Hiroshima marks 70th A-bomb anniversary amid fears of pacifism eroding

by Tomohiro Osaki

Staff Writer

Japan commemorated the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima on Thursday with renewed determination to abolish nuclear weapons and pursue world peace, although many people said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s drive to expand the country’s military role weakened such pledges.

Global interest in the anniversary appeared particularly high this year.

The annual ceremony at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park drew foreign ambassadors and dignitaries from a record 100 countries, including the nuclear armed United States, United Kingdom, Russia and France.

The U.S. sent Ambassador Caroline Kennedy for the second consecutive year and Rose Gottemoeller, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, for the first time.

After observing a moment of silence to mourn the dead, Abe reaffirmed Japan’s pledge to fulfill its responsibility, as the world’s only victim of nuclear warfare, to “eliminate nuclear weapons from the world.”

But in a break from tradition, the prime minister made no allusion to Japan’s three nonnuclear principles, which declare the nation’s nonpossession, nonproduction and nonintroduction of nuclear weapons.

Nor did he touch on his government’s security bills that opponents — including atomic bomb survivors — say undermine the nation’s pacifist postwar Constitution.

Abe said it was “disappointing” that global leaders were unable to reach a consensus on a final declaration during the ninth Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in May. Japan will submit a fresh resolution on the abolition of atomic weapons to the United Nations General Assembly in the fall, he said.

In the annual peace declaration, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui joined Abe in calling for the abolition of nuclear arms and decried the world’s continued pursuit of such weapons.

“Policymakers in the nuclear-armed states remain trapped in provincial thinking, repeating by word and deed their nuclear intimidation,” Matsui said.

“People of the world, please listen carefully to the words of the hibakusha and, profoundly accepting the spirit of Hiroshima, contemplate the nuclear problem as your own,” he said.

With Japan slated to host next year’s Group of Seven summit, and a foreign ministerial meeting in Hiroshima prior to that event, the mayor urged U.S. President Barack Obama and other global policymakers to come to visit his city and learn first-hand about the destruction caused by the atomic bomb.

The 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing came at a time when the Abe government is pushing security bills through the Diet that would enable the Self-Defense Forces to battle alongside Japan’s allies to protect them from aggression.

In testament to growing public dissatisfaction with the government’s heavy-handed push, angry shouts erupted from the crowd as Abe left the stage, in what sounded like criticism of the defense policy shift.

A group of protesters held a march through the park after the ceremony to oppose the bills, which they called “pro-war.”

Although refraining from directly criticizing the bills, Mayor Matsui said he believes “broadly versatile security systems that do not depend on military might” and continued promotion of the “pacifism of the Japanese Constitution” are vital to abolish nuclear weapons.

Junichi Sato, executive director of Greenpeace Japan, warned that the country’s long-standing pursuit of pacifism is now on the verge of collapse.

“Sadly, we are seeing this tradition in Japan being eroded by the Abe government as it begins to dismantle the so-called peace Constitution and doggedly pursue nuclear power at the expense of clean, safe renewables,” Sato said in a statement released Thursday.

This view was echoed by 41-year-old Hiroshima native Kazuya Ishikawa, who was among those who came to the park to offer a prayer.

“To be honest, I don’t know how Abe dared to attend the ceremony this year,” he said. “It just doesn’t feel right that the very person who is pushing for the bills is attending the event.”

Although Abe disputes claims that the bills will pave the way for Japan to wage war and stresses they are instead designed to help bolster the nation’s defense capabilities, the fact nonetheless remains, Ishikawa said, that many members of the public are worried about the potential implications.

“The government needs to be accountable,” he said.

Meanwhile, an 87-year-old hibakusha who declined to give his name, said visiting the ceremony has always brought him sadness as he ruminates over the death of his parents, who still remain unaccounted for.

“War should never be repeated. It’s essentially the act of human beings killing each other,” he said.

  • boonteetan

    Indeed, we still live in the shadow of nuclear bomb 70 years after the first bomb was dropped and exploded in mid-air over Hiroshima. So long as leaders stick to the belief that nuclear bomb is the best deterrent to war or invasion, it will be around for a long time — not just atomic, also hydrogen, cobalt, neutron. We have been, we are, and we shall all be at their mercy.

    • Oliver_K_Manuel

      BBC News reported that my research mentor, the late Professor P. K Kuroda, secretly retained a copy of Japan’s atomic bomb design from 1945 until 2002:

      BBC News, “Atomic plans returned to Japan,” News Front Page, World Edition (3 Aug 2002) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2170881.stm

  • MrGoodNews

    TO tell the truth Japan had to be stopped then. Japan was one of the most brutal country during world war II. I hate to say it but Japan deserved it. But now, I am just glad that it has changed so drastically to become one of the most beautiful and peaceful country in the world. -Foreigner living in Japan

    • Kyle

      Japan was surrendering with or without the bomb, it is pretty well verified by most historians at this point. The Hiroshima = Japanese surrender myth has been cultivated to relieve American sensitivities and feelings of remorse. The tens of thousands of children that died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki certainly did not deserve it.

      • Clickonthewhatnow

        Yup, although Truman didn’t miss the chance to make everything okay with a lie, saying they had dropped the bomb on the military base at Hiroshima instead of in the middle of the city. They also chose the city because the city had been untouched by conventional bombing (you know, to better judge the destruction our new tool unleashes) and the hills around it (which they theorized would reflect the destructive force back in, doubling the damage). Classy…

      • ron bates

        Horrid but given the thousands of US troops who died on Pacific Islands and USN personnel to bring this all to an end with certainty , the choice of how was made !

