----- Original Message ----From: Charlie Clark To: Bob Campbell Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 8:56 AM Subject: Fw: Feb 28 article on BRAVO From: miho kim
Well isn't it timely that a mainstreamy outfit like Japan Times pick this up while Ron and other enablers are as we speak putting together the survivors convergence in Hawai'i and Marshall Islands I'm sorry if you're already on this list below. Wanted to make sure it gets out. Thank you - miho -----Original Message----From: Uehara Hisashi [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Monday, February 28, 2005 8:25 PM To: Nousbases Subject: [nousbases] Japan, U.S. withheld findings on Bikini test health problems http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20050301a1.htm Japan, U.S. withheld findings on Bikini test health problems WASHINGTON (Kyodo) The Japanese and U.S. governments withheld medical findings that the reproductive functions of some Japanese fishermen had shown abnormalities after their exposure to a hydrogen bomb test March 1, 1954, at Bikini Atoll, according to declassified U.S. documents. The two governments did not inform the fishermen of the abnormalities, which included a temporary decline in sperm count, the documents show. Researchers who examined the documents said the information was apparently kept secret to avoid fueling antinuclear sentiment in Japan. The information was made public several months later at an academic conference. The documents included a memorandum dated Dec. 27, 1954, sent from the U.S. Embassy in Japan to John Bugher, director of the now-defunct U.S. Atomic Energy Commission's biology and medicine division, as well as a separate AEC document dated Aug. 31 that year. According to the AEC document, abnormalities, including a temporary fall in sperm count, were detected in 18 of the 23 crew members of the Fukuryu Maru No. 5. The crew members received medical checks on 24 occasions between March and August 1954 after they were showered with radioactive ash while fishing for tuna 160 km east of the bomb test site at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. The U.S. Embassy's memorandum said three doctors from a Tokyo hospital had approached the embassy in September 1954 requesting that the important medical findings be kept secret, and the United States agreed. The doctors were not identified in the memorandum. The memorandum also indicated that Japan and the United States were expecting that a closed bilateral meeting on radiation in Tokyo in November that year would serve as an opportunity to heal the rift between the two countries over the Bikini fallout. Matashichi Oishi, 71, a surviving crew member of the wooden trawler, said, "I was also tested for my sperm but the doctors never told me the results.
"At that time, the issue was more than simply a normal relationship between patient and doctor," Oishi said. "We fell under this big frame called politics. . . . I am angry that this was all influenced by politics." The medical findings were eventually made public at a Japanese academic conference in April 1955 -about three months after compensation negotiations between Japan and the United States were settled. The Fukuryu Maru, as well as hundreds of other fishing boats and people living near the atoll, were irradiated by the hydrogen bomb, code-named "Bravo," which was 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. The bomb was tested as the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union was intensifying and at a time when many Japanese were strongly opposed to nuclear arms after the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. "Rallies against nuclear bombs were in high gear across Japan in September 1954 due to the deterioration of crew member Aikichi Kuboyama's condition," said Tetsuo Maeda, a professor of disarmament and security affairs at Tokyo International University. Kuboyama died that month at age 40, six months after the blast, and became the first fatality among the crew members of the 140-ton fishing boat. Susan Lindee, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who is familiar with AEC activities, said the documents clearly show the U.S. authorities had deceived the Japanese and the U.S. publics. She described the U.S. actions as irresponsible and cruel to the crew members. Including Kuboyama, at least 12 members of the crew of the fishing boat have died, most after years of treatment for illnesses believed to be linked to their radiation exposure. Most of the surviving members have also suffered serious health problems. The Japan Times: March 1, 2005 (C) All rights reserved ******************************************* Uehara Hisashi a member of Japan Peace Committee 186-0005 Nishi 2-21-40-205 Kunitachi-shi Japan +81-42-580-7039 (phone&Fax)