Australian POW to receive A-bomb health-care certificate

The city of Nagasaki will give a special health-care certificate for 1945 U.S. atomic bombing survivors to a former Australian prisoner of war, an official said Tuesday.

An official of the city will visit 93-year-old Allan Chick in Heyfield in the state of Victoria, southeastern Australia, on June 19 to hand over the certificate entitling him to medical allowances.

So far, 10 former POWs have received the health-care certificate from the Nagasaki municipal government.

Chick applied for the certificate with the Japanese Consulate General in Melbourne on April 20, and the city confirmed him as an atomic-bombing survivor through a list of POWs recording their names, countries and birth dates.

It will be the first time for the city office to directly hand the certificate to a foreign survivor who applied through a Japanese Consulate General overseas.

Nobuto Hirano, co-head of a citizens' group supporting atomic-bomb survivors abroad, said, "We want to praise the city's prompt reaction."

"We think it's necessary to establish a sufficient support system" for atomic-bomb survivors abroad, the 66-year-old said.

Chick was sent to a prison camp in Nagasaki in 1944 after being captured in Southeast Asia. He was among 24 Australian POWs at the camp who were exposed to the atomic bombing on Aug. 9, 1945.

Chick currently lives in Heyfield with his wife.