Chugoku Shimbun Peace news
Tell truth about damage to next generation; Marshall Islands representatives hold press conference 08/05/01

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 this spring.

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.