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Hiroshima not shy about its atomic bomb legacy

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Some people may be could not make oneself be on terms with the reality because of the pain it will be bring anew. But this is one way of making somebody else learn. I salute those who are courageous enough.

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Good idea. The next big international confabs should take place at Nanking, Pearl Harbor, the site of the Changi POW camp in Singapore, etc. The delegates could spend their free time viewing gory images of the victims of the wartime Japanese.

If Tokyo is truly committed to "peace education" it should push for this kind of idea as well. Somehow, though, I doubt it. Japan wants "peace education," but strictly on its own terms.

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This shouldn't really be a surprise; when Japan is the victim, that takes the limelight. When they CAUSE the pain and suffering of others, that is shied away from. Why is this news? When Japan makes a museum of its atrocities, THAT will be news.

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JeffLee at 07:52 AM JST - 16th November Good idea. The next big international confabs should take place at Nanking, Pearl Harbor, the site of the Changi POW camp in Singapore, etc. The delegates could spend their free time viewing gory images of the victims of the wartime Japanese.

The people who died in Hiroshima were mostly innocent women and children, who had no part in the war. The actions of "the wartime Japanese" have absolutely no relevance.

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Half the casualties of World War II were civilians, Frungy. Hiroshima is not exceptional in that way. Hiroshima and Nagasaki owe their fame to being bombed with exotic and new weapons of mass destruction. Interestingly, the firebombing of Tokyo yielded more civilian casualties than in Hiroshima.

Hiroshima has long been used as a smoke screen for Japan's Asian Holocaust. It has also been useful as a focal point in the battle against nuclear proliferation. These days, I prefer "Mayors for Peace" than presidents (and ex-presidents) and prime ministers for war.

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Headline should say; "Hiroshima not shy about it's Victim legacy"

The actions of "the wartime Japanese" have absolutely no relevance.

Frungy, I don't know if I've read a more out-of-touch, cop out statement in all I've had the misfortune to read..

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A city totally devoted to the war. Ship building, gun assembly, completely focused on killing, ended up being destroyed without any American lives being losted. So were many people around Asia were vicutms of Japan. War is war. They are not viciums. They were the cause.

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Frungy: "The actions of "the wartime Japanese" have absolutely no relevance."

Read the opening line: "Unlike most of Japan, Hiroshima does not shy away from its wartime past". Heck, the title of the article has already been changed once. Why? Because it's quite clear that 'the wartime Japanese' is entirely relevant. If not, why contrast at all how Hiroshima views the war with the rest of Japan, particularly saying Japan shies away from it?

Again, Japan NEVER shies away from playing the victim... never. Ishihara makes it a point to condemn the fire bombing of Tokyo, Nagasaki also wanted the Olympics claiming victimization as the main reason, there are even museums celebrating kamikaze pilots as victims! Sex slaves? Killing millions of civilians across Asia? Nah... wouldn't want to acknowledge that.

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@ Frungy - not sure if you were born just born yesterday.

For starters, if Hiroshima is another country or if its not part of Japan, then sure you can say that. Second, the reason why US dropped the A-bomb in Hiroshima was strategic. And if i put myself on the shoes of the Japanese, probably the same strategic reason why they attack Pearl Harbor, even if US wasn't involved in the war at that time.

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All nonsense. Some are making huge cash by repeating 65 years old story again and again. That's all Hiroshima is about.

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The next big international confabs should take place at Pearl Harbor

...yeah maybe they could ask more about the racisim against asians and use of violence as to why the Americans were there ..

Anyway Hiroshima's story is unique and has an important one to be told. Go elsewhere if you want a different another story. Some will say its a war crime along with all the other crimes the allies committed during and after wwII. Where exactly are these places and countries that teach all sides of the story in their museums ,tv, history classes. I can think of a few western countries who attention to WWII is very one sided. So to learn more its not a bad idea to listen to Hiroshimas story, before being all mighty and telling others how they should be.

