the organization attacking several issues ranging from child poverty eradication to social change.
Like many around the world, Hibiki Takeda has been heavily influenced by global stereotypes. Born in the age of 9/11, Hibiki once associated the Middle East with terrorism and North Korea with the threat of nuclear war. But, he has dedicated his time to learning more about the cultures behind these stereotypes, even going to North Korea himself in an exchange program to see if the stereotypes were true. The in-person experience has given him new perspective on what constitutes peace and what the average person can do to achieve it.
- Countries should expand education to include the study of peace.
- Children should be encouraged to raise their voice and included in discussions.
- Peace is the foundation for everything. Without it, nothing else matters.