pp. 73-76 in Protection of the Human Genome and Scientific Responsibility

Editors: Michio Okamoto, M.D., Norio Fujiki, M.D. & Darryl R.J. Macer, Ph.D.

Copyright 1996, Eubios Ethics Institute All commercial rights reserved. This publication may be reproduced for limited educational or academic use, however please enquire with Eubios Ethics Institute.

Fukui Session: Fourth International Bioethics Seminar in Fukui


Aussarge: I hope that the seminar will be very successful, and I thank Prof. Fujiki for his dedicated work and help, and I hope that everyone will enjoy these talks. Thank you very much. The first talk is a welcome address by Professor Sudo, the President of Fukui Medical School. Thank you very much.

The next is a lecture on the responsibility of medical geneticists by Prof. Fujiki, who is now the general secretary of MURS-Japan. The chairman is Prof. Kuriyama of Fukui Medical School.

Kuriyama: We would like to call on the plenary lecture of Professor Emeritus Norio Fujiki, Fukui Medical School, vice-president of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee, and general secretary of MURS-Japan. He is the founder of the International Bioethics Seminar in Fukui and one of the pioneers who opened the field of bioethics in medical genetics in Japan. Today we will hear about an old and new problem, and the most important problem of medical ethics. The title is "Medical Geneticist's Responsibility".

Thank you for your talk. We do not have so much time for discussion, so we will move to the next lecture. This is an invited lecture by Madame Lenoir on "UNESCO and Bioethics". She is the President of the UNESCO IBC, and the chairman is Professor Sudo, the President of Fukui Medical School.

Sudo: We are very happy to have Madame Lenoir as an honourable guest speaker at this Seminar. I would like to introduce her briefly in Japanese. She graduated from Paris University. She is chairperson of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee and Chairperson of the Committee on Ethical Implications of Biotechnology of the European Commission. Her lecture is entitled "UNESCO and Bioethics". I'd like to call her to give the lecture.

Thank you very much. I'd like to express our sincere gratitude to you for your very impressive, suggestive and promising lecture. Now we have a panel discussion, and the chairman is Professor Fujiki, and the panelists are Mr. Bourene, Dr Davies, Mr. Aussarge and Prof. Singh, with Dr Macer's comment.

Fujiki: Each speaker will present their comments first, and we will have discussion after this. Each represents a different country, and a different professional field. They all may want to make some comments and recommendations to UNESCO IBC, and Madame Lenoir, and the audience here. First I will invite Dr Kevin Davies, editor of the Nature Genetics. This is the most prominent scientific journal for geneticists. We ask him for his opinion. He came to Japan for the Nature Ventures in Genetics conference, and kindly extended his stay to come to this Seminar. He may also give us a perspective on the popular scientific aspects of this kind of study.

Thank you very much Dr Davies, and I would like to have some questions but Mr. Aussarge has to return to Tokyo on a tight schedule, so we will wait until after all talks to ask some questions. We welcome Mr. Aussarge, the Scientific Attache at the French Embassy, to make some comments.

Thank you for your talk, and interesting comments. Next we welcome Dr Bourene who is the scientific counsellor of the European Commission. He has long experience in the Japanese office, and in policy development.

Thank you Dr Bourene, and now we must proceed to the next speaker, and then we hope to have some time for discussion after. Prof. Singh is Director of the Centre for Genetic Disorders at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India. He already has many experiences as a director for a centre for hereditary diseases, and to try to make every effort for the prevention of such diseases in India. He has also organized three International Symposium on this subject, with excellent results.

Fujiki: Thank you for your interesting lectures. Unfortunately we have no time left for formal discussion, so we can continue discussion in the beer party. We have discussed many issues, and the audience will have developed their ideas of how bioethical considerations can be based on different cultural and social backgrounds. We continue to talk and communicate with each other in the activity of the UNESCO IBC, for making some suggestions. The closing address will be by Professor Ueda, the Hospital Director of Fukui Medical School.

Chairman's Remarks on Panel Discussion (Fukui)

Norio Fujiki(
Vice-President, IBC-UNESCO

I would like to make short summary of the Panel Discussion on bioethics in different countries by my friends from the European Union, France, USA, India and New Zealand. As you recognized from this panel, all people have the differences on bioethical considerations according with different religious, social, and cultural backgrounds, and it is necessary to communicate with each other as my previous international opinion survey did.

My many old friends of participants in three International Bioethics Seminars in Fukui told me that Fukui seems the center of bioethics on medical genetics in Japan and stimulates international exchange idea. We have established International Association of Promotion of Cultural Exchanges 7 years ago, and have asked to local governments to have the simultaneous translation equipment and quickly had it 3 years ago, and recently had the International Planning Services in Fukui. As you noticed, the Fukui session were all composed English lectures and we have delivered the proceeding in both English and Japanese with the simultaneous translation, in order to understand easily for general public.

Now, I would like to express my sincere thanks to my cowrokers, Prof. Kuriyama and his colleagues in the Department of Internal Medicine and to presidents Prof. Sudo and Prof. Ueda in Fukui Medical School, and to the local government of Fukui City and prefecture, Convention Bureau Studio Nippo as well as local governments for equipment and also simultaneous translators in International Planning Services, especially Mme. Ohtani and her young staffs, who made every efforts for such highly international cultural exchange as possible even in such small local city of Fukui.

At the end of my speech, I would like to make short Japanese Poem of Tanka, as similar as that of Mr. Akemi Tachibana, who lived in Fukui at the end of Tokugawa Shogunate, 100 years ago. His famous poem was recently introduced by US President, Mr. Clinton:

" Tanoshimi wa Totsukuni no Tomo Koshiji Kite
Michi o Katarite Washi o Suku Toki" (Kyoson)

This means I have pleased and enjoyed Bioethics Seminar in Fukui with my foreign friends, and also the Japanese paper making by your hands.

I hope this seminar will be even more fruitful for international cultural exchanges, not only scientifically today but also personal leisure, such as sightseeing with foreign guests tomorrow, and Fukui become more active international city, the same as the International Gymnastic Competition.

Closing Remarks

Keiichi Ueda(
Director, University Hospital, Fukui Medical School

Now at the end of the Fukui Seminar, with much pleasure, I would like to give the closing address of MURS Japan - IBC, UNESCO Joint Seminar on the Protection of the Human Genome, which has ended with fruitful success.

In this Seminar, the plenary lecture on "UNESCO and Bioethics" by Mme Lenoir, President, IBC, UNESCO and the lecture on "Medical Geneticist's Responsibility" by Prof. Fujiki, Vice-President, IBC, UNESCO, were given. Furthermore, during the panel discussion the problems in bioethics from different countries were presented. I would like to express my cordial thanks to Dr Bourene from the EU, Dr Davies, editor of Nature Genetics, Mr Aussarge from the French Embassy, Prof. Singh from India, and Dr Macer in Tsukuba. I would also like to express my heartful gratitutde to all participants and discussants.

It is very important to discuss bioethics in medical fields. In Japan, we have a proverb "Continuing is power", which is my favourite. I wish for the future contnuation of this Seminar.

Finally I would like to express my respect and thanks to the special lecturers and members of the organizing committee, and all persons concerned for their great efforts to arrange this successful Seminar.

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