Junko Morimoto was just 13 years old when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on her home of Hiroshima in 1945, events recalled in her seminal picture book, My Hiroshima.
Ms Morimoto talked about her experiences during and after the devastating event, owing her life to a stomach bug that kept her home from school and stopped her being one of the 200,000 victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks.
She told the audience that the only way to avoid another such event was to decommission all nuclear weapons, something the Mayors for Peace organisation is also striving for. Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said there was no such thing as a ‘local’ nuclear war.
‘Even a limited nuclear war in our region would have the effect of killing tens of millions initially, and then hundreds of millions globally, because burning cities would quickly create a veil of debris in the upper atmosphere that would last for decades.’