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Held at Hiroshima RERF: 25th Meeting of the Hiroshima Local Liaison Council

The 25th meeting of the Hiroshima Local Liaison Council (LLC) was held on February 2, 2023. The LLC is a body comprising representatives of various sectors of society, including local universities, medical institutions, A-bomb survivor organizations, the media, and local governments, to ensure that local needs are reflected in RERF’s operations. The meeting was convened for the first time in about two years, since the last gathering, in December 2020.

The council, chaired by Hiroshima University President Mitsuo Ochi, engaged in discussions on the five agenda items indicated below, with 13 of its total 15 members in attendance.
1. Report on present status
2. Recent study results
3. Stakeholder Committee on Genome Sequencing Analysis for A-bomb Survivors’ Children
4. RERF strategic plans
5. Relocation of Hiroshima Facility

First, RERF Chairperson Ohtsura Niwa reported on RERF’s status and important meetings over the previous two years. Vice Chairperson Robert L. Ullrich followed with an explanation of RERF’s recent research, including a study into organ-dose estimation utilizing ‘phantoms,’ as well as an analysis of radiation risk estimates for cancer incidence. Dr. Niwa spoke again, this time providing an outline of the Stakeholder Committee on Genome Sequencing Analysis for A-bomb Survivors’ Children, a body established in 2021, as well as an explanation about the opinions and concerns of the stakeholder committee members, who have expressed enthusiasm regarding the genome analysis research. Along with information on assessment by overseas scientists of RERF research in the segment “RERF strategic plans,” Dr. Niwa mentioned the need for an influx of new scientific talent and a fully equipped research facility for future molecular-level analysis using biosamples stored at RERF. In the last segment, “Relocation of Hiroshima Facility,” RERF Chief of Secretariat Satomichi Kaneoka reported on the progress and schedule of RERF’s future relocation to the Hiroshima University Kasumi Campus, including an overview of the proposed building at the campus site.

After the presentations, committee members posed questions regarding the status of children born after the atomic bombing and about genetic effects in such second-generation A-bomb survivors. They also expressed their expectations for expanded scientific collaboration between RERF and Hiroshima University based on the announced relocation.

After conclusion of the meeting agenda, Hiroshima University President Ochi remarked, “I am hopeful that the opinions expressed today will be taken seriously by RERF and utilized in the foundation’s future project management.”

With that, the 25th meeting of the Hiroshima Local Liaison Council concluded.