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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 March 22 - 28  > The thoughts of the Hibakusha doctor stays alive in the world
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2017 March 22 - 28 [PEACE]
column 

The thoughts of the Hibakusha doctor stays alive in the world

March 22, 2017
Akahata ‘current’ column

“I made a home visit and I was just about to give a child an injection when everything turned white and the heat wave from the atomic blast hit my face and arms. I saw a giant fireball ballooning in the sky and I was flung up into a black vortex.”

Hida Shuntaro, a medical officer at the Hiroshima Military Hospital, was exposed to radiation at the age of 28, six kilometers from the hypocenter. He said he saw people burned raw wandering around like ghosts and still vividly remembers this brutal sight of hell.

Hida himself was injured in the atomic bombing but he tried to rescue and give treatment to the survivors all night. He stayed with them, feeling anguish looking at those who were dying from unknown symptoms. Soon, he came into close contact with many people who were suffering from the after-effects of radiation and internal exposure to radiation, and started to inform the public about the extent of the radiation-caused suffering.

Hiding the damage inflicted by the atomic bombs, the United States closed the door to therapeutic research and development. The Japanese government gave in to unreasonable U.S. demands and ignored the readily apparent Hibakusha issue. Hida felt his mission is to inform the world about the realities of the suffering inflicted by the A-bombings and visited many countries to support for the call for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

He always stood up with the Hibakusha, devoting his entire life to the anti-nuclear weapons movement. His wish for action was finally taken to heart by the world. On March 27, the United Nations will start an international conference to discuss a Nuclear Weapons Convention for the first time.

“Hibakusha are treasures for the whole human race. We should live a long life.” Hida often said this with a gentle smile. To young people, he said that life is precious and irreplaceable so everyone must value each life. The Hibakusha doctor fought to save lives and emphasized the importance of living out a natural life. He believed that each person should be the protagonist of their life to the last moment.
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