A-bomb survivors feel sentiment for nuclear abolition is spreading

by Uzaemonnaotsuka Tokai, Staff Writer

Three atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima, who were dispatched to A-bomb exhibitions in the United States and Russia this fall, held a press conference at Hiroshima City Hall on December 15. They commented that, with the advent of U.S. President Barack Obama's support for a nuclear-free world, "The appeal we have been making, to eliminate nuclear weapons, is now spreading throughout the world."

Iwao Nakanishi, 79, a resident of Kure City, near Hiroshima City, related his experience in three U.S. cities including St. Paul, Minnesota. "It seemed that in the past more people thought the dropping of the bombs was justified, but this time I was able to get my feelings across to a greater extent," Mr. Nakanishi said. Mieko Okada, 72, who visited New York City, shared the episode that after she finished her testimony, a young man took her hand and told her he was "sorry."

Noriko Ueda, 78, who visited Orenburg in the southwestern part of Russia, looked back on her visit and said, "I felt a change in the global atmosphere." Steven Leeper, chairperson of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, also attended the press conference.

The atomic bomb exhibitions overseas were initiated in 1995 by the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ms. Ueda was sent to Russia this fall as part of the project. For the United States, the city of Hiroshima launched a separate project in 2007 which targets all 50 states in cooperation with local U.S. organizations. Mr. Nakanishi and Ms. Okada were sent to the United States through this project.

(Originally published on December 16, 2009)

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