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Approaching a new nuclear threat age – what can we learn from Hiroshima?

Nuclear weapons in the eyes of ‘Hibakusha’ – Testimony of a Hibakusha survivor

(From left) Tsutomu Ishiai, Dr Rebecca Johnson Michimasa Hirata. Photo: Daiwa Foundation

In October 2018, US President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the US from its nuclear arms treaty with Russia.   He stated his intention to develop the US nuclear arsenal further, in the face of several decades of efforts by the international community to prevent the proliferation of nuclear arms.

The news  shocked civil society not only in Europe but also in Japan, where several groups of Hibakusha – survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb – have written to the US embassy in Tokyo to protest against Trump’s decision.

Mr Hirata, one of the few remaining survivors of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb, spoke about his experiences during and after the nuclear explosion in 1945.

He asserted Hibakusha are offended  by the Japanese government who oppose the nuclear proliferation treaty that was adopted last yearHe said there should be no more Hibakusha. Mr Hirata was nine years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945.

Dr Rebecca Johnson,  examined the major challenges and threats faced by nuclear treaties in the current international context.

Mr Ishiai, London Bureau Chief of Asahi Shimbun, discussed the role of journalists in passing down lessons from Hiroshima. and the threat of nuclear weapons to the next generation.

The seminar  was held at Daiwa Foundation Japan House, London, Thursday 29 November 2018

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