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Home / World / Japan recognizes dozens more victims of ‘black rain’ as Hiroshima atomic bomb survivors

Japan recognizes dozens more victims of ‘black rain’ as Hiroshima atomic bomb survivors



In its verdict, the Hiroshima district court said the 84 plaintiffs, who suffered from radiation-related illnesses following the bombing of World War II, should receive the same benefits as other victims who lived closer to the world. foundry range.

The United States dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, a city in southwestern Japan, on August 6, 1945, killing more than 70,000 people instantly. A second bomb followed three days after Nagasaki and killed 40,000 more.

The bombings left tens of thousands more dying slowly from burns or radiation-related illnesses. They also caused radioactive “black rain” to fall across the region – a mixture of particles emanating from the explosion, carbon residues from city fires, and other dangerous elements. The black rain fell on the skin and clothes of the peoples, felt, contaminated food and water, and caused poisoning by widespread radiation.

The United States remains the only country to use an atomic bomb in war.

Seiji Takato, 79, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, was 4 years old when the bombing took place. He developed inflammation of the lymph of the arm when he was 8, and has since suffered from a stroke and heart problems.

But so far, he and others living in “light rain” exposure areas have not been able to access the free medical care offered to victims in “heavy rain” areas ̵

1; the areas identified by the government as the most affected and closest to the foundry area. This verdict marks the first time that victims outside this area have been given the same benefits.

“We have been telling the government the facts and the truth as they were. But they never told us,” Takato said after the court issued its decision. “I’m extremely happy. I didn’t expect the 84 (plaintiffs) to win the case.”

A group of actors and supporters celebrate following a Hiroshima court ruling on 29 July 2020.

Takato added that he was “anxious” because all the players were now older, mostly in their 80s and 90s. “We would all die if this (case was) prolonged,” he said.

The verdict ordered the city and prefectural government to provide the plaintiffs with a certificate recognizing them as “bomb victims A,” giving them medical benefits for the time they received treatment, costing about $ 300 a month.

At a news conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government had not decided whether to appeal the sentence. “We will have the verdict examined in detail by the ministries, Hiroshima prefecture and Hiroshima city to decide for further action you want to take,” he said.

75 years later

The decision comes a week before the 75th anniversary of the attack, when former US President Harry S. Truman authorized the US B-29 Enola Gay bomb to drop a nuclear bomb named “Little Boy “on Hiroshima.

Survivors say the seasoning began with a noisy lamp, and a massive wave of strong heat that changed clothing to rags. People closest to the impact site were immediately vaporized or burned to ashes. There was a barley blast and an explosion that – for some – felt like it was bursting with hundreds of needles.

Then the fire started. Flame tornadoes gripped the city. Many survivors found themselves covered in blisters. Bodies scattered on the streets.

The devastation has led many, including former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, to criticize the decision to use an atomic bomb.

Hiroshima after 75 years: Walking in the path of the atomic bomb

In 1958, the Hiroshima City Council passed a resolution condemning Truman for refusing to express regret, calling the former president’s position “a misdemeanor committed against the people of Hiroshima and the fallen victims. “

But Truman’s position only hardened, written in response, “I think the sacrifice of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was urgent and necessary for the prospective well-being of both Japan and the Allies.”

In 2016, Barack Obama became the first American president sitting to visit Hiroshima, where he called for a “world without nuclear weapons.”

The horror of the bombing and its aftermath has since been recorded and commemorated at the Hiroshima Peace Monument Museum, located near ground zero in the Japanese city.

As of March, there were 136,682 survivors known to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing government, according to public broadcaster NHK, which quoted government officials.

Some of the survivors have made it their personal mission to ensure that no one forgets the infernal events of Hiroshima.

Retired teacher Kosei Mito survived in his mother’s womb – she was four months pregnant with him when the bomb fell. He has been at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial almost daily for the past 13 years, presenting documentation of the bombing and its consequences in a variety of languages, and connecting binders with visitors.

“Without knowing the historical facts, we can repeat the same mistakes again,” he said. “We have no responsibility for what happened in the past, but we have a responsibility for the future.”

CNN’s Brad Lendon, Thom Patterson and Ryan Browne contributed to this report.


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