Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum revises panel explanation about how overseas survivors came to be covered by support law

by Kyosuke Mizukawa, Staff Writer

The Hiroshima City government has partially revised an explanation in one of the exhibits in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, located in the city’s Naka Ward, about A-bomb survivors living overseas. The revised description refers to a 2002 ruling by the Osaka High Court that paved the way for survivors living in other countries to receive benefits. Some members of the public had pointed out to the city government that the explanation on the panel was “insufficient” regarding information about how survivors living overseas came to be covered by the Atomic Bomb Survivors’ Support Law.

The revised description on the panel titled “A-bomb Survivors Living Overseas” in the East Building of the museum refers to the decision made by the Osaka High Court in 2002 regarding a case that Kwak Kwi Hoon, a Korean A-bomb survivor living in Korea, filed and won against the Japanese government regarding the provision of health care benefits. The revised explanation now reads, “Allowances began to be paid to survivors living overseas under the Atomic Bomb Survivors’ Support Law beginning in 2003.”

The original panel description only mentioned that A-bomb survivors living overseas, a group that had been locked out of support for a long time, had become eligible for benefits “as a result of step-by-step review of the support systems,” without touching on the lawsuit. Tetsuo Kaneko, a member of the representative committee of the Hiroshima prefectural chapter of the Japan Congress against A- and H-Bombs, had requested that the city government make the revision based on what he thought was the need to correctly inform the public that certain government policies in this regard were mistaken.

The museum installed the panel with the revised explanation on the evening of November 27. The city’s Atomic Bomb Survivors Relief Department made a statement indicating, “Against the backdrop of a word limit, we changed the phrasing based on the request so that it was more readily understandable, although the original information was not incorrect.”

(Originally published on December 2, 2020)