THE Japanese Peace Boat docked in Fremantle for the first time on Wednesday.
Passengers on the boat—which crosses the globe promoting friendship and nuclear disarmament—included survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, and British atomic tests at Maralinga, Australia.
B-Shed was decked out with “stop nuclear weapons” banners, and a large crowd gathered to enjoy kangaroo curry, while listening to harmonies of the Madjitil Moorna choir.
Passengers were also greeted with a traditional Whadjuk-Noongar smoking ceremony.
“It’s the first time the boat has ever been in the West and 10 years since it was last in Australia,” Peace boat international coordinator Meri Joyce says.
The boat is on a national tour to mount pressure on the Japanese and Australian governments to join the United Nations treaty which prohibits nuclear weapons.
Passengers on the peace boat will share their stories in the national speaking tour, Making Waves.
WA Conservation Council president Carmen Lawrence says the recent exchanges between the US and North Korea remind us that the threat of nuclear catastrophe is “chillingly real”.
“The very existence of nuclear weapons means there is always a possibility that they will be used, whether as a result of a cold-blooded decision or some foolish miscalculation,” Dr Lawrence says.
by ALICE ANGELONI