102 A-bomb survivors enroute to 20 countries on Peace Boat

by Masakazu Domen, Staff Writer

A large passenger vessel embarking on an around-the-world voyage, with 102 A-bomb survivors from Japan and abroad as well as about 600 other passengers on board, left Yokohama Port on September 7. The A-bomb survivors will share their experiences and appeal for solidarity, while on the boat and at 22 ports of call in 20 countries, to advance the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Before the departure, a press conference was held and Akira Kawasaki, Executive Committee Member of Peace Boat, a Tokyo-based NGO and the organizer of the voyage, stated, “The voices of the A-bomb survivors are now needed by the international community more than ever.” Katsuyoshi Omori, 77, a Tokyo resident who had been exposed to the bombing in Hiroshima and is one of the plaintiffs involved in the class action lawsuits over A-bomb disease certification, commented on his feelings about the trip, saying, “I have decided to go on this journey to help abolish nuclear weapons.”

At ports of call, the A-bomb survivors will interact with local people, including high-level government officials.

(Originally published on September 8, 2008)

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