Students from U.K. shed tears over A-bomb survivor’s testimony

by Miho Kuwajima, Staff Writer

Twelve students from Highcliffe School in Dorset County, England visited Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on October 24. They also took in a number of monuments connected to the atomic bombing and listened to the testimony of an A-bomb survivor, Keijiro Matsushima, 79, at the Chugoku Shimbun building.

The students, aged 13 to 16, are taking part in a short-term study program at Hiroshima Johoku Junior and Senior High School for a period of about two weeks from October 23.

Mr. Matsushima, a former junior high school English teacher, was exposed to the atomic bombing at a distance of approximately 2 kilometers from the hypocenter. Using English, he described the horrific conditions of the city after the bombing. He urged the students to make efforts for peace, remarking, “I hope you will help eliminate the nuclear weapons possessed by the U.K.”

Lucy Bush, 16, who was in tears as she listened to Mr. Matsushima’s story, commented, “I felt the suffering of people in Hiroshima. The nuclear arms race is so foolish. I plan to share Mr. Matsushima’s story with as many people as I can.”

(Originally published on October 25, 2008)