Peace Boat

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Peace Boat (ピースボート Pīsu Bōto?) is a global non-government organization headquartered in Japan established for the purpose of raising awareness and building connections internationally among groups that work for peace, human rights, environmental protection and sustainable development. "Peace Boat" may also refer to one of the ships embarking on a cruise under the Peace Boat organization. Since its founding in 1983, the Shinjuku, Tokyo based organization has launched more than 90 voyages of passenger ships manned by international volunteers that travel particularly to areas that are experiencing or have experienced unrest.[1] These cruises, the main operation of the Peace Boat organization, are on average carried out at least three times a year. Peace Boat, described by the San Francisco Chronicle as a "floating university of sorts", offers educational opportunities aboard, with conferences related to global events.[2] They also provide humanitarian aid at their various stops and visit local organizations.[2]

Besides the international voyages, Peace Boat carries out a number of other projects seeking justice in various international realms such as a campaign for the abolition of land mines, the Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War or Global Hibakusha Forums onboard and in ports. Peace Boat also acts as the Northeast Asia regional secretariat of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict.[3]

Peace Boat is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and a committed campaigner for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

In 1983, Yoshioka Tatsuya and Kiyomi Tsujimoto, then students of Waseda University, initiated Peace Boat in answer to Japanese history textbook controversies.[4] With the assistance of like-minded students, they organized the first voyage. Peace Boat has since visited more than 200 ports with over 60,000 participants.[1]

Past peace boat cruises[edit]

Short cruises in Asia[edit]

During the first six years after it was founded, Peace Boat ran one to two week long cruises to various Asian countries around Japan at the rate of one per year. Time on the boat was used to hold lectures and events with guest speakers invited from the countries to be visited. When at port, international exchange events were carried out with local NGOs and student groups. This became the foundational style for which the rest of the cruises would be based on.

Start of circumnavigational cruises[edit]

In 1990, the 10th Peace Boat cruise marked the beginning of the circumnavigational cruise series. During the cruise, the gulf war broke out and the ship encountered a US aircraft carrier in the red sea. After the success of first round-the-world cruise, Peace Boat continued them on a regular basis.

'Citizen's Diplomacy' trip to Kuril Islands[edit]

In 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, set out to the Kuril Islands with the notion of a 'Citizen's Diplomacy' mission, stopping at Iturup, Kunashir, and Shikotan islands. There were homestays and tours. This was the first trip made to these islands without a visa by an NGO from Japan.

More cruises[edit]

Over the past 30 years, Peace Boat has organized over 90 voyages, including 60 around-the-world voyages, carrying over 60,000 participants to over 200 ports. The participants range from toddlers to people in their 90s, from many different countries and professions. The organization was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 2008.[5]

Ships[edit]

During its history, Peace Boat has always charted different vessels. These are the most recents:

The Topaz (31,500 GT): It was a transatlantic ocean liner built in 1955 as ‘Empress of Britain”. Operated as Peace Boat between 2003-2008.

The Clipper Pacific (18,416 GT) Built in 1970 for Royal Caribbean. Operated for Peace Boat briefly in 2008. However, due to numerous repeated problems with the ship, the charter was cut short, ending in Piraeus, Greece instead of ending in Japan as scheduled.

The Mona Lisa (28,891 GRT) Built in 1966 by a Scotland shipyard. Chartered to replace the Clipper Pacific and completed the remainder of the voyage. Operated as Peace Boat between 2008 - 2009.

The Oceanic (38,772 GT). Built in 1965 by an Italian shipyard. Operated as Peace Boat between 2009-2012.

The Ocean Dream (32,265 GT): The ship currently chartered by Peace Boat. Built in 1981 by a Danish shipyard. Operated as Peace Boat since 2012.

Other projects[edit]

Landmine Abolition Campaign[edit]

Since 1998, Peace Boat has continually run a project called P-MAC, or Peace Boat Mine Abolition Campaign, to support organizations carrying out landmine removal in such countries as Cambodia and Afghanistan. In the world there are approximately 8,000 landmines, and even now many continue to be injured or lose their life without a trace. Most of these victims are not combatants but normal civilians. As of 2009, through a number of campaigns, Peace Boat raised money to clear 886,472 sq meters of landmine inundated areas and open five elementary schools. Fund raising campaigns are ongoing.

