Man is Certified as Double A-Bomb Survivor


Someone up there must like Tsutomu Yamaguchi -- who is very likely the luckiest man in the world. The Japanese government has recently certified him as a survivor of both atomic bombs dropped on Japan by the United States. Though a few others have been known to be victims of both blasts, the 93-year-old Yamaguchi is the first to be certified as a double survivor.

A story from the Independent relates how, as a twenty-something engineer on a business trip, Yamaguchi happened to be in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the day the United States dropped the bomb (known as "Little Boy") on the city. Not only was he in the city, but he was within two miles of Ground Zero. As a result, he suffered from temporary blindness, damage to his left eardrum and severe burns on the upper half of his body. Seeking refuge the next day, Yamaguchi departed for his home in Nagasaki. On August 9, the second bomb (known as "Fat Man") was dropped on that city. Again, he was about two miles from Ground Zero.

According to the New York Times, attaining certification as a survivor (or hibakusha, meaning survivor of an atomic bomb) qualifies someone for compensation in the form of certain medical payments and funeral costs in addition to monthly allowances. Yamaguchi first got certification in 1957, when the government started offering assistance for survivors. But this initial certification only recognized his survival of the Nagasaki bombing. Although Yamaguchi won't see additional compensation as a result of this unique double-survivor status, reports FoxNews, his story is garnering a lot of attention as a result. This seems to be enough for Yamaguchi, however, as he now feels that his heaven-sent mission is to tell his story and protest the development of more nuclear weapons.

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