Film on double A-bomb survivor Yamaguchi set for British debut

by Junko Horiuchi

Kyodo

A documentary film on double atomic-bomb survivor Tsutomu Yamaguchi, who was joked about on a BBC quiz show, will make its British debut this summer, with his eldest daughter hoping the screening will make people in the country and around the world more aware of the risks of nuclear power.

“I was furious at first and it was difficult to forgive the BBC” for airing the “Q1″ quiz show in December in which her father was called “the unluckiest man in the world” for experiencing both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings in August 1945, Toshiko Yamasaki, Yamaguchi’s daughter, said Tuesday.

“But then I thought about what my father would say about this. He would have said, ‘Why not ask everyone to watch this documentary so that people can have a better understanding of the effects of atomic weapons,’ ” Yamasaki, 63, told a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo.

According to Yamasaki, preparations are currently under way for the film “Twice Bombed: The Legacy of Yamaguchi Tsutomu,” produced by Hidetaka Inazuka, to make its British debut at a screening in London in mid-August.

The film depicts Yamaguchi’s antinuclear campaigning at the United Nations headquarters in New York among his other activities over the course of five years of filming, including his lecture to a group of American high school students visiting Nagasaki.

It also shows James Cameron visiting Yamaguchi in a hospital in Nagasaki, 10 days before his death of stomach cancer in January 2010 at 93. During the meeting, Cameron said he would make efforts to create a film on atomic-bomb survivors, as Yamaguchi had hoped.

In the latest version of the film, Inazuka, who attended the news conference with Yamasaki, said he has added an extra two-minute interview with Yamaguchi, in which he expresses his opposition to nuclear power on his 91st birthday in March 2007.

“The bottom line is, there shouldn’t be nuclear (technology) in our world. As a former naval architect, I see our current technology and materials are not sufficient for the ‘peaceful use’ of nuclear energy, and as a result, accidents will continue to happen,” Yamaguchi says in the film in response to a question asking what he would like to convey the most.

Inazuka said he respected Yamaguchi for campaigning not just for the abolition of nuclear weapons but also against all kinds of nuclear power, even as some other atomic-bomb survivors made a clear distinction between them.

“Now that the Fukushima nuclear crisis has happened, I am determined to tell the world Yamaguchi’s message,” he said.

Yamasaki said, “I remember that my father was always concerned about the fact that as long as nuclear energy exists on Earth, there is always the possibility of fallout or a meltdown.”