@12 days until Hiroshima Summit: Hiroshima Hidankyo

by Kana Kobayashi, Staff Writer

Two groups are named “The Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations (Hiroshima Hidankyo).” They were originally established as a single organization in 1956. Then, one Hiroshima Hidankyo affiliated to the Japanese Communist Party was established in 1964, causing a split in the group.

In the background was a split of the ban-the-bomb movement which had spread nationwide, driven by the U.S. hydrogen bomb test conducted at Bikini Atoll in 1954. There was a conflict between the sect affiliated with the Japan Socialist party, which was opposed to nuclear tests conducted by any nation, and the other sect affiliated with the anti-U.S. and anti-imperialistic communist party, over the recognition of the former Soviet Union’s nuclear tests and other issues. In step with the split of the movement, Hiroshima Hidankyo was also split in two.

Meanwhile, both groups sometimes act in unison. The two groups have continued to work on the signature drive to pursue signing and ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) as member of the seven A-bomb survivors’ groups in Hiroshima driving the campaign. Their desire to eliminate the nuclear weapons is one.

(Originally published on May 7, 2023)