SOAS University of London

SOAS doctoral student speaks at special meeting of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent

25 April 2017
Japanese Red Cross
Japanese Red Cross Nurses treating A-bombing victims (c) Japanese Red Cross Society

SOAS History doctoral student Michiko Suzuki presented part of the findings of her doctoral thesis to the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Conference on the Prohibition and Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in Nagasaki, Japan on 25 April 2017.

Suzuki gave a talk on the heroic efforts by Red Cross nurses in the aftermath of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 who walked into ‘ground zero’ to effect emergency humanitarian relief to civilians, soldiers and even Prisoners of War.

The conference, co-sponsored by the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and the Japanese Red Cross, seeks to provoke dialogue on the humanitarian and legal challenges posed by nuclear weapons, and the potential of creating a legally binding instrument for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Japanese Red Cross Hiroshima Hospital after bombing

Suzuki’s doctoral thesis, supervised by Dr Christopher Gerteis, explores the wartime humanitarian relief activities of the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) personnel, and their involvement in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement between 1877 and 1945 in a global historical context.

Suzuki is recipient of a studentship from the Sasakawa Studentship Programme to Support the Study of Japanese Development in the United Kingdom.