Paving the way for true world peace
Dr Koji Yamaga made a deeply moving presentation when he visited Southern Cross University last week to celebrate the second anniversary of the Father Tony Glynn Japan Australia Centre.
Dr Yamaga, a university researcher from Osaka, was a personal friend of the late Father Glynn.
He spoke of the meaning of true reconciliation, of Father Glynn initiating the return of Japanese swords to the bereaved families of Japanese soldiers, and of the touching practice of Australian people sending paper cranes to Hiroshima.
These cranes represent the prayers and requiem for the tens of thousands of people who died when the atomic bomb exploded and the wish that this is never again repeated anywhere in the world, he said, before singing a hauntingly beautiful traditional Japanese song, Akatombow, to comfort the spirits of those who have died.
He told the gathered crowd he had longed to thank the people who helped establish the centre and who continue to support its emphasis on reconciliation between the two nations.
During the ceremony he presented a number of traditional Ukiyo-e woodblock prints to members of the Japan Australia Centre committee and also to individuals whose organisations have made a significant contribution to the centre including SCU vice-chancellor Professor Paul Clark, Lismore mayor Merv King, St Johns College Woodlawn principal Glenn Roff and Northern Star editor Russell Eldridge.
Many conflicts are based on the helpless hatred arising from peoples difference of ideology, religion and historical background. True peace can only come when we can cut these differences off, Dr Yamaga said. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who has helped build this centre as a bridge between Australia and Japan. May this be another step for us to go forwards to true world peace.