Junior Writers Reporting

Aimee Tsujimoto, journalist whose mother experienced the atomic bombing, conveys the dangers of radiation

Aimee Tsujimoto, a freelance journalist in the United States whose mother experienced the Hiroshima A-bombing, speaks out about the dangers of radiation as a child of an atomic bomb survivor. During a visit she paid to Hiroshima, to prepare for a symposium and engage in other activities, we interviewed her about the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 (Daiichi) nuclear power plant, which occurred in March 2011, and other issues.

When Ms. Tsujimoto’s mother was young, she moved to Japan from the United States, and encountered the atomic bombing in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Ms. Tsujimoto points out that nuclear accidents can bring about a tragedy similar to that of an atomic bombing. Following the accident in Fukushima, she says that the number of American young people who recognize the horror of radiation is increasing. She stressed that “People are becoming more aware of the damage caused by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

Radioactive materials from the Fukushima disaster, dispersed in the ocean, have been found in fish caught on the west coast of the United States. “The damage can be found all over the world,” she said with conviction. “I plan to continue telling others how dangerous these radioactive materials are to many people.”

We also asked her about the war. During World War II, as Japan and the United States fought in the Pacific, Japanese nationals and those of Japanese descent who were living in the United States suffered discrimination and were sent to internment camps. Ms. Tsujimoto told us that after the war started, the American attitude toward the Japanese changed completely and they were considered people from an enemy nation. It was a very painful time.

She advised us, “It’s important to have a variety of perspectives.” Keeping this advice in mind, we want to learn as much as we can about the damage done by radiation in different parts of the world, as a result of nuclear testing and war. (Yumi Kimura, 17, and Miyu Okada, 13)

(Originally Published on February 24, 2014)