      • The famous Japanese historian Tanaka Toshiyuri would like to beg to differ. He thought the Emperor was not ready to surrender even after Nagasaki until the Allies agreed to let the Teno-system survive.

      • Kyle

        The general concensus by most WWII historians (East and West) is that Hiroshima was certainly a factor (among many) in the surrender, but the declaration of war by the Soviet Union and the planned invasion of Hokkaido was perhaps even more important in compelling Imperial Japan to surrender. From Japan’s perspective surrendering to the US, rather than be occupied by the Soviets and the likelihood of the Emperor being executed made the choice an urgent and far easier one.

        Secondly, when considering the atomic bombs tremendous destruction, historians often debate how “awed” Imperial Japan actually was, when considering 36 Japanese cities had already been fire-bombed killing half-million civilians. Let us not forget, when Japan surrendered, they had some basic reports about the devastation of Hiroshima, but only an initial inkling of Nagasaki.

      • Oliver_K_Manuel

        There are reports Stalin’s troops captured Japan’s atomic bomb plant at Konan, Korea soon after the first successful test explosion in August 1945

      • Kyle

        Like the US, Germany, and the Soviets, Japan was pursuing the atomic bomb. Yet, based on what we actually know it would be strenuous to argue that Japan in July/August 1945 really had any real hope of having an atomic bomb ready by years end.

      • Oliver_K_Manuel

        There are reports that Japan exploded an atomic bomb off the east coast of Konan , Korea

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        But most experts discount the ONE report which claims that.

      • Kyle

        Thanks for sharing, but as we all agree generally, this only confirms that Japan was well into research about a bomb, but they had nothing comparable yet to the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bomb. They needed more time and surely they would have been successfull. Based on everything I’ve read, seen, or heard they would not have had the ability to produce an atomic bomb in 1945. One must also consider, by early 1944 the war effort was already turning sour, and Japan’s resources were slowly but surely being diminished.

        “Submarines strangled Japan by sinking its merchant fleet, intercepting many troop transports, and cutting off nearly all the oil imports essential to weapons production and military operations. By early 1945 Japanese oil supplies were so limited that its fleet was virtually stranded.” – wiki

      • Kyle

        There is one report, mostly disproved by allied PoW’s who were in the area and never witnessed any type of explosion. While Japan was certainly researching the atomic bomb, there is little to no evidence that they actually successfully tested anything on the Korean peninsula. If an explosion of that nature actually occurred, there would be countless witnesses, many of them Korean who would have no reason to keep this knowledge secret, in fact they have every reason to reveal the truth about Japan’s crimes. Therefore, based on the evidence I doubt any such test ever occured.

      • KenjiAd

        Japan was surrendering with or without the bomb, it is pretty well
        verified by most historians at this point. The Hiroshima = Japanese
        surrender myth has been cultivated to relieve American sensitivities and
        feelings of remorse.

        It is true that Japan had already been seeking for the peace, through the Soviet Union, when the A-bomb was dropped in Hiroshima. However, it should be noted that what Japan had been seeking for was a conditional surrender, including the specific term that would guarantees the retention of “kokutai” (national polity), i.e., the Emperor as the head of state.

        Potsdam Declaration, an ultimatum in which the Allied demanded the unconditional surrender, was issued on July 26 (10 days before Hiroshima) was ignored by the Japanese government.

        Even after the second A-bomb attack and invasion of Manchuria by the Soviet Army, Big Six guys in the Japanese government was still undecided to accept the unconditional surrender. They ended up asking the Emperor to decide, who told them to accept the terms of Potsdam Declaration.

        If the Emperor had told the same thing a week earlier, there would not have been A-bombing, which is the basis for the statement by an ex-mayor of Nagasaki who claimed the Emperor was partly responsible for the A-bombing. As many people know, he later got shot by Japanese right-wingers.

        Was A-bomb necessary to end the War? No. Japan would have surrendered sooner or later. But the real question was – did dropping A-bomb persuade the Imperial Japanese government, including the Emperor himself, to accept the terms of unconditional surrender quickly?

        I say yes, it did.

        Was there any other way? Maybe. But remember, my mother was an 8-year old girl at that time. She told me she was practicing a bamboo spear in school, in anticipation of the Allied invasion. So as crazy and dysfunctional as the Japanese government was at that time, it was good that the war ended in Aug 1945.

        Finally, I grew up in Hiroshima and my grandfather (now deceased) was an A-bomb survivor. One of the summer school program for children in Hiroshima at that time (70’s) was to ask our relatives about the A-bomb experience.

        So one day, I asked my grandfather about the A-bomb experience. He first said it was “long time ago” and he didn’t remember it. He was lying. Later on the same day, he invited me to the rice field he was working on and told me the story.

        One story specifically struck my nerve. On the burning street, he heard a woman screaming for help, trapped under the debris. He tried to dig her out, but the fire was so intense that he had to abandon her. He had to watch her being burnt alive. When he told me this story, he was weeping. This was the first and last time I ever saw the old man weeping.

        So I do theoretically understand the argument that A-bomb “saved” lives, including those of Japanese like myself, I have a mixed feeling about the word “save.”

      • Kyle

        I have said here and in other comments, the A-bomb was a factor in the unconditional surrender (but one of many). Moreover, the declaration of war by the Soviet Union (August 8th, 1945) and invasion of Manchuria and planned invasion of Hokkaido was also a major factor. Probably more so, considering the fire-bombing that already had killed half a million Japanese civilians did not push Imperial Japan to surrender.

        Your tragic story adds a much needed human element to the debate, and though I disagree slightly you are right it is a complex and sensitive topic.

