Website on radiation exposure at Semipalatinsk and Hiroshima to be launched in four languages

by Sakiko Masuda, Staff Writer

CANVaS, a group of young people in Hiroshima who have been promoting exchanges with the people of Kazakhstan, where many residents were exposed to radiation from nuclear testing, have joined forces with Kazakh students to launch a new website. This website, to open on November 1, will provide contents on nuclear testing and the tragedy of the atomic bombings. Over time the website will be strengthened and eventually translated into four languages: Japanese, Russian, English and Kazakh.

The website will first post testimonies, in Japanese, of three victims of radiation exposure whom the members of CANVaS met when they visited the village of Dolon, near the Semipalatinsk test site, in August 2012. The website will share the current circumstances of these villagers, who are suffering from various illnesses, including cancer, due to the radiation exposure they suffered outdoors. At the time of this testing, by the former Soviet Union, these residents were not informed of the harmful effects of radiation on human health. The website will also include an interview with a doctor at a clinic in the village. The contents will be translated into all four languages by the end of November.

The website will then expand to include testimonies of A-bomb survivors in Hiroshima, the monuments in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, peace messages from young people in both nations, and other information.

CANVaS decided to launch the website at a peace forum held jointly with local university students in Semey in August 2012, and the members have been working on preparations. “We hope the website will encourage people out in the world to think about nuclear issues and peace and to take action,” said Takayuki Koasano, 34, the head of CANVaS. Mr. Koasano was born in Asakita Ward, Hiroshima, and now lives in Tokyo.

The URL of the website: http://canvas2003.org/Hiroshima-SemeyPeaceProject/index.html

(Originally published on October 28, 2013)