Nagasaki mayor criticizes Japanese government militarism


This video is called Shock Doctrine in Japan: Shinzo Abe‘s Rightward Shift to Militarism, Secrecy in Fukushima’s Wake.

From Associated Press:

Japanese defence policy questioned on 69th anniversary of atomic bombing

Mari Yamaguchi

Published Saturday, August 9, 2014 7:59AM EDT

TOKYO — The mayor of Nagasaki on Saturday criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe‘s push toward Japan’s more assertive defence policy, as the city marked the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing.

In his “peace declaration” speech at the ceremony in Nagasaki’s Peace Park, Mayor Tomihisa Taue urged Abe’s government to listen to growing public concerns over Japan’s commitment to its pacifist pledge.

Thousands of attendants, including U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and a record number of representatives from 51 countries, offered a minute of silence and prayed for the victims at 11:02 a.m., the moment the bomb was dropped over Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, as bells rang. They also laid wreaths of white and yellow chrysanthemums at the Statue of Peace.

The U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945, prompting Tokyo’s World War II surrender. The first on Hiroshima killed 140,000 people and the Nagasaki bomb killed another 70,000.

The anniversary comes as Japan is divided over the government’s decision to allow its military to defend foreign countries and play greater roles overseas by exercising what is referred to as collective self-defence. To achieve that goal, Abe’s Cabinet revised its interpretation of Japan’s war-renouncing constitution.

Pacifism, enshrined in the constitution, is the “founding principle” of postwar Japan and Nagasaki, Taue said.

“However, the rushed debate over collective self-defence has prompted concern that this principle is shaking,” he said. “I strongly request that the Japanese government take note of the situation and carefully listen to the voices of distress and concerns.”

Polls show more than half of respondents are opposed to the decision, mainly because of sensitivity over Japan’s wartime past and devastation at home.

Representing the Nagasaki survivors, Miyako Jodai, 75, said that Abe’s government was not living up to expectations.

Jodai, a retired teacher who was exposed to radiation just 2.4 kilometres (1.5 miles) from ground zero, said that the defence policy that puts more weight on military power was “outrageous” and a shift away from pacifism.

“Please stand by our commitment to peace. Please do not forget the sufferings of the atomic bombing survivors,” Jodai said at the ceremony.

The number of surviving victims, known as “hibakusha,” was just more than 190,000 this year across Japan. Their average age is 79. In Nagasaki, 3,355 survivors died over the past year, while 5,507 passed away in Hiroshima.

Abe kept his eyes closed and sat motionless as he listened to the outright criticism, rare at a solemn ceremony.

In his speech, he did not mention his defence policy or the pacifist constitution. He repeated his sympathy to the victims and said Japan as the sole victim of nuclear attacks has the duty to take leadership in achieving a nuclear-free society, while telling the world of the inhumane side of nuclear weapons.

The speech had minor tweaks from last year’s, after Abe faced criticism that the speech he delivered in Hiroshima on Thursday was almost identical to the one from the previous year, Kyodo News reported.

The Japanese government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe released its latest defence white paper this week, setting the stage for further boosting Japan’s military capacities, directed unmistakeably against China: here.

World War I dead, Hiroshima dead and British nuclear weapons


This video from the USA says about itself:

On August 6, 2007, activists in Syracuse, NY, marched for a nuclear free future. As part of this Hiroshima Day parade they called for an end to nuclear weapons, an end to nuclear power, and for a responsible energy policy.

By Symon Hill in Britain:

An insult to the dead

Wednesday 6th August 2014

Today, on Hiroshima Day, SYMON HILL calls on our political leaders to mark WWI by doing the decent thing – abolishing Trident

FEW things illustrate the absurdity of British political debate more than the row over the notes attached to wreaths from party leaders to mark the World War I centenary.

Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg were accused of insulting the people killed in war because they did not write personal messages on their wreaths.

David Cameron’s wreath came with a handwritten note and signature.

This is a row drummed up by politicians and commentators utterly detached from the realities of war.

