Do not despair in the darkness in front of you ~Setoko Saro, the survivor of the Coronal Evil August 13 14:32

In the summer of 2020, due to the influence of the new coronavirus, the number of people who attended the ceremonies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki for 75 years after the atomic bombing was limited. The activities of the A-bomb survivors, who have long witnessed their experiences and appealed for the abolition of nuclear weapons, are also limited. Three years ago, A-bomb survivor Searko Setsuko, who contributed to the adoption of a treaty that legally bans nuclear weapons and made a speech at the Nobel Peace Awards ceremony, had been unable to leave her home for nearly five months. It was Even in such a coronal disaster, it is said that 88 years old Sirro continued to sue from his home.
(Junya Waiuchi, Department of Science and Culture, Fumitaka Sato, Directorate of America, Yusuke Kita, Hiroshima Broadcasting Bureau)

Unable to leave home for nearly 5 months

Mr. Thurlow
"I was wondering if I couldn't get out of the corona and I would be a little slower, but there were interviews with zooms from various places and I was fluttering at home. But I can't go out I was impatient.''

Seturo Siroko, who lives in Canada, heard a tense voice on the phone.

Toronto's largest city, where Sirrow lives, is located in Ontario, next to New York, where the new coronavirus killed more than 30,000 people.

Thurlow says he couldn't get out of his home for nearly five months, partly because of Toronto's lockdown after attending a rally in Paris in February to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Salo, who is not good at personal computers, joined the peace movements of various countries online with the help of his family and responded to interviews from media such as the West.

Testimony moves countries

Setsuko Thurlow was bombed in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, when she was 13 years old. When the atomic bomb broke, it fell under the collapsed building 1.8 km from the epicenter.

"Don't give up, keep pushing, I'm going into the light." When

I heard it from the darkness in front of me, I believed in the light that came in, escaped from my life, and survived. Eight relatives died.

After graduating from a university in Hiroshima, he moved to the United States to study abroad in 1954, and after that he talked about his experiences with the atomic bombings and appealed for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Testimonies based on real experience have moved many diplomatic officials and others.

When the Nuclear Weapons Convention was adopted three years ago at the United Nations Headquarters, it was said to have been the driving force behind it, along with other atomic bomb survivors.

And when the international campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons, ICAN, which has been working together, won the Nobel Peace Prize, he gave a speech at the award ceremony. He spoke to the world about his experience of atomic bombing and the inhumanity of nuclear weapons, and appealed for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Letters from leaders to leaders of each country

Originally, there was supposed to be an important meeting once every five years to discuss the NPT = Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which sets the framework for nuclear disarmament in the world, but it was postponed due to the influence of the new coronavirus. It was.

The debate over nuclear disarmament and the abolition of nuclear weapons seems to be receding in the foreground. How did Mr. Salo look at the world situation?

Mr. Thurlow: With the
new coronavirus, you are becoming scared all over the world. After all, it is the inability of human society, the future, your life, your family's happiness, and other important issues to come closer to you. I think it's time for me to feel that there's more and more scary realities, not just corona. I feel like I am in a mood.''

I felt that the younger generation, especially the younger generation, was more interested in the issues related to their survival in the world of Coronal Era, and I was strengthening my activities. One of these is an activity that calls for the early entry into force of the Nuclear Weapons Convention. A letter was sent to the heads of 197 countries and regions around the world, expressing their feelings as an A-bomb victim.

Although the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has been adopted, it will require ratification by 50 countries to complete its domestic procedures before it will take effect. Nuclear nations such as the United States and Russia are opposed, and countries under the American nuclear umbrella, such as Japan, Canada, and Germany, also take a negative position.

122 countries and regions agreed for the adoption of the treaty, but it has not yet come into effect because it is reportedly being pressured by nuclear-armed states.

In the letter, Mr. Saro wrote in a letter according to his or her position as a nuclear-weapon states, states under the nuclear umbrella, states that are active in the Nuclear Weapons Convention, and strongly called for their signing and ratification.

It means that the replies have arrived one after another. It is said that NATO = North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries that have the same position as the United States, such as Denmark and Hungary, do not agree with "There is another idea", but from Nigerian diplomats it is said that I was impressed to write the statement. Tell the president to speed up the ratification process."

Homeland, Japan and Canada where we live for many years

My particular focus was on working with Canadian politicians who have lived in Japan for more than half a century with their own country, Japan. Because of their relationship with the United States, both have a negative position on the Nuclear Weapons Convention.

He wondered why Japan, the only A-bomb survivor, would not participate in the treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons, and urged Japan to exercise its leadership as a survivor.

