HIROSHIMA – Full-scale studies on the hereditary effects of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will begin next month on the offspring of survivors, according to the organizing group.
The Radiation Effects Research Foundation, which has been studying the effects of radiation exposure on children of hibakusha, made the decision in a joint meeting of two committees of outside experts.
The studies are examining indirect victims of the atomic bombings as they are reaching an age when they could be affected by lifestyle-related diseases, the foundation said.
It said the studies will be completed by December 2005, with the findings to be released a year or so later.
The foundation said it will mail surveys to 15,000 survivors and their children over the next four years in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and conduct subsequent medical checkups on those who show interest in participating.
A liaison group for second-generation A-bomb victims across Japan has given its consent for the study, but is very concerned about protecting the privacy of the victims.
According to the foundation, it has consulted the offspring of A-bomb survivors on the particulars of the health checkups, after a preliminary survey it was conducting ended in November.
U.N. seeks knowledge
NEW YORK (Kyodo) The U.N. has asked Japan, the only nation to have suffered nuclear attack, to provide teaching materials that would help promote nuclear disarmament efforts, according to Hiroshima Gov. Yuzan Fujita.
Fujita said Jayantha Dhanapala, the U.N. undersecretary general who heads the Department of Disarmament Affairs, made the request during a meeting at U.N. headquarters Tuesday.
Fujita also met separately with U.N. Deputy Secretary General Louise Frechette.
“Nuclear weapons have not been used (in war) anywhere in the world other than Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” Fujita later told reporters. “I think we have a lot of persuasive power (to call for nuclear disarmament).”
The governor said he will seek the cooperation of officials in Nagasaki Prefecture in preparing the educational materials.
Fujita said he also requested Dhanapala’s support for Hiroshima Prefecture’s bid to build a local Asia-Pacific campus for the U.N. Institute for Training and Research.
Hiroshima, which hosts a two-year training program from this spring for diplomats from developing countries in collaboration with UNITAR, wants the Asia-Pacific facility built in the city as part of its antinuclear push.
“If public officials from developing countries undergo training in Hiroshima and know more about the nuclear threat, it will help toward early ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty,” Fujita said.
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