Japan: Giving Talks in Public Talk Series in Kumamoto, Fukuoka, and Matsue

What can the Japanese do in response to the crisis in Syria?

From May 20th until May 23rd, AAR Japan held a public talk series held in book stores in Kumamoto, Fukuoka, and Matsue. The title of this series was, "The Japanese, Syrian Refugees, and Islam - Photojournalist x Humanitarian Aid." AAR Japan's Yoshifumi KAGEHIRA gave a talk at the event. This event was held to commemorate the publication of photojournalist Yoshifumi KAWABATA's book; it was made possible by the cooperation of KAWABATA, Shinhyoron Co., Ltd. (the publisher of his book), and all the book stores that served as the venues.

Nagasaki Book Store is Kumamoto's vintage book store. The participants listened attentively to Syria's complicated circumstances, as well as the harsh conditions that the refugees face. (May 20th, 2015)
What hardships do Syrian refugees face in their lives? The photojournalist continues to cover this message, and the humanitarian aid organization endeavors to send support to these refugees. KAGEHIRA engages in aid activities in Turkey, and KAWABATA continues to take photos of areas affected by disasters and conflicts, as well as scenes of humanitarian assistance. The two explained the situation in Syria; they also talked about what is happening there, as well as why they continue to support Syrian refugees.

In Kumamoto, 24 people participated (venue: Nagasaki Shoten/Nagasaki Book Store ); in Fukuoka, 26 people participated (venue: BOOKS KUBRICK ); and in Matsue, 24 people participated (venue: artos Book Store ). The audience was lively, asking questions and exchanging opinions. Afterward, many people attended the book signing event and bought the book. Supporters of AAR Japan also hastened to come, turning the event livelier.
We received a warm welcome from Mr. Minoru OI, the representative of BOOKS KUBRICK which was the venue in Fukuoka, at the outset. (May 20th, 2015)
The artos BOOK STORE is a wonderful book store that was featured on Sekai no Honya-san 2/The Bookstore of the World 2 (X-Knowledge).Pictured in the center is the representative Mr. Fumiyuki NISHIMURA. (May 23rd, 2015)
Photojournalist Yoshifumi KAWABATA speaks about what drives him to take photographs. He also asked the audience, "What actions would you take?" (May 23rd, 2015)
AAR Japan's Yoshifumi KAGEHIRA emphasized that "We shouldn't think of this as something far away; it is important to think of what we can do." (May 23rd, 2015)

To get "The World as Seen by a Photojournalist" by Yoshifumi KAWABATA, please click here. (If you purchase it from AAR Japan, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to our activities fund)

Japanese-English translation by Ms. Mariah Gomes

This article has been translated by volunteers as part of the AAR Japan's Volunteer Programme. Their generous contributions allow us to spread our activities and ideas globally, through an ever-growing selection of our reports from the field.