Foreword

On the Occasion of the Publication of a New Journal
“Radiation Environment and Medicine”

I am privileged with the honor of sending my short message on the occasion of the publication by Hirosaki University Press of a new journal “Radiation Environment and Medicine”. This journal was previously published under the other title, “Radiation Emergency Medicine”, from 2012 through 2015 concurrently with the inauguration of the program to foster human resources in radiation emergency medicine that was approved by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan in 2010. This success is greatly indebted to the enthusiasm of the then President of Hirosaki University, Dr. Masahiko Endo, who firmly believed the necessity of establishing a stronghold on radiation emergency medicine in the northern region of Japan.

Having been launched by the Ex-President Dr. Masahiko Endo and continuously supported by the present President Dr. Kei Sato, the program has been run steadily by efforts of faculty members and students of Hirosaki University. Thereby, the publication of the journal overcame start-up problems and recently the Editorial Board discussed how to further upgrade the journal. In order to invite more submissions of papers, the Editorial Board decided to broaden the scope of the journal by incorporating “radiation environmental issues”. Thus, the journal wasrelabeled as “Radiation Environment and Medicine.”

I sincerely hope that not only domestic but also world-wide researchers in the related fields will contribute their scientific outcomes to the new journal.

Akihiro Shima, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo
Ex-Member of the External Evaluation Board of the Program


Preface

Hirosaki University has issued Radiation Emergency Medicine (REM) since 2012. An educational program for professionals in Radiation Emergency Medicine was initiated in 2010, and our prompt response to the Fukushima nuclear accident which occurred in 2011 motivated the publication of this journal. Many prestigious scientists from not only Japan, but also foreign countries have contributed to REM thus far.

In addition, the inaugural symposium was held in February 2012, with a focus on natural radiation exposures and low-dose radiation epidemiological studies (NARE2012). The symposium attracted more than 150 participants from 30 countries. Additionally, the ninth symposium in the series of international symposia on Natural Radiation Environment (NRE9), which commenced in the 1960s, was held in September 2014. A special session on the Fukushima nuclear accident was also included in the symposium. Approximately 200 participants from 35 countries attended NRE9. According to these two large symposia, many scientists in the world now recognize Hirosaki University as one of the prominent Japanese institutions, whose faculty conduct research on a wide spectrum of radiation topics.

Last August (2015), the Nuclear Regulation Authority designated Hirosaki University as having two important centers which cover radiation emergency medicine and radiation emergency medical assistance. In addition to these domestic situations, there have been recent developments worldwide in the area of natural radiation exposures and their control. For instance, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a handbook on indoor radon in 2009, and more recently the European Radon Association was formed to address the health burden due to indoor radon in Europe. It is of interest to note that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a revised version of the Basic Safety Standards (BSS), which includes protection of the public against indoor exposure to radon and other natural sources of radiation last May (2015) .

From such international circumstances, many articles concerning environmental radiation and radioactivity, including natural radiation exposure studies, have been published in Radiation Emergency Medicine. Therefore, the editorial board elected to change the journal name to Radiation Environment and Medicine as the continuation of Radiation Emergency Medicine from the publication of Volume 5. The scope of the journal now widely covers not only medical issues including radiation emergency medicine, but also environmental issues.

On behalf of the editorial board, we welcome your submission to the new REM.

Shinji Tokonami, Ph.D.
Editor-in-chief
Radiation Environment and Medicine