A-bomb survivors rally in Hiroshima ahead of Vienna meeting

About 80 people rallied in Hiroshima on Saturday to call on the Japanese government to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The first meeting of the states that are party to the treaty kicks off in Vienna on Tuesday.

The rally participants had responded to calls by atomic bomb survivors group and anti-nuclear group in Hiroshima. They gathered in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome, near the epicenter of the 1945 blast.

Some survivors, known as hibakusha, and others will attend the meeting in Vienna, although there will be no representatives of the Japanese government, even as observers.

The head of the survivors group, Sakuma Kunihiko, says the hibakusha have repeatedly urged that nuclear weapons never be used again. He said a message needs to be sent from Hiroshima to make the meeting a success.

Participants collected signatures from passersby to call on the Japanese government to join the treaty.

The head of the anti-nuclear group, Takahashi Nobuo, said their task is to raise their voices and work toward a government that joins in the treaty.