An atomic bomb survivor who met world leaders at Hiroshima’s peace museum during the Group of Seven summit last year has been awarded an honorary doctorate by an American university.

Keiko Ogura, 86, received the honor at a graduation ceremony held by the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, on Saturday. The university hailed her continued efforts to share her experiences in surviving the atomic bombing of her home city during World War II.

“I felt the importance of the honor and intend to continue telling my story,” Ogura said of her feelings on receiving the honorary humanities doctorate from the school. She is one of the few atomic bomb survivors fluent in English and has engaged in anti-nuclear activism for over 40 years.

Atomic bomb survivor Keiko Ogura (C) receives an honorary doctorate from the University of Idaho, in Moscow, Idaho, on May 11, 2024. (Photo courtesy of the University of Idaho)(Kyodo)

She has previously engaged in activities with the university, including being invited in 2022 to tell her story to students and others at the institution.

In May 2023, Ogura spoke on the sidelines of the summit with G7 world leaders and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum dedicated to the memory of the bombing victims. She has said she urged the G7 leaders to realize a world without nuclear weapons while survivors are still alive.

Ogura was 8 when the atomic bomb was dropped by the U.S. military on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. At the time, she was in a location near her home about 2.4 kilometers from the blast.

Her husband, Kaoru Ogura, served as the director of the peace museum. After his sudden death in 1979, she committed herself to passing on her experience of the bombing in English and went on to establish the group Hiroshima Interpreters for Peace.

Ogura has told her story to people in over 50 countries and regions, according to the University of Idaho.


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