Welcome Remarks by Mr. Masahiko SHIBAYAMA
Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
At the 31st Meeting of National RCA Representatives
21 April 2009
Thank you, Dr. Tan,
Distinguished National RCA Representatives,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, it is a great pleasure to host the 31st Meeting of National RCA Representatives.
As the host country, I extend a heartily welcome to all of the representatives and delegates.
Since its inception in 1972, the RCA has been a pioneer in the field of regional cooperation for peaceful use of nuclear energy. Owing to the efforts and dedication of the Member states and the IAEA, the RCA has steadily developed over the years, and has often served as a model for other regional technical cooperation.
RCA's activities, such as training courses and workshops, have contributed greatly to the development of human resources as well as the enhancement of nuclear technology capabilities of the Member States. It is encouraging to recognize that those who have participated in the RCA projects are now playing substantial roles in each RCA member states.
Nuclear technology, in its peaceful use, has enhanced the well being of mankind in various fields such as agriculture, industry and medicine. In many cases, nuclear technology is now an indispensable tool in their respectable fields.
As a member state, Japan has exercised its relative advantage in the field of medicine with the active participation of such institutes as the National Institute of Radiological Science(NIRS) and Gunma University. In recent years, Japan has been the Lead Country coordinator of human health projects, as well as hosting training courses almost every year.
In this field, there are exciting new technological advances, such as cancer radiotherapy technology which alleviates the physical burden on patients when treating delicate parts of the human body, as the head or neck.
It is my hope that such technology will eventually become readily accessible to the people of the RCA member states, and thus promote the human security in our region.
This year, I understand that on the margins of the meeting, there will be a technical tour to the National Institute of Radiological Science (NIRS). NIRS is currently holding training courses to which 19 trainees from 11 countries are participating.
NIRS is known to have constructed the world's first heavy ion medical accelerator. Gunma University is to follow suit by its construction of a second one, which is to become the most sophisticated kind in the world. I hope that all of the participants will find this tour particularly stimulating and useful.
Despite being the only country to have suffered from a nuclear bomb, the Japanese Government is deeply committed to the idea that nuclear technology, in its peaceful use, has a significant role to play for betterment of the welfare and activities of mankind.
It is in this vein that, despite the fiscal difficulties we face, Japan been consistently been fully supporting its share or the Technical Cooperation Fund for nearly 40 years and continues to be top donor in terms of extra-budgetary contributions. And we hope to continue to do so.
Last but not least, allow me to express my sincere appreciation to our colleagues in the IAEA Secretariat, especially to the RCA Focal Point, for making great contribution to the preparation of this Meeting.
I would also like to thank the RCA Regional Office and the institutions concerned in RCA Member States for undertaking RCA activities in an earnest manner.
Let me conclude my welcome remarks by wishing for the fruitful outcome of the Meeting as well as for the continued success of the RCA.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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