Sunao Tsuboi, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing who met U.S. Former President Barack Obama, died at the age of 96.
Nihon Hidankyo, the nationwide group of atomic bomb survivors said on Wednesday that Tsuboi died on Oct. 24 in a hospital in Hiroshima in southwestern Japan due to an irregular heartbeat caused by anemia.
When Obama made his historic visit to Hiroshima, Obama and Tsuboi held each other’s hand in a long handshake and shared a laugh. Tsuboi told Obama he will be remembered for having listened to atomic bomb survivors, known in Japanese as “hibakusha.”
“I think he is such an earnest person or has the heart to feel for others,” he said of the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima.
Tsuboi suffered such serious burns and was unconscious for 40 days long. He was 20 years old when he miraculously survived the U.S. atomic bombing of his hometown on Aug. 6, 1945, in the closing days of World War II.
“They wanted to kill us. No mistake about that,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2013.