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Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012

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Drawn together: Maki Saito, secretary general of NGO JIM-NET, shows drawings by pediatric cancer patients in Iraq and photos of children from Fukushima Prefecture that are part of a Tokyo exhibit that started Wednesday. KYODO

Exhibit draws attention to cancer victims in Iraq

Kyodo

An exhibition of about 50 photos and drawings by and of young cancer patients in Iraq and people in Fukushima Prefecture affected by the nuclear disaster opened Wednesday at a restaurant in Tokyo, hosted by the Japanese nongovernmental group active in both areas.

The exhibit, which includes pictures of children taken by volunteers in Fukushima and a drawing of red flowers by an Iraqi girl who recovered from leukemia through support from Japan, is being held in the gallery of restaurant Daitokai Honkan in the Takadanobaba district of Shinjuku Ward through Feb. 15, organizer JIM-NET said.

JIM-NET has been providing money to pay for medical treatment and travel fares to hospitals for cancer patients in Iraqi cities, including Basra, Baghdad and Erbil. In the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant disaster, it also began helping the people of Fukushima.

"Through our exhibition, we want people to know the situations in Iraq and Fukushima and keep remembering them," said Maki Sato, secretary general of the Tokyo-based NGO.

Sato also said he hopes this event will help create "kizuna," or bonds, between Iraq and Fukushima.

The Japanese translations of some 10 messages from Iraq encouraging people in Fukushima and Japan will also be displayed.

One written by a 12-year-old girl who had cancer says she received medical treatment thanks to support provided by Japanese people, and now she wants to "pray to God so that Japanese people can overcome the hardship."



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