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Friday, Nov. 9, 2012

A-bomb survivors press Obama for disarmament

Kyodo

HIROSHIMA / NAGASAKI — Survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have called on U.S. President Barack Obama, fresh from his re-election, to do more to eradicate nuclear weapons.

When Obama was running for president four years ago he vowed to devote himself to nuclear disarmament, but hibakusha have expressed frustration that he has not delivered on his pledge.

"I commend him for spurring a trend for ban-the-bomb movements but am disappointed because there has been no real progress," said 72-year-old Koichi Kawano, chairman of the A-Bomb Survivors Liaison Council of Nagasaki Peace Action Center.

"Since he advocated a nuclear-free world, I want him to act to make that happen," said 77-year-old Sakue Shimohira, a volunteer who recounts to the public her experience in the Nagasaki bombing.

Shimohira also criticized the Obama administration for conducting new tests to gauge the effectiveness of nuclear arms.

"I believe Mr. Obama, who won a Nobel Peace Prize, is a president who has an understanding for the abolition of nuclear arms. So I want him to work (for the cause) with passion. We'll also invite him to visit Hiroshima," said 87-year-old Sunao Tsuboi, leader of the Hiroshima chapter of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organization, known as Nihon Hidankyo.



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