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The man who survived both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs, dies aged 93

Tsutomu Yamaguchi, the only person officially recognised as a survivor of both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings at the end of World War II, has died at the age of 93.

Mr Yamaguchi, known as 'Lucky', was in Hiroshima on a business trip for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on August 6, 1945, when a U.S. B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on the city.

He suffered serious burns to his upper body as well as temporary blindness and spent the night in the city.

He then returned to his hometown of Nagasaki, about 190 miles to the southwest, which suffered a second U.S. atomic bomb attack just three days later. On August 15, 1945, Japan surrended - ending the war.

Mr Yamaguchi died on Monday morning from stomach cancer, according to Japanese newspapers. It is not clear if the cancer is related to his exposure to radiation.

His family were also badly affected. His son Katstoshi, a baby at the time of the bomb, and his daughter Naoko were ill for much of their lives as a result of exposure to radiation. His son died of cancer in 2005 aged 59.

His wife died last year, aged 88, from kidney and liver cancer.

He was the only person to be certified by the Japanese government as having been in both cities when they were attacked, although other dual survivors have also been identified.

'My double radiation exposure is now an official government record,' he told the Mainichi newspaper last year.

'It can tell the younger generation the horrifying history of the atomic bombings even after I die.'

Hiroshima atomic bomb
Devastation: Mr Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip when the first U.S. atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945

Nagasaki bomb
70,000 people were killed after the second atomic bomb was dropped over Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. Japan surrendered six days later

He added: 'Having been granted that miracle of survival it is my responsibility to pass on the truth to the people of the world.'
The mayor of Nagasaki wrote 'a precious storyteller has been lost' in a message posted on the city's website today.
In his later years, Mr Yamaguchi gave talks about his experiences as an atomic bomb survivor and often expressed his hope that such weapons would be abolished.

He spoke at the UN in 2006, wrote books and songs about his experiences and appeared in a documentary about survivors of both attacks.

Last month he was visited in hospital by filmmaker James Cameron, director of Titanic and Avatar, who is said to be considering making a film about the bombings.

Hiroshima bomb
A survivor walks over the rubble left after the Hiroshima bomb. 140,000 people were killed, and many more died afterwards as a result of exposure to radiation

Victims of the bomb are sheltered at a temporary hospital in Hiroshima. Mr Yamaguchi is the only person officially recognised as having survived both blasts

Immediately after the war, Mr Yamaguchi worked as a translator for American forces in Nagasaki and later as a high school teacher.

Japan is the only country to have suffered atomic bomb attacks. Around 140,000 people were killed in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nagasaki.

Mr Yamaguchi was one of a handful to have survived both blasts. Around 260,000 people survived one atomic bomb attack, known as hibakusha - literally 'the explosion-affected people'.
Some bombing survivors have developed various illnesses from radiation exposure, including cancer and liver diseases.

Certification as an atomic bomb survivor in Japan qualifies individuals for government compensation, including monthly allowances, free medical checkups and funeral costs.

An aerial view of the ground zero site in Nagasaski before the atomic bomb was dropped
An aerial view of the ground zero site in Nagasaki before the atomic bomb was dropped and, below, another image afterwards showing the same area flattened

Details of Yamaguchi's health problems have not been released.

Thousands of survivors continue to seek official recognition after the government rejected their eligibility for compensation.

The government last year eased the requirements for being certified as a survivor, following criticism the rules were too strict and neglected many who had developed illnesses that doctors have linked to radiation.

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