NAGASAKI – Nagasaki will grant a 93-year-old Dutchman a health care certificate issued to survivors of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing, city officials said Tuesday.
Willy Buchel, who was captured by Japanese troops on Java Island in Southeast Asia and taken to a prison camp in Nagasaki in April 1943, was exposed to the Aug. 9, 1945, bombing of the city while he was removing rubble from U.S. air raids, a support group said.
The city government has so far given such hibakusha certificates to 11 foreign prisoners of war. Certificate holders are eligible to receive medical treatment and various allowances.
Buchel, who lives in the Netherlands, applied last December for the certificate through the Japanese Embassy in The Hague. He is expected to receive it by month’s end.
The Nagasaki-based group supporting hibakusha abroad said some 150 Dutch nationals at the same prison camp were exposed to the atomic bomb blast, of whom six have obtained the certificate.