●1984 The 47th International PEN Congress in Tokyo
Holding of the 47th International PEN Congress in Tokyo with the participation of 45 PEN centers, 219 writers from overseas, 351 Japan P.E.N. Club members, and 53 others. The theme was "Literature in the Nuclear Age... Why do We Write?"
The opening ceremony for the 47th International P.E.N. Congress, held in the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku, Tokyo
In his speech at the opening ceremony the president of International PEN, Per Wästberg, spoke about the duties and responsibilities of literary people in the nuclear age.
"Auschwitz and Hiroshima were created by human beings just like us. At the same time we have never shown more concern for poor and downtrodden people than we do in the modern age. We live in this ethical paradox. [Omission] If the human race destroys itself with nuclear weapons, after that not even a single person will experience extinction, and if we experience that fate now, then no one will experience anything in the future. After extinction, there will be nobody to take responsibility, so we must take full responsibility now."
The 9th president of the Japan P.E.N. Club, Yasushi Inoue gave the next speech.
"Literature in the nuclear age is the issue which literary people living in the modern world should constantly concern themselves with the most. The age in which each individual could pursue their own personal happiness has ended. How can one become happy when other people are not happy? Now more than ever, I want to emulate the wisdom in the story by Mencius of the meeting at Kui Qiu in which a pact was made vowing before an alter that the water of the Yellow River would not be diverted into neighboring countries or used as an alternative weapon, in order to take the position of a literary person that believes in human beings and trusts the history of the human race created by human beings."
President Yasushi Inoue elected a vice president of International PEN.
Photo Library of the International PEN Congress Tokyo 1984
Sen Nishiyama and Kurt Vonnegut
William Styron and Rose Styron
Toru Miyoshi / Daishi Iwaya
Daishi Iwaya, Yasushi Inoue and Per Wästberg
Speakers in the subcommittees