      • Anne Williams

        HIndsight is a marvellous thing! I have heard differently in TV documentaries by WW2 Allied veterans and yesterday by ‘Sir Peter Atcherley? who was a POW I believe present in Japan during the bombing who survived.He has had decades to consider and firmly believes his life was saved by it.

      • Kyle

        Why would that possibly be a reason to persuade you? Consider the trauma of an allied POW, how could they possibly separate themselves from that experience and view the war holistically? If I wanted to verify Japanese atrocities and treatment of POW’s yes, but their views on the factors that did or did not lead Japan to surrender are just as valid (or invalid) as my own.

        Almost any historian worth his or her salt these days views the ending of the Pacific War with a lens that includes several factors. 1) the Soviet Invasion and declaration of war 2) the beginning of the cold war, the first nuclear arms race (US, USSR, Germany, Japan) 3) Hiroshima & Nagasaki
        All played a role in Japan’s surrender, some more so than others. This was known at the time, so it is NOT only hindsight. This narrative of the atomic bombs single handedly ending the war and saving lives has been cultivated over decades, retold, and refined. It had become the dominant narrative until the cold war ended. Post 1990, the historical narrative has begun to shift, and today there are very few historians who genuinely believe the atomic bombs actually saved lives.

      • Anne Williams

        Thanks for this. You have admitted that the WW2 In S.E Asia WAS ended in 1945 and the sooner the better for your sake. You survived because of this, however awful From all I have read and heard from U.S.USA Veterans and themselves, the Allied Forces where WAR WORN Their troops were exhausted and funds were low. Having tried ‘carpet bombing etc etc nothing seemed to work and Japan had still NOT surrendered UNILATERALLY until the Hiroshima bomb. Moreover, WHAT SPHERE would it fall into. China or Russia.(USSR)? Considering, what transpired in those countries, what would you have chosen? As it was there was the Korean War after and I have met and worked with some of those UK War veterans.Had they been victorious, Korea would have been united.Do NOT for one moment think ,that as a War babes, my husband and I are not moved and DETEST what transpired when the A bomb in 1945 was dropped after which we lived forever ‘terrified’ of ANOTHER World War with the Allies and the USSR armed with nuclear arms in the COLD WAR. Unfortunately, like it or nor, it is this THREAT and terror which has PREVENTED another WORLD WAR or between some countried. This THREAT has prevented North and South Korea from warring supported as they are by the great powers, the USA, USSR and China, the latter most of all. it is the same between Pakistan and India and India and China. Israel surrounded by all its enemies is another example.
        I dread to think what would transpire if Iran had nuclear Arms too?

      • Anne Williams

        Wonder what historical info you have seen Kyle.? A German general admitted quite categorically that Dresden was the last straw that brought about surrender when Hitler made his youths battle on .inspite of protests by his Generals.. The USA tried all they could to make Japan surrender but they would not unilaterally. As they admit themselves they would rather commit Hara Kiri and Kamikazi etc to SAVE face than surrender and one of them was found in the jungle a few years ago as he never would and said he never knew the War was over.!! The whitewash and re-writing of history must stop. The Japanese have never shown any pity for those they slaughtered. Ironic, but like it or not it is Nuclear Arms that have prevented WORLD WARS .It is very sad but true but my son born in 1963 told me he and others were lucky they never suffered a WORLD WAR as we had. We survived due to the ATOM bomb which saved many lives and ended WW2 in S.E ASIA. as the Allied forces could NOT continue forever which is why we are remain forever grateful to the ALLIED FORCES so THANKS A MILLION to them for saving our lives. My uncle in the ANZACS was captured by the JAPS became a POW who suffered working on the Burma death railway,lost 2 brothers and his relatives in Malaya who worked on Rubber plantations. .Wish you could speak to them. I am sick of all this nonsense from those who never suffered under the Japs and join in all this great White wash.

      • Kyle

        Facts are facts, the atomic bomb played a role in the surrender, but it is not so simple to say it ended the war. It is certainly a stretch to claim it “saved lives”. According to 5 of 6 US Generals that advised Truman, Japan would surrender unconditionally to the US before November 1st, without the use of the bomb. Eisenhower himself and Churchill both said the atomic bomb was unnecessary. The massive Soviet invasion of manchuria on the same day as the Nagasaki bomb finally persuaded (alongside the atomic bombs) that Japan had no time to negotiate and must surrender to the US immediately. The Soviet Invasion played a huge role in Hirohito’s decision to surrender, particularly when they new if the Soviets invaded mainland Japan, the Imperial Family would be executed. You can believe whatever fairytale you want, the justification of Hiroshima is flimsy at best, and a war crime by any 21st century standard.

  • ricohflex

    This media frenzy on 6 August every year about Hiroshima and Nagasaki is China’s oversight. Since 1945, Japan has been cleverly moulding western thought and opinion. Every year Japan portrays itself as the sole victim of WW2 and tries to make the west guilty of dropping the A bomb. China has FAILED to commemorate the Nanking massacre every year since 1945 in western capital cities and especially in cities of South East Asia, Korea and Taiwan. PRC must do that NOW and set aside a big budget for that purpose.
    Stop the PR onslaught by Japan every year to revisit Hiroshima & Nagasaki as though they are the only ones to die in a war that they started. In fact countless numbers of people in China, South East Asia, the Pacific islands, Pearl Harbour, including British, Australian & American soldiers were killed by Japanese in WW2. Remember the Bataan death march and atrocities?
    To counter this Japanese PR campaign, China should set aside a big budget to host events commemorating the Nanking massacre each year in various US cities and EU capitals. Also in South East Asian capital cities, Taiwan and Korea. Abe publicly denies Korean women were forced to be comfort women.
    Takashi Kawamura, the mayor of Nagoya and Toshio Tamogami ex-chief of Japan SDF air force and candidate for Tokyo governor both insist the Nanking massacre never happened.
    Japan senior politicians even insist Nanking massacre never happened. And Japan refuses to apologise to the Korean comfort women. Abe tried to portray these WW2 sex slaves as though they were prostitutes and willing paid sex service providers to the Japanese soldiers in WW2.

