Speech at Screening of "A Doctor's Sword" (9 August)


Greeting by Ambassador Mari Miyoshi at Screening of Bob Jackson's "A Doctor's Sword"

Mr. Bob Jackson, Mr. Gary Lennon, Ms. Nicola MacCarthy,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to welcome you all to the screening of Bob Jackson’s “A Doctor’s Sword – The remarkable story of Dr. Aidan MacCarthy from West Cork”.

This summer, like the summer of 1945, has been terribly hot and humid in Japan. There are three days in August which we cannot and should not forget. The 6th of August, the day of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The 9th of August, the day of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. And finally, the 15th of August, the day on which the war ended. From ancient times, August has been the month in Japan when people welcome and honour the souls of their ancestors who are believed to revisit home around this time known as “Obon”. Since the war, various commemoration ceremonies take place on and around these days for memorial services and reflection.

The humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons are devastating. I believe Japan has a mission as the only country to have suffered atomic bombings to convey to the rest of the world the testimonies and aspirations of the hibakusha, the survivors of the atomic bombings, that these weapons should never be used again.  Mr. Fumio Kishida, who was our foreign minister until quite recently and is from Hiroshima and lost many of his relatives in the bombing of that city, came to Ireland in January of this year to attend the ceremony that launched the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland. He had very good talks with Minister Charles Flanagan on various matters, including disarmament strategy. Following on from that, Minister Flanagan immediately took the initiative to visit Hiroshima on the first day of his trip to Japan in February. He visited the peace memorial museum and park in Hiroshima, heard survivors’ stories and met with the Mayor of Hiroshima. It was a very successful visit.

I know Ireland was one of the first signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and is called “a Founder member of NPT”. Together with the Irish Government and Irish civil society, we would like to take all the necessary measures we can towards a world free of nuclear weapons.

Today I am grateful to Mr. Bob Jackson, producer of the film, who accepted my invitation to the screening of his film this evening on 9 August. Last February, he gave a lecture at EPIC Centre here in Dublin on his book and film documentary which tells the extraordinary story of Dr. Aidan MacCarthy and his family’s search to discover the origin of the Japanese sword that came into his possession at the end of World War II. I would also like to thank Mr. Gary Lennon, director of the film, for coming here. Both of them are ready to lead a question and answer session after the screening. I am sure it will be very interesting.

Last but not least, a big thank you to Ms. Nicola MacCarthy who came all the way from Castletownbere to be with us. She presented me a DVD of this film with some very kind words. I should hasten to add that her father Dr. Aidan MacCarthy, who was such a great humanitarian, has just last month had an RAF medical centre in Suffolk named in his honour.

Thank you for your attention and I hope you enjoy the film.