The Passage of Time
I am not here by accident.
Born in Shanghai, China, a few days before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor,
I was taken back to Japan by my mother in 1945.
The packed train we rode in passed Hiroshima to Nishinomiya, a suburban town near Osaka. I was three.
A few months later an A-bomb was dropped in Hiroshima.
As an elementary school pupil, I saw two documentary movies on Hiroshima's tragedy.
The films were very vivid and powerful for a small boy.
Horrible afterimages stayed in my mind.
I began to find special meaning in the message Hiroshima has been sending out to the world.
Whenever I see the atomic dome, somehow I feel a solemn atmosphere which is to be held dear.
Now, I notice the Japanese, particulary survivors of the tragedy, are beginning to say "it was against humanity and wrong for the US to have used the weapon."
What I desire of you is that you become aware of different perspectives shared by other nations.
Although I am not a native of Hiroshima, nor a survivor of the bomb, I think it is not by accident that I meet you here as one of the representatives of this city of peace.
(Read on 29 July, 2007 at an exchange meeting held at Hiroshima Kokusai Gakuin University. Eighteen students of Brigham Young University and 10 Japanese met.)