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HICARE's member dispatch to International Conference in Kazakhstan

HICARE, continuing to support medical care for radiation exposed patients in Kazakhstan, received an invitation to the International Conference on Antinuclear Issues hosted by the "Nevada-Semey" International Antinuclear Movement (chaired by Mr. Olzhas Suleimenov, Ambassador to the UNESCO in Paris, with the support of the Kazakhstan government). A member of the Board of the Executive Secretaries of HICARE participated in the Conference.

Period of Conference:

May 18 to 20, 2005

Dispatched Member:

Masaharu HOSHI Professor, Hiroshima University Institute for Radiation Biology & Medicine

Dr. Hoshi (right in the front raw) with Mr. Suleimenov and other participants

Outline of Conference and Impressions:

Invited by Mr. Suleimenov, Ambassador to UNESCO in Paris, I had an opportunity to participate in the International Conference at the Amejist Business Center in Almaty, Kazakhstan on May 19, 2005. The Conference, entitled "Anti-nuclear Community: Achievements and Perspectives," aims to create a nuclear-free world. There were about 150 participants.

At the beginning of the Conference, Mr. Suleimenov, Ambassador to the UNESCO, Mr. Abdugarimov, the Secretary of State, and Mr. Dosjyan, Vice Minister of Ministry of Culture and Sports, delivered addresses from the stage. Mr. Suleimenov spoke of the history of the "Nevada-Semey" movement. Mr. Abdugarimov, taking part on behalf of the Kazakhstan government, said, "I would like to express my support for this significant "Nevada-Semey” movement. I hope that movements against nuclear weapons spread all over the world." He also announced that the government plans to hold an international conference in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, next year.

This Conference was held in memory of the following events:

The 10th anniversary of Kazakhstan's disposal of its nuclear arms
The 60th anniversary of the A-bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki
The 15th anniversary of the last nuclear experiment in Kazakhstan
The 16th anniversary of the establishment of the "Nevada-Semey" movement

The aim of the conference is response to the crisis of safety on a global scale, discussion of nuclear nonproliferation efforts, re-invigoration of movements against nuclear weapons around the world, the establishment of a support fund for nuclear victims at the United Nation's level, and the general adoption of the Conference’s appeals.

On the occasion of the International Conference, having been invited by Ambassador Suleimenov, I was able to participate on behalf of HICARE. There were other Japanese participants as well, such as Mr. Takashi Hiraoka, former mayor of Hiroshima and honorary president of the Semipalatinsk radiation victim support "Hiroshima Semipalatinsk Project," and Mr. Takaki Ishida, a principal at the Sanyo girls' junior/senior high school, recently involved in receiving exchange students from Kazakhstan in collaboration with Semipalatinsk Project. Mr. Kenji Ohtake, first secretary at the Japanese Embassy in Kazakhstan, also attended the Conference and gave a speech. Mr. Toshio Kadozaki, Japanese ambassador to Kazakhstan, could not attend on the Conference due to a business trip to Tokyo.

Following addresses by Mr. Suleimenov and other distinguished people, I was the first to make a presentation in my capacity as a HICARE representative. Presenters were as follows:
In the morning

Masaharu Hoshi (HICARE),
Dr. Yakimov, Dr. Biganbiev (Kazakhstan National University)
Dr. Nikovskaya (Moscow district leader of "Nevada-Semey" International Antinuclear Movement)
Dr. Abdukarimov
Dr. Kartoev
Mr. Bakaev (Military Colonel)
Dr. Hamiev (Karaganda district leader of "Nevada-Semey" International Antinuclear Movement)
Dr. Dostov
Mr. Takashi Hiraoka.

In the afternoon

Dr. Doskab (Speciality: radiation dosimetry)
Mr. Takaki Ishida
and other several presenters

There were 17 presenters in total.

In my speech, I introduced background on HICARE's establishment and its role. Mr. Hiraoka appealed for the demolition of nuclear weapons. Mr. Ishida introduced the relationship between Semipalatinsk and his school as well as the acceptance of exchange students from Kazakhstan.

Finally, the Conference adopted four resolutions including an appeal to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan Congress Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs and an appeal to groups against nuclear weapons all over the world. The Kazakhstan government announced its support for the "Nevada-Semey" movement. The government is planning to establish staff and an office in the near future.

A significant number of people participated in the Conference, not only from within Kazakhstan, but also from places like the "Nevada-Semey" branch office in Moscow. I was particularly interested in an issue regarding 700 radiation victims that emigrated from Semipalatinsk to Omsk State in Russia. It was reported that they requested to be supported by the Russian government.
Mr. Bokaev Arugel Kusmavich presented emphatically, "Kazakhstan has decided nuclear demolition is the best way. It is difficult to control nuclear weapons. It is also necessary to control the export of nuclear materials.” I also began to see the differences between anti-nuclear campaigners and green activists. Participants from Tajikistan pointed out the health effects caused by pollution from uranium mines and other radioactive waste. It was also reported that there was a flood in an area of buried radioactive waste in Russia. Appeals were made for information regarding the incident.

After the Conference, we moved to a Music University where there was Donbra concert, a traditional musical instrument of Kazakhstan, as well as a piano recital by Ms. Lee Sae, a Japanese musician living in Paris. Participants as well as numerous others enjoyed a fantastic show.