Writer Kenzaburo Oe speaks in Hiroshima

by Uzaemonnaotsuka Tokai, Staff Writer

Kenzaburo Oe, 75, a Nobel laureate for literature, spoke in Hiroshima on October 2 and said that the Japanese people should reflect on the real meaning of Hiroshima's experience and convey to the world that enshrining Japan's three non-nuclear principles into law would be an effective step toward preventing nuclear war.

Mr. Oe was the first speaker in a series of public lectures organized by the City of Hiroshima and the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation on the theme of conveying the peace message of Hiroshima. About 1,200 people attended Mr. Oe's talk.

Mr. Oe recounted his meeting with Fumio Shigeto, president of the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Survivors Hospital (now Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital & Atomic-bomb Survivors Hospital). Looking back on this meeting, Mr. Oe said: "Shigeto worked diligently for A-bomb survivors who continued to suffer. He is my role model as a human being."

Based on the international trend toward nuclear abolition, Mr. Oe stressed that the time will come when nuclear weapons can be eliminated, in another 20 or 25 years. He went on to say, "The notion of nuclear deterrence cannot eliminate nuclear weapons. I hope politicians see this faulty logic."

The writer also pointed out that the peace efforts engaged in by A-bomb survivors lie behind the fact that another nuclear weapon has not been used in the 65 years since World War II. Mr. Oe called on young people to act so that Hiroshima and Nagasaki will eventually be remembered as the last A-bombed cities.

(Originally published on October 3, 2010)