Atomic bomb survivors sought in Honolulu next month

A Japanese medical team will visit Honolulu from July 4 to 10 to provide free medical examinations to atomic bomb survivors living in Hawai‘i.

The goal of the exams is to establish a medical record of survivors, so that they may seek medical assistance in Japan and be informed about special projects with the Hawai‘i chapter of the American Society of Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-bomb Survivors.

Approximately 100 identified survivors live in Hawai‘i. Many are U.S. citizens.

The participating doctors, all from Hiroshima, are knowledgeable about illnesses that may be related to radiation exposure. They will be accompanied by an interviewer from the Radiation Effect Research Foundation, who will collect information about patients’ locations at the time of the bombing and thereby estimate the amount of radiation exposure.

In addition, representatives from the atomic bomb survivors affairs offices of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki prefectural governments will provide information about assistance in Japan.

The entire process will be confidential, and all survivors — especially those who have not participated in past Hawai‘i examinations — are encouraged to attend.

The American Society of Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-bomb Survivors is coordinating the visit to Hawai‘i and subsequent medical examinations.

Eligible survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are legally defined in Japan as persons who were within city limits when the bombs fell or up to two weeks after, persons who came in contact with other survivors while caring for them, and persons who were present at the bombing as an in utero baby.

The visit is part of a biennial program that sends medical teams to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. It was started in 1977 as a humanitarian gesture to provide physical and psychological assistance to survivors living in the United States.

For more information, call Izumi Hirano at 422-1489.

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