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The point I was making, and that everyone seems to have missed, is that during WW2 the women and children who died were systematically politically disempowered. Women's political organisations were disbanded, etc. To imply in any way that their deaths were justified by the actions of the imperial army at the time is a huge fiction. By that logic terrorist attacks are justified because the civilians killed are citizens of a country that did something you didn't like. That's completely fallacious logic.

War is between soldiers, but one of the big problems today is that countries routinely disregard this if it means putting their soldiers in harms way. It's more "expedient" to kill a village full of civilians to kill a handful of soldiers if it means no risk to your own troops. That's not right, but in the end that's what Hiroshima was all about. It was less risky to American soldiers than pursuing the war by normal means.

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We could have just as easily given a date and time, and have told the Japanese to have their movie cameras ready, as we are going to show you something over the ocean,,,,and then if you do not surrender, we have like 50 of these things and are going to start dropping them on your cities one day at a time. I think that would have worked.

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War is between military industrial structures, not merely soldiers. Women and children in Hiroshima were manufacturing weapons and ammunition. Therefore they become targets.

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Japanese culture to play the victim card...Yokota's,Hiroshima,whaling etc.Bit sad...

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Everyone is discussing war responsibility, atrocities, yada yada. Is not the goal worthy? I think the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should be commended for helping pursue the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons. And no one can argue the fact that it was wartime, and there was massive casualties, but noone should have to suffer the inhumane effects of nuclear weapons.

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The A bombs were 100% justified and Japan still got off lightly in my view. If the Japanese had won the war do any of you think Asia would be a particularly nice place to be today? Sheesh...

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Everyone is discussing war responsibility, atrocities, yada yada. Is not the goal worthy? I think the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should be commended for helping pursue the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons. And no one can argue the fact that it was wartime, and there was massive casualties, but noone should have to suffer the inhumane effects of nuclear weapons.

Exactly. Visit Hiroshima and talk to the people who live there, and you won't see them playing victim. It's not about that - the overall theme of the museum and peace park is "It happened, it was awful - let's make sure it never happens again."

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@ Frungy - War is between countries, one trying to cease the other's sovereignty and take it as its own, even at the expense of killing the innocents. For Japan, this was most of what they did across the Pacific, installing their proxy government to all countries they captured. Using the A-bomb constitutes a different goal and that was stopping the war.

@shinohara - you just made me laugh. As if you are saying that "we can do war but dont use A-bomb, just killing cause no one argues about it". From the start, killing is inhumane and that was most Japanese Imperial Army did during WW2. Tell that to those people who suffered the loss of their relatives. Bet its really hard for you to understand if you are on the other side of the fence. Do you think the A-bomb would have drop at Hiroshima if Japan didnt started the war? Wish Japan was talking about peace even before the war then none of this happened.

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Reading the comments you still don't get it.

A murderer comes and kills your sister. Does that justify you going out and murdering the murderer's sister? Hell no, she had just had the misfortune to be related to the sociopath, but she's done nothing wrong.

It is no different for civilians who just happen to be living in a country that goes to war. Individually they're not accountable for their government's actions, they may have voted for the other guy, or they may not have even had an option (like women and children in pre-WW2 Japan).

Trying to make the entire issue behind words like "nations", and "countries", just tries to pretend that issues like individual rights disappear when you have sufficient numbers of individuals. It's sophistry.

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You have to think, if Japan had the A-bomb before the US did, would they have used it? I think you know the answer.(Remember now, Japan is the land that introduced the kamikaze piloted plane and the MXY-7 Ohka kamikaze rocket.)

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But with the increasing interest, a plan is being considered to make them more vivid again.

“There is a feeling that the exhibits became too clean,” said museum official Shoji Oseto.

How altruistic. All in the name of peace, yes?

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Unlike most of Japan, Hiroshima doesn’t shy from its wartime past.

Huh? Nothing in this article talks about Japanese wartime past, it talks about victims of the war.