    • Kokutenso

      That would not be very convincing, given that China is still oppressing other ethnic groups and invading other countries’ territorial waters in defiance of international law.

    • Clickonthewhatnow

      China pounds the “bad things Japan did” home to who matters: its own citizens. Send the kids on school trips to the “Japan is bad museum”, painting Japan as a bad country at every chance stops the Chinese from questioning what their own country is doing to them and to other countries today.

    • Anne Williams

      I agree with you Ricohflex wholeheartedly. Folk should consider WHY the bomb was dropped as a last ditch measure when all others failed against a country that attacked without warning and caused much suffering which they seem to forget and only draw attention to themselves which may me think they are NOt sorry at all.

  • baiyuensheng

    As Japan commemorate the anniversary, pls also take note of the Japanese atrocities committed in south east asia in WWII, especially in Singapore and Malaysia. Singapore’s sook ching massacre, where young able men was rounded across the country and hauled off to numerous sites around Singapore to be executed, has no closure yet. Singapore has not received any formal apology for the crimes committed to the civilians. The crimes committed may be forgiven but not forgotten. The attempt to view history in a perverted manner by the current japanese government makes the forgetting the pains even harder.

    • Kokutenso

      Maybe we should also take note of the long period of the Western harsh colonial rule of Asia, including those two nations, and their refusal to apologize for that and a certain Western nation’s foolish attempt to recolonize Indonesia shortly subsequent to the end of WWII.

  • Liars N. Fools

    The “from the horse’s mouth” record is that the proximate cause of Japan’s surrender was the atomic bombings. This is contained in Hirohito’s “surrender” broadcast — he did not actually use the word surrender. Incidentally, the surrender was directed to America, Great Britain, China, AND the Soviet Union and the proposition that Japan surrendered to America instead of the Soviet Union is inaccurate. Moreover, the Japanese rightist view that Japan surrendered to America but not to China is also not accurate. Please also note Hirohito’s self serving statement that Japan always had the best intentions of its neighbors at heart and his somewhat minimizing of the dire straits in which Japanese citizens were finding themselves.

    So judge for yourself from the Emperor’s point of view and not just that of Truman and his advisers. Here is the broadcast text in full:


    After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining in Our Empire today, We have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure.

    We have ordered Our Government to communicate to the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union that Our Empire accepts the provisions of their Joint Declaration.

    To strive for the common prosperity and happiness of all nations as well as the security and well-being of Our subjects is the solemn obligation which has been handed down by Our Imperial Ancestors and which lies close to Our heart.

    Indeed, We declared war on America and Britain out of Our sincere desire to ensure Japan’s self-preservation and the stabilization of East Asia, it being far from Our thought either to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations or to embark upon territorial aggrandizement.

    But now the war has lasted for nearly four years. Despite the best that has been done by everyone – the gallant fighting of the military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of Our servants of the State, and the devoted service of Our one hundred million people – the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest.

    Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should We continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.

    Such being the case, how are We to save the millions of Our subjects, or to atone Ourselves before the hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors? This is the reason why We have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the Joint Declaration of the Powers.

    We cannot but express the deepest sense of regret to Our Allied nations of East Asia, who have consistently cooperated with the Empire towards the emancipation of East Asia.

    The thought of those officers and men as well as others who have fallen in the fields of battle, those who died at their posts of duty, or those who met with untimely death and all their bereaved families, pains Our heart night and day.

    The welfare of the wounded and the war-sufferers, and of those who have lost their homes and livelihood, are the objects of Our profound solicitude.

    The hardships and sufferings to which Our nation is to be subjected hereafter will be certainly great. We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of all of you, Our subjects. However, it is according to the dictates of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is unsufferable.

    Having been able to safeguard and maintain the structure of the Imperial State, We are always with you, Our good and loyal subjects, relying upon your sincerity and integrity.

    Beware most strictly of any outbursts of emotion which may engender needless complications, or any fraternal contention and strife which may create confusion, lead you astray and cause you to lose the confidence of the world.

    Let the entire nation continue as one family from generation to generation, ever firm in its faith in the imperishability of its sacred land, and mindful of its heavy burden of responsibility, and of the long road before it.

    Unite your total strength, to be devoted to construction for the future. Cultivate the ways of rectitude, foster nobility of spirit, and work with resolution – so that you may enhance the innate glory of the Imperial State and keep pace with the progress of the world.

    (Hirohito’s signature and Privy Seal)

    August 14,1945

    • Kokutenso

      I assume what Japanese “rightists” are trying to say is that Japan surrendered to the Republic of China (中華民国), which is now Taiwan, not to the People’s Republic of China (中国共産党).

    • Anne Williams

      Amazing just WHEN did they declare war on the USA they attacked without warning

  • Kokutenso

    There is no excuse for the use of atomic bombs.

    • Jonathan Fields

      There is no excuse for testing biological weapons on civilians.

      There is no excuse for cannibalism.

      There is no excuse for mass rape and murder.

      There is no excuse for giving grenades to civilians and telling them to blow themselves up.

      • tomado

        This can all be true at the same time. And even logical. Throw in the fire bombings and the conquest of asian countries by Japan. I guess we’ve gotta do our utmost to keep the cat of war in the bag.

      • Kokutenso

        Indeed. There is no excuse for murdering unarmed innocent civilians, but a certain country is still committing such a horrible act with UCAVs.

