• Kyodo

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Former Director of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum Akihiro Takahashi, known for sharing his firsthand account of the 1945 atomic bombing, died of heart failure Tuesday morning at a hospital in the city of Hiroshima, the municipal government said. He was 80.

Takahashi was at a schoolyard 1.4 km from the hypocenter during the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing of Hiroshima, sustaining burns all over his body.

The hibakusha actively shared his experiences, especially with students who visited the city on excursions, while working as a city official since 1951.

During his four-year tenure beginning 1979 as the museum’s chief, Takahashi guided dignitaries from across the globe, including Pope John Paul II. Last November, he explained the devastation of Hiroshima after the bombing during the 11th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates.

Even after retiring from the municipal government in 1995, Takahashi continued devoting his life to passing on his experiences as an A-bomb survivor, saying, “There’s no retirement as a peace storyteller.”

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