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On March 11, 2011, the north-east region of Japan experienced a catastrophe unprecedented in scope. The country is confronting three tragedies: a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, the ensuing tsunami, and the radiation crisis at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima. I offer my heartfelt prayers for the victims who lost their lives in the disaster, and my sincere condolences to those who are suffering the aftermath. While all CBEL staff members were unharmed, the Reference Center did sustain some damage. We have received messages of concern and comfort from so many of our friends overseas, including those in GABEX. Thank you so much for the many words of encouragement.


As Japan now faces a great hardship, CBEL will make all possible efforts to support the victims and aid in the reconstruction of devastated areas. This incident will test the extent to which the field of biomedical ethics can contribute both domestically and internationally. My sincere hope is that regardless of geographical location or nationality, we can all be united in our efforts to promote recovery and reconstruction through this tragedy.  

March 31, 2011

Akira Akabayashi


Director, Center for Biomedical Ethics and Law (CBEL)

■BMJ, rapid response



has three major goals:

  1. To conduct interdisciplinary research on the ethical, legal, and social implications of the life sciences and medical technologies
  2. To form a high quality international network in collaboration with other research institutions both in Japan and abroad
  3. To provide educational programs applicable to the advancement of policy development, research, and clinical medicine

    Our mission is to train highly capable individuals ready to take on leadership roles at the international level, and to create an educational and research center of biomedical ethics that meets the international standard of the next generation.

    The University of Tokyo Global COE


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東京大学 生命・医療倫理教育研究センター UT-CBEL事務局 〒113-0033 東京都文京区本郷7-3-1 (東京大学医学部3号館) Email:
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