You’d have a hard time finding someone who feels more strongly about nuclear disarmament than the former mayor of Hiroshima, Japan.
In the late 1960s, a young Japanese mathematician came to the United States for doctoral work at MIT, the same place where 30 years previously, MIT professors were part of the Manhattan Project that created the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Tadatoshi Akiba joined the anti-nuclear movement, and years later back in his country, started a travel grant program that connected international journalists with survivors who told their stories in the hopes that no one ever again would suffer the same fate.
Dr. Akiba went on to serve three consecutive terms as mayor of Hiroshima and is in Kansas City this weekend to receive the Community of Christ's Peace Award. Friday on Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Akiba about nuclear disarmament, his term as president of Mayors for Peace, and with Harry Truman's grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel about his own anti-nuclear stance and his recent reconciliation trip to Japan.
HEAR MORE: Mayor Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba will receive the Community of Christ International Peace Award at 7:30 Friday evening at Community of Christ Temple, 201 S. River Blvd in Independence.
The Sixth Annual Howard & Virginia Bennett Forum on the Presidency will be at 6 p.m. Saturday at at Unity Temple on the Plaza.
For 60 years the city of Hiroshima has been warning the world about nuclear weapons, but with the election of Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, Hiroshima finally became a player on the international stage. Having graduated from both Tokyo University and MIT in Boston, and having lived nearly 20 years in the U.S., Akiba is a rarity among Japanese politicians: bilingual, and thoroughly cosmopolitan. Equally rare are his commitments to peace, the abolition of nuclear weapons, environmental protection, and open, transparent, democratic government. Mayor Akiba has also devoted a great deal of energy to modernizing government and using information technology to expedite a broad range of procedures. As a result, the city of Hiroshima is among the most advanced local governments in Japan. Mayor Akiba has been working hard to help Hiroshima live up to its image as the International Peace Culture City. Akiba, a former university professor, is working hard to get Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Study courses established in colleges and universities around the world.
Clifton Truman Daniel is the oldest grandson of former US President Harry S. Truman and son of the late E. Clifton Daniel Jr., former managing editor of the New York Times, and best-selling mystery writer Margaret Truman. He is currently Director of Public Relations for Harry S Truman College, one of the seven City Colleges of Chicago. Prior to that, he worked as a feature writer and editor for the Morning Star and Sunday Star-News in Wilmington, North Carolina. Mr. Daniel is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Harry S. Truman Library Institute in Independence, Missouri, a frequent speaker and fundraiser, and the author of the 1995 book, Growing Up With My Grandfather: Memories of Harry S. Truman.