      • Jonathan Fields

        And that excuses Japan how? Japan was not the victim in WWII, no matter how much they try to spin it that way.

      • Kokutenso

        When did I ever claim that the Empire of Japan was a victim of WWII? I have no recollection of doing such a thing.

  • Ken5745

    The truth is out. The Americans and Australian troops were evil too during WW2 and committed unspeakable atrocities.


  • ron bates

    We are not fools or so naive that the threat of war does not exist , otherwise troops from Canada and other allied countries would not have been sent to global hotspots and engaged in combat . However , the pursuit of peace as we desire and the wishes to raise our children and they to raise their children into the future is paramount . Fear of hostilities and invasion must not be part of our daily lives , we must live in peace and security and only smart diplomacy , democracy and the philosophy of defense can do that . Japan as in Germany suffered the devastation of war brought home , allied countries suffered great personal loss to families as this War was brought to an end ! In Canada “Never Again”.

  • preventallwarsdotorg

    The Hiroshima/Nagasaki atomic bombs detonations in August 6/9, 1945; and their post-1945 absence in the many ‘conventional-weapons’ wars actually confirms the irrationality, selfishness and wickedness of all war.

    President Truman, the sole controller of nuclear weapons in 1945 ordered their ruthless use twice within only three days (with more than 250,000 deaths) for quick military victory over Japan. A third was indeed readied for use; but for Japan’s surrender -UK’s Daily Express http://shr.gs/kclHN1M

    But now with multiple leaders’ control (post-1945) and the many wars needing swift victories; no national leader has again ordered their detonation. Reason: the leaders’ very personal safety concerns -since no pro-war national leader wishes to become a casualty of any conflict.

    Retaliation against President Truman with identical indiscriminate destructive weapons was impossible in 1945. However with on-going multiple-leaders’ NW’s possession, a ‘first-use’-leader could be killed during retaliatory attacks. Hence, the many politicians-inspired treaties against NW’s use in war: and they haven’t now for 70years. No armed forces are even needed to enforce this very efficient anti-NW’s deterrent!

    A similar social construct (now easily possible with the common-place technologies/internet usage) which directly targets the physical well-being of pro-war national leaders would, also as efficiently, deter the many ruthless and ‘un-winnable’ conventional weapons wars, worldwide. And why not?

    Furthermore, the current moves to involve Japan in more wars would of course never occur if the paramount political leader(s) were the assured casualties of the proposed wars.

  • Ever since the assassination of the Nagasaki mayor by the rightists in the 90’s, there are definitely no Japanese politicians who dare to mention the connection between the war crimes and the bombing.

    • tomado

      I don’t know about the connection you speak of, but there is a post-war history of Japanese right-wingers assassinating left-wingers and committing public acts of violence. The Japanese right wing is dangerous for overt acts of anti-democratic violence. Well…now…come to think of it I recall some left-wing radicals committing violence as well. Though I don’t recall any assassinations. Gotta watch out for the extreme elements!

  • Redhawkman

    I am in Hiroshima now and was at the ceremony. There were a few old guys hiding themselves in the crowd and heckling Abe. They were shouting “go home!” and “don’t lie!”. I also overheard a group of young people decide to leave before Abe got on the podium. The crowd was also gave Abe a very muted applause. I think while the mood was mainly one of reflection and solemnity there was quite a deal of anger and fear among many of the attendees about the changing direction of Japan.

  • Oliver_K_Manuel

    As reported yesterday in comments on the end of WWII in Japan Times,


    The integrity of sovereign governments and government science were destroyed by uniting nations to hide truths revealed on 6 Aug 1945 by Hiroshima’s destruction, especially astronomy, astrophysics, climatology, cosmology, geology, nuclear, particle, planetary, solar and theoretical physics.

    The divine simplicity of our beautiful, bountiful and benevolent universe is now obscured by 97% Consensus Science (UN)Truths purchased from greedy propaganda artists with public research funds.

  • tomado

    “…Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui joined Abe in calling for the abolition…” What hypocrites! The LDP has always begged the U.S. not to limit or decommission any weapons in its “nuclear umbrella” and has opposed international efforts to ban the planning of first strikes. Plus, they allowed the U.S. to bring nuclear weapons into Japan and lied about it for 50 years. This has all been reported in this very publication. Bunch of Hypocrites.

  • timfromla
  • timefox

    China and South Korea ambassador apparently did not attend . Both countries of attitude that concern the Asia of peace sucks .

    When the topic of the atomic bomb is out , I remember always the Korean atomic bomb liquor(原子爆弾酒) made ​​in Hiroshima .

    In particular, China has issued a newspaper advertisement to drop the atomic bomb on Japan . It sucks that China is that absences .

    They are always to Asia of peace in the mouth , it has been proven to be just the mouth .

    • tomado

      Probably more types of dialogue among regular people are necessary. Politicians are trouble-makers when it gets them elected. But common people in both populations can dialogue about each other’s suffering. But this takes commitment. Real peace cannot depend solely on the actions of governments.

    • Paul Johnny Lynn

      Wow, timefox, long time no see. Obviously your period of absence WASN’T spent sharpening up your English.

  • Paul Martin

    Of course it would have been preferable if ONE only had been
    demonstrated on a remote Japanese island to convince and warn Japan of
    the consequences awaiting them if they
    did not surrender.

    However the Japanese killed millions of innocent people all over Asia and the Pacific,
    invaded neighboring countries and committed horrific crimes like unit 731 in
    Manchuria and countless others as history clearly reminds us.

    hirohito, togo and those who held the power at the time were class A war criminals
    about that there is NO doubt but for some strange reason McArthur went easy on them
    even though they were every bit as bad as the nazis !

