Home>Service> Global Love of Lives Award> 18th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> The Founder of Peace Boat —— Yoshioka Tatsuya
【Sailing civil society to the entire world】

A boat is a neutral space beyond borders. It is a floating global village of peace for youngsters with ideals to engage in dialogues, enabling peace, human rights, environmental protection and other values to take root.
   -Yoshioka Tatsuya
 
 
Spreading Peace and Love
Yoshioka, founder of a Japanese NGO named “Peace Boat”, bases private-sector international dialogue on his own organization, with which he continues to promote global and peaceful education in order for peace, human rights, environmental protection and other values to take root.
 
Since 1983, Yoshioka has been organizing a series of activities for Peace Boat in the same fashion. So far, Peace Boat has cruised to over 80 countries and has anchored at over 100 ports including Hong Kong, Singapore, Port Said, Naples, St. Petersburg, Riga, Tallinn, and Keelung. Over 200 thousand youngsters have completed a cruise of peace, in which love and peace are spread.
Discovering Similarities for Everyone to Win
What’s rare is that Yoshioka shoulders the responsibility of leading the Japanese civil society, while he also pushes Peace Boat to the global community. He promoted peaceful dialogues between Israeli and Palestinian youths, between the Eritrean and the Ethiopian and between the people in the Koreas and Japan. Yoshioka once visited the Middle East to protest against the Gulf War. He also cruised around the Earth to condemn nuclear weapons testing in Polynesia against France and to condemn the bombing in Afghanistan and Iraq against the United States. Yoshioka even provided youngsters on both sides of the Taiwan Strait with his suggestions: China and Taiwan can create a win-win situation for all ethnically Chinese people by discovering similarities, like what the European Union has done.
Building a Peaceful global Village
Yoshioka, determined to fight against war for peace, donated his youth and all his savings to build a global village on his Peace Boat, where people can share and exchange views and reach a consensus. As the captain of peace, Yoshioka stands out from 2239 candidates around the world and is awarded the 17th Fervent Love of Lives Medal, which Yoshioka is awarded.
Organizing Peace Boat to Find out Historical Facts
Yoshioka was born in Osaka in 1960. He graduated from the School of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Waseda University, where he had majored in Asian cultures. Yoshioka was dissatisfied with how Japanese textbooks described how the Empire of Japan invaded other parts of Asia during WWII. Therefore, he called upon Japanese youngsters with the same ideals to organize Peace Boat in 1983 in order to restore historical facts.
 
Yoshioka led many Japanese youngsters on Peace Boat to neighboring Asian countries for mutual understanding and peace. He and his organization eventually extended to the rest of the world.
 
It has been Yoshioka’s firm belief that visiting places on a peaceful cruise will eventually lead to historical facts. Such a cruise enables people (especially youngsters) to engage in dialogue in person in order to find out the truth, to resolve disputes and to promote true peace.
A 30-Year Voyage that Spreads Peace around the World
The boat that Yoshioka’s organization commandeers was built in the United Kingdom. Her length, width and height are 195, 27 and 9 meters respectively. She weighs 31500 metric tons and can accommodate 1400 passengers at full capacity. Peace Boat cruises four times a year in both hemispheres, exchanging information regarding peace and spreading seeds of it around the world.
Yoshioka led a group of Japanese youths on Peace Boat to countries invaded by the Japanese Empire during WWII, where members of Yoshioka’s organization carried out exchanges with the local people and witnessed the truth of Japan’s aggression.
Yoshioka hoped to achieve mutual understanding and reconciliation by reflecting upon historical tragedies.
Infinite Possibilities for Ideologies of Peace
As Yoshioka and his organization restored historical facts of Japan’s aggression, they further shouldered the responsibility of promoting ideologies of peace.
 
Yoshioka called upon youths from Japan and other parts of the world to gather information regarding conflicts, humanitarian aid, sustainable development and environmental protection, creating a databank for global peace. The organization keeps itself updated with latest news on related issues, so that when necessary, it can launch initiatives and voice the opinion of civil society in order to pose a positive impact on global politics and societies.
 
By participating in overseas learning activities and peace movements, Peace Boat discusses peace issues in panel discussions where views from youngsters around the world are shared, and emphasizes education and training for peace. At the same time, with the power of the media and public opinions, Peace Boat promotes ideologies of peace.
Promoting Peace beyond Borders
Volunteers are at the core of social movements. Peace Boat and its global voyage aim at recruiting volunteers. In one of the four cruises of the year, 1500 volunteers are recruited, translating to 6000 volunteers a year joining the ranks of Peace Boat. During each cruise, volunteers learn skills and knowledge for promoting peace and for working as a member of an NGO.
 
