• Kyodo


A group of atomic bomb survivors on Tuesday shared their personal experiences of suffering and appealed for the abolition of nuclear weapons at an event hosted in the House of Lords in London.

Members of Parliament, nongovernmental organization officials and young students attended to listen to personal accounts from five hibakusha, from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and had the opportunity to ask questions to the speakers.

The talk was part of a series of events organized by Japanese civic group Peace Boat, under whose auspices the atomic bomb survivors are traveling the world to share their message.

Takaaki Morikawa, who was 6 years old when the bomb fell on Hiroshima, spoke of his personal experiences of that day. He was 10 km away from the hypocenter, and was exposed to the radiation through dust, soot and the black rain.

Explaining how it has affected his and his family’s lives, he called for the total abolition of nuclear weapons, saying “even one nuclear weapon is too many.”

In July, the British Parliament voted to renew the country’s aging nuclear weapons system, seen as key to maintaining Britain’s status as a global power.

In remarks after the talk, John Dunn Laird, the member of the House of Lords who organized the event, said, “This has been a humbling experience.

“The more people who consider these questions, the more likely it is to be a peaceful world,” he said.

The current Peace Boat voyage departed Japan on Aug. 18 and will visit 21 countries around the world. After a short stay in London, where they will also speak at a school, the group will continue the voyage to Europe and the United States.

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