Spring 2023 US – Japan PAX

Spring 2023 US – Japan PAX

Feb 13 – 16 US / Feb 14 – 17 Japan
Program is delivered in English


WFC’s Peace Ambassador Exchange (PAX) is an annual sharing of ideas and materials related to peace, reconciliation, and nuclear issues, built on hearing the first-hand accounts of those whose lives have been impacted by war and the tragedies of atomic bombings. 


Join us on any of these days to hear the stories of peace!


Spring 2023 US-Japan PAX Program


West Coast Day 1
Feb 13 @ 6-8pm PST / Feb14 @ 11am JPN

  • “I will never forget that day” by Kiyomi Kohno

West Coast Day 2
Feb14 @ 6-8pm PST / Feb15 @ 11am JPN

  • “Reflections on Serving Those ARound uS” by Don Watson
  • “Opposing Nuclear Weapons in Washington State” by Dr. Joe Berkson & Sean Arent

East Coast Day 1
Feb 15 @ 7-9pm EST / Feb16 @ 9am JPN

  • “Lessons from my Father” by Tamiyuki Okahara

East Coast Day 2
Feb16 @ 7-9pm EST / Feb17 @ 9am JPN

  • “Transforming Conflict” by Rick Polhamus
  • “Hiroshima, Miyoshi, Atlanta and Americus brought together by a Bell Tower” by Steve Leeper

*The program will include time for Q&A and breakout discussions.

WFC Holiday Party 2022

2022.12_Holiday PartyThank you to everyone who came to the WFC Holiday Party!
We learned about Holiday traditions from cultures around the world, then representatives of each class and Peace Program had time to share! There was music, dancing, games, and even a very goofy skit!
Thanks to everyone who came out, and Happy Holidays from all of us at WFC!

Last Day of 1st Guide Training Session

2022.12_Guide Training2022.12.3
Today was the last day of the eight-series guide training.
The first session began on July 2, and participants learned detailed explanations of the main monuments in the Peace Memorial Park and enjoyed a mini-English conversation class led by the Directors. Today, on the last day, the participants practiced reading from scripts in front of the three monuments in turn and received guidance from the Directors.
After that, we had a social gathering with delicious coffee made by Malachi (Director), and cookies made by Ms. Taguchi(Board member).
Certificates of completion was given out to each participant. We are very happy to announce that there was one participant who attended all 8 sessions ❗️
The guide training was a new initiative for us at WFC. It was a great opportunity for us to meet all the participants. Thank you very much.
We are planning to have two sessions in January and February next year to deepen our understanding of the Japanese text, so we hope you will join us.

“International Festa 2022”

2022 International Festa“International Festa 2022” has ended successfully.
Many people came to the “Hiroshima International Village – Food Stalls from Around the World.” Thanks to all of your support, we sold out the sloppy joes.
Some people have shared with us that they “used to come to WFC in the past.”
We also enjoyed the opportunity to talk with people from various countries.
We’d like to thank the many people who helped prepare for the event. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
We especially received so much help from our young friends today which we appreciate so much. Thank you!! 😊
There was a little nervousness about opening a food booth for the first time, but thanks to all the help, we were able to finish the day without any problems.
We hope this led to more people getting to know WFC.
In the afternoon, WFC shared about our Peace activities, our founder and her history, and Co-Directors Matthew and Malachi shared about their lives in the US and Japan. Afterward, we received some great questions from the audience during a Q&A time. Thank you to everyone who attended! It was such a fun afternoon.

Interns from Illinois Weslyan University

2022 Interns from IWU - Aja and LauraWFC is happy to welcome Aja Golliday and Laura Westpfal as interns from Illinois Wesleyan University!


Aja is a Psychology major with a minor in Japanese Studies, while Laura is a graphic design major with a minor in Japanese Studies, and this internship is one of the last tasks they have to complete before graduating!


They will be here until August 13th. As part of their learning experience, they’ve visited various sites at Peace Memorial Park and around Hiroshima, been introduced to WFC English Classes and the Riji, and have listened to hibakusha share their stories.


Aja and Laura have also been working on other projects: Aja is continuing work to label the various gifts and artifacts WFC has on display which will provide a richer experience to visitors of the center. Laura is applying her technical skills by improving the logos for the WFC Yu-Ai newsletter.

Stop by anytime to get to know them!

“Delivering the Voices of Hibakusha to the World”

August6 flier2022 WFC 8.6チラシ2022_English


77th Memorial Day since the atomic bombing on August 6, 1945.

Barbara Reynolds, the founder of the World Friendship Center, had a consistent desire to “bring the voices of hibakusha to the world” and “abolish nuclear weapons.”

