Family members sought for remains of 817 A-bomb victims

by Sakiko Masuda, Staff Writer

On July 9, the City of Hiroshima sent a list of names of 817 A-bomb victims who have been identified but whose family members have not been located to 1,975 sites, including local governments across Japan. The remains of these A-bomb victims are stored in the Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. The city is calling for the list to be posted in government office buildings and others places from July 16 through the end of October, and will await contact from family members.

The list with the words "We are looking for family members of A-bomb victims" is about one meter in length and 0.7 meters in width. The names are printed in the order of the Japanese syllabary with as many clues as have been obtained, including last-known addresses and ages. On that day, three city employees put copies of the list into envelopes in a room of Hiroshima City Hall and posted the envelopes.

The city has released the list to the public since 1968. Though the remains of 150 victims were taken by the victims' family members in fiscal 1969, the pace has slowed with the remains of three victims in total claimed over a period of roughly four years since fiscal 2006.

Masahiro Urushihara, director of the Research Division of the Atomic Bomb Survivors Relief Department of the City of Hiroshima, said, "We would like to return as many A-bomb victims as possible to members of their family, as long as such a possibility remains."

(Originally published on July 10, 2010)