Peace Boat also aims to inspire people so that they follow public issues regarding peace. In response to issues regarding peace education and conflict management, Yoshioka leads his crew on Peace Boat which provides individuals in civil society with access to participating in public issues and opportunities to be in contact with international organizations. Peace Boat provides volunteers with salaries or service hour certificates so that those who cannot afford transportation expenses can also take part in a voyage for world peace.
Establishing a University for Peace and Life
Yoshioka’s Peace Boat cruises four times a year, with each cruise lasting for 3 months, during which crew members and young volunteers from around the world engage in dialogues in various activities. Peace Boat thus is in effect a university for Peace on the move, and also a university for life.
 
Yoshioka and his Peace Boat have developed many Global Educational Programs and other formal curricula to look into and to discuss issues regarding peace, such as a global women’s rights forum, Global Justice and its related discussions, regional security, the international society after the inception of the United Nations and the 911 attack, comparison between societies in various countries, the Israeli-Palestinian relation, the Jasmine Revolution and the economic and military relation across the Taiwan Strait.
 
During many cruises, many activities have been carried out, such as non-formal panel discussions, presentations and curricula. These involve scholarship recipients from 12 potential areas of conflict, including Israel, Palestine, the DPRK, the ROK, China, the United States, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, the Middle East, Myanmar, India and Pakistan. Apart from students, these activities were also hosted by world renowned figures who have contributed to peace, such as C. G. Weernamantry, a former Judge of the International Court of Justice, and Dr. Raijiv Narayan, the chief East Asia Researcher at Amnesty International, as well as other heavyweight government officials and academic elites.
 
Apart from formal and non-formal curricula, Peace Boat also holds dynamic experiencing events. When Peace Boat visits a port, it works closely together with the government at the country to organize innovative activities for peace that win supports and attract attention from all over the world.
 
It is Yoshioka’s firm belief that peace is not far. Peace is in front of us and between people.
A Blessed Vessel
Yoshioka, the founder of Peace Boat, would say to anyone he meets, “A ship is a neutral space beyond borders. It shall become a floating global village of peace that encourages dialogue, discovers facts, and resolves conflicts. People on this ship do what they preach, and they love peace, human rights and the environment.”
 
The 79th Peace Boat Cruise started on 1 Apr, 2013 and ended on 12 July, 2013 both in Yokohama. During the 79th cruise, Peace Boat visited Estonia and Latvia for the first time.
Schedule for cruises from April to December, 2013
1 Apr, Yokohama, Japan
6 Apr, Hong Kong, China
11 Apr, Singapore
16 Apr, Colombo, Sri Lanka
28 Apr, The Suez Canal
29 Apr, Port Said, Egypt
1 May, Piraeus, Greece
4 May, Naples, Italy
6 May, Barcelona, Spain
12 May, Le Havre, France
16 May, Stockholm, Sweden
18 May, St. Petersburg, Russia
19 May, Helsinki, Finland
20 May, Tallinn, Estonia
22 May, Riga, Latvia
25 May, Copenhagen, Denmark
27 May, Bergen, Norway
30 May, Belfast, the United Kingdom
11 and 12, Jun, La Guaira, Venezuela
15 Jun, Cristobal, Panama
16 Jun, Panama Canal
19 and 20 Jun, Quetzal, Guatemala and Puerto Rico, the United States
22 Jun, Acapulco, Mexico
24 Jun, Manzanillo, Mexico
12 Jul, Yokohama, Japan
18 Jul, Yokohama, Japan
24 and 25 Jul, Da Nang, Vietnam
28 Jul, Singapore
3 Aug, Kochi, India
14 and 15 Aug, Port Said, Egypt
17 Aug, Kusadasi, Turkey
18 Aug, Piraeus, Greece
20 Aug, Valetta, Malta
22 and 23, Aug, Civitavecchia, Italy
24 Aug, Monaco
25 Aug, Marseille, France
26 Aug, Barcelona, Spain
28 Aug, Malaga, Spain
29 Aug, Casablanca, Morocco
13 Aug, Funchal, Portugal
9 Sep, Santo Dormingo, the Dominican Republic
11 Sep, Montogo Bay, Jamaica
13 and 14 Sep, Cristobal, Panama
17 and 18 Sep, Acajutla, El Salvador
21 Sep, Manzanillo, Mexico
9 Oct, Ishinomaki, Japan
10 Oct, Yokohama, Japan
18 Oct, Hakata, Japan
19 Oct, Busan, South Korea
21 Oct, Keelung, Taiwan
23 Oct, Naha, Japan
25 Oct, Shanghai, China
27 Oct, Hakata, Japan
28 Oct, Busan, South Korea
22 Nov, Yokohama, Japan
26 Nov, Xiamen, China
1 Dec, Singapore
7 Dec, the Maldives
14 Dec, Port Louis, Mauritius
16 and 17 Dec, Toamasina, Madagascar
21 and 22 Dec, Durban, South Africa
25 Dec, Cape Town, South Africa
 
28 Dec, Walvis Bay, Namibia