Port of Call
Piraeus, Greece - Voices from Hiroshima and Fukushima, Sep 24, 2012
The Peace Boat delegation meet with the Vice-Mayor of the City of Athens, Mr. Fotis Provatas
When Peace Boat's 77th voyage docked in Greece, a delegation of four Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) from Hiroshima and two students from Fukushima University visited local officials in Piraeus and Athens as part of the Global Hibakusha Project. The four from Hiroshima had previously been giving testimony in Israel and joined the ship in Egypt where they gave testimony in Cairo. The visits in Greece were organised in coordination with Maria Sotiropoulou, Greek Affiliate at International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)

The delegation first visited the City Hall in Athens where they were received by the Vice-Mayor of the City of Athens, Mr. Fotis Provatas. Peace Boat has a deep connection with Athens since participants visit the city at least twice a year when the ship docks in nearby Piraeus on its global voyages. This was, however, the first time for a delegation from Peace Boat to visit the Mayor's office and they were warmly received. Vice-Mayor Fotis Provatas addressed the delegation and reaffirmed his city's commitment to nuclear disarmament and peace. The City of Athens has been a member of Mayors for Peace since 2005.

Nagayama Iwao speaks about the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons at Athens City Hall
All four members of the delegation from Hiroshima spoke at the meeting which was attended by city councillors, the vice-Mayor and activists in the anti-nuclear movement in Greece. Miyake Nobuo, Sugino Nobuko, Nagayama Iwao and Tsuchida Kazumi spoke about the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. Each of them survived the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 and know personally its consequences and long-term effects. Based on their own experiences, they called for global abolition and a world free of nuclear weapons.

Miyake Nobuo addresses Pireaus City Council
Later that day, the delegation from Peace Boat visited the City Hall in Piraeus, the port city 12km southwest of Athens where Peace Boat's ship docks. The delegation were received by Lord Mayor of Piraeus, Mr. Vasilis Michaloliakos and were greeted warmly by local officials. In addition to private meeting, the group was introduced to the City Council, where Miyake Nobuo spoke. Mr. Miyake experienced the August 6, 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima at the age of 16, 2 km from the hypocenter. The hellish scenes of that day and the days that followed are still vividly etched in his memory.

The delegation from Peace Boat spoke about the dangers of both nuclear weapons and nuclear energy
Mr. Miyake also spoke about the perils of nuclear technology for civilian purposes, nuclear energy. Many Hibakusha have spoken out against nuclear power since the disaster at Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Plant on March 11, 2011. They had hoped that they would be last to suffer the effects of nuclear technology.

The Peace Boat delegation in Greece also included students from Fukushima University, Sato Yurina and Ishiguro Misaki who are travelling onboard Peace Boat.
The Peace Boat delegation in Greece also included students from Fukushima University, Sato Yurina and Ishiguro Misaki who are participating in education and cultural exchange programmes as they travel the globe onboard Peace Boat. Those who listened to the speeches were very interested to hear about the situation in Fukushima. Greece does not have nuclear power plants at present, while an existing reactor is used for research by Dimokritos, the National Centre for Scientific Research. Even without its own nuclear power plants, with 185 nuclear power plants across Europe, Greece is unfortunately not safe from the threat of nuclear technology. Both Mr. Miyake and the representatives from Greece who gave speeches at the meeting ended them with a call for the tragedies of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Fukushima not to be repeated.

Miyake Nobuo wishes Sato Yurina and Ishiguro Misaki from Fukushima University the best of luck with their journey
This was the last day for the students from Fukushima to spend with their new friends from Hiroshima, as the Hiroshima delegation return to Japan and the university students continue travelling onboard the 77th voyage. The two groups have spent 10 days together on the ship since Egypt. There were a lot of warm wishes from both sides as they said an emotional farewell and Mr Miyake gave Yurina and Misaki words of encouragement as they continue on their journey, calling for a nuclear free world.