A-bomb survivor shares experience of the bombing with people of Norway

by Hiromi Morita, Staff Writer

Miyoko Matsubara, 77, who shared her experience of the atomic bombing at an A-bomb exhibition held in Volda, Norway, has returned to Hiroshima. Ms. Matsubara commented that interacting with the people of Norway, a country that has played a leading role in the field of nuclear disarmament, has strengthened her determination to make efforts for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

The A-bomb exhibition was organized by Volda University College and held from September 8 to 11. Ms. Matsubara gave a total of three speeches at the exhibition venue and at local schools. In her talks, she spoke about her experience of the bombing and stressed the senselessness of maintaining nuclear weapons. Prior to visiting Volda, Ms. Matsubara also stopped in Oslo, the Norwegian capital, where she attracted media attention. After returning home to Hiroshima, she has continued to receive expressions of appreciation and questions by email.

Volda University College sends students to Hiroshima twice a year for peace education studies. In this context, Ms. Matsubara suggested organizing an A-bomb exhibition at the school. She felt that raising awareness in favor of nuclear abolition in Norway, which has showed initiative in enacting the Convention on Cluster Munitions and other peace-related issues, could have a constructive impact on international public opinion.

Ms. Matsubara remarked that the mindfulness among citizens of Norway for peace building from the grassroots level was even stronger than she had expected and she hopes that her recent visit will serve as a beginning for further cooperation. She would also like to see interaction between Norway and Japan, including reciprocal visits by young people, encouraged and expanded in the future.

(Originally published on September 23, 2008)