On March 8, 2016, Fukushima Medical University (FMU) held an international symposium “Five Years Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Crisis – Preserving and Conveying our Memories for Future Generations” to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima nuclear power plant accident. This symposium was planned to share various past efforts with many people toward the reconstruction and revitalization of Fukushima.
In addition to special guests from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), and the World Health Organization (WHO), many other experts from Japan and abroad also attended the symposium.
In a plenary address, Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori explained the revival situation of our prefecture. He also introduced prefectural products that have been favorably received domestically and internationally, and conveyed the charm of Fukushima to the audience.
Following the Governor’s address, guests from the IAEA (Ms. May Abdel-Wahab), ICRP (Mr. Jacques Lochard), UNSCEAR (Mr. Malcolm Crick) and WHO (Ms. Zhanat Carr) gave brief messages to the audience.
In the afternoon session, Mr. Jacques Lochard of ICRP gave a special lecture reporting the results of 12 “Dialogue Seminars” held around Fukushima, which brought experts to the prefecture from around the world, and gave citizens a chance to articulate their fears and hopes for the future.
At the symposium, three local residents of different backgrounds, a housewife and mother, an NPO representative, and a kindergarten teacher, conveyed citizens’ perspectives after overcoming anxieties and hardships in the confusion, and two FMU physicians presented their initiatives and reflections as medical professionals and as mothers.
In a panel discussion following the presentations, five women elaborated on their previous remarks in response to a series of thought-provoking questions. It was a vigorous exchange of opinions from panelists with different backgrounds, united by the common purpose of reconstructing life in Fukushima.
The last speaker was FMU third-year medical student Ms. Moe Sekine, who conveyed the activities of Fukushima WILL, a student initiative that began in response to our triple disaster.
The symposium was an opportunity for people of Fukushima to express their sincere gratitude to the overseas experts who had provided generous support since the accident. Through the present review, FMU would like to express its deepest gratitude to the international organizations and overseas colleagues for their support.