Bikini Islander Johnny Johnson joined the 2012 Hapcheon Anti-Nuclear and Peace Festival in S. Korea
Hapcheon is home to people who were in Hiroshima at the end of World War II when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city, and many were exposed to radiation from the blast. They were sent home soon after the war, and did not receive medical follow up as a result of their exposure. In early 2010, the Hapcheon Peace House was established in Hapcheon, the “Hiroshima of Korea,” to aid and support the offspring of nuclear victims.
Johnson was one of many international speakers at the gathering in Hapcheon.
“For the last 29 years,” Johnson said in a speech in S. Korea, “the US government has played a game with us, switching forums for our claims and postponing again and again the payment of fair compensation that is req uired by the Compact and the US Constitution. We sought relief from the courts, then from the Nuclear Claims Tribunal, then from Congress under the changed circumstances petition, and then again from the courts.”
Johnson said the Bikinians “have done everything that the courts, the Congress and the Executive Branch have asked of us. I regret to say that the Bikinians have not been awarded the justice they seek with the US.”
He said Bikini people have persevered despite numerous relocations. “The hopeful side of me sees this as a true mark of strong people,” he said. “The more cynical side feels as though the injustice brought about by nuclear testing should never have been done.”