• Kyodo


Three survivors of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki visited the museum displaying the Enola Gay B-29 bomber on Friday and urged U.S. President George W. Bush to visit the two cities.

Their visit came two days before the 61st anniversary of the use of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. It was dropped by the Enola Gay.

The second bomb hit Nagasaki three days later.

The three survivors told a news conference of their experiences and called for the abolition of nuclear weapons. They spoke in front of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, an annex of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington. The center is in Virginia on the outskirts of the U.S capital.

The three are Yoshio Sato, 75, of Yokohama, Shotaro Kodama, 76, of Tokyo, and Kazuhiro Yoshimura, 65, of Saitama. Sato and Kodama were in Hiroshima and Yoshimura in Nagasaki at the time of the attacks.

“So that was the plane,” Sato said after seeing the Enola Gay. He lost his mother soon after the bomb exploded about a kilometer from his home.

Sato said nuclear weapons should be abolished.

“To tell the truth, I don’t want to see it . . . because I had that terrible experience,” said Kodama, who was working at a factory about 2 km from ground zero.

“I plead for nuclear abolition and no production,” said Yoshimura, who was 4 years old when the bomb hit. “I want the leader of the United States to see Hiroshima and Nagasaki and apologize to the victims.”

Appearing with them was an American man who lost family members due to radioactive fallout when they lived in Utah near the nuclear test site in Nevada.

Criticizing the Bush administration for its plan to conduct a massive nonnuclear test at the same site, he said nuclear arms are weapons of “genocide.”

The three survivors were invited by a U.S. group of peace activists. They are also scheduled to speak of their experiences in the U.S. capital and New Jersey.

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