Message from Ambassador Matsuda on the occasion of Chornobyl Clean-up workers’ Day

 December 14 is the day to honor the feat of those who participated in the clean-up of the Chornobyl Disaster consequences, which occurred 35 years ago.

 It would be fair to say that we can live comfortably today thanks to the courage and dedication of the people who worked hard to eliminate the consequences of the accident, sacrificing their health and lives.

 I would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for what they have done, as well as to remember all those who died in the accident, and to express condolences to their families and all those involved.

 The Government of Ukraine has always managed with responsibility the issue of benefits and compensation for clean-up workers and their families. Furthermore, I highly appreciate the adoption of the law to increase their pensions in June this year.

 I am proud that Japan has supported Ukraine in many areas, including the provision of drugs and medical equipment, and contributions to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund.

 Moreover, after the accident at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant caused by the earthquake in March 2011, the exchange of experience and strengthening of the cooperation between our countries became even more important. In total, five meetings of the Japan-Ukraine Joint Committee for the Cooperation to Advance Aftermath Response to Accidents at Nuclear Power Stations have already been held, and experts from both countries are conducting joint researches aiming to revive the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone.

 I sincerely hope that cooperation between our countries in this area will continue to develop.