“No More Hibakusha” holds discussion in Tokyo, reaffirms importance of handing down A-bomb experiences

by Kohei Okata, Staff Wrter

Hoping to promote a greater understanding in connection with handing down and conveying A-bomb experiences, members of “No More Hibakusha,” a group seeking to pass on the experiences of A-bomb survivors, held a meeting in Tokyo on July 15. A panel discussion with survivors reaffirmed the importance of handing down their experiences to the next generation in order to help realize the abolition of nuclear weapons.

The three panelists included Sueichi Kido, the assistant secretary general of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), who conveyed the heartfelt voices of elderly survivors. “We must take on the important challenge of eliminating nuclear weapons, and do what we can to hand down our experiences,” said Mr. Kido, a survivor of the Nagasaki bombing.

Psychiatrist Rika Kayama stressed, “Handing down the A-bomb experiences may not be an efficient method, but it is the only way to counter the misguided notion of possessing nuclear weapons.” Dr. Osamu Saito, an expert in medical care for radiation exposure, and a physician at Watari Hospital in the city of Fukushima, said, “The enormous number of A-bomb experiences should all be part of the world’s memory.”

The group was established in December of last year by executive members of the confederation, lawyers, and researchers. Its aim is to create a center for peace-related resources that will house A-bomb accounts and records of the anti-nuclear movement. About 350 people attended the meeting, which was held to mark the group’s new status as a nonprofit organization, a designation obtained in April.

(Originally published on July 16, 2012)