Photo/Illutration Toshiyuki Mimaki speaks at a news conference on June 9 after he was chosen as a new co-chairperson of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers’ Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo). (Shohei Okada)

Toshiyuki Mimaki, who survived the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, was named a new co-chair of an atomic bomb survivors’ organization to succeed the late prominent anti-nuclear activist Sunao Tsuboi.

“Tsuboi was a leading figure among hibakusha in Japan,” Mimaki, 80, said at a news conference on June 9. “I’ll do my best as a person who worked with him.”

The Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers’ Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), a group of atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, chose Mimaki as one of its three co-chairpersons at a general meeting held in Tokyo for two days through June 9.

Mimaki, who currently heads Nihon Hidankyo’s Hiroshima prefectural organization, will replace Tsuboi, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb who played a leading role in passing down the experience of a hibakusha to a global audience.

Tsuboi died in October 2021 at the age of 96.

Mimaki was 3 when he was exposed to radiation. Right after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, his mother visited there with Mimaki to search for his father.

Mimaki joined the hibakusha’s anti-nuclear movement in Hiroshima Prefecture in 2005. Five years later, he visited New York with Tsuboi and other atomic bomb survivors to share their experience at the review conference for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) held there.

Some 50 people from across Japan attended Nihon Hidankyo’s first in-person general meeting in three years.

At the meeting, the organization adopted a special resolution expressing concern over growing calls in Japan for discussing “sharing” the possession of the U.S. nuclear arsenal in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In the resolution, Nihon Hidankyo also urged the Japanese government to fulfill its responsibility as the only country to have experienced an atomic bombing.