Mrs. Pieranna Venturell, mayor of the city of Gussago, signed a proposal for a public appeal for support for Hiroshima and Nagasaki in November 2008 and the city also supported a campaign “Future without nuclear weapons” from September 2007 until March 2008, which collected more than 60,000 signatures in Italy. The mayor serves as the chairperson of the “Council for peace and solidarity” of the city as well. The “Peace-Solidarity Conference” is engaged as the local government organization in activities to set the concept of good and evil solidly in people’s mind through a culture of peace in order to avoid the mistakes of the past. With such thoughts, people of the city of Gussago planted the “seedlings from the bomb survived persimmon tree” on 21st of March 2009 in the Botanical Garden next to San Rocco Church in the city, wishing these trees to become a symbol of peace and hope.
San Rocco church is located on top of a small hill in the center of the town. People can walk up to the church enjoying peace and a pleasant scenery and the view from the top of the hill is magnificent. This time unfortunately neither Mr. Ebinuma nor the executive committee members could attend the tree planting ceremony from Japan, however, Mr. Shouzo Tanaka, who kept and had taken a good care of five persimmon trees for one year since the arrival of these trees a year ago and Mr. and Mrs. Manisera from Associazione culturale italo giapponese Fuji attended the ceremony. More than 50 children from local elementary and middle schools and their parents gathered to the trees in front of the church. Mr. Manisera introduced Mr. Ebinuma’s message in Italian and Mrs. Manisera introduced a message in Japanese as well. After an address made by mayor Venturell, children tied the Kaki Furoshiki to a pole and hoisted it up like a flag and all the participants followed the flag walking down to the planting site. When they planted the trees, they buried a small capsule that contained messages, too. All the children put soil over the roots with both hands and adults followed suit. Afterward, Mr. Tanaka explained how to grow persimmon tree and answered a few questions.
Prior to the tree planting, the city held a screening of a film and a study session on nuclear disarmament. There was also an exhibition called “Hiroshima,” which was held from 14th until 21st of March 2009. Meanwhile, the government is proceeding with preparations for review conference of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2010. From now on, the church caretaker will join with a volunteer group in taking care of the trees for children.