WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination Yohei Sasakawa sends 2nd letter of objection to President Macron
During an interview with the newspaper Ouest-France published on October 31, French President Emmanuel Macron said, “Europe is facing a risk: that of dismemberment through nationalist leprosy and being pushed over by external powers, and therefore to lose its sovereignty.”
Yohei Sasakawa, WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination (and Chairman of The Nippon Foundation) sent a personal letter to President Macron dated November 12, 2018, in which he appealed to President Macron not to use leprosy as a label or epithet for something negative or threatening. A copy of the letter was also delivered to the Embassy of France in Tokyo.
- The above does not reflect Mr. Sasakawa’s position on any related political issues.
- President Macron also used the term “leprosy” as a negative metaphor in June, after which Mr. Sasakawa sent his first letter of objection to the president on June 28, 2018.
- The Nippon Foundation and the Vatican jointly organized an international symposium to dispel leprosy-related discrimination in 2016. The symposium’s Conclusions and Recommendations included not to use leprosy in a metaphorical sense as a term of contempt.
- For further information on the symposium and the full text of the Conclusions and Recommendations, please visit the “Interfaith Appeal to Eliminate Discrimination” news release on our website.