WASHINGTON — An exhibition underscoring the woe of the U.S. atomic bombings of two Japanese cities in 1945 during World War II began June 13 in Washington for the first time in 20 years in the U.S. capital. Two survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki pleaded for efforts toward the abolition of nuclear weapons before some 150 people who attended the opening ceremony of the Atomic Bomb Exhibition at the American University Museum, which will run through Aug. 16.
Photos displaying the horror of the bombings and clothes burned by the heat are among the items exhibited. The so-called Hiroshima Panels, renowned atomic bomb paintings by Japanese husband and wife artists Iri and Toshi Maruki, were put on display in the first exhibition of the artworks in Washington.
The two atom-bombed cities and the university jointly organized the event to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the bombings. Of the survivors, Sadao Yamamoto, 83, from Hiroshima, expressed hope during the ceremony that U.S. people will cooperate toward nuclear arms abolition. He said he was a junior high school student at the time and that many students were killed in the bombing.
The other, Yoshitoshi Fukahori, 86, who lost his sister in the bombing of Nagasaki, said nuclear weapons and human beings cannot coexist. He said he hoped Nagasaki will be the last place to suffer a nuclear attack.
A visitor, a 52-year-old woman and employee of the University of Maryland, College Park, said there is an opinion in the United States that the atomic bombings were necessary. The woman said Americans should discuss further whether they were right or not.