UN chief meets atomic-bomb victims in Nagasaki

August 5th, 2010 - 11:56 am ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, Aug 5 (DPA) United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon met victims of the atomic bombing during his first visit to Nagasaki on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu Thursday.
Nagasaki is to hold the ceremony commemorating the atomic bombing of the city by the United States August 9, 1945, which Ban is not scheduled to attend.

Ban visited the city’s atomic bomb museum and met with Sumiteru Taniguchi, president of Nagasaki A-bomb Sufferers’ Council. Taniguchi was a speaker at the UN Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in May.

Taniguchi explained to Ban that he was 16 when the bomb was dropped and had undergone numerous operations since because of the severe burns on his back, Kyodo News reported.

The UN chief also met with other victims at the museum, and heard about their experiences including losing many family members.

“As far as my commitment (toward a world free of nuclear weapons), you can count on me,” Ban told the victims.

Ban’s visit to Nagasaki came one day before his scheduled visit to Hiroshima Friday. He will be the fist UN secretary general to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima, which commemorates the atomic bombing of the city August 6, 1945.

Representatives from more than 70 countries, including US Ambassador to Japan John Roos, are also to participate in the ceremony. Roos will be the first US representative to do so.

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