Japanese imperialism and Hiroshima nuclear bomb

This video says about itself:

The Empire Files: Untold History of Imperial Japan & the Bomb – Part 1

25 June 2016

Obama’s high-profile trip to Hiroshima was accompanied by a media storm that gave endless justifications for the US use of the atomic bomb on Japanese civilians. The myths are widely accepted in society, and underpin the notion of American exceptionalism. Abby Martin interviews Dr. Peter Kuznick, co-author with Director Oliver Stone of the bestselling book and HBO series “The Untold History of the United States,” about the real story behind the use of the atomic bombs—as well as the untold history of Imperial Japan, its role today for the US Empire, and the danger for new war on the horizon.

This video is the sequel.

1 thought on “Japanese imperialism and Hiroshima nuclear bomb

  1. Tuesday 19th July 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    KENNY COYLE surveys the results of the recent House of Councillors elections

    JAPANESE communists made modest gains during the House of Councillors elections earlier this month, despite the surge of support for Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its allies.

    However, the overall result is a major defeat for the anti-war forces in the country. Abe has now secured a “super-majority,” two-thirds of the seats in the nation’s Upper House, which will support his plans to hold a referendum on Japan’s constitution.

    Article 9 of the country’s basic law outlaws Japan from involving itself in military aggression overseas. Abe hopes to amend this to allow for “collective self-defence,” essentially a means by which Japan can involve itself directly in military efforts by its allies, principally the United States.

    Japan’s complicated electoral system is heavily weighted in favour of the ruling right-wing LDP-Komeito coalition, which took 34 per cent and 13.5 per cent of the vote each.

    In addition to the LDP-Komeito alliance, there are two smaller parties which are also opposed to the current wording of Article 9.

    Taken together the pro-militarist forces won 76 seats, adding to their existing 88, making a total of 164 seats, just over the required threshold.

    The House of Councillors’ elections are held in two rounds in which half of the 242-strong chamber’s seats are contested each time.

    Abe already has a two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives.

    The Democratic Party, the rebranded main opposition party formed earlier this year through a merger between the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the smaller Ishin no To (Japan Innovation Party), performed badly, losing 15 seats from its total, reducing it to 49 seats.

    The DPJ was in power from 2009 to 2012 but its support gradually ebbed back to the LDP, from whence it came. The “new” DP has clearly failed to stem this tide.

    The JCP put the issue of defending the constitution to the fore in this campaign, agreeing to limited electoral pacts with the DP and other opposition groups and even offering support to a future coalition government if Article 9 could be saved.

    While the DP has been willing to enter specific alliances with the JCP and other anti-war forces in single-seat constituencies, the DP has simply been unable to generate any enthusiasm for its lukewarm economic and social policies, which do not offer an attractive alternative to the LDP’s “Abenomics” despite widespread discontent about the country’s economy.

    A July 2-3 Asahi newspaper poll showed 55 per cent support for a new economic direction against 28 per cent for maintaining Abe’s course.

    The underlying causes are easy to identify. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development predicts Japan’s GDP will grow by just 0.7 per cent this year and 0.4 per cent in 2017. This comes after nearly 20 years of stagnation, illustrated by the fact that Japan’s current per capita GDP is essentially the same as that recorded in 1993.

    The ratio of public debt to GDP will reach 234 per cent in 2017 (by comparison in Greece it is a mere 180 per cent), industrial production is 96 per cent that of 2010.

    While unemployment is low, around 38 per cent of Japanese workers are on temporary contracts and the proportion is much higher among the young.

    Abe’s support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership will also have a major impact on Japan’s small farmers.

    Yet the huge monopoly corporations of Japan are enjoying near record profits. These are the main backers and beneficiaries of Abe’s LDP.

    In media interviews during the campaign, JCP chairman Kazuo Shii said that Abe “has become uncontrollable, he’s ignored the people’s voices. And now, all of these policies are falling apart. We need a change in all of these areas … We should scrap Abenomics and focus on redressing economic disparities.”

    This seems to have struck a nerve with a growing minority of voters and one bright spot in the election was the rise in support for the Japanese Communists. The JCP won 6,016,245 votes, or around 10.7 per cent of the total.

    This registers advances on both the 2010 and 2013 Upper House polls, where the JCP won 6.1 per cent and 9.7 per cent respectively.

    However, it still falls well short of the ambitious target of 8.5 million votes hoped for by Shii at the beginning of the campaign in April.

    Nonetheless, this gives the JCP three more seats, raising its House of Councillors’ total to 14. It also consolidates the JCP as the country’s fourth-largest party and provides a base for further progress.

    Yet this will be of little consolation if Abe’s referendum goes through and Article 9 is rewritten. This will give the green light to the accelerated remilitarisation of Japan, a programme eagerly promoted by Japanese electronic and industrial giants, which are already suppliers to Japan’s existing Self-Defence Force.

    Abe has a history of glorifying Japan’s imperial war of aggression. Through his visits and offerings to the Yakasuni Shrine in Tokyo, where rituals deify Japan’s Class A war criminals, he has courted the domestic ultra-right and scandalised his Asian neighbours.

    Abe’s victory will further ratchet up tension in East Asia, particularly with China and North Korea, both victims of Japanese occupation in the past. There Japan’s new military ambitions and President Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia” are viewed with increasing alarm.



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