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Nagasaki memorial adds British POW as A-bomb victim

Kyodo

A British airman who was being held as a prisoner of war in Nagasaki and died in the atomic bombing of the city in World War II has been added to the list of A-bomb victims at peace memorial hall, a Japanese historian said Friday.

Royal Air Force Cpl. Ronald Shaw, who was 25 when he died, is the first POW to be listed at the Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, the hall said.

Shaw is the second foreign victim of the bombing to be listed at the hall. The first was a Chinese civilian, according to the hall, which opened in 2003.

The hall collects portraits of those who died in the blast on Aug. 9, 1945, and of those who subsequently died of radiation exposure, along with the notes and journals of those who survived.

The pictures, notes and journals detail the impact of the bombing. So far, the hall has listed 5,023 victims and collected 3,811 photographs, it said. Shaw’s photograph also has been provided for display.

Shigeaki Mori, a 68-year-old historian in Hiroshima, came across Shaw’s record while doing research on American POWs who were killed in the bombing.

Shaw was captured after his plane was shot down by Japanese forces near the island of Java in what is now Indonesia, and was sent to a prison camp in Nagasaki, where he died in the atomic bombing, according to Mori.

Mori said he was contacted by Shaw’s relatives after several British newspapers reported on his research in May. Until then, the family did not know Shaw died in the atomic bombing, he said.

Meanwhile, the Nagasaki Municipal Government said it has asked countries that possess nuclear weapons, including the United States and Russia, to send delegates to take part in an annual peace memorial service on Aug. 9 as the city marks the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing this year.