Hibakusha seeks abolition at Vatican intl conference

Jiji Press VATICAN CITY (Jiji Press) — A hibakusha atomic bomb survivor strongly called for the abolition of nuclear weapons at an international conference held in Vatican City on Saturday.

Nuclear weapons are “an injustice that must be abolished by the responsibility of the humans that made them,” Masako Wada, 74, assistant secretary general of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, or Nihon Hidankyo, said at the conference.

Wada was exposed to radiation from the atomic bomb that the United States dropped on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, when she was 1 year old.

Windows and walls of her house 2.9 kilometers from the epicenter of the explosion were shattered due to the blast, Wada said, citing a story she heard from her mother. Her mother told her that everybody lost feeling at the time, as so many dead bodies were cremated day after day, according to Wada.

Wada asked, “What is human dignity?” She said, “Humans are not created to be treated like this.” Before Nagasaki, Hiroshima was devastated by the U.S. atomic bombing on Aug. 6, 1945, in the closing days of World War II.

The adoption in July of a U.N. nuclear weapons ban treaty provided “tremendous hope and courage,” Wada said. “We must continue to urge the nuclear-armed states and their allies, including Japan, to sign and ratify the treaty.”

The international conference, held for two days through Saturday, brought together government officials, civic group representatives and Nobel Peace Prize laureates.Speech

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