Hibakusha (Atomic Bomb Survivors)

Hibakusha is the term used by the Japanese government to define those who survived the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the 6th and 9th of August 1945. The term means “bomb-affected person” in Japanese. It was initially used as a designation for those who were within 2 km of the explosions’ hypocenter. There is currently a political movement in Japan to expand the designation to include all those exposed to radiation.

The definition of hibakusha has historically been strictly interpreted by the Japanese government, as the designation carries with it medical benefits. The term is also problematic because the designation does not allow for the inclusion of Korean, Chinese, or Allied persons who were in either Hiroshima or Nagasaki at the time of the ...

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