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INTERNATIONAL > U.S.

Letter to the Editor: We need to do more to inform people of the atrocity of atomic bombs

  • August 9, 2016
  • , Asahi , p. 14
  • Translation

By Yoshiro Yamawaki (82), Nagasaki Prefecture

 

Every year when Aug. 9, the day when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, approaches, A-bomb survivors like myself speak to students at elementary and junior high schools in the city. This year as in the past, we received many letters from the students in response. This made me feel great satisfaction that my words had reached the students.

 

Some of the letters asked: “Were you happy with President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima?”

 

I went back to the President’s Hiroshima speech and read it again carefully. The speech began like this: “Seventy-one years ago, on a bright cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed.”

 

Every time I read this phrase, I’m dumbfounded.

 

For crying out loud, that makes it sound like he was saying it started raining or snowing in Hiroshima that day! Instead he should have said: “On that morning, an atomic bomb was dropped that caused tragedy of an unprecedented magnitude.”

 

We are well aware that there was strong opposition against the idea of a sitting president visiting Hiroshima and speaking about the atomic bombing. Even so, the phrase sounded very hollow after his silent prayer in front of the cenotaph dedicated to the people who died in the atomic bombing and the survivors assembled there.

 

I renew my pledge and urge every A-bomb survivor to speak out more forcefully about the depth of the tragedy caused by atomic bombs.

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