Message from the chairperson
Mayor of Ishigaki City
An organizing committee was established on July 26th this year in Ishigaki to conduct a peace event called "Peace Bell Island Ishigaki 2018". The purpose of the event is to cerebrate the 30th anniversary of the Installation of World Peace Bell. The bell was presented to the city by World Peace Bell Association in 1988. I, as Ishigaki mayor, became the chairperson of the committee.
We believe, regardless of nationality or religion, ethnic group or race, even of one's ideology, people in the world wish for permanent world peace. The world peace bell placed in Ishigaki is with no doubt considered a symbol for the eternal peace and for people who are eager to make it happen. I thought it is very important for us to recognize once again that such symbol is with us here in Ishigaki.
We wish for making this event successful in December by sending out message for world peace by participants gathered in front of the bell.
On December 10th 1988, on the occasion of the ceremony cerebrating the completion of the bell tower at Shinei Park at the center of the city, as many as 72 guests from 41 countries including 37 ambassadors to Japan visited the island and took participate in the event. Together with Mr Uchihara, the mayor at that time, and a thousand of citizens, the diplomats sounded the bell and wished for the realization of world peace.
It was indeed epoch making and surprising that ambassadors extraordinary plenipotentiary of foreign countries visited this small island 30 years ago. I realized that it was made true only because they were invited for the purpose of cerebrating the installation of World Peace Bell. I strongly believed the ambassadors kindly showed respect to the pure motives of then organizer who wished for the realization of permanent world peace by sounding the bell.
For Peace Bell Island Ishigaki 2018 held in December, we will send an invitation letter to the ambassadors extraordinary plenipotentiary of 16 countries which possess World Peace Bell like we do on their lands. In addition to those countries, we will also invite ambassadors or representatives from our neighboring countries and regions.
We truly hope that the ambassadors extraordinary plenipotentiary of countries invited visit the island as many as possible on the occasion of the event, enjoy delicious food and drink produced on the island, and meet and talk directly with our people who gather at the event.