Association of doctors who are second-generation A-bomb survivors is established

by Kei Kinugawa, Staff Writer

The inaugural meeting of an association of doctors who are second-generation A-bomb survivors was held on March 30. The association aims to convey the frightening damage wrought by an atomic bomb at the World Congress of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) to be held in Hiroshima in August 2012. The second-generation doctors will assume the effort for the elimination of nuclear weapons that has been led by A-bomb survivors who are medical doctors in Hiroshima.

About 30 people attended the inaugural meeting held at the Hiroshima Medical Hall in Nishi Ward, Hiroshima. Kazunori Kodama, head researcher at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) based in Minami Ward, Hiroshima, spoke to the participants. Dr. Kodama called for the epidemiological research conducted over the years to be utilized. “No genetic effects on second-generation survivors as a result of the atomic bomb has been detected to date,” Dr. Kodama said. “But we need to check for effects again when the second-generation survivors become more susceptible to diseases as they grow older.”

The participants also listened to accounts by two doctors who were exposed to the atomic bomb when they were children. In the wake of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, a question was raised during discussion about whether the IPPNW will be concerned only with nuclear weapons or also deal with nuclear issues in general in connection with daily life.

Dr. Jitsuro Yanagida, one of the promoters of the association and a member of the executive board of the Hiroshima Prefectural Medical Association, said, “We would like to continue making efforts for the elimination of nuclear weapons while conveying medical knowledge about radiation more widely.”

(Originally published on March 31, 2011)