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US A-Bomb Museum To Display Images Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki

The A-bomb Dome at Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park. Photo courtesy of Yoshikazu Tsuno and AFP.
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Apr 19, 2006
Horrific images of the world's only atomic bombings will go on display at a US museum on nuclear testing as part of a Japanese campaign against nuclear weapons, organizers said Monday. The two-week exhibition in August will show melted glasses, burnt clothing and pictures of people with severe burns from the collections of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki museums.

A speech by a Nagasaki survivor will open the display at the Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas, which is dedicated to the primary nuclear testing location in the continental United States from 1951 to 1992.

"We want to show this exhibition so that no one will ever use nuclear weapons again," said Toshinobu Ina, an official at the Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall that initiated the project.

He said the Nagasaki and Hiroshima museums signed an agreement with the Atomic Testing Museum that it would not interfere in the exhibition.

In 1995 the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington planned a similar exhibition in cooperation with the Hiroshima and Nagasaki museums, but called it off after strong opposition from US veterans' groups.

The Atomic Testing Museum is about half-funded through appropriations by the US Congress, according to the Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation which runs it.

The legacy of the nuclear attacks is controversial in the United States, now Japan's closest ally, with many believing the bombings brought an early end to the war but others arguing the human costs were too great.

Japan has campaigned actively against nuclear weapons, despite frequent criticism by its neighbors that its historical memory does not extend to atrocities it inflicted during the war.

The Japanese government last year for the first time funded an overseas exhibition on the nuclear bombings. The display took place in Chicago, the head laboratory of the secret Manhattan Project that developed the bomb.

The August 6, 1945, bombing of Hiroshima killed about 140,000 people -- almost half the city population of the time -- either immediately or in the months afterward from radiation injuries or horrific burns.

The second atomic bomb dropped three days later on Nagasaki killed more than 70,000 people.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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