Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers learn about Hiroshima A-bombing to prepare for A-bomb exhibitions in countries abroad

Eight men and women, who will soon be dispatched by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) from Hiroshima to Africa, the Middle East, and other parts of the world as members of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV), listened to an A-bomb survivor’s testimony at the International Conference Center Hiroshima on June 26. With more JOCV members holding A-bomb exhibitions in the nations where they serve, JICA organized this opportunity for the JOCV group.

Masahiro Kunishige, 83, a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing and a resident of Saeki Ward, offered his A-bomb account. He experienced the atomic bombing at the age of 14 while at the East Drill Ground (in today’s Higashi Ward), about two kilometers from the hypocenter. Showing a keloid that has lingered on his left arm, he said, “I would like a lot more people to understand the horror of nuclear weapons.”

Kazuhide Yukinori, 25, a resident of Asaminami Ward, will go to the island of Kiribati, in the Pacific Ocean, for two years starting this July. He will coach table tennis there. His late grandparents were A-bomb survivors. He said, “Through A-bomb exhibitions, I would like to focus on the folly of war together with the people of Kiribati, which was an awful battleground during the Pacific War.”

Since 2004, JOCV members have organized a total of 120 A-bomb exhibitions in 60 countries.

(Originally published on June 27, 2014)