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Hiroshima survivor ‘horrified’ by Donald Trump’s nuclear weapons stance, as she urges president to ‘educate’ himself about tragedy via The Telegraph

A survivor of the 1945 Hiroshima bombing has said she is “horrified” by Donald Trump’s suggestion that Japan might benefit from nuclear weapons and has urged the president to visit the site of the tragedy so he can “educate” himself. 

Keiko Ogura was an eight-year-old schoolgirl when US forces flattened Hiroshima with an atomic bomb which slaughtered hundreds of thousands and brought Japan’s role in the Second World War to an abrupt end. 

Since then, she has devoted her life to telling her story to future generations so that the inhumane cruelty of nuclear weapons is never forgotten. 

[…]

“I was horrified by what he said and it made me afraid of what could be happening to Japan,” said Ms Ogura, who is now 79 and the director of Hiroshima Interpreters for Peace. 

“I think he does not know the difference between conventional and nuclear weapons, and that horrified me also.”

“He said, ‘why not have one yourself?’ As if he did not even know what happened here.” “He should come to Hiroshima. He should see it, stand in front of it, and try to imagine what it is like to see the burning faces of children.” Ms Ogura was referring to a controversial interview in which Mr Trump said he was in favour of Japan acquiring nuclear weapons to act as a deterrent to threats from North Korea.

“If Japan had that nuclear threat, I’m not sure that would be a bad thing for us,” he said during an interview with the New York Times in March.

The president has since claimed his remarks were misinterpreted. and his current stance on nuclear weapons remains unclear.   

“It shows how important it is that everyone, including the president of the United States, is educated on what happened at Hiroshima,” Ms Ogura added. 

“Since he became president we have tried to accelerate our process of educating people on what happened- we are speaking to more people, in high schools, in lectures and at the museum.”

[…]

Ms Ogura left the house and climbed a hill to try and see what happened to the city. On the way she passed a shrine that had become a makeshift medical centre for the bomb’s horrifically burned victims, though no doctors were in sight. 

“I felt someone grab my leg,” she said. “They said please give me water.”

As a young girl in second grade, she had no idea she was not supposed to give water to severe burns victims. She rushed home to fetch a container of water, in the honest belief she was helping people, and passed it around. 

Within minutes, everyone who drank the water “slumped over” and died. 

“For 20 years I had nightmares about that, because I killed those people,” she said, her voice trembling with emotion.

[…]

Whereas some of her family members kept their identities as “hibakusha” a secret, Ms Ogura chose to embrace hers, and made it her life’s work to ensure that Hiroshima is never forgotten. 

When Barack Obama laid a wreath at the cenotaph at Hiroshima last year – the first sitting president to do so since Jimmy Carter – it marked a major milestone in the efforts of Ms Ogura and her fellow survivors. 

Hirotaka Matsushima, the director of Hiroshima’s International Peace Promotion Department, said he would urge Mr Trump to make the same gesture. 

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