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Ok clearly Hiroshima & Nagasaki were tragic events, mass deaths, but put in perspective of the 20-30million Jpn killed & both targets were legit military targets & both populated by Japanese who when Jpn was killing millions cheered on & some think oh the innocence...........the only innocent were children, frungy...........you need to learn a bit more on what was happening 1930-45, seriously.

Now back to Hiroshima & not being afraid to talk WWII puleeeeeeeeeeze, talking about the bomb & its aftermath IS NOT TALKING ABOUT WWII, its only cherry picking on bit!!! And with usually no context what so ever, still after 6+ decades.......

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We could have just as easily given a date and time, and have told the Japanese to have their movie cameras ready, as we are going to show you something over the ocean,,,,and then if you do not surrender, we have like 50 of these things and are going to start dropping them on your cities one day at a time. I think that would have worked.

Such a tragedy that some of those who can view the war from the comfort of 2010 weren`t walking the corridors of power in 1945.

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Japan ALWAYS the victim, again.

The people who died in Hiroshima were mostly innocent women and children, who had no part in the war So were the women and children in Nanking that the JAPANESE army raped, wrapped in barbed wire, mutilated, set on fire and buried alive.

A murderer comes and kills your sister. Does that justify you going out and murdering the murderer's sister? Hell no, she had just had the misfortune to be related to the sociopath, but she's done nothing wrong.

I don't think I've read a more ludcirous comparison. These two examples are not even remotely comparable. Your government in the war was voted in by the men. Excatly, what did you expect America do? Round up all the war criminals and expect them to wait whilst they neatly gathered together and waited for a bomb to be dropped?

Tell me Frungy, exactly when is Japan going to build a museum acknowledging its wartime atrocities, massacres and holocausts?

War is between soldiers.

Frungy, tell me about the Jewish army vs the Luftwaffe.

Trying to make the entire issue behind words like "nations", and "countries", just tries to pretend that issues like individual rights disappear when you have sufficient numbers of individuals. It's sophistry.

Rubbish. You cannot describe war between countires in any other way.

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Frungy...I do understand you.But I guess its you who dont understand what you are trying to say here. Japan can use your argument as well as US will use the same argument (atleast im putting my shoes on both sides).

But if you are the US and you have the A-bomb, and Japan stubbornly dont want to surrender, and you know that somehow using the A-bomb will stop the war, what would you do? Its in your hands to push the button, whether to continue the massive killings done by Japan or sacrifice a few to stop it. Well, i guess what happened was history!

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You can argue till the cows come home about the justification for the use of the bombs. The wr should never have happened as it was primarily a fundamental misunderstanding of cultures on both sides. Tojo and his friends thought they could fight the Americans to a truce with Japan gaining territory. They never expected to defeat America just create a stalemate where Japan gained ground. The misunderstanding lies in the fact that the US once attacked was going to fight to victory not a settlement. Of course what precipitated all this was the Hull note and sanctions that America just expected Japan to accept, again fundamental misunderstanding, it was an afront to Japanese pride. It was an ugly war and it was a long time ago. Most of the soldiers on both sides were fighting for the survival of their family and friends or because they had no choice.

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Well, in that case, they are victims of WWII, so they are not shy about it. But i guess Japan will be shy about what it did in WWII to other countries?

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@Frungy,

War is not between soldiers; war is between nations. Japanese people back in WWII fully supported their country. It is so easy for us to say, "Hey look, if you should not kill civilians during war", but if we had invaded japanese mainland, many more of our soldiers would have perish, and those soldiers' family would suffer greatly. I don't know care how you hate the fact that U.S dropped two A bombs in Japan, it reduced our side's death and brought this war to an end. If you want to play blame game, you should have blamed the Japanese government for not surrendering earlier than it should, blame the Japanese invasion of other asian countries during WWII, or blame the bombing of pearl harbor by the Japanese military.

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War is not between soldiers; war is between nations. Japanese people back in WWII fully supported their country.

It's easy to criticize those people back then when today, we live in the day of internet and satellite TV.

