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ICAN member celebrates with hibakusha

ICAN member celebrates with hibakusha

October 10, 2017

Key ICAN member celebrates Nobel Peace Prize with A-bomb survivors



October 10, 2017 (Mainichi Japan)



Akira Kawasaki, co-leader of the Japanese NGO Peace Boat and a member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), visited Peace Boat's Tokyo office on Oct. 9, where he reported on ICAN being awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Among those present during Kawasaki's visit were atomic bomb survivors, or "hibakusha," as well as activists who have all campaigned tirelessly for an end to nuclear weapons.


After rushing back from an overseas business trip, Kawasaki, 48, told the crowd of about 100 people: "It is not me who should be (congratulated). This is an award that has been given to hibakusha and other activists trying to create a nuclear-free world."


Peace Boat, which takes part in ICAN activities, has been pursuing an origami crane project since 2008, whereby hibakusha travel around the world on a cruise and give testimonies about their experiences in different regions across the globe. About 170 hibakusha have participated in the project to date.


At the event on Oct. 9, Kawasaki explained, "It's been hard work conveying the voices of the hibakusha, due to factors such as cruise delays caused by adverse weather, and hibakusha feeling unwell on the day of a talk. However, I think we have managed to spread awareness across the globe regarding the word hibakusha."


He went on to address the hibakusha in the crowd, saying that, "All of us here won this award together. I want to say a 'huge congratulations' to you all."


Michiko Hattori, 88, a hibakusha who has previously testified as part of the Peace Boat campaign, said, "I'm delighted. It seems as though the experiences told by the hibakusha over the years have been worth it."


Meanwhile, 81-year-old Michimasa Hirata, who is also a hibakusha, said, "This is just one step in the right direction. First of all, we should strive toward making the Japanese government sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons."

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