Atomic bomb survivor urges rejection of 'dangerous myth' of nuclear weapons

A Japanese survivor of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima has urged the world to reject what she calls the "dangerous myth" about nuclear weapons.

Setsuko Thurlow, who lives in Canada, made the appeal in an online speech on Saturday at an event sponsored by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN.

The event was held ahead of the first meeting of state parties to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that will open in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Tuesday.

Thurlow shared her story about experiencing the nuclear bombing in her hometown when she was a 13-year-old student.

She stressed the significance of the UN treaty, saying it is "the opening that can bring to a close the long reign of nuclear terror."

Thurlow said it scares her that "the horror and trauma of the war in Ukraine may be used to promote nuclear weapons as 'protection'."

She said, "We have to disavow that dangerous myth now, before the catastrophic hurricane of nuclear war destroys life on Earth."

Thurlow also made an appeal to Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. The Japanese government has decided not to participate in the first meeting of state parties to the UN treaty as an observer.

She said, "The only way to ensure that humanity never uses nuclear weapons is for humanity to renounce and abolish them."

She urged Kishida to "help lead Japan out of the darkness of nuclear dependency" and enable the country instead "to lead the world towards the light of nuclear-free safety."

Kishida, whose electoral district is Hiroshima, has expressed his intention to host the Group of Seven summit in the city next year.