ICAN announces that Setsuko Thurlow and other A-bomb survivors will join Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony

by Kohei Okata, Staff Writer

On October 26, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the international non-governmental organization (NGO) selected as the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, announced that three A-bomb survivors will take part in the award ceremony to be held in Oslo, Norway on December 10. These survivors include Setsuko Thurlow, 85, who is originally from Minami Ward, Hiroshima and now lives in Toronto, Canada, and two others residing in Japan. Ms. Thurlow will go on stage with Beatrice Fihn, the executive director of ICAN, to deliver a speech and receive the commemorative medal and the award certificate.

On the same day, Akira Kawasaki, a member of ICAN’s international steering committee, held a press conference at the Hiroshima City Hall and said that the group asked the Japan Confederation of A- and H-bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) to select the survivors that will join the ceremony. After ICAN submits the list of ceremony participants to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, invitation letters will be sent to them individually. From ICAN, dozens of people will take part in the ceremony, including Mr. Kawasaki and other international steering committee members, international staff members, and victims of nuclear testing.

ICAN was recognized for spreading the message of the inhumanity of nuclear weapons through partnership with the A-bomb survivors and making an important contribution toward establishing the nuclear weapons ban treaty. In Oslo, related events will take place before and after the ceremony. The group has also been inundated with requests for interviews from the world’s media. Mr. Kawasaki said, “We would like to highlight the presence of the A-bomb survivors as much as possible during the ceremony, and deliver a message from Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the world.”

In addition, Mr. Kawasaki met with Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui at the City Hall, and shared his idea of working with the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to hold a symposium in the first half of next year to promote the significance of the nuclear weapons ban treaty and the Nobel Peace Prize win.

(Originally published on October 27, 2017)