Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations urges government to pursue medical checkups for second- and third-generation survivors

By Jumpei Fujimura, Staff Writer

On June 5, the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) submitted a letter of request to the Japanese government, urging the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to strengthen relief measures for A-bomb survivors and pursue other efforts, such as medical checkups for second- and third-generation A-bomb survivors. This appeal is being made in connection with a government survey to be carried out next year on current conditions involving A-bomb survivors.

Thirteen members of the group, including Hidenori Yamamoto, 81, one of its leaders, met with Takeshi Sakakibara, director of the ministry’s A-bomb Survivor Support Office, behind closed doors. They demanded that the ministry undertake a sweeping revision of the Atomic Bomb Disease Certification System. They also urged the ministry to inquire about the health concerns of children and grandchildren of A-bomb survivors in next year’s survey, which is conducted once every ten years. After the meeting, Mr. Yamamoto said that Hidankyo will recommend specific questions for the survey.

Hidankyo also appealed to other government ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, as well as political parties, to make efforts. With regard to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they demanded that the Japanese government co-sponsor, with Hidankyo, such undertakings as an A-bomb exhibition held during the period when the Review Conference for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) takes place in New York next spring.

The members of Hidankyo also met with lawmakers of the Liberal Democratic Party, the Democratic Party of Japan, the Japan Restoration Party, the New Komeito, the Communist Party, the People’s Life Party, and the Social Democratic Party. They urged these lawmakers to uphold Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution and transform Japan’s energy policy to break away from the nation’s reliance on nuclear power plants.

  (Originally published on June 6, 2014)