Violence Prevention at a Global Scale

6 March 2024
tomoko watanabe

“Hiroshima has the power of a place that can create reconciliation and peace.” Tomoko Watanabe., Founder and Director ANT Hiroshima CC

Tomoko Watanabe was born in Hiroshima, Japan, eight years after the atomic bombing.  She heard her father describe this world, “There was nothing we could do but keep on going, keep on living.”  The Asia Network Trust Foundation (ANT-Hiroshima), a URI CC, was born out of Tomoko’s investigation into this culture and her determination to help survivors suffering from similar atrocities all over the world. 

“The more familiar I became with Hiroshima’s A-bomb experience, the more profound its meaning grew. I came to feel that I wanted Hiroshima to be at the heart of my work for the rest of my life. And ever since, hand in hand with many others, I have pursued activities which I hope can impact people’s lives for the better while spreading Hiroshima’s spirit of peace.”

Tomoko describes the impact of this work: “The driving force behind ANT is the memory and experience of Hiroshima, the site of the atomic bombing. Although the power of everyone may be as small as ANT, I believe that by working together with people and NGOs from all over the world based on bonds of trust, we can achieve greater peace.”

ant cc

ANT-Hiroshima works to realize a world without nuclear weapons and aims to create a new international order by spreading the message of peace on a global scale. They cooperated with the Israel-Palestine-Japan Peacebuilding Children Exchange Project; participated in the Origami Cranes of Peace-Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibition with the Mindanao Peace Forum; helped Afghan refugees and aided earthquake recovery efforts in Pakistan. Since 2013, they have been working with groups facing conflict in Mindanao, Philippines, and provide ongoing peace education locally and globally.

A busy January 2024 at ANT Hiroshima included: several classes in local elementary schools; educating Indonesian students from the Asian Young People’s Future Creation Project; hosting college students from Minnesota; and engaging visitors from the Brazil-Japan Exchange Association. Visitors to ANT-Hiroshima begin to understand personally the suffering caused by atomic bombing violence.  

Tomoko and her staff teach, “The ‘T’ in ANT, standing for “Trust,” is a strong component of the organization’s work.  Building a foundation of trust is essential to the success and sustainability of any project. At the same time, trust is a prerequisite for peace itself. Building trust with any community is challenging, and toward this end, the key ingredients are time, patience, and dependability.”

For more information: