Screening set for A-bomb survivor in the United States

by Uzaemonnaotsuka Tokai, Staff Writer

On July 13, the City of Hiroshima will dispatch two officials to the United States to interview an A-bomb survivor (hibakusha) who has applied for the Atomic Bomb Survivor’s Certificate. The dispatch has been postponed since mid-May due to the spread of the new influenza.

On July 14, the city officials will visit the hibakusha, 76, who lives in Tucson, Arizona. She has already obtained the Atomic Bomb Certificate of Acknowledgment, which could be converted to the Atomic Bomb Survivor’s Certificate if she traveled to Japan. She will be interviewed about the circumstances of her exposure to the atomic bombing, and if her identity is verified, the city will undertake procedures to issue the certificate.

City officials initially planned to interview her in mid-May but postponed the trip due to the spread of swine flu in the United States. However, the danger of the disease is said to be low, and the hibakusha has been eagerly waiting for the certificate to be issued, so the dispatch will now proceed.

The Atomic Bomb Survivors Relief Law, revised in December 2008, permits hibakusha who live overseas to apply for the Atomic Bomb Survivor’s Certificate through Japanese embassies and consulates, but if they apply by proxy due to health or other reasons, they must be interviewed by either of the four local governments that conduct practical screening: Hiroshima Prefecture, Nagasaki Prefecture, Hiroshima City, or Nagasaki City. Hiroshima City dispatched officials to South Korea in January and March, and this dispatch will be the third.

The city officials will also visit Los Angeles and Honolulu to hold consultations on the application for the certificate before they return to Japan on July 19.

(Originally published on July 9, 2009)

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