HIROSHIMA – A website operated by a Hiroshima newspaper has posted a series of stories in English and Japanese about radiation victims across the globe, hoping to spread awareness about all such victims, not just those of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The website of the Chugoku Shimbun’s Hiroshima Peace Media Center posted the stories at the end of March under the title “EXPOSURE — Victims of Radiation Speak Out.”
The Japanese title is “Sekai no Hibakusha,” or “Hibakusha Around the World.”
The original work won a Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association award for fiscal 1990 and was published in book form in 1991 in Japanese and in 1992 in English.
The series, which started on May 21, 1989, and continued through to May 29, 1990, consisted of 134 articles and eight features.
To write the articles about radiation victims around the world, a team of reporters from the Chugoku Shimbun went to 15 countries, including the Soviet Union, Brazil, the United States, India, Malaysia and South Korea.
According to Akira Tashiro, executive director of the center, even though radioactive contamination has occurred in various parts of the world, little was known and reported when they started gathering information more than 20 years ago.
The series introduced damage from radioactive contamination, including the effects of nuclear weapons testing in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic, the leak of a radioactive substance used at a hospital in Brazil, contamination from a nuclear power plant in India and thorium contamination from a Japanese refinery in Malaysia.
“I have been planning to post the stories after the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear accident happened in 2011,” said Tashiro, a veteran journalist specializing in nuclear issues. “What we did over 20 years ago was pioneering work. I am sure the content is relevant even now and worth reading for everybody around the world.”
The stories can be found at www.hiroshimapeacemedia.jp/mediacenter/index.php?topic=Exposure_en.
Youth envoys sought
A citizens’ group based in the city of Nagasaki is looking for 20 young “peace ambassadors” to go to the U.N. European headquarters in Geneva in August and deliver a petition calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
Applicants should be in high school.
The group has been sending students on the trip every year since 1998. This year’s lineup of 20 will be the biggest delegation yet.
For inquiries, call Heiwa Katsudo Shien Center in Nagasaki at (095) 822-5253.