Sixty years have passed since the U.S. detonated a hydrogen bomb in a test on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in 1954, but for one former resident of a town near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the hardships the islanders faced are all too easy to imagine.

Keiko Takahashi, 21, and three other Japanese university students visited the Marshall Islands for the March 1 anniversary of the test. In the lead-up to the weeklong trip, they studied footage and interviewed experts in Japan about the nuclear tests.

The more they studied, the more they saw similarities between how radioactive fallout had affected the islanders and their own communities — residents forced to give up hope of returning to their contaminated hometowns, communities broken apart, and long-lasting health concerns, to name just a few.