Takeshi Akune, who served as Secretary General of the World Federalist Movement of Japan since the 1990s, passed away this past January in Sakai, Osaka. A dedicated federalist, peace and anti-nuclear activist, Akune was a strong advocate in Japan on behalf of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court and the campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly.
Although he had resigned as Secretary General of WFM – Japan in September 2018, he continued to work for the causes he believed in. WFM’s then-Executive Director, Bill Pace commented, “The loss of Takeshi Akune is very sad, but I was inspired with his hard work for peace and disarmament to the very last breath.“
Most recently Akune promoted a petition calling on U.S. President Donald Trump to stop the reclamation effort in the Oura Bay in Henoko, Okinawa. The petition gained over 210,000 signatories, one of whom was Dr Brian May, lead guitarist for the band Queen.
Takeshi Akune frequently posted the Queen ballad “Teo Toriatte – Let Us Cling Together”, which movingly expressed the spirit of solidarity and humanity that characterized his life-long commitment to federalism and peace.
Dr John Sutter, who passed away in March 2019 at the age of 93, left a large footprint in the history of the World Federalist Movement. Despite a quiet soft-spoken demeanour, he was well known for his dogged determination, hard work and devotion to the World Federalist cause
After serving as a combat engineer in the U.S. Army during World War II, Sutter earned a Bachelors degree in Public Administration and an M.A. in Economics and History, before joining the U.S. Foreign Service, serving in China during the 1949 revolution and later in Indonesia. After completing a PhD at Cornell University he worked for three decades on behalf of The Asia Foundation, a nonprofit development organization based in San Francisco, serving in Malaysia, Indonesia and Pakistan.
Upon returning to the U.S. in the mid-1980s Sutter devoted himself to the promotion of more democratic international institutions, as an active participant and donor to the U.S. World Federalist Association, then the California-based Democratic World Federalists as well as the international World Federalist Movement. Among his many noteworthy achievements, he was the driving force behind the “Northern California World Federalist” and later “Toward Democratic World Federation” newsletters, and a key organizer of the 1995 WFM World Congress in San Francisco held on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter.