Seven organizations of A-bomb survivors to urge government to end use of nuclear energy

by Michiko Tanaka, Staff Writer

Seven organizations of A-bomb survivors, groups based in Hiroshima, decided on July 4 to urge the central government to end the use of nuclear energy in Japan. After the Peace Memorial Ceremony, to be held on August 6, they will make this appeal at a meeting with government officials designed to hear requests from representatives of survivors. Some organizations have included such an appeal in their group’s list of written requests, but this is the first time that the appeal will be made with the consensus of all seven groups.

The forward to the written request that will be submitted to the central government includes a passage which states that breaking away from the use of nuclear energy is the fervent desire of A-bomb survivors. With regard to the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 (Daiichi) nuclear power plant, each organization plans to request that policies be established to move toward abandoning nuclear power and providing comprehensive health care for those who were exposed to radiation as a result of the accident.

Sunao Tsuboi, chairman of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Survivors Organizations, commented, “Each organization has set a different time frame for attaining these goals, but all of us share the wish of denuclearizing our nation’s energy sources in order to put an end to the damage caused by radiation. So we have decided to join together and make a strong appeal.”

On July 4, a discussion was held at Hiroshima City Hall to prepare for the upcoming meeting with officials from the central government. Arrangements for the meeting were made, including the order of each group’s speech and the content of their requests. Among the requests will be the city of Hiroshima hosting the review conference of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 2015, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing, and expanding the designated “black rain” area, where dark, radioactive rain fell in the aftermath of the A-bomb blast. The meeting to hear requests from representatives of A-bomb survivors is sponsored by the Hiroshima city government. The city government has asked Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to attend the meeting.

(Originally published on July 5, 2012)