HIROSHIMA – Hiroshima University will bestow honorary doctorates on three of its former students from Southeast Asia who were forced to quit their studies after the city’s 1945 atomic bombing.
Pengiran Yusuf, 89, a former prime minister of Brunei, Hasan Rahaya, 90, a former member of the Indonesian Parliament, and Abdul Razak, 87, who made major contributions to teaching Japanese in Malaysia, were among a group of students chosen from Japanese-occupied Southeast Asia to study in Japan between 1943 and 1944.
The three “made efforts to rescue Hiroshima residents even though they themselves were exposed to the bombing and contributed to the promotion of peace by relating their experience after returning to their home countries,” a university official said Wednesday.
At the time of the August 1945 bombing, nine such overseas students were studying at Hiroshima University of Literature and Science, which later merged with other institutions to create Hiroshima University.
The blast immediately killed two of them, and the remaining seven eventually returned to their home countries after studying elsewhere in Japan.
The three prospective doctorate recipients are the only people among the seven who are still alive.
Because the three are of advanced age, the university is considering sending staff to their countries to present the degrees, possibly early next year, according to the university.
Quincy Jones to visit
U.S. musician Quincy Jones will take part in next summer’s World Peace Concert to be organized by the Hiroshima Prefectural Government from July 27 to Aug. 6 in the city of Hiroshima, the local government said Wednesday.
During his first visit to the atomic-bombed city, Jones, 79, will appear on stage on Aug. 3, together with other pop singers from Japan and abroad, the local government said.
Known as the producer of the megahit album “Thriller” by pop icon Michael Jackson and of the charity song “We Are the World,” Jones said in his message to the organizer he is honored to join the event, which will also cover classical and other genres of music.