@ 17 days until Hiroshima Summit: Atomic Bomb Survivors’ Certificate

by Yumi Kanazaki, Staff Writer

Those exposed to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are called “A-bomb survivors.” Based on the Atomic Bomb Survivors Relief Law, the Japanese government issues the Atomic Bomb Survivor’s Certificate to those who (1) directly experienced the atomic bombings in designated areas, (2) entered the areas within about two kilometers of the hypocenters within two weeks of the atomic bombings, (3) engaged in relief activities for the wounded, dealt with dead bodies, or developed a disease after being exposed to “black rain,” or (4) were then unborn fetuses whose mothers experienced the atomic bombings. They can receive medical expenses and other allowances.

The number of A-bomb survivors stands at 118,935 as of the end of March 2022, including 2,658 A-bomb survivors living overseas. Their average age is already 84.53 years old. Meanwhile, there are people who have not applied for the Atomic Bomb Survivors’ Certificate out of fear of discrimination. Some A-bomb orphans and parents who lost their children in the atomic bombings did not experience the atomic bombings themselves. There is a far greater number of “victims of the atomic bombings” than the number of those possessing the Atomic Bomb Survivors’ Certificate.

(Originally published on May 2, 2023)