A delegation of Japanese assisting survivors of the two nuclear blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II met with two victims living in Taiwan yesterday as part of ongoing efforts to reach out to more Taiwanese survivors.
At a press conference, the delegation, led by Nagasaki City Hall’s Department for Atomic Bomb Survivors’ Affairs Director Tomoo Kurokawa, explained their plans to assist “explosion-affected people” from Taiwan to acquire a certificate which qualifies survivors for compensation by the Japanese government, including monthly allowances, free medical checkups and funeral costs.
It was the first visit by such a delegation to Taiwan after Japan amended the Atomic Bomb Survivors Relief Law in 2009 to allow atomic-bomb victims living abroad to apply for health benefits.
Chen Ssu-ping (陳賜兵), 85, and 84-year-old Hideko Morimoto, a Japanese who adopted the name Shih Hsiu-tzu (施秀子) after marrying a Taiwanese, are both survivors of the 1945 Hiroshima nuclear blast and were present at the press conference on behalf of an atomic bomb survivors’ association established in November last year.
According to Mari Tagawa, a Nagasaki city government translator, 18 survivors from Taiwan have obtained the certificate. Among them, 11 receive monthly allowances of ￥30,000 (US$369) from the Japanese government and one who has serious health issues received funds to cover medical treatment.
The other six certified survivors were not in contact with the Japanese government.
“There could be more potential A-bomb survivors in Taiwan. We wish to get in touch with them so that we can familiarize them with the help we can offer,” said Noboru Takamura, a professor at the Department of Global Health, Medicine and Welfare at Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Science.
The delegation visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Health, the Interchange Association, Japan, and the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China to facilitate the establishment of contact points in Taiwan to make information more accessible for Taiwanese survivors.