Nagasaki bombing remembered, but doubts emerge over anti-war, anti-nuke policy


Staff Writer

Nagasaki commemorated the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city Sunday with calls for the world to abolish nuclear weapons and a direct criticism of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s attempt to pass controversial security legislation.

“Now there is an attempt to return to the wartime era by forcing through approval of the right to collective self-defense and an amendment to the Constitution,” said Sumiteru Taniguchi, who was representing Nagasaki’s atomic bomb survivors at the ceremony.

“The security legislation the government is pursuing will lead to war. It is an attempt to overturn the nuclear abolition activities and wishes held and carried out by the hibakusha and those multitudes of people who desire peace. We cannot accept this,” he said, drawing a round of applause.

Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue also spoke directly about public concerns over the security bills.

“The Diet is currently deliberating a bill which will determine how our country guarantees its security,” Taue said in this year’s Nagasaki Peace Declaration. “There is widespread unease and concern that the oath which was engraved onto our hearts 70 years ago and the peaceful ideology of the Constitution of Japan are now wavering. I urge the government and the Diet to listen to these voices of unease and concern, concentrate their wisdom, and conduct careful and sincere deliberations.”

The prime minister, who has been under domestic and international criticism for breaking precedent at the Hiroshima ceremony by not reaffirming Japan’s commitment to the three nonnuclear principles of not possessing, manufacturing, or introducing nuclear weapons, did so in Nagasaki.

“As the only country in the world to ever suffer the atomic bomb in wartime, we are newly determined to lead international nonproliferation initiatives toward a nuclear weapons-free world while maintaining the three nonnuclear principles,” Abe said.

Though never formally adopted into law, the principles were passed as a Diet resolution in 1967 and have guided the nation’s official policy ever since.

Abe did, however, mention the principles during a meeting after the Hiroshima ceremony with atomic bomb survivors. But the omission at the ceremony, combined with an earlier remark by Defense Minister Gen Nakatani that the new security legislation could theoretically allow for the transport, repair, or storage of nuclear weapons for a foreign ally, has heightened concern over the bills.

Nakatani’s insistence that Japan will never be asked to do so because of the nonnuclear principles and Washington’s current policy of not forward-deploying nuclear weapons in this part of the world — as well as Abe’s reply in the Lower House Budget Committee on Friday that Japan will follow the principles as a matter of course — did little to stem the flood of criticism.

The other issue of concern is that this year, the average age of the atomic bomb survivors is now just over 80 years. Both Taue and Abe spoke of the need to ensure the elderly victims are properly taken care of and that their lessons are passed down to younger generations.

During the past year, 3,373 officially recognized victims of the Nagasaki bomb passed away, bringing the official number who have died to 168,767. The bomb initially killed over 74,000 in a city with a population in 1945 of about 240,000. Another 75,000 people were injured.

Aug. 9, 1945, marked the second — and final — time an atomic bomb would be dropped on a civilian population. The selection of the city was a last-minute decision by the Americans.

Kokura, now part of Kitakyu-shu in Fukuoka Prefecture, had been the intended target that day, but cloud cover, as well as haze and heavy smoke, obscured the city, forcing the B-29 loaded with the bomb, and an accompanying observer plane, to divert to the secondary target of Nagasaki.

“Twenty minutes after (the) explosion, the southern edge of (the mushroom) cloud was tangent to north end of Nagasaki harbor with southeastern part of city visible. There were scattered fires on the west side of Nagasaki harbor,” a top-secret report from the U.S. said.

The bombing of Nagasaki also came just as the Soviet Union allowed its neutrality pact with Japan to expire and invaded Japanese-held Manchuria.

An Aug. 10, 1945, cable to superiors in Washington from Maj. Gen. Leslie Groves, who headed the Manhattan Project to build the weapon, said that a third atomic bomb could be dropped after Aug. 24, depending on the weather. But on Aug. 15, Japan surrendered, thereby ending the war.

  • Liars N. Fools

    There is a world of difference between people like the survivors of the Nagasaki bombing and their families and supporters and those like Abe Shinzo whose ignorance of the scope of the destruction brought about by Japan’s imperial ambitions was nurtured by his grandfather and whose inclination is to “restore” the honor of pre-1945 Japan.

  • US0302MC

    The PRC has many paid supporters even in the Japanese government. Most of Japan recognizes what a threat to peace China is and how important the new security legislation is to responding and preparing for the coming war with China. The scale and pace of the military buildup in the last ten years should worry Japan and all its citizens. While they (Japanese) have gotten weak and soft and peaceful, the Chinese haven’t forgotten Nanking and Unit 731’s atrocities. The PRC desires and will exact vengeance on the Japanese people.

