IPPNW to hold first North and South Asia Joint Regional Conference in Hiroshima in August

by Hiromi Morita, Staff Writer

The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) will hold the IPPNW North and South Asia Joint Regional Conference in Hiroshima on August 22-23. This is the first time that IPPNW will hold a joint conference of the North and South Asian regions. The gathering in Hiroshima is intended to seek concrete measures for nuclear abolition and all programs involving the conference will be open to the public.

According to the Japanese Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (JPPNW), the conference will be held at the International Conference Center Hiroshima with the theme of “We CAN abolish nuclear weapons and the time is now!” IPPNW is planning to hold lectures and a symposium with specialists of nuclear issues and international politics as well as doctors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki who are engaged in the medical care of atomic bomb survivors (hibakusha).

Doctors and medical students from nine of the ten nations in the North and South Asia regions, including those from the nuclear weapon states of China, India, and Pakistan, are scheduled to participate in the conference. The North Korean Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which had indicated its willingness to attend the meeting at the end of 2008, has not yet confirmed its participation.

IPPNW holds regional conferences in the year when the world congress, convened every two years, is not held. At its world congress in India in March 2008, IPPNW chose Hiroshima as the venue for the North Asia regional conference this year. Later, in response to a request from the South Asia region, IPPNW decided to hold the joint conference in Hiroshima.

Katsuko Kataoka, secretary general of JPPNW and professor emeritus of Hiroshima University, said, “With the international momentum for nuclear abolition building, now is the time to convey the reality of the atomic bombings to the nuclear weapon states and present practical proposals for nuclear non-proliferation and abolition from the A-bombed city of Hiroshima.”

(Originally published on May 23, 2009)