Symposium held in Tokyo to mark 70 years since nuclear test on Bikini Atoll

People attending a symposium in Tokyo on Saturday discussed the damage caused by nuclear bombings, tests and accidents. This year marks 70 years since the US hydrogen bomb test on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.

The United States conducted the test on the atoll, which is part of the Marshall Islands, in 1954. Twenty-three crew members of a Japanese tuna fishing boat, the Daigo Fukuryu Maru, and others were exposed to radiation.

Experts and survivors of atomic bombings gave presentations at the event. The symposium was held by the Nuclear-Free World Foundation, a private organization in Japan.

Meisei University Professor Takemine Seiichiro conducts research in the Marshall Islands. During his lecture, he said that nuclear testing does not only affect human bodies. He said it destroys surrounding areas and neighborhoods. Takemine added that nuclear testing also leads to the loss of culture.

Tomonaga Masao, an 80-year-old doctor and survivor of the 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki, attended the panel discussion.

He welcomed the ongoing international discussion about the creation of a fund aimed at supporting victims and efforts to restore areas affected by nuclear tests. The discussions have been held during meetings of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Tomonaga said a large-scale framework needs to be created so that such support can be provided all over the world.

Takagaki Keita, a university student from Hiroshima, has been communicating with victims of nuclear attacks, tests and accidents. Takagaki took part in the discussion. He said there should be more discussions about how to take care of people who have been forced out of their hometowns due to nuclear damage.