Bikini H - Bomb Test Survivor Sends Letter To Pope

Bikini H-bomb test survivor sends letter to Pope

A former Japanese fisherman exposed to fallout from a hydrogen bomb test decades ago has asked Pope Francis to appeal for a nuclear-free world.

Matashichi Oishi was aboard the tuna fishing boat Daigo Fukuryu Maru when the United States conducted the test at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in 1954.

The 85-year-old former fisherman sent a letter to the Pope earlier this month ahead of his visit to Japan, which begins Saturday. The Pope plans to visit the atomic-bombed cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Oishi, helped by his supporters, wrote the letter to inform the Pope about the Bikini incident.

He wrote that he has been talking about the horrors of nuclear weapons at elementary and junior high schools across the country for more than 20 years.

He also said he is committed to continuing to tell his story on behalf of his fellow crew members who died after being exposed to radiation.

He said many people today do not know, or have forgotten, about the incident. He said it should be remembered, and asked the Pope to deliver a wish for world peace in a nuclear-free future.

Earlier this month, Oishi said he'd like the Pope to know that Bikini victims are on the same footing as the victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He added he'd like to tell the Pope that he'd like to cooperate to oppose nuclear weapons.