Cameron and Clegg insult the victims of war every day by ploughing billions into the sixth-highest military budget in the world.

Just as we should “never forget” World War I, today we mark the anniversary of another event that should always be remembered.

At 8.15am on August 6 1945, US forces, with the backing of the British government, dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima in Japan. Around 70,000 — 80,000 people were killed instantly.

Numbers are difficult to estimate, but the death toll by the end of the year may been double this figure.

Some died of radiation and injuries. With over two-thirds of the city’s buildings destroyed, many became homeless and slowly died of starvation or hypothermia.

Three days after the bombing, the US dropped a similar bomb on Nagasaki.

It is a chilling thought that those bombs were relatively small in their impact compared to what some of today’s nuclear arms can do.

If Cameron were serious about honouring the dead of past wars, he would not have just spent millions upgrading the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire, where major parts of Trident nuclear weapons are developed.

The payment implies an arrogant assumption that MPs will back Cameron’s plan of renewing Trident when the decision comes before Parliament in 2016.

If Miliband wants to honour the dead, he still has time to speak up for a different approach to the world.

This would include reduced military spending and an end to arms exports to oppressive regimes.

It would have to include opposition to the renewal of the British government’s nuclear arsenal.

If he took such a stance, Miliband would be aligning himself with public opinion.

Trident is an issue on which the British public are well to the left of most politicians.

A poll in 2010 showed 63 per cent opposed to Trident renewal. This had risen to 79 per cent by April this year.

Protests and blockades are becoming ever more frequent at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, many co-ordinated by the diverse activist group Action AWE.

Along with CND, Action AWE will mark the Nagasaki anniversary on Saturday by unfurling a seven-mile scarf between the two AWE bases of Aldermaston and Burghfield.

Over 4,000 people have knitted parts of this scarf. The novelty of their action has triggered local media interest where the knitting is taking place and brought the anti-Trident message to people who may not otherwise have heard it.

History shows time and again that the build-up of arms makes war more likely, not less.

In the early years of the 20th century, right-wing politicians were keen to quote the Roman saying, “If you want peace, prepare for war.”

As we remember both World War I and the Hiroshima bombing, it should be obvious that if we prepare for war, we will get what we have prepared for.

Symon Hill is a socialist Christian writer and campaigner. He is teaching about the peace movement in World War I for the Workers’ Educational Association.

Political and military leaders from Europe and the US used commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I to press for new wars: here.

An extraordinary pro-war propaganda juggernaut has been set in motion in Australia this week, with commemorations held across the country to mark the centenary of World War I: here.

A remarkable document published July 31 on US military planning calls for the Pentagon to prepare to wage as many as half a dozen wars at the same time, including wars in which the antagonist possesses nuclear weapons: here.

Japan marks 69th anniversary of Hiroshima bombing: here.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui challenges world leaders to see atomic bomb-scarred cities first-hand to be convinced that nuclear weapons should not exist: here.

“War Makes Everyone Crazy”: Hiroshima Survivor Reflects on 69th Anniversary of Atomic Bombing: here.

NOAM CHOMSKY TACKLES THE NUCLEAR ERA: “If some extraterrestrial species were compiling a history of Homo sapiens, they might well break their calendar into two eras: BNW (before nuclear weapons) and NWE (the nuclear weapons era). The latter era, of course, opened on August 6, 1945, the first day of the countdown to what may be the inglorious end of this strange species, which attained the intelligence to discover the effective means to destroy itself, but — so the evidence suggests — not the moral and intellectual capacity to control its worst instincts.” [HuffPost]

English commemoration of Hiroshima, Nagasaki nuclear victims


This video, of a famous Turkish poem, with English subtitles, on a child who died from the Hiroshima nuclear bomb in 1945, says about itself:

Hiroshima child- Fazil Say – Nazim Hikmet, None can hear my silent tread (kiz çocuğu)

Hiroshima Child

I come and stand at every door
But none can hear my silent tread
I knock and yet remain unseen
For I am dead for I am dead

I’m only seven though I died
In Hiroshima long ago
I’m seven now as I was then
When children die they do not grow

