Introduction

Governor of Toyama Prefecture
Itai-itai Disease is said to be one of the four major pollution-related diseases in Japan. It began in the Jinzugawa River basin area of Toyama Prefecture from around the 1910s and seriously affected the victims and their families, and the local residents. Many difficulties were overcome with the persistent efforts of the concerned parties such as the victims’ organizations, the company responsible for the disease, and public administrations.

However, with the passing of time, concerns about the loss of these memories arose due to the dissipation of relevant materials and the aging of the people involved. In June 2009, we established the Investigative Commission for the Succession of Itai-itai Disease Related Materials, which consists of key figures and representatives of the concerned organizations. During their meetings, they repeatedly discussed how to preserve reference materials.

Based on the reports from this Investigative Commission, we opened the Toyama Prefectural Itai-itai Disease Museum in April 2012.

I would like to extend my gratitude to the local residents and to all the other parties who were involved in establishing this museum.

This museum aims to be a forward-thinking information center to realize the following missions: For people of all ages living all over the world to know about the terror of Itai-itai Disease, learn the history of recovery, and for everyone to work towards building a local community and lifestyle where people value their health and the environment.

To be more specific, in order for children of future generations to become interested and concerned about this issue, Itai-itai Disease is explained along a time line in an easy-to-understand manner with dioramas, illustrated books and images. Furthermore, the exhibit room also introduces the latest environmental policies of our prefecture, which promote progressive initiatives for environmental conservation.

In addition, to even further deepen your understanding of Itai-itai Disease,we are conducting programs such as readings by storytellers, and the production and distribution of supplementary readers. Furthermore, we proactively provide a wealth of information on Itai-itai Disease and the Itai-itai Disease Museum in several languages on this website.

For the sake of putting an end to Itai-itai Disease forever, I hope for every visitor to reaffirm the importance of the environment and lead a healthy life. We hope that you all visit us.

Governor of Toyama Prefecture Takakazu Ishii

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