Three representatives of the Marshall Islands, where the United States
has performed 67 atmospheric nuclear tests, held a press conference in
Hiroshima City on August 4. The three are in Hiroshima to attend the World
Conference against A & H Bombs hosted by the Japan Council against
A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) and others. They revealed a detailed plan for
a peace memorial hall (tentative name) to be built in their capital, Majuro,
to show the next generation the effects of nuclear damage that continue
to this day, as well as the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The three representatives are Senator Abacca Anjain-Maddison, Mayor Eldon
Note of Bikini Atoll Local Government, and President Glann Lewis of College
of Marshall Islands Nuclear Club.
The idea for the memorial hall was suggested by Senator Maddison, who is
from the Longelap Atoll, where cleanup of radiation contamination is continuing.
A construction promotion committee consisting mostly of citizens was established
The display at the memorial hall will show the effects on human health,
such as cancer and loss of hair, documents on damages in Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, the history of solidarity with Japan through nuclear abolition
activities, and the disappearing culture of the country. Fundraising has
begun with the goal of opening on March 1, 2004, which will be the 50th
anniversary of the Bikini H-bomb disaster. The Japanese are responding
by starting fundraising activities in Hiroshima and Nagoya.
Senator Maddison asked for further cooperation, saying that they "hope
to make this a forum for educating the children, who are the next generation,
about the consequences of nuclear weapons."
Meanwhile, Chief Note criticized the compensation for damages caused by
the past nuclear testing, and said that "there is an increasing opinion
that it has been insufficient." Currently, they are requesting the
United States Congress to review the compensation, with the deadline at
the end of the year. He spoke emphatically saying that "We are still
in exile, unable to return to our home island. We are asking for compensation
for the Mother Earth and for our livelihood."
(caption) Senator Maddison and others at the press conference.