Signing ceremony with Nagasaki University Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (RECNA) and Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace
Update: April 1, 2021
On March 29, International Christian University (ICU) Service-Learning Center, Nagasaki University Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (RECNA), and Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace signed the Basic Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the service-learning program. The purpose of this agreement and MOU is for the continuous implementation of the service-learning program in Nagasaki to build mutual cooperation on peace activities.
The signing ceremony was held online in both Nagasaki and ICU, attended by Dr. Susumu Shirabe, Vice-President of Nagasaki University, Dr. Fumihiko Yoshida, Director of RECNA, President Teruyuki Yokose, President of Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace, Mr. Noriyasu Takahira, Secretary-General of Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace, Dr. Robert Eskildsen, Vice-President for Academic Affairs of ICU, and Dr. Mikiko Nishimura, the Director of Service-Learning Center.
Dr. Susumu Shirabe, Vice-President of Nagasaki University, said, "ICU students have diverse backgrounds, English proficiency, and international experience. When they meet students studying peace in Nagasaki, I expect something new will be born." Mr. Teruyuki Yokose, President of Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace, said, "I would like to commemorate the great expansion of the circle of peace with the hope to work together on peace initiatives in the future."
Dr. Robert Eskildsen, Vice President for Academic Affairs at ICU, said, "ICU was founded with a mission for peace, supported by donations from Americans who regretted the damage of nuclear bombings. The issue of the atomic bomb is important to the history of ICU." Dr. Mikiko Nishimura, said "ICU has three missions: internationalism, Christianity, and academia, and we share a vision for peace with Nagasaki University and the Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace. We hope to create mutual peace initiatives together."
The service-learning program in Nagasaki started in the summer of 2019. Two ICU students had service activities at the Youth Peace Forum and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, two students visited Nagasaki for two weeks in November and engaged in remote activities until February.
The experience in Nagasaki is a precious opportunity for ICU students to consider what efforts for peace they can make. One of the student participants commented, The dialogue with the hibakusha made me realize that in order to pass down the experience of war, we must see war as our issue. How we can obtain the awareness is my new inquiry." Another student commented, "I had a broad perspective on why people in Nagasaki pursue peace. Although there is no easy answer, I found finding the answer is valuable learning."
In the future, we hope to work together in Nagasaki and Tokyo to implement reciprocal peace initiatives, including service-learning programs, in the fields of peace education and culture.
SLC Website (Students testimonials etc)