Reporters from overseas cover A-bombed city in connection with NPDI meeting

by Aya Kano, Staff Writer

On April 11, ten newspaper reporters from nations taking part in the meeting of foreign ministers of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) gathered information for their coverage at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Escorted by Kosei Mito, 68, a resident of Fuchu, Hiroshima Prefecture and an A-bomb survivor who was exposed to the bomb while in the womb, the journalists toured the park’s monuments, including the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims.

The reporters are from leading newspapers in ten of the 12 participating NPDI countries, not including Japan and the Netherlands. They listened to Mr. Mito speak in English about the damaging health effects caused by radiation exposure and his mother’s A-bomb experience.

The reporters asked questions, such as the role that the Japanese government should play at the NPDI gathering. They took notes and nodded their heads as Mr. Mito criticized the government, saying, “It frustrates me that the A-bombed nation of Japan continues to rely on the U.S. nuclear umbrella.” Following their tour of the park, they also visited Peace Memorial Museum.

Daniel Flitton, 38, is a journalist working for The Age, a daily newspaper in Australia, another nation under the U.S. nuclear umbrella. He said that this is his first visit to Hiroshima and he was shocked to learn the enormity of the damage suffered by human beings as a result of the atomic bombing.

The group of reporters was invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They will visit the city of Nagasaki after covering the NPDI meeting.

(Originally published on April 12, 2014)