Voices of A-bomb survivors: Tomiko Kawano, 73, resident of Naka Ward

Experienced the atomic bombing at a location about 2.3 kilometers from the hypocenter at the age of 3. A classmate of Sadako Sasaki at Noboricho Elementary School, a girl who died at the age of 12 from leukemia induced by the A-bomb radiation and afterward inspired the effort to raise the Children’s Peace Monument in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

We were told that no one would survive once they developed the symptoms of “A-bomb disease.” But it wasn’t until much later that I learned that Sadako herself knew she was dying. I wonder how she felt as she folded paper cranes in her hospital bed. Nuclear weapons rob children of their future. I hope that President Obama will also visit the Children’s Peace Monument and truly understand why nuclear weapons must be abolished.

[This is a shortened version of the original Japanese text.]