Let's Look at the Special Exhibit
A-bomb Investigations after the Occupation

Under the seven-year occupation, it was not only mass media reports about the A-bomb that were censored. Reports by scientists were also severely restricted; all freedom of research was lost. After the initial investigations, A-bomb investigations in Japan were minimal. However, when the San Francisco Peace Treaty went into effect on April 28, 1952, the Allied Occupation came to an end. Japan was once again a sovereign nation, and research restrictions were lifted.
But just as academic organizations in Tokyo and in Hiroshima were resuming A-bomb investigations, they received another shock. The Americans tested a hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll in March 1954, and the crew on a Japanese fishing boat, the Fukuryu-maru 5 (Lucky Dragon) was exposed.
With the entire nation watching, one of the crew exposed to the "ashes of death" actually died. Overnight, an anti-nuclear / peace movement sprang up nationwide. The Lucky Dragon incident forced the public to realize that the danger posed by nuclear weapons had increased dramatically. It became clear that the events in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not merely events of the past.
In addition, the new exposure to radiation brought the survivors of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki back to public awareness, and a further movement arose to assist those survivors and research the A-bomb threat.

Exposure of the Fukuryu-maru 5 (Lucky Dragon); intensified concern about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
On March 1, 1954, on the Bikini Atoll in the Marshal Islands in the northern equatorial Pacific, the US tested a hydrogen bomb with more than 1,000 times the destructive power of the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The Fukuryu-maru 5 (Lucky Dragon) was fishing for tuna well outside the "danger area" established by the US. Yet, the 23-man crew was exposed to highly radioactive "ashes of death" 3 to 4 hours after the test.
Skin exposed to the ashes was burned. The men suffered headaches, vomiting, bleeding from the gums, hair loss and all the usual symptoms of radiation poisoning (A-bomb disease).
A first-rate medical team did its best to treat the crew, but radio operator Aikichi Kuboyama succumbed. This incident sparked an enormous reaction from the Japanese people; a huge anti-nuclear / peace movement sprang up overnight. August 1955 saw the First World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs.
Fukuryu-maru 5 (Lucky Dragon) is preserved in the Fukuryu-maru 5 Exhibition Hall.
Courtesy of Hiroshima Municipal Archives

Establishment and activities of the Hiroshima City Atomic Bomb Survivors' Treatment Council (now, Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Casualty Council; HABC)
formed in January 31, 1953, to demand that the government (1)offer medical treatment and advice to A-bomb sufferers and (2) expand research and treatment for radiation aftereffects. It was sponsored by the city of Hiroshima, the Hiroshima Medical Association and Hiroshima City Medical Association and took its present name in 1956.
At first, the HABC held joint examinations for survivors, and offered treatment for treatable survivors at its own expense. However, in 1957, the Law regarding Medical Treatment for A-bomb Survivors was passed, making it possible to offer treatment to survivors at the expense of the national government. The HABC then sought assistance for regular medical examinations, financial assistance to those in need, and improved studies of the life circumstances of survivors. A wide range of studies regarding A-bomb disease was commissioned by the national government to better reflect the results of medical A-bomb research in the A-bomb Survivors Medical Care Law. In 1959, the First Atomic Bomb Casualty Research Meeting was held in Hiroshima and has since alternated between Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Hiroshima Comprehensive Health Center
Courtesy of the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Casualty Council (HABC)

Establishment and activities of the Hiroshima University Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine (RIRBM)
The idea of a medical radiation research institute arose within the Medical Department of Hiroshima University after the Lucky Dragon incident, when public concern regarding the medical effects of radiation had peaked in March 1954. However, making that idea a reality took a long time. In 1958, the Nuclear Radiation Theoretical Medical Department was established as part of the Institute for Nuclear Radiation Research, but the Nuclear Radiation Damage Applied Medicine Department opened in 1959.
The Hiroshima Nagasaki A-bomb Sufferers Medical Law Revision Committee was formed to pursue revisions of the A-bomb Survivors Medical Care Law. However, it also pursued the establishment of a comprehensive research organization that would explore the medical needs of the survivors. Hiroshima City Council and other organizations repeatedly pressed the need, and the RIRBM opened in April 1961. Its goals included theoretical and practical research into the prevention and treatment of chronic disorders due to radiation. In June 1967, the Medical Records and Specimen Center was established as an affiliated organization (later renamed the Data and Specimens Center of Atomic Bomb Disaster in 1974 and the International Radiation Information Center in 1994). Its primary duty was to preserve pathology specimens taken from victims.
In April 2002, it was changed the Hiroshima University Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine (RIRBM).
The Hiroshima University Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine (RIRBM)
Courtesy of RIRBM

From Atomic Bomb Casualty Council (ABCC) to Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF)
Even after the San Francisco Peace Treaty went into effect in 1952 and Japan regained its status as a sovereign nation, the ABCC continued its unrestricted research essentially as it had under the occupation.
However, rapid turnover of staff and public animosity had largely paralyzed research. The US National Academy of Science-National Research Council dispatched a mission in 1955 to conduct a thorough reevaluation of the project.
Later, with the financial situation deteriorating on the US side, increasingly heavy financial burden of expenses triggered discussion of an organizational reform between the US and Japanese governments. In April 1975 the ABCC was replaced by the RERF.
Under the new structure, expenses are shared 50-50 between the US and Japan, board members and executives are divided evenly, and the directorship alternates.
External view of the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS)
Courtesy of NIRS
  "It was an atomic bomb."
- A History of A-bomb Investigations -

 *Atomic Physics and Radiation Research in Japan on the Eve of the Bombing
 *The Great Tragedy: a "New Type of Bomb" Out of the Blue
 *First surveys: looking through the confusion to confirm an "atomic bomb"
 *Damage surveys in the post-war turmoil
 *The Special Committee for the Investigation of A-bomb Damages
and Japan-US Joint Commission

 *A-bomb documentary film by Japan Film Corporation
 *A-bomb Investigations after the Occupation
 *The Role of A-bomb Research Today

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