International Conference in Japan

international conferEnce in japan


On October 11th 2004, TVAC was presented with an exceptional opportunity to go international. We were invited to attend the 30th anniversary of the ISHIZUE Foundation, which represents and provides assistance to Japan's thalidomide victims. This foundation took the initiative of inviting various representatives of thalidomiders' organizations around the world to take part in their celebrations. The magic of international brotherhood was all around us and we were able to savour and delight in the cultural diversity that united us. The reception our Japanese colleagues gave us was quite unforgettable. A number of different activities were on the cards, such as:

  • a medical presentation by Dr. Mitsushiro Kida (the Ishizue Foundation medical consultant) who discussed the different medical conditions caused by thalidomide;
  • testimonials by thalidomide victims and their parents;
  • a photography exhibit relating the history and progression of the thalidomide tragedy in Japan, which also included works of art created by Japanese victims;
  • a video commemorating the history of thalidomide in Japan.


The main objective of this international gathering, however, was to review the situation surrounding thalidomide's return into various countries around the world. Different reports were presented, among others, on the situation in Brazil, England, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Spain and Japan. Mercédes Benegbi, Executive Director of TVAC, presented the report for Canada and the United States (see the PowerPoint entitled: TVAC's Presentation).

As a result of this October 11th international meeting in Japan, all the participants agreed to draw up and sign a common declaration (see the document entitled, The Statement).


TVAC's Presentation.

The Statement