However, 77 years later, the abolition of nuclear weapons has not been achieved.

We welcome you to join us for these programs,

remembering those who lost their lives  in the atomic bombing.

Download 8.6 flier >

Hibakusha Talk by Ms. Toshiko Tanaka held in the morning (Japan time) would be in English only.

Please REGISTER here:  https://bit.ly/3AFdnyq

Download the Hibakusha Talk flier >

“Friends Day 2022”

Friends Day 2022“Fostering peace, one friend at a time.”
Yesterday WFC held our inaugural Friends Day at the Hiroshima International House!
Once again, we would like to thank everyone who attended in spite of the extremely hot weather. Thank you very much.
We had so much fun sharing history, recognizing volunteers, playing games, and chatting together.
We are pleased to have had this time to express our gratitude to all who support WFC.
We would also like to thank the college students from Jogakuin University, a former intern, and daughters of a staff member. It was because of the help of these young people who worked behind the scenes, that we were able to hold this event successfully. We are truly grateful to them.
We look forward to spending more time together with friends new and lifelong!
We hope you will continue to walk with us on our journey!
NPO World Friendship Center

Remembering Lela Evaleen (Evie) Bertsche, former Director of WFC

Lela Evaleen (Evie) BertscheLela Evaleen (Evie) Bertsche, former Director of WFC, passed away on February 3rd, 2022. We thank all of you for your kindness during Evie’s time in Japan and beyond, and respectfully inform you of her passing.
“Evie Bertsche, who left a big footprint in our hearts.”
On February 3, 2022, Lela Evaleen (Evie) Bertsche passed away at a nursing home in Goshen, Indiana. She was 83 years old.
She was sent by the Brethren Volunteer Service and the Mennonite Mission Network from 2001 to 2003 to serve as a Director of WFC alongside her husband, David.
During her term, she received more than 2000 guests from 47 countries, taught English classes, and participated in various peace activities.
Lela Evaleen (Evie) Bertsche
Thanks to Mr. and Ms. Bertsche, who strongly desired for good relations between Japan and Korea, Korean PAX started in 2003. We are sincerely grateful to them for building a bridge between Japan and Korea, our neighboring country. This legacy, Korean PAX, continues to this day.
After returning to the U.S., they settled in Goshen, where their children lived, and were actively involved in church activities. She also served as a Chair of the American Committee.
We will never forget Evie’s compassion for people, kindness and smile. We learned from Evie that with thoughtfulness and a smile, any relationships will go well.
NPO World Friendship Center

Roger & Kathy Edmark passing the baton

Change of Diretors 2022 Roger&Kathy EdmarkCherry blossoms are in full bloom in Hiroshima.
Thank you for your continued support of WFC.


In March, the restrictions on entry into Japan were lifted, and at the same time, visas were issued to the incoming directors, Matthew and Malachi.


Originally, the change of directors was scheduled for last summer, but after a seven months delay, Matthew and Malachi arrived in Japan at the end of March.


The directors, Roger and Kathy, continued to work for WFC for seven additional months in the midst of a pandemic, even after their two-year term was up, willing to serve as long as they could. We cannot thank them enough.


We would also like to thank their families in Seattle who have been waiting so long for their return.


Roger and Kathy left Hiroshima on April 1, after a short transition period with Matthew and Malachi, and returned to their families in Seattle.


We believe the two years and seven months have been an enjoyable and precious time for the directors and for everyone who has spent time with them.


We would like to express our deepest gratitude for the kindness received from everyone.


Please visit the official WFC Facebook page for more photos of Roger and Kathy on the day of their departure.


We were blessed with beautiful weather on the day of their departure, and the beautiful Japanese spring🌸 landscape also saw Roger and Kathy off.

Hiroshima Shudo University’s “Hiroshima Tour Guide Program”

2022.03.10_Shudo UniversityWorld Friendship Center members took part as guides in “Hiroshima Tour Guide program 2021” promoted by Hiroshima Shudo University. This program is designed to help students of Hiroshima Shudo University learn about the monuments in Peace Park, so that they will be able to guide visitors from abroad and also acquire skills to talk about “Hiroshima” in their own words.


The guided tours were carried out on March 10th and 11th under clear skies, and four members from WFC, Mikiko Shimizu, Yoko Mimura, Miho Ikeda and Katsumi Takahashi, participated as English-speaking guides. Split into four groups consisting of three students and one teacher, the tour lasted about 2 hours, including a Q&A session and some time to talk about experiences as guides.


All of the students were eager to take notes and asked many questions, and we learned a lot from them. We had a great time with the young students and had a meaningful time with them. We are so grateful.