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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 8 - 14  > Hibakusha calls on Pope to help with signature-collection drive for abolition of nuclear weapons
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2017 November 8 - 14 TOP3 [PEACE]

Hibakusha calls on Pope to help with signature-collection drive for abolition of nuclear weapons

November 11-14, 2017
Wada Masako, a survivor of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki 72 years ago, on November 10 met with Pope Francis in the Vatican City to request his cooperation to advance the Hibakusha-led signature-collection campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Wada, who is a deputy secretary general of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), explained to the Pope about the international signature campaign in support of the appeal of the Hibakusha for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Handing an Italian-language version of a signature form to him, Wada said, “I am a Nagasaki Hibakusha. Please help us with the power and influence of your office to help advance our signature collection drive.”

The 74-year-old Hibakusha was visiting the Vatican to attend an international conference titled, “Prospects for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament” held on November 10 and 11. The Vatican-hosted meeting was joined by 300 people from across the world, including Nobel Peace Prize laureates, representatives of international organizations, national governments, civil organizations, and religious organizations, as well as scholars. Representing Hibakusha in Japan, Wada on the final day delivered a speech on the theme, “I survived the atomic bomb attack”, to emphasize the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons.

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In response to Wada’s call, top-ranking Vatican official Cardinal Peter Turkson signed the Hibakusha appeal after the conference. Several Novel Peace Prize winners also signed their names.
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