Peace group revives Kazakh antinuclear song

Kyodo

A Hiroshima-based peace group is selling a CD with Japanese- and English-language versions of a song originally sung by activists pushing to shut down a nuclear testing site in Kazakhstan.

Titled “Zaman-ai — Oh Such Times,” the protest song against the site near Semipalatinsk in northeastern Kazakhstan was sung around 1989 and became known throughout the Soviet Union.

Keiichi Sasaki, who leads a Japanese protest group called the Hiroshima Semipalatinsk Project, expressed hope that the CD, which was released Thursday, will encourage international solidarity among people calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Both of the songs on the CD were performed by a singer named Tomoko.

“I expressed my wish for there to be no more victims of nuclear arms,” the singer said.

The lyrics in the English version describe the tragedies of nuclear weapons: “Struck by exploding light, stabbed by sharp rays, assailed by fierce blasts, our hearts are splintered into myriad shards.”

The CD, priced at ¥1,000, also includes a rendition of the song in the original Kazakh.

Nuclear tests believed responsible for exposing nearby residents to radiation were conducted at the site for about 40 years. It was finally closed in 1991.