Friday, July 13, 2012

From Hiroshima & Nagasaki to Fukushima: Dr. Shuntaro Hida describes censorship of information about the effects of low-dose nuclear radiation

"How many times do we have to be exposed to nuclear radiation?" This video footage is of Dr. Shuntaro Hida speaking in front of Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima city at the "One Million Action Hoping to Live a Life without Nuclear Power" held April 26, 2011. Dr. Hida treated Hiroshima survivors exposed to the high dose of radiation from the Hiroshima atomic bombing. He also treated patients exposed to low doses of nuclear radiation; found them suffering from a disease called "Bura Bura Syndrome" caused by low-dose internal exposure. Dr. Hida describes the US military occupation's censorship of information about the health effects of nuclear radiation. (Original footage: Sunameri (Finless Porpoise) YouTube channel. This clip with English subtitles: via Canale di Koikzuka77. Dr. Hida is also featured in Hitomi Kamanaka's "Radiation: A Slow Death, A new Generation of Hibakusha".)

In "A-bomb doctor warns of further Fukushima woes"  (JT via Kyodo), Dr. Shuntaro Hida, a Hiroshima survivor & physician, links lack of public awareness about the effects of radiation with US military occupation censorship of information about the effects of radiation after the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki:
The amount of research into and public knowledge about internal exposure to radiation is still limited because the United States "concealed" information about the problem for a long time after it dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, Hida says. "It is a fight to change the mindset of each and every person," Hida says, recalling his decades-long struggles to make people aware of the danger of internal exposure to radiation amid a lack of scientific data.

"Under the Occupation until the early 1950s, people were forbidden from "speaking, recording or doing research into symptoms of atomic-bomb survivors," he says. "I was stalked by the military police when I was talking about what I witnessed in Hiroshima," and arrested several times by the Occupation forces for "not abiding by their Occupation policy."

Hida, as a representative of a group of medical professionals called the Japan Federation of Democratic Medical Institutions, urged U.N. Secretary General U Thant in 1975 to hold an international conference on the effects of radiation on hibakusha, which was realized two years later.

"It's anger that has kept me speaking to this day. How could I remain silent even 67 years after the bombings?" Hida says.
Dr. Hida's 2006 memoir, Under the Mushroom-Shaped Cloud in Hiroshima, is available online at this link.

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