2012 World Congress President

The 20th IPPNW World Congress will be held first in 23 years in Hiroshima. The world situation surrounding nuclear armament has been regrettably growing steadily worse since the last 9th congress held in Hiroshima/Nagasaki in 1989. U.S. President Barack Obama's address in Plague, 2009, in which he made promises to aim for a world free of nuclear weapons, rapidly fostered momentum toward abolishing nuclear weapons. The United States, however, has been continuing subcritical nuclear tests since then and nearly 19,000 nuclear warheads still exist in the world. The process toward nuclear elimination is still facing rough going.

It is significant amid such bitter conditions that the world congress is held again in Hiroshima, the site of the first atomic bombing and the root of IPPNW. Please let me share my experience of A-bomb. On August 6th, when I was at the age of 4, we left Hiroshima for my hometown by ship at 8 in the morning. 15 minutes later that was at 8:15 I heard a big ka-boom on shipboard and felt the ship vibrated. It was an A-bomb explosion. I found myself alive. My aunt was exposed to the bomb in a street car at Hijiyama to the east of the city. I established my hospital at Hijiyama and put HIROSHIMA at the beginning of its name. I did it because I wanted to remember her. We all should recognize the significance of this congress to be held in Hiroshima, consider the basic principle of the IPPNW activities and enhance our desire for accomplishing nuclear-free-world.

The late president of IPPNW Japan, Dr. Shizuteru Usui who deceased suddenly on May 9th this year, had been preparing for the congress at full stretch, wishing to make it a success because the congress is held first in 23 years in Hiroshima. The main subject of the congress “From HIROSHIMA to Future Generations” means to send the message again on nuclear abolition to the world from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. He had been looking forward to promoting the preparation in order to pass down the message and various experiences of A-bomb victims on future generations. I will pursue his wishes and make full efforts to accomplish the world congress successfully.

The Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant accident occurred in March 2011 brought a great deal of concern and troubles to the world. I would like to express apologies for those and at the same time to take this opportunity to extend my sincere appreciation for substantial amount of relief money and the encouragement from various IPPNW affiliates.

We, as doctors who assume the mission to protect people’s lives and health, try to continue our appeal toward nuclear disarmament and provide the public with the proper information on health effects of radiation. We will do what we can to pass on young generations about nuclear weapons' inherent inhumanity and balefulness and carry on our future efforts toward nuclear abolition. Again I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to many people as well as congress participants throughout the world for tremendous supports and cooperation.

Keiichi Hiramatsu, M.D.
The 20th IPPNW World Congress President
IPPNW Japan President
Hiroshima Prefectural Medical Association President

2012 World Congress Organizing Committee President

During the 19th Basel Congress in 2010, Hiroshima was honored to hold the 20th IPPNW World Congress in 2012. As the hosting affiliate, we are currently doing our best for organizing it.

Twenty-three years have passed since the world congress was previously held in Hiroshima. The 9th Hiroshima Congress in 1989 was held just before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, when the fear of nuclear warfare was still overwhelming. Additionally, having been in the midst of the bubble economy, an unbelievably large amount of contribution was collected, which led to a financially-abundant congress.

This time, the world is in economic recession including Japan, and we feel it a little hard to ask for contributions. Meanwhile, an unprecedented earthquake and tsunami hit Tohoku area of Japan, causing subsequent Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident. Lots of member doctors of JPPNW as well as ordinary citizens are still actively working for the aid of the area, and so far, most of the contributions concentrate at the disaster site, which cause us further difficulty.

For all this financial circumstances, we welcome as many participants to Hiroshima as possible to have the congress successful, by supporting medical students and doctors from developing countries to the extent possible.

As for congress title, we were previously considering ‘abolition of nuclear weapons’ and ‘aftereffects on health by A-bombing’ as fundamental theme. However, since Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident has caught attention and concern both domestically and internationally, we have decided to select it as one of the main topics. Thus the overall schedule became somewhat tighter.

Owing to the aging of A-bomb survivors, we are concerned that Hiroshima / Nagasaki nuclear weapons abolition movement would be on the decline. Second generation A-bomb survivors including myself, both my parents having been survivors, have reached their ages around 40s to 60s. We have, therefore, set up the group ‘Physicians of Second Generation A-bomb Survivors’ to take leadership in conveying the memory of A-bombing to younger generations. We would also like to have a session hosted by this group, along with the testimony of doctors who survived the A-bombing.

We apologize in advance for the inconvenience we may cause in terms of schedule and finance, but are eagerly looking forward to your attendance and cooperation.

Jiro(Jitsuro) Yanagida, M.D.
The 20th IPPNW World Congress Organizing Committee President
JPPNW Deputy international Councilor
Hiroshima Prefectural Medical Association Board Member

2012 World Congress Program Committee Chairman / JPPNW Secretary General

The 9th Hiroshima World Congress in 1989, with the largest number of participants in IPPNW history of around 3000, was the first congress in which I planned a workshop and participated as a moderator. I have attended all the world congresses since then. After retiring from Hiroshima University, I assumed the post of Secretary General of the Japanese Affiliate. It amazes me how the event had significant effects on my life.

As Chairman of the Program Committee of the 20th World Congress held in International Conference Center Hiroshima in2012, I have considered the aim of this meeting to ‘report the latest findings of Hiroshima / Nagasaki atomic bombings which constitute the scientific base of the effect of radiation on human body,’ ‘convey the A-bomb experience to younger generations,’ ‘nurture new members and vibrant movement of nuclear abolition and peace,’ and ‘target the security of all human beings rather than national security dependent on armament.’
However the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami on March 11 caused Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. The accident itself and its impact on people’s health had gathered attention around the world, requiring us to create many sessions dedicated to this topic. We must apologize the plenary session schedule turned out to be very tight, but hope to have many participants and effort to make this congress fruitful, through workshops and discussions in and outside the conference room.

During the 9th world congress, the cold war structures had collapsed one after another, and we felt the sense of the coming of the new world. I hope the 20th Congress, held in Hiroshima again, will be food for thought to create a peaceful world with the human right protected for everyone, along with younger generations.

Katsuko Kataoka, M. D., Ph. D.
Chairman of the Program Committee of the 20th World Congress
JPPNW Secretary General
Professor emeritus, Hiroshima University

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