Of course they supported their country because they had little to go on other than a slanted newspaper articles.

don't know care how you hate the fact that U.S dropped two A bombs in Japan, it reduced our side's death and brought this war to an en

This has been debated on previous articles on this site but the conclusion of Japan's decision to surrender had virtually nothing to do with the Atomic bombs but rather the Soviet's entrance to the war.

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Frungy - YOU don't get it.

Japan had occupied and brutally subjugated Taiwan and Korea for about 40 years, and had taken control of a large piece of China when they decided to include the U.S.A. in their war...

Japan had told their soldiers that surrender was shameful, and their soldiers fought to the death.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and every other Japanese city were vital to Japan's war effort - in effect, there were no innocents in Japan. Every boy was a future soldier, every civilian was a civilian employee of Japan's military, and their domination and subjugation of their neighbors.

Were the bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima fair? No - they did not go far enough. The U.S. was thinking of ending the war, and having a working Japanese government, and their plan needed the emperor to live - too bad. If they had not been worried about the Russians, maybe they would have bombed Nagatacho, or the imperial palace...

So my advice to the 'peace' advocates in Hiroshima is to tell the whole story. It could be worded better, but here is the gist of it:

"Japan attacked and brutalized every nation within its reach, dominated and colonized Taiwan, Korea and China. Japan's leaders were unwilling to stop their murderous rampage, so the war was brought to an end by two nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Like a rabid dog, Japan's ability to make war on its neighbors was put down. Of course, the responsibility for the nuclear bombs, and the long term suffering they caused, lies with the emperor and the government of Japan. If they had not been so zealous in their destructive, aggressive war, it would not have taken TWO nuclear bombs to end the war.... Welcome to the Peace Memorial."

PS: Your example about the sister is not accurate. When attacked, the U.S. will kill your family, end the war, then pay you damages, rebuild your country, and set up your country as a major exporting nation, with access to U.S. markets... Losing to the U.S. was the best thing that ever happened to Japan. And it only cost 2 nukes....cheap!

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KevininHawaii - Well said.

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Imperial mobster dad was so adamant bout surrendering, he kept ordering his own sons and daughters each with a hand grenade to fight for a trouble he himself created. Throwing in few dynamites through the window and killing everyone in the family mob-war style may not have been the most chivalric way for the police but it was the only way bring four year siege to an end.

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@ Frungy

A murderer comes and kills your sister. Does that justify you going out and murdering the murderer's sister? Hell no, she had just had the misfortune to be related to the sociopath, but she's done nothing wrong.

Actually this is a very good analogy.

@ Chotto

exactly when is Japan going to build a museum acknowledging its wartime atrocities, massacres and holocausts?

The exhibits at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum are quite open about Japanese wartime atrocities and the disastrous steps that led to the Pacific war.

When I was a Japan basher, I swore I would never set foot in the museum. But when I did go, it was with open eyes. The museum is not about who was to blame, it is about suffering. And if that can influence people from anywhere 65 years later into becoming anti-war, I say that is a good thing.

People who assume the worst about wartime Japanese civilians are exactly the same as the scum who (even today) callously commit war crimes. It's called dehumanization people, look it up sometime.

Peacemongering is not a bad thing. Don't live in the past, at least not that past.

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Yes, I think Frungy made really good points but KevininHawaii stated it well without being hateful like some of the other posters.

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ReformedBasher - I am happy for you. You used to hate, and now you do not. Congratulations.

I was never a basher, so I do not feel that I need to atone for my sins in that way. I am also not a Japan hater.

In my earlier post, I did not say that Japanese civilians were actively involved in the direction of the war. I said that they were being used by the Japanese military, to advance Japan's wartime goals - subjugation/domination of Japan's neighbors, and exploitation of their resources. I do not think that ALL of them were war-mongers - but they, and their labor - were being used to keep the war going.

See the difference?

BTW, there were MANY vocal anti-war protestors in Japan BEFORE the war... 100+ committed suicide as protest, and the remainder became silent...I guess a kempeitai boot on the back of your neck will quite down even the most vocal protestor.

Japan has a history of 'adjusting' historical facts - I just want an accurate history of what led up to the 2 nukes included at the peace memorial, that's all.

