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Atom bomb survivors in Japan welcome UN resolution on nuclear weapons via Independent

‘I have been waiting for this day for seven decades and I am overjoyed that it has finally arrived’ says Hiroshima Setsuko Thurlow

United Nations treaty banning nuclear weapons has been welcomed by survivors of the deadly atom bomb attacks on Japan which ended the Second World War. 

Setsuko Thurlow, who survived the Hiroshima blast, was a 13-year-old schoolgirl when she was near to the hypocentre of the explosion on August 6, 1945.

“I have been waiting for this day for seven decades and I am overjoyed that it has finally arrived,” she told the Japan Times. “This is the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons.”

Recounting what happened in the aftermath to survivors, she said: “Their hair was standing on end — I don’t know why — and their eyes were swollen shut from the burns. Some peoples’ eyeballs were hanging out of the sockets. Some were holding their own eyes in their hands. Nobody was running. Nobody was yelling. It was totally silent, totally still. All you could hear were the whispers for ‘water, water.’
 
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The treaty will enter into force three months after the document is ratified by 50 countries. It is legally binding for an unlimited period. The text of the charter also bans threats to use nuclear weapons.

In direct reference to A-bomb survivors, victims of the atrocity, which killed more than 140,000 people, will be provided with medical care and rehabilitation.

However, none of the countries known or believed to have nuclear weapons – the US, Britain,  Russia, North Korea , France, India, Pakistan, and Israel — is backing the pact.

Nikki Hayley, the US Ambassador, agreed in principle on the ban but suggested “we have to be realistic”, according to Time magazine. 

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