[100th Cruise Report]Hibakusha Project, The Testimony of Ms. Watanabe Junko
Junko Watanabe joined us from Rio de Janeiro. As part of the Hibakusha Project she gives testimony about her experience surviving the atomic bomb, on board and in the different ports of call throughout the world. Ms. Watanabe survived the dropping of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima when she was two years old. She talked about her experience at the time and her life up until now. “I found out that I was a hibakusha when I was 38 years old. Up until that time, I had been leading a normal life with my family in Brazil. I looked back on my life that I had lived not knowing this truth and started to think about if there was anything that I could do. Her words moved the hearts of the audience as they solemnly listened to her testimony.
“I do not want even one more person to suffer at the hands of nuclear weapons,” she says. This earnest desire is the driving force for 74 year old Ms. Watanabe to continue flying around the world and continue giving her testimony. Her parents hid the fact that they were hibakusha and she has experienced discrimination throughout her activities. Although, because she has had these experiences she is able to touch the hearts of the audience with her earnest words. Hearing the voices of a survivor in person was a valuable opportunity to reflect on what we can do as a society and on an individual level.