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10,000 High School Students Signature Campaign

10000high school student signature campaign

The High School Students' Ten Thousand Signature Campaign is collecting signatures requesting the abolition of nuclear weapons to deliver to the United Nations. This year marks the 23rd year of the campaign, and the total number of signatures collected has exceeded 2,000,000.In addition to this, they also conduct disaster recovery support fundraising activities and the 'High School Students' Ten Thousand Pencils Campaign,' which gathers and delivers school supplies to children living in countries like Afghanistan and the Philippines.Under the slogan, 'Impacts May Be Small, But not Powerless' high school students themselves are actively participating in these activities on streets across the country.


The start of the signature

In January 2001, prompted by the recruitment of Nagasaki High School Peace Ambassadors, 14 high school students came together not only to visit the United Nations to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons but also to think about what they could do with their own efforts. This led to the launch of a signature campaign aimed at the abolition of nuclear weapons.At that time, it was estimated that there were around 10,000 high school students in Nagasaki, which led to the name "High School Students' Ten Thousand Signature Campaign." This marked the beginning of the "High School Students' Ten Thousand Signature Campaign Executive Committee," which aims to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons and a peaceful world. 


Spreading to the world

The signature campaign advocating for nuclear weapon abolition, which began in 2001, has seen the participation of approximately 5,000 high school students so far. In Japan, the campaign has strongholds not only in the atomic-bombed cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima but also in Okinawa, Miyazaki, Oita, Kumamoto, Saga, Fukuoka, Nara, Hyogo, Osaka, Aichi, Shizuoka, Niigata, Kanagawa, Tokyo, Fukushima, Iwate, and Hokkaido. Moreover, the campaign's activities have extended overseas to countries such as South Korea, the Philippines, and Brazil.

The signatures are delivered to the United Nations European Headquarters by the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Peace Messengers. This campaign is said to be the only signature activity recognized by the United Nations.At the United Nations European Headquarters, there is a display shelf for the High School Students' Ten Thousand Signature Campaign, where all the signature books are permanently preserved. Additionally, part of the signature books is exhibited at the permanent atomic bomb exhibition, which was established in November 2011. 


Atomic bomb survivors are not limited to Japanese nationals. There are many survivors in South Korea who were exposed to the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and subsequently returned to their home country. Unfortunately, they still do not receive sufficient support.Since 2003, visits to South Korea have been organized to interact with these Korean atomic bomb survivors and to participate in local signature collection activities alongside Korean high school students. Additionally, Korean high school students are invited to Nagasaki each year to deepen their learning and foster exchanges.


Learning Activities

They provide explanations about local historical sites to school trip students and tourists nationwide. They have also launched initiatives such as "Online Field Trips," which allow participants to engage in fieldwork via the internet from remote locations. In addition to this, members of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Peace Messengers and the High School Students' Ten Thousand Signature Campaign conduct study sessions in various regions. Through these activities, they deepen their own understanding and continue to advocate for the abolition of nuclear weapons. 


Disaster recovery support activities

Not limited to Japan, we conduct fundraising activities for regions affected by natural disasters around the world, and send the aid money through the Japanese Red Cross Society.


High School Students' One Thousand Pencils Campaign

On September 11, 2001, the United States experienced a series of terrorist attacks. In response, the High School Students' Ten Thousand Signature Campaign Executive Committee reflected on what high school students could do under the shared belief that 'war is unacceptable.' Under the slogan 'Education over weapons, pencils over missiles,' they have been delivering school supplies, including pencils, to children in countries facing shortages of educational materials, as well as visiting these locations to engage in exchanges.

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