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Frungy - I think you are missing a very important detail.

WW2 in Europe was won because the allies bombed the hell out of Germany - thereby destroying Germany's ability to make war. LOTS of civilians died, but the war ended.

North Vietnam won their war in the press, and via American civilian popular opinion - they did not have to bomb anyone.

Japan was convinced to surrender after 2 nukes - and yes, LOTS of civilians died there too.

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@KevininHawaii

Nice to meet you. Sorry but I just read your post now. My comments were not directed at you but I do agree with Frungy's analogy.

Yes, I'm aware there were a large number of anti-war protestors in Japan, just as there were also a lot civilians who actively helped the war effort.

I'm of the opinion that some posters (perhaps not you) are unable to differentiate between the peace activists in Hiroshima and the right wing nuts who claim that the Nanking massacre never happened. They are at opposite ends of the scale. The fact that they come from the same country is not relevant.

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Reformed Basher

The exhibits at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum are quite open about Japanese wartime atrocities and the disastrous steps that led to the Pacific war.

A paragraph here and there doesn't count.

What you don't seem to understand, is that it's all very well campaigning for peace, but refusal to acknowlkedge or admit WHY these events occurred in the first place, makes the whole excercise pointles.. The reason the world has nuclear weapons, is because of countries like wartime Japan and Germany. Note how they don't cmapaign against invading other countries etc, only nuclear weapons. If anything, they've only themselves to blame. There will never be a world without nuclear weapons, and all the better for it.

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ReformedBasher Frungy's analogy is not even related. Personal war is different from political war and this is what Frungy doesnt get. And with regards to "war is between military"...giz, do you think Japan just let their soldiers decide on their own to sail to Hawaii and do a kamikaze?

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@ Chotto

A paragraph here and there doesn't count.

It doesn't? Just what do you expect?

@ bacster

Frungy's analogy is not even related

It is. I've just reread everything Frungy wrote and it is 100% correct.

The message behind the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is the horror of war, especially nuclear war, not Japan as victim.

Frungy gets it, you guys don't

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War is terrible. The only thing worse is losing a war you started.

Tragically, there were no viable alternatives to using nuclear weapons to force Japan to surrender. Dropping a "demonstration bomb" was out of the question- the US had only two working weapons at the time. Wasting one in the faint hope that it would shock Japan's wartime leaders into surrender was not a good bet. If the firebombing of Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya didn't work, why would a demonstration?

Negotiations were also not practical. The Allies gave Japan the chance to surrender in July 1945 after the Potsdam Conference, and this was ignored. That left military options- a starvation blockade, a land invasion, or atomic weapons. The former two would have resulted in millions of citilian deaths, an invasion would have also cost the Allies upwards of a million battlefield casualties. The best option remaining was a quick 'one-two' punch with the a-bombs. Sad and tragic, but in retrospect the most humane (in terms of lives lost) of the options left to the allies.

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Well, in that case, they are victims of WWII, so they are not shy about it. But i guess Japan will be shy about what it did in WWII to other countries?...................

right on !!

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I do think that the tendency of the Japanese to focus so much on being the victim of the two atomic bombings annoys the heck out of a lot of other Asian nations. The Japanese were very brutal in their conquest and occupations during WWII. Most Japanese would prefer to see themselves as victims and forget about all of that inconvenient raping and pillaging stuff. The Japanese have a lot of pride in their country and it's too difficult for them to be as apologetic as the Germans have been.

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Ask most Japanese what Unit 731 was and they'll answer with a blank stare! Most Japanese belive the only war atrocities commited were the atomic bombings of thier cities. My Japanese wife even admits to not knowing about unit 731 and when I told her she said it was American propoganda and nothing like that ever happened.

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The majority of American voters who turned up to the 2004 US Presidential election re-elected Bush after Iraq, does that mean they all deserve to die and are the deaths of people who didn't support Bush and their families are acceptable collateral damage? Supporting the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is an implied answer of 'yes' to that question.

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