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Messages from Hiroshima

Shiro Kawamoto (male)
'Chokubaku'  2.3 km from the hypocenter / 8 years old at the time / current resident of Shizuoka

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. Organizer's speech (Abstract)
Shiro Kawamoto, a representative of the March 1 Bikini Day Shizuoka Prefecture Organizing Committee, President, Shizuoka Prefecture Atomic and Hydrogen Bomb Victims Association

Today, March 1 is a memorial day to commemorate the anti-atomic campaign which started on that day and developed to become an international movement.
For half a century since the Bikini Disaster, March 1 (1954), movements to abolish all nuclear weapons have spread all over the world and have grown to such a level as to influence world politics.

In April 2009, Mr. Obama, the President of the United States, promised as a responsibility of the only country that has ever resorted to nuclear weapons to work for a world without nuclear weapons.
In the July G8, the eight leaders of the advanced countries resolved for the first time to abolish nuclear weapons. In September, the United Nations Security Council resolved to prepare for paving the way to abolishing nuclear weapons.
The Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama declared as the only nuclear victim country in the world to take the initiative in leading the anti-nuclear policy. The countries which possess nuclear weapons cling to the strategy that nuclear weapons have the power to prevent war.

This year I am planning to join the New York Action, where all the anti-nuclear peace movements of the world will gather for the NPT Conference which will be held in May 2010.
Ladies and gentlemen throughout the nation!
Let's collect as many signatures as possible in the campaigns to realize a nuclear-free world so that we can urge the NPT Conference to adopt the resolution to initiate an all-out nuclear ban and abolition.
Let's expand our grassroots anti-nuclear movements.
Not only human beings but all other creatures can never coexist with nuclear weapons.

I was bombed in Hiroshima when I was seven years old. I was then playing on the iron bridge of the military railroad linking Hiroshima Station and Ujina. In the river below the bridge my brother and his friends were swimming. All of a sudden the sky above the Hijiyama(?) Hill flashed and a fire ball became bigger and bigger, so I lay down on the railroad.
When I opened my eyes, everything was in darkness and as time went by, blue sky came into sight high above. I went down to the road. Many houses were flattened. My brother and his friends came out of the river. Their backs were all burned. My hair, my hands and my legs were burned.
My father was near the city hall and was burnt himself and came staggering from the bridge in Kyobashi in the evening.
My mother and brothers took Father to the school in Yaga. On August 19, 13 days later, he died at the school in Bingotokaichi-machi, Miyoshi City.

In September we moved to Nagano Prefecture, Mother's home town. We moved from one relative's home to another.
Mother must have had a hard time with five children. There was nothing to eat. I still remember the days we lived only by drinking water.
Once in a month food was distributed. Sweet potatoes, pumpkins and other food were distributed monthly. Though hungry, we ate only a little portion to preserve the food stock. Rice, our staple, was not distributed.
My older brothers left home one after another to relieve Mother's burden.
One day Mother took me and my younger brother to a restaurant in the neighbor town. A bowl of rice topped with cooked eggs was the most delicious treat in our life.
On our way home Mother took us to a suspension bridge to commit suicide by throwing ourselves into the river. My younger brother began to cry with fear and that made Mother come to herself. She apologized to us for her attempt and returned home.
Atomic bomb trauma still haunts me incessantly since the day I saw the flash.

All the nationwide hibakusha (explain this) who won the collective lawsuit against the Japanese Government to recognize Atomic-bomb disease so that they could carry out their activities to disclose the real situation of the Atomic-bomb victims. They will hold an exhibition "The Atomic Bomb and Human Beings" in the UN Headquarters in New York.

Ladies and gentlemen
The procedures of the autonomies (explain this)in Shizuoka Prefecture saw a significant change prior to the New York Action in May.
80% of the mayors and chairmen of cities and assembly councils in Shizuoka Prefectures signed the campaign "World without Nuclear Weapons"
The Mayor of Yaizu City, the next speaker, took the initiative to recommend the citizens to join the signature-collecting campaign. He also decided to join the New York Action himself.
So far, although Shizuoka Prefecture was the Bikini victim, the Prefecture has insisted on non-declaration based on the ground that the government had maintained the Three Non-Nuclear Principles.

Today, however, the Shizuoka Prefecture Assembly adopted on this very date, March 1, Bikini Day, the resolution of Mount Fuji Peace Declaration aiming for "An Earth without Nuclear Weapons" and the additional wording "Should never repeat the tragedy of the the Fifth Fukuryu-Maru(Lucky Dragon),fishing ship" was included in the declaration.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Mr. Aikichi Kuboyama died, leaving the message" Let me be the last victim of an A-or H-Bomb"
The only way to realize his appeal is to eradicate every single nuclear weapon in the world.
Let the 55th March 1 Bikini Day Meeting be a success and make today another kick-off day to launch a world without nuclear weapons.
That is all I would like to say on behalf of the organizer.
Thank you for your kind attention.
(Previously published text received 2010)