    There are still many older Japanese who are FIERCELY militaristic and regret Japan’s
    surrender !

    I can also say from personal experience that Japan is NO friend of America or the West
    we see with their present right wing government and stringent
    anti-gaijin (foreigners) laws. They want their cake and eat it too.
    It is NOT an equal opportunity country and the yakuza and right wing mega wealthy run it with an iron stringency !

    Without US protection, tourism and Westerners buying their cars and other products Japan would NOT survive !

    being said I and my family like Japan and most Japanese are friendly,
    kind folks but what I described is VERITAS and you WON’T see it in the
    Japanese media!

    • tomado

      Stringency, huh. Paul, honestly I see a lot of opinions there. Even though you capitalized it, your “VERITAS” is still not shining through.

      • Paul Martin

        Well wait and see as America and Europe moves more to the right, buys local products and supports Western jobs instead of Eastern, see how y’all feel then
        because it will inevitably happen.

      • Kokutenso

        You speak as if you have spoken with a lot of Japanese rightists and observed some Japanese media. I suppose you are fluent enough in Japanese to communicate with Japanese people? Also, Emperor Hirohito was never deemed a Class A war criminal by the Tokyo Trials. What you are stating is by no means the truth. Just a shameful display of ignorance of history.

      • Paul Martin

        Oh yeah well try this:

        Hirohito was a mass murderer and here’s PROOF !

        He was proficient in biological warfare and he appointed general Ishi to administer UNIT731 in Manchuria that tortured men women children and POW’s…without anesthetic then watched them die slowly in agony all in the name of medical experimentation.

        There were several thousand medical and pharmaceutical civilians there who brought the gained knowledge back to Japan and PROFITED to this day with their descendants from that unspeakable misery !
        After the war, which Japan murdered multi-millions of innocent people 35 million in China alone,rapes and decapitating children buried up to their head,etc,etc,etc Hirohito confessed FULL responsibility for that war WHICH as EMPEROR with unquestionable ultimate power and authority could have STOPPED at ANY time!

        There are countless Japanese scholars, historians, professors,etc who have long and many times illustrated these factors but people like you INSIST on trying to WHITEWASH reality and repaint the VERITAS….it WON’T wash…the World suffered HORRIFICALLY at the hands of Hirohito who himself believed he was a living god descended from the sun princess and for who’m millions of young Japanese soldiers were BLINDLY prepared to WASTE their lives fighting and dying for !

        Hirohito was a MONSTER to humanity….any other description is FUTILE because the whole World knows what really happened at Japan’s MERCY !

      • Paul Martin

        Hirohito was a biological expert who believed he was a living god descended from the sun princess. Millions of young, naive Japanese men fought and died unnecessarily in his name and he authorized the invasion of just about every place in the Asia pacific region.

        He appointed general Ishi to run UNIT731 a macabre facility in Manchuria where agonizing, torturous experiments were carried out on men, women, children and POW’s without anesthetic.

        Hirohito was the ultimate power and could have STOPPED the war instantly at any time IF he chose to, he did NOT do so !

        After the surrender Hirohito confessed FULL responsibility for the war !
        He was in every sense as class A as anyone could be but for some strange reason MacArthur went easy on him and his cohort war criminals !

        Numerous Japanese scholars and historians,etc have long condemned Hirohito and the Japanese government at the time for instigating WW2 without declaring war on the US. Pearl Harbor was a cowardly attack by the kamikaze that killed thousands of decent Americans without the slightest warning, that is COWARDICE not samurai proud heroism !

        I am NOT ashamed of my opinions or comments. My country Britain and my Sons country Australia also fought against Japanese barbarism so I have every right to voice my feelings.

        That being said I am NOT anti Japanese ! but as a seasoned journalist and war correspondent I will stand my ground and continue to tell it like I see it.

      • Anne Williams

        Oh yes. Mr ‘Anonymous’we can only address you as such as altho’ you write in English you must have a name to be called by when you travel abroad if you do .So knowing Japanese is the ONLY way of ascertaining the truth is it? You CANNOT deny that it was part your culture( I assume by the Japanese text for your name that you are a Japanese National?) to commit suicide by Hara Kiri rather than surrender , the latter action deemed utter cowardice.the former being the very height of honour. This is why the POW’s such my uncle who did were treated with utter contempt. The USA were magnanimous in victory hoping to make Japan a true democracy and Ally after observing the consequence of what transpired in Germany after WW1 and the Treaty of Versaille and were successful They realised how deeply respected Hirohito, your GOD KING was to the Japanese people who were so ready to sacrifice themselves for him, as such they would heed his words and unite under him in Peace which is what the Allies wanted so they could NOT condemn him as a War criminal which he undoubtedly was and not a mere puppet forced to do as he did by the politicians and Generals who planned the attack against the USA on Pearl Harbour. in the How on earth could he NOT be a Class A War criminal when he lead Japan as Hitler did??

      • 大千釜 創雷

        What on earth are you babbling on about? Why would you let my name bother you so much? Does the Japan Times have any rules regarding names? No. You are such a delusional fool. It would explain why you responded to me without reading my statements carefully.

  • MacTire

    Ah, the good old Japan-bashing Times! Well, actually, not so old…I remember when the JT was a respectable newspaper, moderately nationalistic and moderately pro-American. Now it’s just another squishy pseudo-liberal rag, hoping against hope that it will be able survive off its malcontent gaijin readers…If Japan were suddenly invaded by six billion man-eating cockroaches from outer space, the usual suspects would be saying that the Japanese people deserve to be annihilated because of, yes, gokiburi-hoihoi.

