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Sumiteru Taniguchi

Sumiteru Taniguchi



August 30, 017

Atomic bomb survivor Sumiteru Taniguchi dies




Atomic bomb survivor and prominent peace activist Sumiteru Taniguchi died of cancer on Wednesday morning. He was 88 years old.

Taniguchi survived the 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki. He was 16 at the time, and was about 1.8 kilometers away from ground zero when the bomb hit. He suffered severe burns on his back.

He appealed for the support of survivors and elimination of nuclear weapons throughout his life.

Ten years after the bombing, Taniguchi formed a group with other survivors who experienced the ordeal.

Taniguchi had served as a representative of Nihon Hidankyo, or the Japan Confederation of Atomic and Hydrogen Bomb Sufferers Organizations, since 2010.

He was also the head of the atomic bomb survivors' association in Nagasaki since 2006.

In 2010 Taniguchi shared with the world his horrific experience by showing a picture of him taken just after the bombing at a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the UN headquarters.

Last month, he welcomed the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The Treaty prohibits development, possession and use of nuclear weapons. But he said he felt uneasy thinking about how the world would be after all the people who had experienced the inhumanity of nuclear weapons have died.

Another representative of Nihon Hidankyo, Terumi Tanaka, told reporters that he is very sad to hear of Taniguchi's death. He said Taniguchi devoted his life to the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons, while entering and leaving hospital frequently.

Tanaka said Taniguchi's death will be a great loss for the peace activities promoted by the atomic bomb survivors.

The head of the atomic bomb survivors' group in Hiroshima, Sunao Tsuboi, says he feels sad at having lost longtime fellow activist Sumiteru Taniguchi.

Tsuboi issued a statement expressing respect for Taniguchi's accomplishments.

He vowed to continue working with the few remaining atomic bomb survivors to abolish nuclear weapons.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters he'd met Taniguchi when he visited Nagasaki. He offered his heartfelt condolences.


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