Japanese Foreign Ministry to dispatch four people to Oslo to convey reality of atomic bombings

by Kohei Okata, Staff Writer

On February 19, the Japanese Foreign Ministry (MOFA) announced that it would dispatch a government delegation of four people, including a doctor and an A-bomb survivor, to an international conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, a gathering organized by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and scheduled for March 4 and 5 in Oslo. Japan will seek to convey the reality of the damage wrought by nuclear weapons in the hope that this message will lead to discussion that can advance the cause of nuclear abolition.

Masao Tomonaga, director of the Japanese Red Cross Nagasaki Genbaku Hospital, will take the podium as a panelist at a working session on the “immediate humanitarian and medical impact of a nuclear weapon detonation.” He will introduce a photograph depicting a keloid scar, among other materials, to the audience and present the horrific reality in the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. Terumi Tanaka, secretary general of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-bomb Sufferers Organizations and a conference participant, is scheduled to speak for a short time about his A-bomb experience at the same working session.

The conference is designed to serve as a forum where experts and government officials can deepen the discussion, from a scientific point of view, on the short- and long-term humanitarian and environmental impact of nuclear explosions. Climate change due to nuclear explosions and relief measures involving sites contaminated with radiation are also on the agenda.

Kensuke Yoshida, director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Division of MOFA and the leader of the government delegation, said, “We would like to fully convey the historical facts and promote shared awareness across the world of what happens once a nuclear weapon is used.”

(Originally published on February 20, 2013)