2001 World Conference against A and H Bombs
Nagasaki Rally, Opening Plenary

Yamaguchi Senji
Japan Confederation of A and H Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo)

Greetings, everyone.  I am Yamaguchi Senji.  I sincerely welcome overseas delegates to Nagasaki.  On behalf of the
Japan Confederation of A and H Bombs Sufferers Organizations, I would also like to send my cordial greetings to all
the Japanese participants who gathered here today from all parts of the country.

Nagasaki is a special place. I would wish that any person who desires peace - a world without war and nuclear
weapons - would come to Nagasaki at least once in their life time.

Messages for peace and against war will continue to go out from Nagasaki as long as the souls of the numberless
victims lie unmourned beneath her soil.  Nagasaki will continue to cry out, along with those who died in agony,
caught in the hell fires on that fateful day, cry out that "Nagasaki must be the last A-bombed place on earth."

The soil of Nagasaki absorbed my blood too.  My upper body was badly burnt when, at the age of 14, I was
exposed to heat rays that reached 4,000 degrees centigrade 1.2 km from ground zero.

A pile of bodies filled the Urakami River.  They were all charred, skinless, headless, torn, potbellied, their eye balls
popped out.  It was hell on earth, so terrible to remember.

I was in a coma for 40 days, hovering between life and death.  I survived miraculously, but numerous others died in
agony.  I believe that these dead people gave me life.  For the last 56 years, my life has been a series of difficulties.
Delayed effects, such as diarrhea, a bloody bowel discharge, loss of hair, and fever struck me one after another.
The pain was so unbearable that I once attempted suicide.  The Atom-bomb is a devil.  I can never ever forgive it,
no matter what reasons may be given.

Our appeal to "never produce hibakusha", "never start wars and to eliminate nuclear weapons" and our efforts over
the last half of a century to pass on the message of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have reached every corner of the
world, to the point where they have become mainstream.  In 1996, the International Court of Justice gave a ruling
that the use of atom-bombs is generally breach of international law, and in 2000, 187 NPT member countries
unanimously elicited an unequivocal undertaking from the nuclear weapons states to eliminate their nuclear

The power of public opinion and solidarity is overwhelming.  The elimination of nuclear weapons has become an
achievable goal.

We must contain the U.S. tyranny.  The most exasperating thing is that the Japanese government backs the U.S.
My friends gathered here today, let us build this powerful force stronger and stronger, in order to surround the
Japanese government and force it to drop its policy of tolerating nuclear weapons.

Let us achieve a 21st century that is free of nuclear weapons and war.

The earth cries out.  The wind and the water appeal for our attention.  Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to spread
the message from Nagasaki to every corner of the world.

Thank you.