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August 16, 1995

Censorship of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Reports in Occupied JapanA Complete Ban vs Temporary Delay

Author Affiliations

From Kyoto, Japan, and the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto (Ontario).

JAMA. 1995;274(7):520-522. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530070018005

For the last 50 years, widely believed misunderstandings have existed concerning allegations of US suppression of the atomic bomb casualty reports in Occupied Japan.1,2 This article clarifies these misunderstandings, discussing both the US and Japan sides of history. The research is based on declassified records from several sections of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP), which were verified with Japanese records.

Atomic Bomb Injury  On August 9,1945, at 11:02 AM, Shigeyasu Aritomi, a medical student of Nagasaki Medical College, experienced the atomic bomb. Despite fatigue and dizziness, Shigeyasu dug himself out of the crushed hospital ward and walked home.3 Seven days later, Shigeyasu died of radiation sickness, then called "the symptoms of the first period of atomic bomb injury": extreme fatigue, nausea and vomiting, fever, hematuria, mucous bloody stools, hemoptysis, and gingival bleeding, caused by severe damage to the internal organs and blood cells. Some survived

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