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Hiroshima bomb survivor speaks in York

Posted on 27 April 2016

The University of York will host one of the survivors of the 1945 nuclear detonations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at a public conference next week.

Hiroshima

Nuclear violence: Threats, justice and responses will see Setsuko Thurlow give a keynote speech on her experience as one of the Hibakusha – a Japanese term used to describe the survivors of the two atomic bombs, literally meaning ‘the explosion affected people’.

Setsuko Thurlow gave her very first testimony of her experience of the bombings 30 years ago in York. Now, she will attend an event on Thursday 5 May hosted by York’s Department of Politics.

Setsuko Thurlow was a young girl when an atomic bomb detonated over her home town of Hiroshima in 1945, and her childhood experience of the massive human suffering and devastation led her to dedicate most of her life to the abolition of nuclear weapons through disarmament education.

Now resident in Canada, her work takes her around the world, with the Japanese government recently appointing her as Special Communicator for the World Without Nuclear Weapons, addressing the United Nations General Assembly First Committee.

Awarded The Order of Canada, she was voted ‘Arms Control Person of the Year’ in 2015 by the US Arms Control Associations for her “unyielding dedication to sharing first-hand accounts of the catastrophic and inhumane effects of nuclear weapons”.

Dr Nick Ritchie, Senior Lecturer in International Security in York’s Department of Politics and organiser of the conference, said: "Seventy years after nuclear weapons were detonated above Hiroshima and Nagasaki the challenge of reducing the threat of nuclear violence remains.

“Setsuko Thurlow's testimony of her direct experience of the bomb as a 13 year old school girl in Hiroshima in August 1945, and her lifetime of work educating people from world leaders to students about the devastating impact, carries a powerful message: never again."

The conference will take place in the Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul building on Campus West from 5.00 – 7.00pm. Tickets are free and available to book at: http://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/public-lectures/summer-2016/nuclear-violence/

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