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Hiroshima doctors leave for North Korea to examine A-bomb victims

October 12, 2011

The following news item appeared on October 11, 2011 in the Mainichi Daily News.

A team of six doctors from the Hiroshima Prefectural Medical Association departed for North Korea on Monday to conduct medical checkups for North Koreans who were in Hiroshima at the time of 1945 atomic attack on the city and exposed to radiation.

The team, led by Shizuteru Usui, the 74-year-old president of the association, is scheduled to arrive in Pyongyang on Tuesday via Beijing for a five-day stay in North Korea.

The six surgeons and internists and two aides are to visit Pyongyang and Sariwon where they will interview and diagnose the victims with the aid of local doctors, while exchanging views with North Korean groups of atomic-bomb victims.

The Japanese doctors also plan to invite members of the North Korean branch of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War to take part in an IPPNW world conference slated for next August in Hiroshima.

The prefectural association interviewed such victims in 2008 during a team visit to North Korea. But at that time, doctors could not examine the victims as they were not allowed by local authorities to practice medicine.

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