LONDON--Two documentary films featuring a Japanese who survived both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings, and was later described on a BBC program as "the unluckiest man in the world," was screened at the University of London on Aug. 16 (Aug. 17 JST).
The BBC quiz show, which prompted the Japanese Embassy in London and Nagasaki city to protest to the broadcaster, led to the screening.
About 140 people, many of them non-Japanese, attended, according to the organizers.
Tsutomu Yamaguchi talked about his wartime experiences on a number of occasions before his death in January 2010 at 93.
On Aug. 9, 1945, Yamaguchi, a company employee based in Nagasaki, returned to the city from a business trip to Hiroshima, where he had suffered serious burns in the atomic bombing three days earlier.
He is one of a small group of people known to have been in both cities when they were leveled by A-bombs.
Producer Hidetaka Inazuka, 60, had filmed him on many occasions.
The two films were "Niju Hibaku" (Twice bombed), produced in 2006, around when Yamaguchi started to talk about his experiences, and "Niju Hibaku: Kataribe Yamaguchi Tsutomu no Yuigon" (Twice bombed: The legacy of Tsutomu Yamaguchi), which records his thoughts in his final years and was released earlier this year.
A 58-year-old Japanese former teacher who is studying in England attended the screenings in London. He sent a letter of protest to the BBC after watching the quiz show last December that appeared to make light of Yamaguchi's wartime ordeal.
"The program may have been just an innocent joke, but the British people are too ignorant about the threat of nuclear weapons," Suematsu said. "Those just two atomic bombs killed more than 200,000 people. You should not make a joke out of this."
More than two-thirds of the audience members were non-Japanese. Many of them were British.
A 45-year-old man who attended said it was important to learn about hibakusha atomic-bombing survivors.
Another member of the audience said Yamaguchi left behind an important lesson.
Meanwhile, one male audience member said that even though he was struck by the film, he wanted people to remember that the two bombs were aimed at ending the war. He added one of his family members was held captive and killed by the Imperial Japanese Army and asked if the Japanese people are educated about that aspect of history.
Tim Street, an official at the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, said the BBC should air the documentaries on Yamaguchi since a survey shows that nearly 60 percent of British youngsters are unaware of that fact their country possesses 225 nuclear warheads.
Inazuka, the producer, said he regrets that Japan has not made sufficient efforts to tell the world about the suffering caused by atomic bombings nor sent stronger messages calling for total nuclear disarmament.
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