My hair was scorched by swirling flame
My eyes grew dim my eyes grew blind
Death came and turned my bones to dust
And that was scattered by the wind

I need no fruit I need no rice
I need no sweets nor even bread
I ask for nothing for myself
For I am dead for I am dead

All that I need is that for peace
You fight today you fight today
So that the children of this world
Can live and grow and laugh and play

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Campaigners remember US atom bomb victims

Friday 02 August 2013

Peace campaigners in Sheffield are to commemorate the dropping of atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The United States unleashed the world’s first and only atomic attacks in 1945 on the mostly civilian targets in Japan.

August 6 is Hiroshima Day, with events beginning at Sheffield Town Hall at 10am.

Each year the Sheffield campaigners stage events such as a “peace picnic” in memory of the hundreds of thousands who were killed immediately or died later from their injuries and cancers caused by radiation.

Sheffield Lord Mayor Vicky Priestly will sign a Mayors for Peace declaration and a message will be read from the Mayor of Hiroshima.

On August 11 Nagasaki Day will be marked from 2pm in the Japanese Garden.

Peace activists stood in silence across the world today to honour the 250,000 Japanese killed by US atom bombs in World War II – and call time on today’s deadly nukes.

Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue criticized the Japanese government at a ceremony Friday for refusing to sign a statement rejecting the use of nuclear weapons. The statement was offered at an international disarmament meeting in April: here.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki remembered in Ghent, Belgium: here.

We recently returned from a 12 day speaking tour in Japan that took us to Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, and Okinawa. Before we joined forces in Hiroshima prior to the August 6 commemorative events, Oliver [Stone] lent support to the activists protesting the South Korean naval base under construction on Jeju, South Korea, less than 500 kilometers from Shanghai. Peter was in Kyoto with participants in American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute’s annual study-abroad class. Being in Hiroshima and Nagasaki around the anniversaries of the atomic bombings was a powerful experience for both of us and a vivid reminder of why whitewashing the past is so critical to perpetuating empire in the present — a project in which the U.S. and Japan have collaborated for the past 68 years: here.

Support the British Nuclear Test Veterans Recognition Campaign: here.

Hiroshima survivors mark anniversary


This video from Japan is called Anti-War, Anti-Nuke Parade in Hiroshima city August 6, 2011.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

50,000 mark anniversary at peace park

Monday 06 August 2012

by Our Foreign Desk

A bell tolled to begin the moment of silence today while tens of thousands marked the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Ageing survivors, relatives, government officials and foreign delegates joined hands in prayer during an annual ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park commemorating the US bombing of the city nearly seven decades ago.

“On this day, in this city, let me proclaim again: there must never be another nuclear attack, never,” said UN high representative for disarmament affairs Angela Kane, reading a message from secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon.

Such weapons have no legitimate place in our world. Their elimination is both morally right and a practical necessity in protecting humanity.”

A US B-29 bomber named Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on August 6 1945, turning the city into a nuclear inferno and killing an estimated 140,000.

Around 50,000 people attended the official ceremony, while thousands of others joined demonstrations, marches, forums and concerts across the city, which is a focal point for the global movement against nuclear weapons.

In separate rallies more than 7,000 people including atomic bomb survivors and evacuees from the Fukushima area staged anti-nuclear demonstrations.

Usually sedate Japan has seen a string of anti-nuclear protests since Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ordered the restart of two reactors in June.

Many atomic bomb survivors, known as “hibakusha,” oppose both military and civil use of nuclear power, pointing to the tens of thousands who were killed instantly in the Hiroshima blast and the many more who later died from radiation sickness and cancers linked to the attack.

“We want to work together with people in Fukushima and join our voices calling for no more nuclear victims,” said 70-year-old atomic bomb survivor Toshiyuki Mimaki.

Demonstrators marched around the headquarters of Chugoku Electric Power, a regional utility which has reactors of its own, chanting: “Noda should quit. We oppose nuclear power.”

Weekly demonstrations outside the prime minister’s official residence have drawn thousands, while a rally in west Tokyo last month saw a crowd that swelled to 170,000.