And in the homeland of my late husband, Canada has lived for over 50 years. He also participated in the plans for the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and accused him of moral responsibility.

Corona's new form of testimony

Another new activity was online testimony of the atomic bombings. On July 7, three years after the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, more than 200 people from all over the world, including Europe, America, Asia, and the Middle East, were held at an online testimony co-sponsored by ICAN and the Japanese NGO Peace Boat. I participated.

In this, Mr. Thurlow talked about his experience of the atomic bombing, and while many people in the world suffered from the new coronavirus, "Why do we spend trillions of dollars on modernization of weapons? Funds enrich people's lives. Criminalize nuclear-weapon states such as the United States and Russia.

He called for the early entry into force of the Nuclear Weapons Convention and the abolition of nuclear weapons.

People who heard the story said, "It was a story that affected perceptions about nuclear weapons" and "I hope that various people will receive testimony and support the entry into force of the Nuclear Weapons Convention". That is.

Mr. Saro, who has usually appealed to the reaction of the audience, thought positively that it was less strain on the body online and that he could have a means to appeal to the world.

Mr. Thurlow
: There were a lot of people who said that it was good to feel very close to them. I think it is a wonderful new way to have conversations with people from various countries without exhausting physical strength. I'm glad I think it's a new discovery, but I think it's not all, and it's also important to keep face-to-face, in the basement of the church, in the classroom of the school, to continue the discussion. But the number of A-bomb survivors is steadily decreasing, and I can't say that it's a luxury, as long as we survive and breathe I will do my best at that.''

The first Congressional bell in Canada

These efforts by Sir Loe have been successful in part. On August 6th and 9th, 75 years after the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Peace Bell of the Capitol in the capital, Ottawa, was put up in memory of the victims of the atomic bomb and wishes for peace. It was sung 75 times. It was the first time in Canada, where many people are indifferent to the nuclear issue.

Changes that are beginning to occur in American youth

Awareness of nuclear weapons is gradually changing. By the way, NHK Hiroshima Broadcasting Station surveyed young people aged 18 to 34 in Japan and the United States through the Internet about their awareness of peace and nuclear weapons.

Of these, 1056 American young people answered. The percentage of those who answered “I want to know very much” or “I want to know to some extent” when asked if they would like to know more about the atomic bomb was higher in the United States than in Japan, with a total of 80.5%.

In addition, 70.3% of the respondents answered "no need" to the question "Do you think nuclear weapons are needed in the world?"

Furthermore, 41.6% of the respondents answered that they were "not allowed" regarding the atomic bombing, exceeding the percentage of 31.3% who answered "it was a necessary decision."

Even in the United States, where there was a strong justification for "the war ended with the dropping of the atomic bomb," it was a result that suggested that the awareness of nuclear weapons has changed in the younger generation.

Do not despair in the darkness in front of you

Sir Loh says the younger generation sees the issue of nuclear weapons as a perennial issue, such as discrimination and economic disparities, and that change is felt through their activities.

Mr. Thurlow
"Every time I hold a meeting, I feel that the nuclear issue is "not just a problem for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It's a global problem, it's something that has something to do with me." Activities for global warming and poverty are essentially centered on "valuing the life of each individual" and "human dignity", and by acting, society as a whole will become safer It is based on the conviction that

Since the establishment of the Trump administration, the INF = Intermediate-Range Nuclear Missile Abolition Treaty, which was concluded between the United States and Russia, has been abolished.

The nuclear disarmament treaty “New START,” which limits the number of nuclear warheads, has also been extended or uncertain, and there is a possibility that there will be no treaty that binds the United States and Russia regarding nuclear weapons. is.

Among them, Sir Lo.

Mr. Thurlow:
“The leadership of the world community is extremely unstable, and international politics are becoming more and more terrible. However, if we look at the world with a big eye and look at the history, it is time for young people to have hope. I have the feeling that I have felt that I have been working at ICAN, and I often feel it, so I do not despair in the darkness in front of me. As one of the survivors of the A-bomb survivor who has survived for many years, I hope young people will remember that the expectations and expectations are extremely high.''

The problem that threatens the survival of people Corona and nuclear weapons

The number of countries that have ratified the Nuclear Weapons Convention has slightly increased in August, reaching 44 countries. It will take effect 90 days after 50 countries have ratified it, and may take effect as early as during the middle of the year. As the crisis caused by the new coronavirus continues, I would like you to think about nuclear weapons that threaten the survival of people around the world as a similar problem. 88-year-old A-bomb survivor, Seturo Setsuko, is suing.

Science and Culture Department Desk
Junya Waiuchi

Fumitaka Sato, Reporter, US Directorate General

Hiroshima Broadcasting Press
Yusuke Kita