29 September 2018, Hiroshima, Japan - UNITAR Hiroshima Office invited Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa as a guest speaker to discuss the current impact from 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Accident as a part of the Office’s 15th anniversary Ideas that Matter series. Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa, MD, MACP, is Professor Emeritus of National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Chairman of the University of Tokyo, and was Chair of the Board of Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT) and Chair of Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commision by the National Diet of Japan from December 2011 to July 2012.
The UNITAR Hiroshima Office held two interactive lecture sessions with Dr. Kurokawa. The first session on 21st September was held in Japanese and discussed the lessons learned since the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Accident. The second session on September 22nd targeted university students and was held in English, exploring the future worldly trends of the next 50 years by examining the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Accident. Ms. Nassrine Azimi, Professor at Hiroshima Shudo University and the former Director of the UNITAR Hiroshima Office, moderated the discussion.
Seven and a half years have passed since the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Accident. The tsunami-initiated, yet human-made, has left a profound and devastating impact on Fukushima and Japan. Dr. Kurokawa spoke about his experiences serving on the Independent Investigation Commission to inspect the causes of the disaster. According to Dr. Kurokawa, the bureaucratic failure also contributed to such results in Fukushima, as the challenging voices within the bureaucratic system failed to emerge before the accident, which foresaw the possible destructive consequences a combination of tsunami and earthquake could bring on the nuclear plants. Thus, Dr. Kurokawa stated that the existence of dissenting opinions and the debate among different ideas are essential for all levels of execution including the governmental institutes. To prevent the reoccurrence of such disaster, Dr. Kurokawa re-emphasized the importance of critical thinking and encouraged university students to voice their opinions and improve accountability, starting in higher education classrooms.
To the university participants, Dr. Kurokawa expressed his wish for them to engage in more various studies, explore the world while broadening their horizon and knowledge. “Don’t think small, think big.” said Dr. Kurokawa, a message sent to all younger generations.
Photos: Dr. Kurokawa speaks at the UNITAR Hiroshima Ideas that Matter sessions