May 28, 2016
Three Hibakusha, who attended a ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in which U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a speech, held a news conference in the Hiroshima atomic bomb museum on the evening of May 27 and called for politics which will never again create Hibakusha anywhere in the world.
Tanaka Terumi, secretary general of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), said, “I was a little disappointed because President Obama gave just a one-way speech and his visit to the museum lasted only 15 minutes. After the speech, I didn’t have a chance to speak with him even for just a minute. I really wanted him to say he would commit to a Nuclear Weapons Convention.”
Meanwhile, Nihon Hidankyo Chairperson Tsuboi Sunao said he had a chance to exchange a few words with President Obama after the speech. Tsuboi said, “I asked him to come to the A-bombed cities as many times as possible while in office and directly meet with Hibakusha. I also told him to do his best to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons.”
Iwasa Mikiso, also chairperson of the Nihon Hidankyo, commented on the Japanese government continuing to be under the U.S. nuclear umbrella despite being the only A-bombed country in the world. Iwasa said, “We must change the current policy to one declaring ‘We will never again create Hibakusha’.”
He furthermore called for setting August 6 and 9, the dates when atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as International Peace Memorial Days to represent the hope for a world without nuclear weapons.
Nihon Hidankyo Secretary General Tanaka said that as Hibakusha are getting old, they really hope to see a nuclear-free world while they are still alive. He concluded, “We, Hibakusha, will continue to work to proactively collect signatures calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.”