Japan’s anti-nuclear activist wins Ramon Magsaysay Award

August 2nd, 2010 - 5:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Manila, Aug 2 (DPA) A Japanese anti-nuclear activist was among the seven people chosen to receive the 2010 Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s equivalent to the Nobel Prize, organisers said Monday.
Tadatoshi Akiba was cited for his principled and determined leadership in a global campaign to mobilise citizens and pressure governments to create a world free from the perils of nuclear war.

Akiba, a three-term mayor of Hiroshima, first became active in the anti-nuclear movement as a student in the 1960s.

Akiba recognised that Hiroshima, as the history’s first victim of nuclear destruction, had the moral obligation to warn the world of the danger of nuclear warfare.

Other winners included Philippine teachers Christopher Bernido and his wife Maria Victoria, recognised for their “purposeful commitment to both science and nation, ensuring innovative, low-cost and effective basic education even under poverty and scarcity.”

Chinese photojournalist Huo Daishan was cited for “selfless and unrelenting efforts, despite formidable odds, to save China’s great river Huai and the numerous communities that draw life from it.”

AHM Noman Khan, who heads an organisation empowering people with disabilities in Bangladesh, was hailed for “pioneering leadership in mainstreaming persons with disabilities in the development process… and in working vigorously with all sectors to build a society that is truly inclusive and barrier-free.”

Chinese bureaucrats Pan Yue and Fu Qiping were cited for their environmental advocacy.

“They are being recognized for their exemplary vision and zeal, as public servants at two levels of state bureaucracy, in advocating the inseparability of development and environment in uplifting the lives of the Chinese people,” the organisers said.

The winners will be honoured Aug 31 in a Manila ceremony.

The Ramon Magsaysay Award was established in 1957 in honour of the memory and leadership example of the former Philippine president who died in a plane crash.

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