OSAKA--Actress Sayuri Yoshinaga and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto teamed up to appeal for a world free of nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants at an event organized by The Asahi Shimbun here on Dec. 19.

“Peace is something that we achieve together instead of just only wishing for,” said Yoshinaga as she delivered her message at the poetry recital event titled “Heiwa no Tameni--Shi to Ongaku to Hana to” (For peace--Poems, music and flowers).

An audience of around 2,500 listened intently as she read poems about the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, and the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant triggered by an earthquake and tsunami.

Yoshinaga was accompanied by Sakamoto on the piano during the charity concert at the Festival Hall in Osaka’s Kita Ward.

Over the past 30 years, Yoshinaga, who was born in March 1945, has carried out voluntary work giving poetry readings about the atomic bombings, motivated by her belief that it is her mission as a person with the gift of expression who was born in the year the war ended.

The peace-seeking actress read 19 poems including: “Umashimenkana” (I will let her give birth to a baby), written by Hiroshima poet Sadako Kurihara; and “Gonen” (Five years) written by Ryoichi Wago, a high school teacher from Fukushima who is also a poet.

Yoshinaga and Sakamoto, who also held a poetry recital in Canada in May, decided to stage the latest event in Osaka with the aim of spreading the activity in Japan to promote the ideal of a peaceful nuclear-free world.

“Peace will never be achieved if you just keep silent,” said Sakamoto. “I want to believe that each one of our continuous small efforts will eventually move the world.”

Sakamoto performed his famed composition, the main theme of the 1983 film "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence," among other pieces.

(This article was written by Sonoko Miyazaki and Yoshihiro Tai.)