[財団ブログ ― ハンセン病]
A Tribute to the Memory of Michihiro Ko (1934 -2014) Part II

Mr. Ko was also invited as a special guest to the memorial gathering of
the “International Day of Dignity”, organized by HANDA, an organization
of people affected by HD in China, and delivered a message from
“Zen-Ryo-Kyo”.
When he visited a village of people affected by HD in the suburbs of
Guangzhou-city, he said, while holding hands with a villager, that the
village reminded him of the days in Japan of 50 years ago.
Gruop in Sian.jpg
Mr Ko (centre) in Sian village, Guangdong
There was another occasion when we asked Mr. Ko to participate in
an international meeting. It was a WHO organized meeting to discuss
“Strengthening Participation of Persons affected by Leprosy/HD in
Leprosy/HD Services” and held in October 2010 in Manila, Philippines.
IMG_4254 50.jpg
With the members of people affected by HD participated in the WHO meeting
Mr. Ko made an impressive presentation, in front of the representatives
of people affected by HD, government program managers and HD
experts from 12 different countries in Asia, South and North America
as well as Africa. He drew attention to the concerns that the people
affected in Japan were facing advanced age and were living with
disabilities. They had been cut off or had no ties with families as a
consequence of the prolonged strict segregation policy of Japan.
They had long suffered but had survived. Today as they face the
final chapter of their lives they are eagerly searching who would stand
by them, succeed and carry on their messages to the society and in
particular for the future generations. Mr. Ko reported that he was
hopeful of forming a solidarity with many individuals and groups
surrounding the people affected by HD.
The meeting of two consecutive days, using an interpreter,
must have been very nerve-wrecking.
無題.png
result of the meeting. Also available at http://www.searo.who.int/entity/leprosy/documents/SEA_GLP_2011_2/en/
After the meeting, at a small restaurant in Manila Bay, joined by
Dr. Barua who is fluent in Japanese, Mr. Ko showed a relaxed
smile with a glass of beer in his hand.
The name of Mr. Michihiro Ko, President of Zen-Ryo-Kyo,
surely remains on the guideline of strengthening the participation of
people affected by leprosy.
Thank you and good bye Mr. Michihiro Ko.
You are always in our memories.
(Yamaguchi)