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Friday, July 13, 2012

Film shows Nagasaki soon after A-bomb


NAGASAKI — The Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum is showing previously unscreened footage taken just a month after the U.S. atomic bombing on Aug. 9, 1945.

News photo
Aftermath: A still from movie footage being shown at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum shows people walking on a street about a month after the atomic bombing of Aug. 9, 1945. KYODO PHOTOS

Atsuko Shigesawa, a freelance journalist, obtained a DVD of the footage from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration and donated it to the museum, along with two other DVDs with film from other archives, the museum said Tuesday.

The museum started showing it to the public July 4.

The footage, which indicates it was shot in Nagasaki on Sept. 8 and 9, lasts six minutes and shows what appear to be foreign prisoners who had been exposed to radiation from the atomic bomb, with burns on their upper bodies and legs.

It also shows foreigners who were apparently in the city to carry out an investigation. They are seen approaching a building with the letters "PW" on its roof, indicating prisoners of war.

In the latter half of the footage, children can be seen running barefoot on roads cleared of debris, the museum said.

"Other existing films weren't shot until after October 1945, so this footage is precious," said Takashi Matsuo, deputy director of the museum's A-bomb heritage section.

"It shows people drinking tap water or well water, and provides a glimpse of what life was like at that time."

The museum will screen the footage until Sept. 2.

No-nukes group gears up


A major antinuclear group will restate its pledge to work for a world without nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons at its series of annual conventions in Fukushima, Hiroshima and Nagasaki prefectures from July 28 to Aug. 9.

News photo
Injuries from the atomic bomb suffered by a man believed to be a foreign prisoner of war are seen. The film came from the U.S. National Archives.

The Japan Congress Against A- and H-Bombs, known as Gensuikin, said it will hold discussions and seminars focusing on power plants and victims of radiation exposure, as these are real and ongoing issues amid the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

"We have long depended on nuclear power for energy . . . but we will have to change that social structure and our lives," Yasunari Fujimoto, secretary general of Gensuikin, said Tuesday.

Anton Vdovichenko, a leading member of a Russian nongovernmental organization supporting children affected by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, will be among the foreign guests from the U.S., Germany, South Korea and the Philippines attending the events in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

A campaign in Fukushima slated for July 28 will be followed by a conference from Aug. 4 to 6 in Hiroshima and meetings from Aug. 7 to 9 in Nagasaki. The group has been calling for a nuclear-free world based on the World War II atomic bombings.

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