Japan Medical Association adopts resolution on nuclear weapons abolition

by Kei Kinugawa, Staff Writer

A resolution calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, proposed by the Hiroshima Prefectural Medical Association (HPMA) to the Japan Medical Association (JMA), was adopted at a regular meeting of JMA representatives in Tokyo on March 29. While the world is trending toward a reduction of nuclear weapons, there is now a growing risk that nuclear weapons might be used in a conflict or terrorist attack. Against this backdrop, JMA adopted the new resolution on nuclear disarmament, the first such resolution issued by the group in 14 years. “The health effects of nuclear weapons are immeasurable,” the resolution declares. “Sixty-three years after the atomic bombings, the survivors are still suffering from the aftereffects.” The statement goes on to say that, as physicians are charged with the duty of protecting life and promoting health, the JMA doctors call on the nuclear powers to swiftly eliminate nuclear weapons.

In 1995, as China and France conducted repeated nuclear tests, HPMA proposed a similar resolution on nuclear weapons abolition, which was adopted at an extraordinary meeting of the JMA. This time, HPMA again submitted a resolution, believing this to be a good opportunity to build global momentum for abolition with U.S. President Barack Obama having set the goal of a world without nuclear weapons.

Dr. Shizuteru Usui, president of HPMA, presented the resolution at the meeting of JMA representatives. “As physicians,” he remarked, “we are well aware of the human effects of nuclear weapons, and it is therefore our duty to call for nuclear abolition. We will disseminate the resolution widely to the Japanese government and medical associations around the world.”

(Originally published on March 30, 2009)