published Friday, May 07, 2010
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A-bomb survivors join 25,000-strong anti-nuclear march through New York
5/4/10 NEW YORK -- Japanese survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki joined anti-nuclear rallies and demonstrations in New York on Sunday, ahead of the opening of the review conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Some 25,000 people, including members of peace organizations and A-bomb survivors, joined the march on Sunday, which went for about two kilometers from downtown New York to a square in front of United Nations headquarters, calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons. At the front of the march was Sakue Shimohira, 75, a wheelchair-bound survivor of the Nagasaki atomic bombing of Aug. 9, 1945. "I wanted to show my body, which will never be healthy again," Shimohira said. Prior to the march, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba made a speech in front of the participants at a rally in downtown New York, stating, "In order to abolish nuclear weapons while atomic bomb survivors are still alive, we must start negotiations on nuclear disarmament during the NPT review conference." Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue said after joining the march, "I strongly felt the people's enthusiasm. I'd like to strive in solidarity with many citizens." At a peace rally held near Times Square, Hisako Kimura, 73, a resident of Sendai who suffered the atomic bombing of Hiroshima at the age of 8 on Aug. 6, 1945, pledged firmly: "I will work hard until no nuclear weapons exist on Earth." Kimura had 18 relatives exposed to the atomic bomb, of whom 10 -- including her father -- died within 10 days of the blast. Kimura had also participated in the NPT review conference in 2005 in a wheelchair. She has since undergone surgery four times, and this time around she arrived in New York with a cane. "I still want to see my father. I want to cry out and say, 'bring my father back to me,'" she told the audience, holding up his photograph. Also among the marchers was Takamitsu Nakayama, 81, a resident of Kumamoto, who was working at a shipbuilding company in Nagasaki about three kilometers from ground zero when the bomb fell. He walked along with his wife, Mayumi, 75, and their granddaughter Hanae, 14. It was the first time Hanae has accompanied her grandfather, who has visited the U.S. 10 times and made visits to many other foreign countries to share his A-bomb experience. "I hardly understood what people were saying in English, but I was happy to learn that they all share the same feeling with us against nuclear weapons," Hanae said after witnessing participants from various countries calling for an end to war and nuclear arms. Takamitsu was also pleased to see his granddaughter handing out folded paper cranes to passers-by. "I appreciate her coming along with us," he said. Click here for the original Japanese story (Mainichi Japan) May 4, 2010
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