@14 days until Hiroshima Summit: American POW soldiers

by Rina Yuasa, Staff Writer

Those who perished as a result of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima included Japanese people who had once been to the U.S. as immigrants and then returned to their hometown of Hiroshima with their families, as well as crews from U.S. military aircraft which were shot down after being fired upon by Japanese naval vessels. Those U.S. soldiers experienced the atomic bombing and died as they had been held in the central area of Hiroshima as Prisoners of War (POWs).

For many years, Shigeaki Mori, 86, an A-bomb survivor living in Hiroshima’s Nishi Ward, did research regarding the American soldiers held as POWs, and commemorated them by setting up a memorial tablet in the city, inspired by the idea that “Everybody who died in the atomic bombing was the same human being.” Mr. Mori traced the surviving families of 12 U.S. soldiers who died as a result of the atomic bombing, and interacted with them. He has continually provided support to have those soldiers’ photos registered at the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims in Naka Ward. In 2016, he met with then U.S. president Barack Obama visiting Hiroshima, and was rewarded for his services.

(Originally published on May 5, 2023)