Commentary re Pope Francis Visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Nov 24, 2019

Pope Francis will pay an official visit to Japan from November 23, during which he will attend gathering in the atomic bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Sunday November 24. It is expected that he will convey strong messages for the abolition of nuclear weapons from both of those cities, and representatives of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), 2017 Nobel Peace Laureate, will be present at both.

Nagasaki: Gathering at the Peace Park (Atomic Bomb Hypocenter Park) from 10:15am
KAWASAKI Akira to attend (ICAN International Steering Group Member / Peace Boat Executive Committee Member)

Hiroshima: Gathering at the Peace Park (Peace Memorial Park) from 18:40pm
Setsuko THURLOW (Hiroshima survivor and ICAN Campaigner) and KAWASAKI Akira to attend

Availability for interviews/comments
◆Nagasaki: Kawasaki will in Nagasaki from the morning of November 23, and depart from Nagasaki at approximately noon on November 24 for Hiroshima. He will be available for commentary or interviews in English or Japanese prior to and following the gathering – please contact below to arrange.
◆ Hiroshima: Setsuko Thurlow will provide remarks following the event at 20:20 on the B2 lobby of the International Conference Centre Hiroshima (Hiroshima Kokusai Kaigijo), accompanied by Kawasaki. Please contact as below for final details.
Ms Thurlow will return to her residence in Canada on November 25.


Akira Kawasaki is a member of the Executive Committee of Peace Boat and a member of the International Steering Group of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). A core member of ICAN’s leadership since 2010, he served as Co-Chair of ICAN from August 2012 to June 2014. Since 2008, Kawasaki coordinates the ”Global Voyage for a Nuclear-Free World: Peace Boat Hibakusha Project,” in which atomic bomb survivors travel the world to share their stories and call for a nuclear free world. He lectures at Keisen University in Tokyo and writes frequently for Japanese newspapers and for peace and disarmament journals.

Setsuko Thurlow was a 13-year-old schoolgirl when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on her city, Hiroshima. Today, she is a leading figure in the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Her powerful speeches have inspired countless individuals around the world to take action for disarmament. She jointly received the Nobel Peace Price on behalf of the campaign at the ceremony in Oslo in 2017.

Contact (English or Japanese):
Ms OKADA Aya, Peace Boat International Coordinator
Tel: 03-3363-8047 (Peace Boat) / 090-5811-1987 (Mobile, in use November 23-24)
Email: kawasaki(a)

Download this release as a PDF here.