@10 days until Hiroshima Summit: Assistance to the A-bomb survivors living overseas

by Kana Kobayashi, Staff Writer

A-bomb survivors not living in Japan had been placed outside the framework of the Japanese government’s aid to survivors, for a long time. Survivors in foreign nations and their supporters in Japan went to court to fight against the Japanese government (which limited issuance of the Atomic Bomb Survivor’s Certificate and its benefits only to survivors living in Japan), to resolve the discrepancy among the survivors, under the slogan that “Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) are always hibakusha wherever they are now.”

The Citizens’ Association for the Relief of A-bomb Victims in South Korea was formed in 1971. Over the past half-century, the group has supported A-bomb survivors living in South Korea who have suffered the after-effects of the bombing and struggle to make a living, and also worked to support legal battles. Additionally, given that other groups were established to support survivors living in Brazil and the U.S., they formed an alliance. The court ruling in favor of the late Kwak Kwi Hoon, an A-bomb survivor who had lived in South Korea, led to the government’s decision to allow for the validity of the Atomic Bomb Survivor’s Certificate overseas beginning in 2003, 46 years after the government began to issue the certificate.

(Originally published on May 9, 2023)