Last Aussie POW to survive A-bomb seeks health-care certificate

Kyodo

A former Australian prisoner of war, who survived the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki will apply for a special hibakusha health-care certificate so he can receive medical allowances from Japan, a group supporting overseas A-bomb survivors said Wednesday.

Allan Chick, 93, who lives in the state of Victoria, is believed to be the last living A-bomb survivor among former Aussie POWs, according to Nobuto Hirano, 66, who coleads the support group. He will seek the certificate through the Japanese Consulate General in Melbourne.

So far, 10 former POWs who survived the Nagasaki bombing have received the health-care certificate, the Nagasaki Municipal Government said. Most recently, a former Dutch POW was granted the certificate in 2009.

Chick told Hiroko Sakaguchi, a 63-year-old member of the support group, that he hopes to be certified as a hibakusha. According to Sakaguchi, who visited the former POW last week, he was taken prisoner in Southeast Asia and moved to a camp in Nagasaki in 1944.

He was among 24 Aussie POWs at the prison camp who were exposed to the atomic bombing on Aug. 9, 1945.

Sakaguchi said it is significant to support Chick, who was given a “double whammy” as both a POW and A-bomb survivor.