People in South Korea have gathered to mark the 78th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
Hapcheon county in the southern part of South Korea is often dubbed the country’s “Hiroshima.” It is home to many survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, another Japanese city that suffered a nuclear attack. The survivors backed to their homeland after living in the two cities during Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
On Sunday, about 400 people attended the ceremony in Hapcheon. A traditional ritual was performed in front of the hall that houses the Buddhist mortuary tablets of deceased survivors. The participants offered flowers.
Japan’s health and welfare ministry says that as of March, over 1,700 people registered as atomic bomb survivors by Japanese authorities were living in South Korea.
Many of these people welcomed the joint visit in May by Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol to a monument in Hiroshima dedicated to Korean victims of the atomic bombing.
The chairperson of the Korea Atomic Bomb Victims Association, Jeong Won-sul, praised the joint visit, calling it “extremely significant.” Jeong, who is 79, said his group continues to strongly oppose the use of nuclear weapons.
Many of the atomic bomb survivors in South Korea hesitated for many years to come forward as they feared discrimination.
The association and other concerned parties say they will keep working to enhance social awareness about the survivors in their country.