Port of Call
Survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombings Visit Finland, Jun 16, 2017
Jarmo Viinanen, Ambassador of the Arms Control Division at the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs hears Hibakusha Tsuchida Kazumi.
Three Hibukusha, or survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, are onboard Peace Boat's 94th Global Voyage for Peace and Sustainability to share their testimonies around the globe, calling for a nuclear-free world. They are joined by second generation Hibakusha, who have been sharing stories of their family members' experiences of the bombings. Together, they appeal for the total abolition of nuclear weapons.

Finnish MP Matti Semi signs the Hibukusha petition calling for a nuclear weapon ban to be realised.
When Peace Boat docked in Helsinki, the Hibakusha started their day with a visit to the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs where they met Jarmo Viinanen, the Ambassador of the Arms Control Division. He was informed about how the Hibukusha project is encouraging as many governments as possible to participate in on-going UN negotiations to realise an immediate ban of nuclear weapons. Tsuchida Kazumi, a Hibakusha from Hiroshima, gave testimony of her experience of the bombing. She emphasised that the Hibukusha are not simply visiting different countries to raise awareness of the nuclear weapons issue, but are actively soliciting support to help realise the nuclear ban treaty.

Hibukusha meet with representatives of peace NGO.
Ambassador Viinanen explained that Finland neither intends to acquire a nuclear weapon nor allow anyone to develop one in their territory. However, the Finnish government had decided to decline to participate in the UN negotiations: Finland does not feel they will result in a concrete ban of nuclear weapons since existing nuclear powers have chosen not to participate in these discussions. Ambassador Viinanen did comment, however, that the government is aware that there are voices within parliament that do not feel that way. In addition, many NGOs and members of the Finnish public also oppose Finland's stance. He also spoke of the importance of the Hibakusha's role in sharing memories of the bombings and their consequences, saying "This is the way we can see to it that this will never happen again".

Hibakusha Mise Seiichiro is interviewed by a local Helsinki newspaper about his experience of the bombing in Nagasaki.
The Hibukusha also met Members of Parliament Eva Biaudet and Matti Semi at the Finnish Parliament. Ms Biaudet emphasised the importance of reminding people of the horrors of nuclear war, a timely reminder in these uncertain times of our responsibility to ensure that such atrocities are never repeated.The group also had the opportunity to meet representatives from peace NGOs in Finland, including Peace Union Finland, Women for Peace, the Peace Education Institute and Technology for Life - a peace movement for engineers, scientists and those interested in the responsible use of technology.

Second generation Hibakusha Sunahara Yukiko shows on a map the impact of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
The Hibakusha shared their testimonies with the NGO representatives who in turn shared details of their activities, such as their efforts to promote peace education in schools. Kati Juva, a city councillor in Helsinki, informed the group that Helsinki had recently joined Mayors for Peace, a global network of mayors who support nuclear weapons abolition. Promising to encourage other cities in Finland to join the network too, she had a message for the Hibukusha, "Your message is important and it will be heard."