Address from Consul General Takaoka: Peaceful town Art Competition

Provost Moonie, Council Members of South Ayrshire, compassionate volunteers at Belleisle Conservatory, kind boys and girls who participated in the Peaceful Town Art Competition,   ladies and gentlemen.    

I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to all of you in this most benevolent Council of South Ayrshire to join the noble cause of promoting world peace in collaboration with Mayors for Peace and the City of Hiroshima, Japan.

In particular, I would like to commend the most gracious initiative taken by Provost Helen Moonie for realising this most thoughtful undertaking.    

We all know that difficult challenges lie ahead in our pursuit to world peace. As we grow older and experiences accumulate, we learn that the road to peace is not simple. It is very complicated because there are so many contending theories and opinions how best we can promote it instead of intensifying conflicts.    

But I strongly believe that what is most important in this process is to remain committed and maintain energy and momentum, and make sure that the eternal longing for peace should not wither away, no matter how long and winding the road toward it might be.    

In this uphill battle, we must never forget the past and transmit the important message to future generations. Therefore, I am immensely impressed and encouraged to learn that so many young people like you, inspired by the longing for global peace, have created such beautiful works of art.  

Thanks to your passion and sincerity, seeds of the bombed gingko tree from Hiroshima which travelled 6,000 miles have found their eternal home here in South Ayrshire.

Looked after by the most kind and generous people gathered here today, they should serve as a long-lasting legacy for years and decades to come. With each young person’s name attached, the trees will remind us of this precious aspiration which everyone of us feels today.

Probably, Scottish people know more than anybody else that music is also a powerful tool to relay this message through generations just like the trees.

I am therefore thrilled to learn that the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra is going to play their very special piece of music in the Hiroshima Peace Garden this summer. 

I have already had the precious opportunity to enjoy your performance at the Burns Supper hosted by Presiding Officer Ken Mackintosh at the Scottish Parliament last month.

I am sure that your tour in Japan will generate a lot of good will and applause and prove to be a great success. 

On this happy note, I would like to conclude and express my deepest gratitude once again on behalf of the Japanese Government and people.

Thank you very much everybody. Thank you.