The Japan Foundation, Cairo
Hiroshima and Nagasaki are well-known cities of Japan even in Egypt. Unfortunately, however, few people in this country know exactly what had happened in these cities during World War II. Today, there is a growing trend towards denuclearization of the world. To contribute to build the peaceful world that is free of nuclear weapons by sharing Japan's experience with people in Egypt as the only nation to have ever suffered from nuclear bombs, the Japan Foundation, Cairo organized the Japanese film festival entitled "Hiroshima" in October 2010, the 65th year of the atomic bombing in the city. From the Japan Foundation's collection, films related to the atomic bombing including Black Rain; Yunagi City, Sakura Country; and Children of the Atomic Bomb were featured. On the opening day of the festival, Dr. Muhammad El-Makhzangi, an Egyptian writer who covered the Chernobel's nuclear plant fire, delivered a special lecture.
Prior to the film festival, we hosted a film screening and lecture by Mr. Masaaki Tanabe, a filmmaker from Hiroshima. He created the computer graphic images of the Hiroshima City hypocenter prior to the bombing and produced a film to depict what was lost in the atomic bombing by combining the CG images and interviews with atomic bomb survivors. Mr. Watanabe was born in the house next to the Hiroshima Prefecture Industrial Promotion Hall (its ruins are now called the Hiroshima Peace Memorial) and he stepped into ground zero immediately after the bomb hit the city. With a solemn vow "No More Hiroshima", he spent 13 years to complete the re-creation of hypocenter with computer graphics. Mr. Tanabe visited Egypt as one of Special Ambassadors for Denuclearization appointed by the Japanese government.
On the day of the lecture, we had to add seats to accommodate the audience of over 200 people. It must have been the very first time for most of the audience to hear what a survivor of the atomic bomb had seen and experienced. Each one of them listened intently to Mr. Tanabe's message that made them think what they could do to prevent such a tragedy from occurring again.
We hope that this film festival gave the audience to think about again the peaceful world without nuclear weapons, and we would like to keep offering such occasions in the future.