@21 days until Hiroshima Summit: “Black rain”

by Yuichi Ito, Staff Writer

After the U.S. military dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, “black rain” containing soot from fires and radioactive materials from the bomb fell over a large area. Some A-bomb survivors seeking water tried to quench their thirst by opening their mouths as wide as they could. This picture painted by Akiko Takakura, an A-bomb survivor, is on display at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in central Hiroshima.

In 1976, the Japanese government designated a 19-kilometer-long, 11-kilometer-wide oval-shaped area stretching northwest of the hypocenter as the area subject to relief. The A-bomb Survivor’s Certificate has been issued to those who were exposed to the rain in the area and developed one of 11 diseases, including cancer. More people should have become eligible for relief under the new national guidelines introduced last April, but many people who have applied for the certificate have been rejected.

(Originally published on April 28, 2023)