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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 March 2 - 8  > Bikini Day rally expresses solidarity with all nuclear victims
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2022 March 2 - 8 [PEACE]

Bikini Day rally expresses solidarity with all nuclear victims

March 2, 2022
The 2022 March 1st Bikini Day Rally took place online on March 1 with the theme of "Exposing the damage of the atomic bombing, Bikini test and the Pacific, and strengthening support & solidarity with the victims".

The rally is annually held to remember the death and destruction that U.S. H-bomb test radiation inflicted on many Marshall islanders and Japanese fishermen operating 68 years ago in the Pacific Ocean, and is held in Yaizu City in Shizuoka Prefecture where a homeport of the radiation-exposed fishing boat "Daigo Fukuryu Maru" is located.

Like last year, the rally took place online due to the worldwide spread of COVID-19. At the rally, Yaizu City Mayor Nakano Hiromichi delivered a speech in greeting, and messages sent from the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and from the Shizuoka governor were presented.

President of the Shizuoka A-Bomb Survivors Association Ishihara Yosuke in his greeting called on participants to use the TPNW, which marks the first year since its entry into force, as a springboard for the world antinuke movement to work to help totally ban nuclear weapons.

Ambassador Alexander Kmentt, chair-designate of the First Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW, gave a speech as a guest, pointing out that the Meeting of States Parties will be a great opportunity to reveal the inhumaneness of nuclear weapons and expressing his hope that Japanese civil society and the Japanese government will participate in the Meeting of States Parties.

At the panel discussion entitled, “Current Situation and Relief of the Victims of the Atomic Bombing and Bikini Nuclear Tests”, the situation of radioactive damage in the Marshall Islands was reported. Bereaved family members of radiation-showered fishermen, plaintiffs of the "black rain" lawsuit, Nagasaki A-bomb survivors, and a representative of the group supporting Korean Hibakusha gave addresses in turn.

Yamamoto Seiichi, general secretary of the Nagasaki Association for expansion of recognized A-bomb areas, said, "The true picture of radioactive damage had been hidden from the public and Hibakusha had been left unattended. I hope all people who survived the atomic bombings will be officially recognized as Hibakusha." Shimomoto Setsuko, head of the plaintiffs of the lawsuit on workers compensation for radiation exposure from the Bikini H-bomb tests, accused the two governments of neglecting to conduct health checks or give any relief to the radiation-struck crewmembers. A representative of the Korean Hibakusha organization spoke on the situation and relief of Korean A-bomb survivors along with other unresolved issues, and said, "The world did not know about Korean radiation victims for many years. We call the U.S. responsibility into question."

A memorial service took place at Kotokuin temple where the tomb of the late Kuboyama Aikichi, Daigo Fukuryu Maru's chief radio operator, is located. Representatives of antinuke and peace organizations pledged to work to bring an end to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the potential for use of nuclear weapons, and to achieve the total abolition of nuclear weapons. Prior to the service, people of religious faith marched in a demonstration through Yaizu City.

Past related article:
> Bikini Day National Conference criticizes Russia for making nuclear threats [March 1, 2022]

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