Peace Education

Celebrating Benin’s Anniversary in Tokyo

Japan-2010-11-02-Celebrating Benin’s Anniversary in Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan - “The 50th Anniversary of Independence and the 20th Anniversary of the Democratization of the Republic Benin” was celebrated in Tokyo on November 2, with the participation of nearly 100 people, including many Ambassadors for Peace.

The celebration was initiated by the “High Council of Benin Nationals Living Abroad in Japan,” whose Vice President, Mr. Emmanuel Gbevegnon, is an Ambassador for Peace. He explained the significance of the event as an opportunity to share Benin’s achievements in reconciliation and to launch a worldwide reconciliation movement. 

H.E. Mr. Allassane Yasso, Ambassador of the Republic of Benin to Japan, expressed his gratitude to the event organizers on behalf of his nation.

Rev. Cheryl Jackson, an Ambassador for Peace and a Pastor of the Community Christian Fellowship in Atsugi City, and Hon. Wiener Jean-Baptiste, Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti, gave congratulatory remarks. He said, “The spirit of reconciliation emphasized by the High Council of Benin Nationals Living Abroad has brought benefits of peace and economic development to Benin. If we share Benin’s experiences in achieving reconciliation, it can advance peaceful coexistence for Japan and its surrounding areas.”

During the banquet, “Enjoy Africa,” a music group composed of Africans in Japan, led by Mr. Egueh Ernest (Ambassador for Peace), and “Dialogue,” a Japanese chorus, delighted the audience with their songs and dances.

In the end, all of the participants joined in singing a traditional Japanese song called “Furusato" (Hometown) in an exciting atmosphere.

The event was co-sponsored by the Peace Diplomats Forum, which is one of the organs of Professional Ambassadors for Peace of UPF-Japan.

Note: In Benin's coastal city of Ouidah, the route by which slaves were taken to the beach is marked by numerous statues and monuments, including a monumental arch called the "Door of No Return." However, there have been returns to this center of the Atlantic slave trade. In 1999 Benin hosted a Reconciliation Conference that included African heads of state, representatives of the U.S. Congress, traditional African elders, and U.S. citizens joining in expressions of apology and forgiveness for slavery.


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