Pilgrimage for Peace & Justice – my case


平和行脚 ― 私の場合

By Hisae Ogawa 

尾川寿江 記

Why to York? なんでヨークへ? 

From Sept.3 to 5 the IPPNW World Congress was held on the campus of the York University. 

In the UK, IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear Wars) has been advocating prevention of nuclear wars in support of the UN measures and efforts for nuclear disarmament. It welcomed the Nuclear prevention Treaty just passed in the UN on July 7th this year. 

9月3日から5日にかけて核戦争防止国際医師会(IPPNW)の総会がイギリスのヨーク大学で開催されました。 IPPNWは国連の核軍縮施策を尊重し、核戦争防止を呼びかけてきました。今年7月7日に国連で採択された 


The Congress was open to any physicians, doctors, medical practitioners, medical workers as well as peace activists at the grassroots. Many people are expected to come and join the Congress to congratulate themselves for the great achievement on their long-lasting struggle for nuclear disarmament. I decided to join the Congress as a grassroots glocal peace activist. 


Why me going? なんで私が行くの 

In 1975 the UN declared IWY(International Women’s Year). The goal of IWY was to achieve peace, development and equality of women. 

WIDF (Women’s International Democratic Federation) then having a headquarters in East Berlin, capital of GDR(German democratic Republic) opened the door to women of the world to work in the secretariat office. 


WIDF had affiliation with women’s organizations from more than 100 countries, many from USSR led eastern block countries ( USSR, GDR, Bulgaria, Romania, etc.) 

As for Japan, The Federation of Japanese Women’s Organization (Fudanren) had been affiliated. Fudanren asked me to work in the secretariat, and I joined the secretariat and started working in East Berlin. I stayed there for 2 and half years. 


In 1976 ‘No Nukes York Forum’ was announced. Fudanren asked me to join the Forum. 

I took the labor to get a train ticket crossing the Berlin wall and passing borders of East and West Germany. I took a ferry crossing the English channel and landed at Dover. The customs officers at Dover stopped me and questioned me for 2 hours before I was finally released. 

USSR vs.USA, the cold war was going on. A young woman from Japan traveling from

East Germany to the UK might have been so strange for them. 

1976年、「ノーニューク ヨーク・フォーラム」開催が発表され、参加するよう婦団連から要請を受けました。私はベルリンの壁を越え西ベルリンから列車でイギリスに向かいました。東西ドイツの国境では列車に検問の兵士が乗り込んできて棚の荷物を降ろさせられ検査を受けました。フェリーで英国海峡を渡りドーバーでイギリス入国の検査を受けましたが、検査官は東ベルリンからやってきた若い日本人女性を訝り別室で尋問を行いました。2時間待機させられてようやくイギリスに入国することができました。 

What was discussed in York in 1976ヨークでは何が話しあわれたの? 

When I finally arrived York University, I was pleasantly surprised to know that Setsuko Thurlow came all the way from Canada. And a friend of mine from Osaka, my home townin the Japanese group. 


Setsuko’s story moved the heart of the people gathered there. 

I talked about how Japanese women at the grassroots aspire nuclear-free world. My friend talked about the actions taken by the Osaka Hibakusha Women’s Association, 

which catered the women A bomb victims living in and around Osaka. 

He also told a story of his student who was the second generation of Hibakusha born after the bombing but developed leukemia and passed away before finishing high school. 

せつ子さんの話は皆の心を打つものでした。 私は日本の女性たちがどんなに核兵器の危険のない世界を切望しているかを話し、友人は大阪でつくられた「大阪被爆婦人の会」の活動や自身の教え子の被爆二世の男子が卒業をまたずに亡くなったことなどを発言しました。 

On the issue of nuclear disarmament, US and USSR were boasting ‘Nuclear Deterrence’ theory at all times. 

In York, we clearly said ‘No more and never again Hiroshimas and Nagasakis!! And maintained that ‘Deterrence’ will never lead us nuclear elimination and abolition. 

核軍縮の課題で米国とソ連は一貫して「核抑止論」を吹聴し、それに固執してきました。ヨークで私たちは 「ノーモア、ネヴァー・アゲイン ヒロシマ・ナガサキ 核兵器抑止はけっして核兵器の廃絶につながらない」と主張したのです。 

The Pilgrimage to York in 2017 2017年再びヨークへ巡礼の旅 

The common dreams for a nuclear free world we shared in 1976 in York have led us to the UN Treaty for Nuclear Prohibition passed this year in 2017. 

Many people attended the Congress and the following workshops and various activities expressed their joy and determination to carry on their mission to push all parties and civil societies to sign and ratify the Treaty by all means. 



I was very impressed to know that many doctors, medical practitioners and their supporters in Japan had been working for Hibakushas so hard taking nuclear-related issues including ongoing Fukushima nuclear hazards so sincerely and seriously. 

I hope they will intensify their efforts to change the government nuclear policy which has been so inadequate and let the Japanese government sign and ratify the Treaty and work in accordance with the UN Treaty. 



My pilgrimage to York after 40 years was quite rewarding. 



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