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Home » Archives » December 2006 » Japan ruling party official calls US A-bombing 'crime'

Japan ruling party official calls US A-bombing 'crime'

Monday, December 18, 2006 Posted: 05:33 PM JST

Conservative politician Shoichi Nakagawa, policy chief of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, has called the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki a "crime," acorrding to a report by Kyodo. Several overseas news media like the International Herald Tribune, Zee News, the Melbourne Herald Sun and related Australian newsmedia have already jumped on the news.

There is nothing new about the concept. It has been voiced many times before. Unfortunately, this time the person voicing the sentiment has made quite a few comments about nukes, and he has a reputation for being blunt.

It is going to be interesting to see how this will play out. Nakagawa may finally have jumpstarted the nuke discussion, he so desperately desires.

For some excellent and considered thinking about the atomic bomb attacks on Japan, and their memory, I suggest reading Hiroshima in History and Memory by Michael J. Hogan, Living With the Bomb: American and Japanese Cultural Conflicts in the Nuclear Age by Laura Elizabeth Hein and Mark Selden, and the classic Hiroshima by John Hersey.

Keywords: national_news

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2 comments so far post your own

1 | At 04:16am on Jan 11 2007, L Fitzgerald wrote:
Yes, it ranks right up there with the Confort women, rape of civilians, Rape of Nanjing, Unit 731 and the abuse and murder of non-combatants, in all Asian theaters of war along with all Prisoners of war who were used for sword testing.
2 | At 08:27am on Jan 11 2007, Kjeld Duits wrote:
The issue definitely needs discussion and should not be waved away. Especially now that more and more countries are in possession of nuclear bombs. God forbid, but the day may come that they are used again, possibly against the USA as well.

The use of quite a few weapons have been banned because they are considered to be too inhumane. Nuclear weapons certainly rank on the top of the list of inhumane weapons. They can actually destroy our whole world.

Shouldn't their use be considered a war crime?

A second consideration, is victor's justice. The Tokyo Tribunal has always received much criticism, far more so than the Nuremberg Trials. If the victors had also been taken to court, distractors of the decisions made by the Tokyo Tribunal would loose all their nationalistic ammunition.

Terrible crimes were committed by the Japanese during the China and Pacific Wars. We all know that people in many countries suffered immensely. Many Japanese were themselves also victims of such crimes, as the Kempeitai was often as ruthless as the German Gestapo.

We should therefore not offer people the opportunity to hide behind the charge of victor's justice, and expose all actions that can be considered war crimes. A discussion on whether the nuclear bombs and the extensive bombings of cities should be considered war crimes should be welcomed. This is not a new thought, or an attempt to change history. Radhabinod Pal, the Indian justice at the Tokyo Tribunal, in the one dissenting opinion, wrote that "If Japan is judged, the Allies should also be judged equally."

The third consideration is that revenge is a dangerous policy. As Mahatma Gandhi said: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
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The now legendary Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) was a member of the British legation in Tokyo for twenty-one years. This classic book is based on the author's detailed diary, personal encounters, and keen memory. In it, Satow records the history of the critical years of social and political upheaval that accompanied Japan's first encounters with the West around the time of the Meiji Restoration. Fascinating.
Stone Bridge Press

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