    • DrHanibalLecter

      Talking to Japanese people would actually teach you the opposite.

      Yes, there are retards, many of them in black buses who believe any ideological garbage that suits their infantile stupidity, and inferiority complex.

      China has no time for war and no interest in it, they had a marxist education and thus know the importance of economics, and only idiots are stupid enough to talk of “vengance”, in EVERY country of the world.

      Most people, not just in Japan, but all over the world, who think about politics have understand a while ago already, that the one great danger to world peace is the USA losing. The loss of its super power status, its hilarious claims to “exceptionalism” and their possible attempts at keeping those…. If necessary with nuclear bombs. And, brave as they are, as always, far away from their own shores, pushing Europe into war against Russia, and Japan against China.

      If the people in the rest of the world remain stupid enough and cannot see this, then they deserve what will be coming….

  • Oliver_K_Manuel

    A lot of information was hidden from the public about the ending of WWII.

    Peace and reconciliation will be possible if the truth is revealed.

    I am Oliver K. Manuel
    Former student of Paul Kazuo Kuroda

  • Oliver_K_Manuel

    If energy rays emerging from the core of the Rising Sun on Japan’s old national flag depict the Japanese Sun Goddess, their forced removal confirms Philip Snowden’s insight (July 1916): “Truth, it has been said, is the first casualty of war.”

    • Paul Johnny Lynn

      If you’re talking about The Rising Sun flag I think you’ll find it was never the national flag as such, but only the war flag. The rays have not been removed from the current Japanese naval ensign, and the Ground Forces use a modified one with eight rays. If, therefore the rayless flag represents a Japan of peace, then it seems to me truth has not suffered.

      • Oliver_K_Manuel

        Thanks, Paul.

        In August 1945, Kuroda realized the beginning of the world may have been just like the destruction of Hiroshima.

      • Oliver_K_Manuel

        The Birth of the World and Destruction of Hiroshima

        After WWII, public knowledge of composition (neutrons) and energy (neutron repulsion) was forbidden in cores of
        1. Heavy atoms like Uranium
        2. Some planets like Jupiter
        3. Ordinary stars like the Sun
        4. Galaxies like the Milky Way
        5. The expanding Universe

        Neutron-repulsion in cores of U and Th atoms melted rocks that became the islands of Japan.

      • Oliver_K_Manuel

        Sir Fred Hoyle reports on pages 153-154 of his autobiography (1994) the internal composition of the Sun was changed from:

        1. Mostly iron (Fe) in 1945 to
        2. Mostly hydrogen (H) in 1946

        The Sun changed from:

        3. A hydrogen (H) producer to
        4. A hydrogen (H) consumer

        Were these changes made to knowledge of the Sun?

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        With respect to your background and your undoubted whole-hearted belief in your theory, I don’t really see that your constant posting of it has much relevance here.

  • DrHanibalLecter

    Be clear about one thing.

    “There is widespread unease and concern that the oath which was engraved
    onto our hearts 70 years ago and the peaceful ideology of the
    Constitution of Japan are now wavering. I urge the government and the
    Diet to listen to these voices of unease and concern, concentrate their
    wisdom, and conduct careful and sincere deliberations.”

    Everybody needs to understand that their are contracts with the US from the 50s, that tell Japanese governments, that they have no right to “wisdom, and conduct careful and sincere deliberations”.

    Decision like this are made by the USA

  • JimmyJM

    Watching the ceremonies in Nagasaki on Sunday, the thought occurred to me that virtually 99% of the people in attendance had never heard of the term “ketsu-go”. My 82 year old Japanese wife hadn’t. It was the plan of the militarist government to make an invasion of the home islands so dear to the Allies that they would sue for peace. The hope was that by doing this, the Emperor would retain his throne, the militarists would remain in power, and perhaps, an occupation would be avoided. The projected death toll would be at least one million Allied servicemen and perhaps several million Japanese. Truman could not have known that dropping these bombs would bring about the surrender (though no doubt he hoped it would). So the planning for the invasion continued. And Japanese military strategists had already determined where and when the invasions would occur. In the words of one American post war interrogator, “these guys had us figured out”. But today, most Japanese, perhaps including Shinzo Abe, don’t know any of this history. Those who ignore, or fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.