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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Koichi Yasui (male)
'Chokubaku'  1.9 km from the hypocenter / 21 years old at the time / current resident of Hokkaido

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. Nuclear weapons cannot coexist with human beings or other living things. I have a strong feeling that telling the reality of Hibakusha will help to promote better understanding little by little, which can ultimately lead to a nuclear-free world. I also believe that our continued efforts for nuclear disarmament can help to make it up to the victims who lost their lives.

Through my visits three times to the U.Sand once to Sweden where I talked about the reality, I became convinced that I was right in my way of thinking because the audience members obviously fully understood, me from the bottoms of their hearts.

Even now, 60 years later, the abolition of nuclear weapons has not been realized, mainly because the Japanese government has not placed importance on playing a leading role in any opportunity nor considered this as a central part of its diplomacy. What really matters is to appeal as Hibakusha to the U.S. for the need to concretely abolish nuclear weapons, even while risking our lives. I believe this will be an important contribution to peace for all the people in the world. (We can be proud of this.)

The Japanese Constitution has been considered as a model by countries around the world, who are beginning to realize how this way of thinking is linked to the abolition of nuclear weapons.

1. The full will of Japanese people to observe the Constitution and its Article Nine led to the establishment of numerous Article Nine Associations. In class action suits for recognition of atomic bomb diseases, survivors have won twenty-four straight victories through severe judgments in district and high courts since the sentence handed down by the Osaka District Court in 2006. At last this has led the Chief Cabinet secretary to say for the first time in his statement, "The Japanese government, as the only country that has suffered nuclear attacks, would like to express their determination to take the lead toward the elimination of nuclear weapons so as not to let the same terrible devastation of the atomic bombings happen again."

2. President Obama of the U.S., one of the nuclear superpowers, declared in Prague to "seek a world without nuclear weapons." This had a groundbreaking impact on the global trend toward the elimination of nuclear weapons, making a historic turning point for both peace and the needs of humanity.

3. Although I emphasised optimistic aspects of the particular situations above, the trend toward the elimination of nuclear weapons is not yet mainstream. The declaration made by Obama also included negative aspects which go against moves towards the elimination of nuclear weapons, such as increasing nuclear-related military expenditures, and his promise to maintain nuclear deterrence, including for allied nations.

4. It is important to keep in mind that such threats to our activities exist. It is now extremely important for us to analyze such threats, and ensure that we can overcome them through reviewing and strengthening our activities. An initial step to achieve this will be success of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference to be held in May of 2010.

It is regrettable that my health condition will not allow me to participate in the conference. I believe that a movement to encourage as many countries as possible to participate in the World Conference against A & H Bombs to be held in August is also very important.