  • 大千釜 創雷

    Let me ask you something because it seems very odd to me. Has the U.K. ever apologized for inflicting a tremendous amount of pain and suffering upon her former colonies? Has she ever apologized for enslaving the Africans and treating them as lower-life forms? Do the Americans feel sorry for forcibly annexing the Hawaian Kingdom when saying “Remember Pearl Harbor”?

  • Paul Martin

    You respond as if you are working for the Japanese foreign office !

    You are NOT fooling anyone by focusing on a few of my typographical errors!

    It looks like you are well educated judging by your phraseology but you appear one sided by blindly defending Hirohito when many Japanese academics, scholars and historians condemn him!

    I am, as I have previously stated NOT anti-Japanese, in fact I have numerous times praised Japan and the Japanese people, but Abe and the present yes men cronies want to revert Japan to the old shinto ways, change the constitution and re-arm Japan possibly leading to developing a nuclear arsenal as well, all in the name of self defense !

    My analysis of Hirohito, Ishii and the war,etc is based on research, NOT guesswork. I know the truth often hurts but it is absolutely neccessary especially for today’s generation to understand what happened in their country. Governments all too often rewrite history in the schoolbooks because they are reluctant for their children and grandchildren to know what REALLY occurred, that’s why writers and radio shockjocks exist so that people get a different opinion !

    I hope that folk more knowlegeable about WW2 will surface and comment about this sensitive subject then we will see if others concur about Hirohito and his part and powers in the war.

    It is good that the Japan times let readers give their un-edited opinions on

    pertinent debates such as this.

    I want to reiterate that my family and I like most things and people aboout Japan, that is NOT the issue here, what REALLY happened in WW2 to make Japan invade the entire Pacific/Asia region and commit, undeniable, unspeakable atrocities and what part Hirohito played is !

    It is this writer’s contention, based on Hirohito’s own broadcast at war’s end,

    that the Emperor had a megalomania attitude, really believed he was destined to rule the World and was prepared to commit biological genocide on all and any opposing countries and peoples !

    I respect your’s and others opinions and responses to mine but I stand on what I say !

  • Paul Martin

    Okay how’s this for organizing…ALL aged Japanese who are still hobbling around barely able to make it from home to the shop and back, that are clearly visible every day are in one way or another guilty of participating in and aiding and abetting atrocities WW2 and if you think I am alone in saying that think again !

    • 大千釜 創雷

      Haha. You are a funny man. Have a nice day.

  • Anne Williams

    And where and who are you Mr ‘anonymous’ ??hiding behind the Japanese script knowing full well that all who comment here do so in English and are not afraid to put down their names or pseudonyms for all to read. No doubt you are a Japanese RIGHT WINGER with a superiority complex as of old. and expect those who read you comments to know Japanese while committing Kamikaze attacks on the truth. A perfect descendant of those who worshipped the SUN of Heaven mo doubt??Nothing changes , cruelty and arrogance must still be in the gene pool.

    • 大千釜 創雷

      “大千釜 創雷” is my pseudonym. Is there anything wrong with it? Calm yourself, stooge. There is no rule regarding the use of names here. “Arrogance” must be in your gene pool, for you to accuse me of using a Japanese name. You are probably one of the most shallow minded fools I’ve ever had the misfortune to come across.

      • Anne Williams

        Shallow minded fool, stooge, delusional fool. How many times have you used the world fool? which shows that your vocabulary becomes limited when you lose the plot and descend to the use of crudities and insults. How low do some go when they’ find themselves exposed and their TRUE natures revealed All who have seen for themselves how your Japanese officers spoke to their own soldiers in WW2 have noted how they SPAT instead of speaking normally and you talk of arrogance ?? that quality you imbibed with your nother’s milk ? .The word ‘ Ass’means a small equine animal known for stubborness and idiocy and an Americanisation which is a very good description of what you portray here. It is not a rule I refer to but your absolute arrogance in expecting all who comment here to know your lingo and the superiority your compatriots boasted of in WW2 and obviously is an example you follow . By your own arrogant comments and insults you have shown yourself to be exactly what some of us DETEST most and whom our brave Allied soldiers, prisoners and others in S.E Asia found . NOTHING CHANGES. Tomorrow , we shall watch the commemoration of the Allied Victory over Japan and CHEER very loudly that WE DID NOT have the terrible MISFORTUNE to live under folk such as YOU and YOURS. It seems I did, to have to reply to one such as you, thankfully unarmed without a grenade or rifle in 1942!! but your toxic speech instead . But, the pen is mightier than the sword and I have used it to bring to notice the lies your compatriots propagate and uncover your true nature. Be grateful, the Allies allowed your country to recover and prosper after all the atrocities and death your country brought to them and all of
        S.E Asia.

      • 大千釜 創雷

        Ironic, considering you spelled “word” incorrectly. Haha. I said, “Calm yourself.”

  • Kyle

    While I share the sentiment Japan has not sufficiently acknowledged their colonial and WWII past, it would be inaccurate to say they have not apologized to ANYONE. Furthermore, are we talking of revenge here? Yes, Japan did horrific things, so by your logic firebombing and killing 500,000 civilians and then using atomic bombs to kill another 150,000 is ok because they committed war crimes? An honest reflection is needed, and I see nothing wrong, in fact I find it commendable when a people or country can reconcile its past with honesty and integrity. We don’t have to wait for Japan.

