Eight A-bomb survivors to visit 18 nations on Peace Boat to share accounts of nuclear tragedy

by Kyoko Niiyama, Staff Writer

Peace Boat, a Tokyo-based NGO, has announced that eight A-bomb survivors will take part in the Global Voyage for a Nuclear-Free World, leaving Yokohama Port on March 13 and voyaging to 18 countries over a period of about three months.

Six are survivors from Hiroshima: two men and four women, aged 69 to 84; and two male survivors from Nagasaki: one is 78, and the other 76. They will share their A-bomb experiences when they visit Egypt, Italy, Peru, the United States, and other destinations.

At the site of the former Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, they will meet with survivors of the Holocaust, the genocide of Jews and others during World War II, and exchange views on how their tragic experiences can be handed down to future generations. Peace Boat will then return to Japan on June 24.

The eight survivors were selected from about 20 applicants, based on application documents and interviews. This will be the seventh Global Voyage for a Nuclear-Free World. At a press conference held at Hiroshima City Hall, Akira Kawasaki, executive committee member of Peace Boat, said, “We would like to convey our aspiration for nuclear abolition and peace to young people in a number of countries.”

(Originally published on January 17, 2014)