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Hibakusha calls for abolition of nuclear weapons during Vatican speech

JIJI

An atomic bomb survivor pressed for the abolition of nuclear weapons during an international conference Saturday in the Vatican.

Nuclear weapons are “an injustice that must be abolished by the responsibility of the humans that made them,” said Masako Wada, 74, assistant secretary-general of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, or Nihon Hidankyo.

Wada was exposed to radiation from the atomic bomb droppec by the United States on the city of Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, when she was 1 year old.

Windows and walls of her house 2.9 km from the blast were shattered, Wada said, citing a story she heard from her mother. Her mother told her that everybody stopped feeling as so many dead bodies were cremated day after day.

“What is human dignity?” she said. “Humans are not created to be treated like this.”

Before Nagasaki, the city of Hiroshima was devastated by a U.S. atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945, in the closing days of World War II.

The adoption in July of a U.N. nuclear weapons ban treaty provided “tremendous hope and courage,” she said. “We must continue to urge the nuclear-armed states and their allies, including Japan, to sign and ratify the treaty.”

Nuclear states and nuclear umbrella states, including Japan, the only country attacked with nuclear arms, did not join the negotiations on the treaty.

The international conference, held for two days through Saturday, brought together government officials, citizens’ group representatives and Nobel Peace Prize laureates.