Hiroshima nuclear bomb survivor Sunao Tsuboi dies at 96

Tokyo, Oct 27 (EFE).- Sunao Tsuboi, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, has died at the age of 96, the family of one of the most prominent anti-nuclear activists said.

Tsuboi passed away on Oct.24 in a hospital in Hiroshima, said the family.

Tsuboi was 20 and a university student when the western Japanese city became the target of the first nuclear attack.

He was on his way to his study center when the US military dropped “Little Boy” on the Japanese city on Aug.6, 1945, during world war II.

He was shocked to notice sudden severe burns on his face and arms.

Thus he carried the facial scars for the rest of his life that he dedicated to anti-nuclear activism.

He served as the president of the Atomic Bomb Survivors Association (known in Japanese as “hibakusha”) and traveled across the world to tell the story of miraculous survival.

“It was like a huge flash of light. I covered my eyes and fled. When I got up I realized that I was covered in blood,” Tsuboi said previously, recalling the day when he “entered a living hell on Earth.”

Tsuboi had a brief meeting with then-US President Barack Obama when he visited Hiroshima in 2016.

Before the meeting, Tsuboi said he wanted to thank the US leader for his visit and tell him he harbored no anger.

The ceremony in memory of the victims was held in Peace Park on the 71st anniversary of the bombing.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who represents a constituency in Hiroshima, recalled the anti-atomic campaigner’s efforts for a nuclear-free world.

“Tsuboi cooperated with us on many occasions and he offered his views and gave us his guidance,” Kishida told reporters in Tokyo.

“I especially remember him directly telling President Obama the wishes of the hibakusha. I am determined to move forward to realize a world without nuclear weapons while engraving Tsuboi’s thoughts in my heart.”

The number of atomic bomb survivors surpassed 183,000 in 2015, with an average age of more than 80 years.

The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Aug.6 and Aug. 9, 1945, respectively, which led to Japan’s surrender and brought an end to world war II, killing 80,000 people in Hiroshima and 74,000 in Nagasaki.

However, thousands more died in subsequent years due to the effects of radiation.

Tsuboi was one of the 127,755 survivors of the atomic attacks on both cities, the data provided last August by the Japanese government showed. EFE


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