Peace Ball Project[edit]

Since 1999, Peace Boat has donated over 12,000 soccer balls to 43 countries. The Peace Ball project delivers soccer balls and other sports equipment to disadvantaged children, and uses the power of the world’s most popular sport to build bridges of communication and solidarity.

GET Language Programme[edit]

Launched in 1999, the onboard GET language programme allows participants to communicate more effectively with the people they meet onboard and in port. The programme focuses on oral communication, viewing languages as global tools for international and intercultural exchange, and combines onboard classroom study with exchange programmes and home-stays in selected ports of call.

Global University Programme[edit]

In 2000, Peace Boat established its Global University peace education programme. Seminars at sea and study/exposure tours at ports of call make up the Global University curriculum, an intensive peace and sustainability education programme focused on experiential learning.

Global Parternship for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC)[edit]

In 2004, Peace Boat became the Northeast Asia regional secretariat for the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC). This is an international network of NGOs working in peacebuilding and conflict prevention. It is made up of 15 regions, each working with its own action plan to address issues specific to each region.

Global Article 9 Campaign[edit]

In light of the Japanese government's pressure to amend it, Peace Boat together with the Japan Lawyers' International Solidarity Association (JALISA), launched the Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War in 2005. The Campaign strives not only to protect Article 9 locally, but also to build an international movement supporting Article 9 as the shared property of the world, calling for a global peace that does not rely on force.

Vietnam Defoliate Victim Support Campaign[edit]

From 2005 to 2008 Peace Boat raised approximately $13,000 in funds which were donated to Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange and subsequently used to cover a portion of construction costs for a facility for supporting victims. On the 2009 cruise, Peace Boat visited the facility with a group of Japanese atomic bomb victims, and held the first exchange program there.

The Hibakusha Project[edit]

The Hibakusha Project was started by Peace Boat to highlight the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and to forge a path toward a nuclear abolition. As part of the project, Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki) join Peace Boat voyages to give their testimonies to the world of their first hand experiences with nuclear weapons, and call for their abolition. In 2016, the project has taken place on ninth separate Peace Boat voyages and XX Hibakusha have travelled around the world shairing their testimonies.

Peace Boat Millennium Development Goals Campaign[edit]

Since 2009, Peace Boat run its own Millennium Development Goals Campaign in partnership with various international organizations and NGOs to raise awareness of the MDGs and the role of civil society in achieving these goals. Peace Boat’s ship displayed the United Nations Millennium Campaign logo ‘End Poverty 2015’.

Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre[edit]

The Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center was established following the tremendous devastation caused by the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami. The Center based its activities in one of the worst affected areas, Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture, and dispatched thousands of volunteers there to support local residents in carrying out emergency relief efforts. PBV carries out domestic and international emergency relief work at sites affected by natural disasters such as typhoons, floods and heavy snow. At the same time, it works toward future disaster prevention and reduction by proactively building partnerships with business and local government authorities and cultivating a network of volunteer leaders ready to act.

The Ecoship Project[edit]

The Ecoship project is a transformational programme to construct the planet’s most environmentally sustainable cruise ship. In 2014, Peace Boat organised a multi-disciplinary charrette, bringing together world experts from fields as diverse as naval architecture, renewable energy, and biophilic and biomimetic design with the goal of defining the specifications for a ‘restorative’ vessel – where radical energy efficiency and closed material flow combine for a net positive impact on the environment. It will be a flagship for climate action. Planned to sail in 2020, its whole-system design and maximization of renewable energy use will enable 40% CO2 cuts. The Ecoship was introduced in an official press conference at COP21.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Peace Boat". Friends of the Earth. 
  2. ^ a b DeFao, Janine (2004-07-11). "Visualizing world peace: Young filmmakers off to Japan to start 6-week boat trip". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  3. ^ "GPPAC in Northeast Asia". Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  4. ^ Dixit, Kunda (1997). Dateline Earth Journalism as If the Planet Mattered. Inter Press Service. p. 136. 
  5. ^ Metropolis, "Q&A: Tatsuya Yoshioka, Founding Director of Peace Boat", #893, 6–19 May 2011, p. 5.
  6. ^ "Peace Boat wants its fuel-efficient Ecoship to sail in 2020". www.seatrade-cruise.com. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 

External links[edit]