Japanese A-bomb survivor and activists press nations to ratify nuclear ban pact via The Japan Times

A survivor of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki joined activists and diplomats Monday to press Japan and other countries to quickly ratify a landmark treaty banning nuclear weapons.

“None of them having (nuclear) weapons will contribute toward having peace,” Tokuko Kimura, 82, told an audience at a New York event. She was 10 when the United States dropped an atomic bomb over her city on Aug. 9, 1945, three days after detonating another device over Hiroshima.


The push has been given a lift by the awarding of the peace prize but the nuclear ban treaty cannot go into force until 50 nations ratify it. So far, over 50 have signed.

Shion Urata, whose grandfather was exposed to radioactive fallout, expressed disappointment with the Japanese government for not having backed the bombing survivors — known as hibakusha — and their call to endorse the ban treaty.

The 23-year-old, who is affiliated with a hibakusha project, nevertheless expressed hope that grass roots action can lead to change.

“The peoples’ power — they are each very small on their own but when they come together, (it) is a very huge and powerful drive,” she said.

Many, such as Chizuru Azuma, an actress from Hiroshima, noted the importance of the new conversations that have been prompted by the awarding of the prize to ICAN.


Monday’s event was held at U.N. headquarters in New York under the sponsorship of Japanese nongovernmental organization Peace Boat and the U.N. missions of Austria and Costa Rica, both staunch advocates of nuclear disarmament.

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