Hiroshima, Nagasaki Welcome Pope Francis' Visit

Society Culture

Hiroshima/Nagasaki, Sept. 13 (Jiji Press)--Hibakusha atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki welcomed news Friday that Pope Francis will visit the two Japanese cities in November.

The Pope will visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki to mourn the victims of the U.S. atomic bombings in August 1945 in the closing days of World War II.

"I'm really grateful. I hope the Pope will send strong messages for the total abolition of nuclear weapons," said Yoshitoshi Fukahori, a 90-year-old Nagasaki hibakusha and Catholic. "I want this visit to be a step forward toward a nuclear-free world," he said.

"I want the Pope to listen to the voices of hibakusha and tell the stories back in the Vatican," said Kunihiko Sakuma, 74, head of a hibakusha group in Hiroshima.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui said, "I want the Pope to take the thoughts of hibakusha seriously and show how global leaders should be."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press