Survivor of Both Atomic Bombs Discovered in Japan

March 25, 2009

Atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.(ChattahBox)—A report from the Telegraph today, says Japanese officials have found a 93-year-old man who survived both atomic bomb attacks on Japan during World War II. He is the only known, certified survivor of both bombings. Tsutomu Yamaguchi was on a business trip in the City of Hiroshima on that fateful day on August 6, 1945, when a US plane released an atomic bomb on the city, which allied forces, identified as a military communications center. After surviving the first bombing, Yamaguchi returned home to Nagasaki, only to suffer through another nuclear bomb attack on August 9, which he also survived.

The death toll of the Nagasaki attack was particularly high, with nearly 97 percent perishing from burns and severe radiation poisoning, one kilometer away from the attack epicenter. The second bombing officially ended World War II, when Japan surrendered on August 15, ending the Pacific conflict. The casualties numbered in the thousands, with many others suffering years later from the devastating affects of radiation poisoning. Against all odds, Yamaguchi survived both nuclear bombings. No information was forthcoming on Yamaguchi’s medical condition.

Yamaguchi is one of nearly 260,000 who survived the attacks with 140,000 dead in Hiroshima and 70,000 dead from the Nagasaki attack. Many survivors suffered from radiation related illnesses years later, such as various types of cancer and liver disease. The Japanese government officially certifies survivors, so they will be eligible for state services, such as a monthly stipend, medical care and eventually, funeral costs.

Thousands of Japanese survivors, who showed signs of disease related to radiation exposure, years later, were denied formal certification from the government, depriving them of needed medical services. Recently, the government expanded its official certification definition to include more survivors. Officials say Yamaguchi’s survivor benefits will not increase to account for his status as a double atomic bomb survivor.


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