    • Anne Williams

      So what did you expect the Allies to do ? Invade Japan wait patiently until November in camps etc ??The War had to be stopped and those incarcerated in POW camps were saved as well as the great number of civilians and Allied Forces, war worn, injured etc, who would have to be sacrificed in an invasion or repeated bombings. Japan killed millions too and had to be stopped just as Hitler did. Incidentally, It was Sir Harold Atcherley whose life was saved as a POW iin August 1945 and he was not in Japan but other POW’s were who were taken there to become slave labour there as my uncle was in the Rakuyo Maru, bombed unfortunately by the Allies. I am amazed that you regard the views of these Japanese POW’s and victims as bigoted and NOT to be trusted as the historians of today who speak with hindsight and were not present at the time. I have read and watched many TV documentaries re: WW2 in the Pacific and Far East and listened to American Generals and politician et al etc who were present and took part in our defence. I am certainly NOT talking of vengeance here but of NECESSITY. , The same was said of Germany and Dresden The were also several attempts to assasinate Hitler and I wish I had videoed that documentary of the German General who admitted that in fact, Dresden was the LAST STRAW that forced Germany to surrender. I personally, do’nt see all that much difference between death there or in Hiroshima, when folk were cooked alive in fire storms. The difference being, that radiation illnesses did persist and we are horrified at their suffering. I remember, Sir Leonard Cheshire who dedicated his life to charitable works as a result. However,, we have to remember why Britain and the Allies went to War in the first place also as a last resort ,very unwillingly as you well know. Who invaded whom? To whitewash all of this and re-write history is a crime which is what is happening now. Neither Japan nor Germany would surrender until forced to and their regimes were the epitome of evil. As I said, neither myself nor my family being Rubber planters with British grandparents, who flew the Union Jack would not have survived had it not been for an observant Canadian pilot. As for me, I would rather not have been born than live under those terrible regimes. Its so very easy to live in peace and wealth without having suffered under them.It is due to the magnanimity of the Allies that allowed both Germany and Japan to prosper. Germany, to its credit has never hidden its past , but Japan was allowed to and does so even to this dayinspite of some of their own WW2 veterans who experienced and know the truth who refute the deniers. who we hear only now. Are you unaware of the Burma Star Association and how they sought an apology??

  • 大千釜 創雷

    What a pathetic attempt to justify the colonization of Asia by the West. You are the very definition of “hypocrite”. The Japanese never adopted such barbaric slavery as the West did. It would appear that I stumbled upon yet another simpleton who likes to pretend to be familiar with the Empire of Japan. Just because many nations adopted slavery, does not mean that none needs to apologize for that, you fool.

  • 大千釜 創雷

    There are plenty of stories out there that tell of the British treating the peoples of their former colonies in a horrific, monstrous manner. Do some research before talking out of your ass.

    • Anne Williams

      How well you portray the ARROGANCE the Japanese are well known for including your sadistic, barbarian camp guards. Also the insulting manner of those with superiority complexes you suffer from and display to all the world. Nothing changes . It is you who spout toxic gas out of your ridiculous nether region and . RESORT to crudities and insults when all else fails. The lowest common denominator. NO I have researched for decades for your information and do NOT need your advice .Furthermore, I was born in a British colony and experienced first hand how folk were treated. YOU HAVE NOT. Furthermore, I have researched British Colonial behaviour too and am glad to inform you that my ancestor attended the same church as Wm. Wilberforce and shared his views.. . My uncle experienced first hand as a slave labourer on the Burma death railway how MONSTROUS, HORRIFIC and evil your Kempetai Japanese compatriots were. , Reading your comments, it is patently clear you are NO GENTLEMEN but descend to the very depths to try and bulldoze over all that attribute of the BULLY .Should we be surprised . NO, It is to be expected from the likes of you, a clear example of why one is so eternally grateful that your country never WON. WW2 in S.E Asia and do not swallow your lies.
      Perhaps , you might care to ask the indigenous folk of Sarawak if they’d prefer the British or the Malaysian billionaires who have robbed their lands??? I can also add that on occasions in the 1990’s some Lankans told me they would rather have lived during the balmy peaceful pre Independance days under the PAX BRITTANICA than the times were experiencing . Do some research yourself Mr Kamikaze how full of yourself you are, again not surprising.
      Heard PM Abe talking of how contrite the Japanese people were but not himself as reporters noticed. Did Not mention how your country attacked without bothering to DECLARING WAR either and then invaded but chose instead to tell us it was due to the behaviour of the Colonial powers in S.E Asia the time instead!!
      Well, those countries the Japanese invaded soon got a taste of those they thought would ‘set them free’ when they dragged of the Kampushas as slave labour and their daughters to ‘comfort’ their troops and found they had jumped from the frying pan into the fire instead.
      Beware,, you could choke on your own ire and insults. Congrats. YOU are such a good example of all that we believed of your countrymen to be during WW2 and how grateful we are to our HEROES , the ALLIED FORCES who saved us. Have just heard Mr Urquhart , a British POW taken as slave labour to Japan and was present when the Atom bomb fell by which ironically his life was saved.!!!!By the way, I have had 73 years to research and reach this conclusion about the nature of your compatriots and you have amply proven I was’nt wrong. I am so grateful, I grew up in a British colony and did NOT have to kow tow to your SUN Emperor under folk such as you.
      .So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

      • 大千釜 創雷

        What you are stating is nothing more than a personal opinion. One simply cannot deny that the U.K. had inflicted immeasurable pain and suffering upon her former colonies during the long period of her colonial rule. There are plenty of evidence out there for it. You are grateful that I have amply proven the nature of my people that you found out in your miserable 73 years of research, you say? Hahaha. How naive you are. I am not a representative of Japan, nor am I trying to portray myself as such. Or is your 73 years of research so slapdash that the conclusion you drew from it can be proven if some random Japanese Internet user says something? I presume your intellectual capacity is around that of a 10 year old.