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A-bomb survivors in Oslo

December 11, 2017



A-bomb survivor speaks at Nobel Prize ceremony




At the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo, Norway on Sunday, an atomic bomb survivor has urged all nations to forever eradicate the threat of nuclear annihilation.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, also known as ICAN, was awarded this year's prize.

ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn and A-bomb survivor Setsuko Thurlow received the medal and certificate. Thurlow, who lives in Canada, has worked with ICAN.

Addressing the ceremony, Fihn asked, "Will it be the end of nuclear weapons, or will it be the end of us."

She urged all nations to join the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to outlaw weapons of mass destruction.

Next, Thurlow spoke about her experience of surviving the atomic bombing of Hiroshima at the age of 13. She recalled how her beloved 4-year-old nephew transformed into an unrecognizable chunk of flesh.

Thurlow stressed that nuclear weapons are the ultimate evil that only bring about devastation. She criticized nuclear powers that are against the UN treaty, and nations under the "nuclear umbrella", for being what she deemed an integral part of a system of violence that is endangering humankind.

She called on the international community to never give up, and keep moving toward nuclear disarmament, despite mounting tensions in the world.

When the two women ended their speeches, the audience responded with an extended ovation.

The ambassadors of the United States, Russia and other major nuclear-armed countries did not attend the ceremony, demonstrating their governments' rejection of the treaty.

Their absence revealed the harsh reality surrounding the global issue of nuclear disarmament.


A-bomb survivors express sense of accomplishment




Survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who attended the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony, said they will continue to pursue a world without nuclear weapons.

Setsuko Thurlow delivered a speech on Sunday at the award ceremony for this year's peace prize winner, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN. Thurlow has worked with ICAN.

She and 2 other atomic bombing survivors, Terumi Tanaka and Toshiki Fujimori of Nihon Hidankyo, the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, spoke to reporters later in the day.

Thurlow said she has worked to abolish nuclear weapons for many years and that she was satisfied and felt a sense of achievement at the applause her speech received.

She said the number of people who share her views appears to have grown.

Thurlow says she hopes people in countries opposed to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will accept their message and sincerely consider taking part in their movement.

She said that along with the joy at ICAN 's peace prize, she feels a heavy responsibility to keep working to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Thurlow urged Japan and other nations under the "nuclear umbrella" to change their opposition to the nuclear ban treaty.
She said Japan appears to be drawing closer to the United States and that the possibility of Japan strengthening its military capabilities makes her shudder with fright.

The atomic bombing survivor said she hopes Japan's government and people will step up the dialogue to abolish nuclear weapons.

Tanaka said he feels that the aspirations of people who share the hope of banning nuclear weapons and creating a world without them is being realized. He said he feels that his group's activities have been widely recognized.

Fujimori said that the speeches given by ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn and Thurlow touched people's hearts. He said he hopes the peace prize will spur further efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.


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