Yoshiro Yamawaki, a victim of 85 years of the Nagasaki bomb attack on 1945, appealed to the international community on Friday for help in eliminating nuclear weapons.

Yoshiro Yamawaki, a representative of atomic bomb survivors in hibakusha, speaks at Nagasaki Peace Park in Nagasaki on Friday. Photo: Yomiuri Shimbun

"Please lend your strength to eliminate nuclear weapons from the face of the earth and ensure that Nagasaki is the last place on earth to suffer atomic bombing," Yamawaki said in English at an annual ceremony in Nagasaki, before an audience including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and representatives of other countries.

Reading a promise of peace as a representative of the survivors of the hibakusha atomic bomb, Yamawaki appealed with the phrase he always uses when sharing his experience with foreigners in English, a language he has learned for himself.

Yamawaki also urged Abe as the leader of the world's only atomic bomb country to encourage nuclear powers to abolish nuclear weapons.

When Nagasaki suffered a nuclear attack in the US on this day 74 years ago, three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Yamawaki, 11 years at the time, was at his home about 2 kilometers from ground zero and was exposed to radiation.

Some family members who had been evacuated from the city escaped the bombing and their brothers, who remained in the city, survived. But his father, who was near ground zero, was killed in the blast.

Yamawaki and his brothers tried to cremate their father's body with pieces of wood, but could not bear to see the corpse burned and left the scene.

When they returned to collect the bones the next day, they found the body only partially cremated, Yamawaki said. The moment his older brother touched the skull with a stick, he collapsed and his brain leaked from inside. Frightened, Yamawaki and his brothers ran home without taking their father's bones with them. Yamawaki said he still regrets leaving his father's body.

Many people who lost family members to atomic bombing experienced similar tragedies, and those who barely survived the bombing suffered from injuries from heat and the aftereffects of radiation, Yamawaki said.

Yamawaki and his brothers also suffer from cancer and other diseases.

Source: Jiji Press


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