Two members of an A-bomb survivors group share their stories in the U.S.

by Kyosuke Mizukawa, Staff Writer

The Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations has sent two of its members to the United States where they shared their experiences of the atomic bombing in four cities in the states of Oregon and California. Miyako Yano, 77, and Junko Kayashige, 69, held a press conference at Hiroshima City Hall on October 14. In their comments, they shared impressions of the American people’s sentiments toward the atomic bombings and feel that these sentiments have been shifting from approval to disapproval over the issue.

The two hibakusha appealed for nuclear abolition on seven occasions to a total of 2,000 people at such venues as universities, high schools, and meetings organized by peace groups. Ms. Yano, who also visited the U.S. two years ago to speak about her experience of the bombing, remarked, “Compared to last time, fewer people made comments or asked questions with the intent to justify the dropping of the bombs. I was also impressed with the young people who were keen to listen to our talks.”

Ms. Kayashige talked about her experience of losing two older sisters to the bombing. Referring to the counterargument made by a high-level figure at the University of California, who contended that the U.S. “is now developing safe nuclear weapons,” she stressed the necessity of conveying the cruel nature of nuclear weapons more widely.

(Originally published on October 15, 2008)

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