A-bomb survivors stress inhumanity of nuclear weapons in videos filmed by Hiroshima NPO in conjunction with first anniversary of TPNW’s entering into force

by Rina Yuasa, Staff Writer

On January 14, ANT-Hiroshima, a non-profit organization led by Tomoko Watanabe and based the city’s Naka Ward, recorded on video the messages of seven Hiroshima A-bomb survivors groups in commemoration of the first anniversary of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which entered into force on January 22, 2021. In conjunction with the anniversary, the NPO hopes to communicate to the world the inhumanity of nuclear weapons in the voices of atomic bomb survivors.

Toshiyuki Mimaki, 79, chair of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations (Hiroshima Hidankyo), recorded his message online from his own home. Representatives of the six other groups, however, visited ANT-Hiroshima’s office in person. On camera, Kunihiko Sakuma, 77, chair of the other Hiroshima Hidankyo, said, “As a first step in the direction of the elimination of nuclear weapons, the treaty provided us all with great encouragement. We will work in solidarity with victims of radiation exposure throughout the world.” Lee Jong Geun, 92, chair of the Committee Seeking Measures for the Korean A-bomb Victims, stressed, “I am sensing that nuclear weapon states are not interested in the abolition of nuclear weapons. I therefore want to communicate the horror and suffering caused by exposure to the atomic bombing.”

The videos will be shown on January 22 during an online event organized by the Japan NGO Network for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, which consists of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) and citizens groups in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The video messages will be shown with English subtitles and later be made available on the ANT-Hiroshima website. The NPO’s Ms. Watanabe said, “We hope to deliver Hiroshima’s voices to the world with the aim of increasing the number of countries ratifying the TPNW.”

(Originally published on January 15, 2022)