Hibakusha atomic bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki reacted with rage against North Korea’s sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3.

The bleak situation also saw despair spread among the families of abduction victims and ethnic Korean residents living in Japan, whose lives have been thrown into turmoil amid the tensions between Japan and North Korea.

Kim Jong Un’s reclusive regime defiantly went ahead with the test, despite the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations in July. The treaty was signed by 122 nations after a major push by the Hibakusha Appeal, an alliance of several hibakusha groups, although Japan and North Korea, as well as the nuclear-armed nations, were not among them.

“I can’t stand it, I am really angry about it. No matter what reasons North Korea has, nuclear weapons should never be allowed to be possessed,” said Toshiyuki Mimaki, 75, deputy director of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, voicing his outrage over the latest nuclear test. In June, Mimaki participated in negotiations for the antinuclear treaty at the U.N. headquarters in New York. The treaty’s adoption, which bans the use or possession of nuclear weapons by law, was an unprecedented and groundbreaking move, even if it is still mainly symbolic due to the absence of key international players.

“The treaty is something that A-bomb survivors managed to achieve by making continuous efforts,” said Mimaki. “I am now asking myself what our hard work was for. North Korea has thrown cold water on our combined efforts without any consideration.”

On Sept. 3, the funeral of Hideo Tsuchiyama, who died at age 92 one day before, was held in Nagasaki. Tsuchiyama was a former president of Nagasaki University and a leader of the antinuclear movement in the city for many years.

Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue attended the funeral and condemned North Korea, saying, “Just as the treaty had been adopted, and continuous efforts were made for banning nuclear weapons, North Korea’s moves in the opposite direction are inexcusable.”

Sumiteru Taniguchi, who had campaigned to abolish nuclear weapons in Nagasaki after he was severely burned in the 1945 atomic bomb attack there, also passed away at age 88 due to cancer on Aug. 30.

“Leading pioneers of our movement have died one after another. But their voices protesting against producing more nuclear victims should not fade away,” said Mikiso Iwasa, 88, adviser of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations who lives in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture.

Iwasa continued, “If North Korea is pressured by the enforcement of economic sanctions, the threat of their using nukes will rise. We have to think about how to ease tensions and find the way to peace.”

Yasujiro Tanaka, 75, an atomic bomb survivor in Nagasaki, said, “The misery of nukes should be conveyed more widely to the world and to North Korea.”

Appealing to the Japanese government, Tanaka added, “Japan’s role is to facilitate North Korea and the United States sitting together at the negotiating table.”