Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Hiroshima victims to be remembered -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

(generated from captions) discussion tonight, thank you

discussion tonight, thank you both very much, indeed. Thank you,

Maxine. Thank you, Maxine. Tomorrow, tens of thousands of people will gather in Hiroshima to mark the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb. Three days after the Hiroshima attack, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, effectively ending the World War II. More than 200,000 people died in the blasts. But survivors are concerned that the history is being lost and that the city's new message of peace is not being heard. North Asia correspondent Shane McLeod reports from Hiroshima. CHILDREN SINGING "A blue sky should be kept as blue", these children sing. "We have to put out the blaze caused by war, we pray for peace." It's a fitting location -

Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park today is a monument to peace and nuclear disarmament. EXPLOSION Nearly 60 years ago, it was a barren wasteland - the result of world's first atomic weapon. It took a second blast at Nagasaki three days later to bring World War II to an end. In the years since, Hiroshima has been rebuilt with peace as its priority. But city officials worry the message is not being heard by younger generations. A trip to Hiroshima used to be part of growing up for many Japanese children. These students are among those who still come. They're on a school holiday camp with an educational focus. They visit historic sites around the city and the Peace Museum, hopefully gaining an understanding of what happened in the lead up to and as a consequence of the bomb. But city officials have seen a one-third drop in visitor numbers. Visitors by school trips drop from 500,000 to 300,000 now. We need to make efforts and come up with ideas for them to come to the museum and study peace. More than 140,000 people died as a result of the blast. Thousands more died of injuries and complications in the years after. Less clear is the impact on so-called second-generation victims -

the children of those who survived. Born three years after the bomb, Mamuro Nishimoto has suffered from chronic asthma all his life. He worries it's the result of his parents' radiation exposure.

The government only does a health check-up once a year and from that result we never get treatment from the nation's budget. We can only be checked at normal hospitals in the same way as general people. Some work is being done to test the second generation victims' claims for better health care and government support. The Joint US-Japan Radiation Effects Research Foundation

has studied the health of blast survivors and their children. So far there's no evidence of health problems in second-generation victims. They've now embarked on a massive survey to see if common diseases are more prevalent in the group. TRANSLATION: We focus on diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, which are diseases effected from genetic effects and lifestyle. It's one of the largest studies of its kind ever attempted. Second-generation members are looking forward to the results. They hope the government will pay heed to the findings. TRANSLATION: Now the government is working out a policy to give result limiting on health problems of A-bomb victims or second-generation of A-bomb victims. But what we've been demanding is total research on A-bomb victims and total research on second-generation of A-bomb victims. The second generation group plans to keep pressure on the government over its claims. The bomb may have been dropped 60 years ago, but its legacy is something Japan still has to contend with. Shane McLeod, Lateline.