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Nagasaki survivor calls for joint resistance to nuclear threat amid Russian invasion

Nagasaki survivor calls for joint resistance to nuclear threat amid Russian invasion

March 25, 2022 (Mainichi Japan)

NAGASAKI — Under a blue sky in early March, about 400 people including atomic bombing survivors, or hibakusha, and high school students gathered in front of the Peace Statue at Nagasaki Peace Park holding signs bearing messages such as “Peace for Ukraine” and “No War.”

In the emergency rally on March 6 to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, participants expressed their anger at Moscow for shunning peace and even hinting at the use of nuclear weapons. The rally was called by five organizations of A-bomb survivors in the city of Nagasaki, one of which is the Nagasaki Prefecture peace movement center’s hibakusha liaison council.

Koichi Kawano, 82, chairman of the council, asked with concern, “Can a superpower get away with doing whatever it wants? If the international community is powerless, we the people have no choice but to raise our voices.”

For more than 40 years, Kawano and other A-bomb survivors have been staging sit-ins in front of the Peace Statue in Nagasaki to call for peace and anti-nuclear actions on the ninth of every month — a tribute to Aug. 9, 1945, the day when the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on the city. Around 100 people participate in each sit-in, but some 400 gathered for this emergency rally, largely because two anti-nuclear groups, which had taken separate paths due to policy differences, got together.

One of the groups is the Japan Congress against A- and H-Bombs (Gensuikin) which Kawano heads as co-chair. The other is the Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Gensuikyo). The former is affiliated with the now-defunct Japan Socialist Party (JSP) and the latter with the Japanese Communist Party (JCP).

……………  A-bomb survivors involved in anti-nuclear and peace movements have aged. Kawano himself is now in his 80s. Many hibakusha organizations nationwide have begun to dissolve and their membership continues to decline, and there is concern that the movement will taper off. Senji Yamaguchi, Sumiteru Taniguchi, Sunao Tsuboi, and other longtime leaders of the movement have all passed away…………………….. (Japanese original by Yuki Imano, Kyushu News Department) https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220325/p2a/00m/0na/040000c

March 26, 2022 - Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear, weapons and war

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