Three hibakusha or survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will attend the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in December, a member of the recipient body said Thursday.
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons won this year's Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts that led to the adoption in July of a landmark U.N. treaty outlawing nuclear weapons.
Two hibakusha from Japan and one from abroad will attend the ceremony in Oslo on Dec. 10 along with people affected by nuclear testing in other countries and key ICAN members, said Akira Kawasaki, a member of the ICAN International Steering Group.
"This year's award conveys a message that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which came into effect through appeals made by hibakusha, should be pushed forward," Kawasaki said at a press conference in Hiroshima. "We want to strengthen our movement and urge all countries to sign and ratify the treaty."
The treaty has been adopted by over 100 U.N. members, but Japan, which relies on the U.S. nuclear deterrent for protection, and the world's nuclear weapons states are not among them.
Kawasaki later met with Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, who said regarding the participation of hibakusha, "It's good news. I'm grateful."
Kawasaki told Matsui that at the beginning of next year, ICAN would be willing to organize a joint symposium with Hiroshima and Nagasaki to help spread understanding about the treaty.
Matsui responded, "I want to spread a tone that the treaty is not about deepening a divide" between nuclear states who are against it and nonnuclear states who support it.