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Sunao Tsuboi, A-bomb survivor who met Obama in Hiroshima, dies at 96

Sunao Tsuboi, a representative member of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, is seen in Hiroshima's Higashi Ward on June 19, 2017. (Mainichi/Naohiro Yamada)

Sunao Tsuboi, an atomic-bomb survivor who called for the elimination of nuclear weapons for many years and met former U.S. President Barack Obama in Hiroshima, died on Oct. 24. He was 96.

    Tsuboi, a representative member of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations and chairman of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations (Hiroshima Hidankyo), died from an irregular pulse brought on by anemia. His funeral was held by close relatives.

    Sunao Tsuboi, right, shakes hands with former U.S. President Barack Obama at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Naka Ward, Hiroshima, on May 27, 2016.(Pool Photo)

    Tsuboi had campaigned for the abolition of nuclear weapons and support for other survivors of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombings, or "hibakusha."

    On the day of the atomic bombing on Aug. 6, 1945, Tsuboi suffered burns over his entire body, and he remained unconscious for over 40 days. His sight became impaired in his left eye, and he became critically ill three times. To repay his feeling of indebtedness for being able to live, he became a teacher, and continued to share his experiences with students for over four decades, becoming known as "Pikadon Sensei" -- a reference to the flash (pika) and boom (don) of the atomic bomb. After he retired, he continued to share his experiences both in Japan and overseas, visiting 21 countries including Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan and North Korea, which possess nuclear weapons.

    On May 27, 2016, Tsuboi met then U.S. President Obama and shook his hand during the first-ever visit by a sitting U.S. president to Hiroshima.

    (Mainichi)

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