[BOOK REVIEW] " YES! HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI GITEISHO " by YES! Campaign Executive Committee / 2009 / 500 Yen
[SOCIAL AND PASTORAL BULLETIN No. 154 / Apr. 15, 2010]

by YES! Campaign Executive Committee / 2009 / 500 Yen
"In April 2008, Mayors for Peace, with approximately 3,000 city members around the world, announced the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol, designed to complement the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
The Protocol presents the concrete path the international community must follow to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world by 2020. The key steps are an immediate halt to all acquisition or development of nuclear weapons and an immediate start to negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention, to be concluded by 2015.
With the direction and path clearly set, we need only the political will to take action and protect the future for our children and their children.
The best way to generate that political will is to champion the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol. That is why we need you to understand it and do everything you can to support it." (Taken from the Introduction to the book)
This book was published by the YES! Campaign Committee. This is a Hiroshima NGO that works in cooperation with the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Peace Commission of Mayors, and Japan's YMCA. Its activities are sponsored by the Hiroshima Consumers' Cooperative Union. The YES! organization promotes selling of the picture book Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol, and conducts national caravan events to solicit signatures approving the Protocol from heads of towns nationwide.
The book consists of an introduction and three articles with ten sections explaining the Protocol. Each paragraph is written in plain Japanese and English. It is easy even for children to understand. It is a picture book with many photos and illustrations and includes messages written by citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Nationally famous illustrator Kuroda Seitaro did the illustrations, and world figures, like architect ANDO Tadao and trumpeter KONDO Toshinori, contributed illustrations and messages inside the cover of the book. These contributions from first-class personalities are splendid, and the direct appeals for peace made by citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are quite moving.
The book, in A5 size, has only 60 pages but transmits a powerful and silent determination for peace. It was published in August 2009 and by November of that year had reached its third edition. Even though its main advertising has been through word of mouth, over ten thousand copies have already been sold.
Concerning the signature campaign, at present (2010/4/6) 1,041 local governments, or about 59% of the 1,772 nationwide local governments, have signed in support of the Protocol. Members of the Campaign recruit volunteer drivers in each locality to visit personally each local government's main office to obtain their support. The other day I received a request through the Japan Catholic Committee for Justice and Peace to introduce some volunteer drivers for the caravan in Chiba Prefecture. Sorry to say, I was not able to provide the drivers, but I was greatly impressed by the Campaign's zeal and have a great esteem for them.
In their campaign they make strong appeals both for the sale of the picture book and for more and more signatures in favor of the Protocol. The profits from the sales of the picture book go to the caravan campaign. People interested may visit their website.
Recently, issues involving the transfer of American military bases and the use of Henoko have often been highlighted in the mass media and, consequently, the attitude of local governments with respect to peace issues is often problematic. If the central government does not move, local municipalities must raise their voices to implement peace at local levels. This book, certainly, is a step forward toward achieving that.

(Shibata Yukinori, Jesuit Social Center, Tokyo)
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