• Kyodo


The Nagasaki Municipal Government will grant an atomic-bomb victim’s health passbook to a Dutchman who survived the U.S. atomic bombing of the city in August 1945 while being held in a prisoner of war camp, officials and the man said Wednesday.

The city made the rare decision to give the certificate to a former POW after confirming his exposure to the bombing through an examination of documents.

Ronald Scholte, 84, said by phone from his home in the southern Netherlands that he has received written notification that the passbook will be issued.

It is likely to be issued via the Japanese Embassy in the Netherlands in or after December, when a revision to the Atomic Bomb Victims Relief Law will take effect to enable the acquisition of the passbook without visiting Japan.

Another 84-year-old Dutch POW has applied for the passbook, but he said Nagasaki has told him it would be difficult to grant him one as records show he was in a different location at the time of the bombing.

The two men applied for the passbook in September via a support group. A passbook holder is eligible to receive various forms of support, mainly medical allowances.

Nagasaki officials have examined records of POWs detained at the camp and found that Scholte was eligible for the certification.

Previously, the law required an applicant to file a request for a passbook in Japan, but that requirement was dropped in a legal amendment in June.

Under the amended law, those seeking to apply for the passbooks overseas will be able to do so outside Japan.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.