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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 August 30 - September 5  >  Famous campaigner for nuclear weapons-free world Taniguchi dies
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2017 August 30 - September 5 [PEACE]

Famous campaigner for nuclear weapons-free world Taniguchi dies

August 31, 2017
A-bomb survivor (Hibakusha) Taniguchi Sumiteru, who co-headed the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), died of cancer on August 30 at a hospital in Nagasaki City. He was 88 years old.

Learning of the death of Taniguchi, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo sent a telegram of condolence to the bereaved family.

On August 9, 1945, 16-year-old Taniguchi was exposed to radiation about 1.8 kilometers from the hypocenter of the atomic bombing on Nagasaki and suffered from severe burns on his back. In 1956, Taniguchi together with other Hibakusha established Hidankyo. He was appointed chair of the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors Council in 2006 and as Hidankyo co-chair in 2010. Taniguchi was also nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

In 2010 at the NPT Review Conference held in NYC, Taniguchi took to the rostrum on behalf of Hibakusha. Holding a photo which shows Taniguchi suffering from severe burns to his entire back from the A-bombing of Nagasaki, he said, “Please look at this photo. Nuclear weapons and human beings can never co-exist. Let us make our utmost efforts to create a world without nuclear weapons.”

In 2015, representing Nagasaki Hibakusha, Taniguchi at the city-hosted peace memorial ceremony delivered a speech entitled “oath to peace”. In his speech, Taniguchi criticized PM Abe’s ambition to revise the Constitution and establish legislation allowing for Japan’s exercise of the collective self-defense right. He said that such moves will totally undermine the long-standing efforts for the elimination of nuclear weapons made by Hibakusha and peace supporters and will infringe on their earnest wishes to reach that goal.

At this year’s World Conference against A and H Bombs which took place one month after the adoption of the UN Convention banning nuclear weapons, Taniguchi in his video message said, “Hibakusha will never stop fighting till we achieve our goal of a world free of nuclear arms.”

Past related articles:
> Hibakusha gather to celebrate the nuclear weapons ban treaty [ July 9, 2017]
> Hibakusha nominated for 2015 Nobel Peace Prize [ February 4, 2015]
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