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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 February 27 - March 4  > Young people renew determination to increase efforts to get nuclear weapons abolished
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2008 February 27 - March 4 TOP3 [PEACE]

Young people renew determination to increase efforts to get nuclear weapons abolished

March 2, 2008
A number of events took place in Yaizu City in Shizuoka Prefecture, on March 1 to mark the 54th anniversary of the U.S. hydrogen bomb test explosion at Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific.

Bikini Day conference participants pledge greater efforts to achieve a nuclear-free world

A number of events took place in Yaizu City in Shizuoka Prefecture, on March 1 to mark the 54th anniversary of the U.S. hydrogen bomb test explosion at Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific.

Yaizu was the homeport of the Lucky Dragon #5, a tuna fishing boat that was irradiated with fallout from the test explosion on March 1, 1954.

About 1,300 participants, including overseas delegates marched in demonstration from JR Yaizu Station to the grave of Kuboyama Aikichi, the radio operator of the fishing boat, who died seven months later of kidney failure due to radiation exposure. “Let me be the last victim of atomic and hydrogen bombs” were his last words.

At the 2008 Bikini Day Conference attended by about 1,500 people, Sawada Shoji, speaking on behalf of the Organizing Committee of the World Conference against A & H Bombs, called for the rally to be used as a springboard for developing the movement to have the 2010 NPT Review Conference adopt concrete steps to achieve the “unequivocal undertaking” for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Abacca Anjain-Maddison, a former senator of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, reported that islanders are dying of cancer, and the contaminated land has not been cleaned up. She also stated that the new government of the Marshall Islands began organizing an official event to commemorate Bikini Day.

Yaizu City Mayor Tomoto Takao gave a speech.

Messages from Hiorshima and Nagasaki city mayors were read.

The rally was co-sponsored by the Organizing Committee of the World Conference against A & H Bombs and the Shizuoka Organizing Committee of the Bikini Day Conference.

Youth rally

On the same day, about 250 young activists shared their experiences and discussed their hopes for peace at the 2008 International Youth Rally in Yaizu City, Shizuoka.

Oishi Matashichi, a former crew member of the Lucky Dragon #5 said that 12 of those who were on the fishing boat have died due to the radiation they were exposed to and that his first child was stillborn.

Miho Cibot, a peace activist from France, Mohamed Abdel Rahman, an Egyptian studying in Japan, and Lee Miyun, a South Korean studying in Japan spoke about peace activities in their respective countries.

Cibot related how French youth translated Hibakusha’s testimonies and had them published in France.

Lee said that young people in South Korea organized major demonstrations in protest against the accident caused a U.S. tank that ran over and killed two junior high school students in 2002.
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