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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Kazuto Yoshida (male)
'Chokubaku'  3 km from the hypocenter / 13 years old at the time / current resident of Tokyo

Photographer: Eiichi Matsumoto.
The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages.
1. That morning (9 August), I averted catastrophe by means of my own dishonesty: by cutting in line to buy a train ticket at Nagasaki Station, I was away from the station at the time of bomb, leaving another person to become a victim in my place. The feeling of regret has followed me all my life.

2. As a survivor, it is my duty to avenge the dead and make their wishes come true. The U.S. must acknowledge the crime of dropping the bomb and destroy their nuclear weapons. The Japanese government must atone for its responsibility in allowing itself to become a victim of the atomic bomb, and take the lead in denuclearization. This is the way to "never again bring about hibakusha."

3. How can we allow human beings to do this? How can we allow this to happen to human beings? We cannot simply say that this was something that happened 60 years ago. We must know that Japan, the only nation to have suffered under the atomic bomb, is in reality an instrument of the U.S., at risk of repeating the same tragedy again.

4. In a speech given on 5 April, 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama gave hope to hibakusha by pledging, "as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon - the United States has a moral responsibility to act… to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." He went on to say, "This goal will not be reached quickly - perhaps not in my lifetime," and therefore meaning not in the lifetime of us hibakusha. Yet hibakusha want to see "a world without nuclear weapons" in our lifetime. The "moral responsibility" of the U.S. is not to continually call for the reduction of nuclear weapons, but to work toward "making happen even one day earlier the international convention of the total abolishment of nuclear weapons."

5. In a speech before the United Nations General Assembly (at 24 September, 2009), then Prime Minister Hatoyama swore Japan's commitment to "the three nonnuclear principles" as the only country that has ever experienced atomic bombings. Although I want to believe his promise, I feel that adherence to "the three nonnuclear principles" cannot work out under the present nuclear umbrella. The nuclear umbrella is nothing more than atomic armament under the dependence on the U.S. The hibakusha can only see the nuclear umbrella as a mushroom cloud. It is my strong desire to see, as soon as possible, the beautiful blue sky of Japan uncovered from the nuclear umbrella.