Korean government gives award to Hiroshima group which supports Korean A-bomb survivors

by Michiko Tanaka, Staff Writer

The Hiroshima Committee to Invite Korean A-bomb Survivors to Japan for Medical Treatment, chaired by Yuzuru Kawamura, has received the Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Award. With this award, the Korean government recognizes the group’s efforts to bring A-bomb survivors from Korea to Hiroshima to provide medical care to them at no cost. On March 27, Seo jang-eun, the consul general of the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Hiroshima, located in Minami Ward, visited the group’s office in Naka Ward and presented the certificate.

Mr. Seo offered praise to seven executive members of the group, including Dr. Kawamura, by saying, “I appreciate your efforts and achievements.” Dr. Kawamura, who is also a physician in private practice, said, “This activity is also important for the peace movement. With the encouragement of this award, we would like to continue our work as long as our help is requested.”

Dr. Kawamura’s father, Torataro, a doctor of internal medicine (who died in 1987 at the age of 73), founded the group in 1984. Since that time, the group has covered all expenses in lending their support to A-bomb survivors in Korea who have not had access to relief measures from the Japanese government. To date, the group has treated a total of 569 people. In April, they will host another three patients.

Kim Shin Hwan, 82, a senior executive member who took part in the ceremony, has played a central role in its work since it was established. He celebrated the award by saying, “Thanks to the aspirations of our supporters throughout Japan, our long-term work has been acknowledged.”

(Originally published on March 28, 2015)