Peace campaigners called on Britain and the rest of the world to disarm all nuclear weapons today on the 67th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima: here.

Hiroshima nuclear horror remembered


This video is called Nazım Hikmet & Joan BaezHiroshima.

By Rory MacKinnon in Britain:

Hiroshima horror remains with us

Sunday 05 August 2012

Solemn mourners will gather tomorrow to mark 67 years since an atomic bomb obliterated Hiroshima – and to warn that the threat of nuclear annihilation is still with us today.

Rallies across Britain and the world are being held to mark the date when the United States government became the only power in history to devastate another people with nuclear bombs – the exhausted civilian population of wartime Japan.

In London demonstrators will gather at noon in Camden’s Tavistock Square, where a Japanese cherry tree stands in memory of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, site of a second bombing on August 9 1945 in the last major act of WWII.

Speakers will include 106-year-old lifelong peace activist Hetty Bower, researcher Peter Burt of the Nuclear Information Service, Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn and Green MEP Jean Lambert.

The 1945 nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were conducted in strict secrecy.

Only Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett evaded military censors to report “a warning to the world” from Hiroshima – the horrifying, slow radiation burns that would bring the city’s death toll to between 100,000 and 180,000.

But Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament general secretary Kate Hudson told the Morning Star that the world could not afford to treat Hiroshima as a thing of the past.

She said activists in Japan were “twinning” the ceremony with the memory of last year’s Fukushima disaster which left nearly 80,000 locals in exile from their irradiated hometown.

Ms Hudson also pointed to the fact that the use of depleted uranium munitions during the Iraq war has been linked by researchers to a swathe of birth defects.

“Every year we remember that the only country that has used nuclear weapons is the United States.”

And she warned that though generations had passed since Hiroshima and the superpower stand-offs of the cold war the danger now is that world powers are becoming complacent about their own nuclear arsenals or accepting them as irreversible, she said.

“So long as nuclear weapons exist there’s still an increasing chance that they will be used – by accident or design.

“It’s criminally irresponsible,” Ms Hudson said.

Other commemorative events are planned outside the capital.

In Brighton and Hove the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom will meet tomorrow evening in Queens Park for a candlelight vigil “to remember the dead from Hiroshima, Nagasaki, nuclear tests and accidents.”

In Derby CND and others will gather at Rolls-Royce’s Raynesway, which manufactures reactors for the Trident fleet of nuclear-armed submarines.

In Glasgow the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Faslane Peace Camp will launch paper lanterns on the Clyde River, 25 miles from where the Trident fleet are based.

Japanese officials pledged to seek a society less reliant on nuclear energy today as the country marked the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki: here.

Events to commemorate the dropping of an atomic bomb on Nagasaki took place at centres across Yorkshire and the north today, writes Peter Lazenby: here.

Radioactive cesium found in Japan’s fish, seawater: here.

Fukushima worse than Hiroshima


This video is called Fukushima guilty of world’s worst sea contamination.

The amount of radioactive caesium that has leaked from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is roughly 168 times that released by the atomic bomb the US dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, according to Japan’s nuclear agency: here.

Earthquake Shook Virginia Nuke Plant More Than It Was Designed to Handle: here.

Revealed: Ayn Rand’s Script for Hollywood Movie Glorifying the Atomic Bomb: here.

The Drone Summit, the Lunchbox and the Invisibility of Charred Children. Hugh Gusterson, Truthout: “I was at the all-day Drone Summit in Washington, DC, organized by Codepink … And I kept thinking about the lunchbox. The lunchbox belonged to a schoolgirl in Hiroshima. Her body was never found, but the rice and peas in her lunchbox were carbonized by the atomic bomb. Everyone knows, in the abstract at least, that the atom bomb killed thousands of children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But any visual representation of this fact was deemed out of bounds by defenders of the bombing”: here.

SUPPORT NEEDED: Over 3,000 ppl mostly of age under 30 are suffering from recurring massive nosebleeding in Japan – Takahiro Katsumi: here.