Thanks to the Non Governmental environmental and health advocacy organization, IPEN , I met Ms. Shinobu Sakamoto. Ms. Sakamoto travelled from Minamata, Japan to address the First Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention since it went into force August 16, 2017. Hosted by IPEN she would speak eloquently, on behalf of those in the Minamata disease afflicted communities, past, present and future--of which she has been a member since her birth in 1956. But the evening before her presentation was made, I had an opportunity to meet her at the IPEN exhibition table.
IPEN had graciously allowed me to leave gift cards for Chasing Mercury, and to display a copy of the children's book Toxic Water, Minamata Japan on their table. As many of my readers know, this year I had the pleasure to work with Bearport Publishing, and acclaimed author Meish Goldish, as a consulting physician-writer and bioethicist on this children's book. The publishers licensed photographs including some of Shinobu Sakamoto, when a girl, bearing congenital Minamata disease. I never in life imagined I would see Shinobu open the book Toxic Water - Minamata, Japan, and point to her childhood likeness, then light up the room with her dazzling smile.
For more information see, http://www.ipen.org, http://www.septemberwilliams.com/http/wwwseptemberwilliamscom/childrens-book-toxic-minamatajapan/
Photo: Yuyun Ismwati