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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 February 27 - March 5  > 65 yrs. after US H-Bomb tragedy at Bikini Atoll, events held in Japan's Shizuoka
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2019 February 27 - March 5 [PEACE]

65 yrs. after US H-Bomb tragedy at Bikini Atoll, events held in Japan's Shizuoka

February 28 - March 2, 2019
March 1 marked the 65th year following the U.S. hydrogen bomb test explosion at the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific, exposing local islanders and many fishermen on vessels, including the Japanese tuna fishing boat "Daigo Fukuryu Maru"(Lucky Dragon Number Five), to radiation fallout.

At the Daigo Fukuryu Maru's homeport city of Yaizu in Shizuoka Prefecture, a Bikini Day rally took place with 1,500 antinuke citizens participating. Prior to this rally, they marched in demonstration through the city to a temple where the grave of the late Kuboyama Aikichi, Daigo Fukuryu Maru's chief radio operator, is located.

At the rally, a former crewmember of Daigo Fukuryu Maru, a lawyer supporting Japanese victims of the Bikini incident, and overseas guests gave speeches, criticizing the government for trying to keep hidden the extent of damages and neglecting to take adequate measures to relieve all sufferers.

Yaizu City Mayor Nakano Hiromich delivered a speech. Messages from Hiroshima City Mayor Matsui Kazumi, Nagasaki City Mayor Taue Tomihisa, the Japanese Communist Party Central Committee, and head of the Liberal Party, Ozawa Ichiro, were read out.

Ikeda Masaho, a former crewmember of the Daigo Fukuryu Maru, came to the stage together with American film director Keith Reimink of "Day of the Western Sunrise". Ikeda said that he was very excited about the completion of this documentary which focuses on testimonies by the surviving fishermen.

Abacca Anjain, a former Senator of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, related to the participants stories of local islanders who were victimized by the "Bravo" explosion at the Rongelap Atoll. Those who gave speeches said, "The movement against nuclear weapons is stronger than ever in the world today," and "We should overcome the false claim that nuclear weapons are needed to keep world order."

* * *

As part of related events, a panel discussion session took place on February 27 in Shizuoka City with about 120 peace activists attending and four panelists: Tsuchida Yayoi (JPN), Joseph Gerson (US), Lee Jun-Kyu (Kr), and Gediminas Rimdeika (Lt).


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