Relocation of RERF is a matter of urgency

by Yumi Kanazaki, Staff Writer

On October 28, the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF), located in Hiroshima, convened a meeting of the Hiroshima Local Liaison Council where RERF listens to the views of local A-bomb survivors, local government officials, and medical experts. The council is chaired by Toshimasa Asahara, president of Hiroshima University. RERF's chairman, Toshiteru Okubo, appealed for the early relocation of RERF based on the reality that space for preserving samples donated by A-bomb survivors is shrinking.

The meeting was attended by 14 council members. With regard to the issue of relocation, Mr. Okubo reported that he has asked both the U.S. and Japanese governments, which administer RERF, to move forward with the relocation plan, but the matter seems to have stalled. He revealed that the remaining space available for preserving such samples as blood from A-bomb survivors will suffice for only another year, and stressed that the relocation of RERF has become a matter of urgency.

The City of Hiroshima has procured available land where the former Faculty of Engineering of Hiroshima University was located. Toru Oikawa, head of the Atomic Survivors Relief Department of the Hiroshima City Office said the City will continue to make the relocation request to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Also at the meeting, RERF reported that it will begin a follow-up effort next month with regard to a study on health effects on second-generation A-bomb survivors. The study was conducted from 2002 to 2006. RERF will carry out a health check-up on those who took part in the survey.

(Originally published on October 29, 2010)

Related articles
Health checkups to be pursued for second-generation A-bomb survivors (July 8, 2010)