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UN International Day of Families 2014

International Day of Families Observed in Japan

Tokyo, Japan - It was a sunny day on April 29 for the community cleaning program organized by UPF-Japan, "Family Clean-up Rally 246," in collaboration with the South Tokyo Council of Ambassadors for Peace.

Commemorating the UN-designated International Day of Families (May 15), about 100 people showed up for the program including the municipality assembly members and Ambassadors for Peace, some of them together with their children. Marking the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family, this year's theme was "Families Matter for the Achievement of Development Goals."

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Prior to the cleaning activity, people gathered at the Setagaya Park and heard from Mr. Masaichi Hori, president of the South Tokyo Council of Ambassadors for Peace. He said, "Foreign visitors to Japan are quite impressed by beautiful scenery and clean towns, thanks to efforts of numerous volunteers in the respective localities! We shall polish further our roads and towns, whic are our pride."

A member of the municipal assembly gave words of encouragement: "This is a wonderful and useful opportunity to deepen our love of our homeland and nurture the volunteer spirit. Also please renew your ties with families and neighbors." Mr. Kazunori Arase, UPF-Japan's publication manager, explained this UN day's background, adding that the program would be reported to the UN through the UPF International office.

People began cleaning activities in two groups, heading to Shibuya and Setagaya wards respectively along the National Road No. 246. They collected lots of trash and garbage from the pavement and landscaping, which had initially appeared clean. While being engaged in the cleaning task, people enjoyed the opportunities for conversations with friends and the local people. "I did not notice so much rubbish on the roads of my community," said one participant. "It was an enjoyable occasion with my family," said another.

International Day of Families 2014 from Universal Peace Federation International

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