Terumi Tanaka Photo: REUTERS/Issei Kato
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A-bomb survivor keeps up fight for nuclear disarmament

38 Comments
By Akiko Okamoto

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38 Comments
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What a great man and a what an amazing life story.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Is a losing battle. Nukes represent power. Without it, most powerful nations will lose their standing in the world. Instead more and more countries are now interested to have nukes. Only by having it would they then considered be equal enough to talk terms with other powerful nations.

Even Trump had once demanded that Japan make their own nukes and stop relying on US troops as shields against it's neighbors.

This issue will not be solved until one day mankind find a even more destruction weapon and abandon this one.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

@Hiro, Unfortuately probably true

6 ( +7 / -1 )

His story is a direct link to our past which we should learn from. Unfortunately our downfall is that we do not learn from previous mistakes and therefore let history repeat itself. Hopefully new generations will fight for a more peaceful and non nuclear planet. We can hope!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

The only country that has ever used nuclear weapons still gets to occupy parts of this great country. What an insult.

A peaceful movement, to dismantle nuclear weapons and US hegemony must be of paramount importance.

Keep up the good work, Tanaka San.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

I hope he gets to continue a New York exhibition. I’d love to visit.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Good on Tanaka-san. Everyone who has visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki and seen the horror unleashed there, still etched into the landscape, will want to see all nuclear weapons abolished.

Sadly, soon all the survivors of these tragedies will be gone, and the world will no longer be able to listen and learn from humanities mistakes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Best wishes to Tanaka san, I can only empathize with how he and his generation feels about the state of affairs with regard to global security.

Since the fateful day, more nations have obtained nuclear weapons not less, and to think rogues like North Korea and Pakistan now have nukes, he must be very disheartened.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Tanaka sans legacy must live on, unfortunately the rogue state of the USA will continue on it's evil way.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Of course it is a losing battle as far as eliminating nuclear weapons is concerned. But it is not a losing battle in that Mr Tanaka has worked to ensure that it is something that must be remembered for the sake of all humanity. That's why 93 countries have attended the A-bomb memorials.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

i agree with all the support and sympathy here for Tanaka San and the thoughts for the victims but also a thought for the millions of death caused by Japans aggression is in place.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Is a losing battle. Nukes represent power. Without it, most powerful nations will lose their standing in the world. Instead more and more countries are now interested to have nukes. Only by having it would they then considered be equal enough to talk terms with other powerful nations.

Sadly it's true, that is the stupid self-destructive greedy human nature..

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Terumi Tanaka, is truly and inspiration to my generation, especially Terumi Tanaka resolve with such tragedy in the event of great loss. Terumi Tanaka dignity in enduring the horrific spectacle of destruction on an unimaginable scale stirs the soul to appreciate one’s compassion and humanity.  

The above photo represents Terumi Tanaka as a scholarly, well-read man.  Knowledgeable, indeed, enlightened to the dangers of continued nuclear proliferation.

Now a question, can same be said of the J education system?

Is there a frank and honest understanding of the events that led up to such desolate war-ravaged destruction? 

Memorials and remembrance cannot, and must not become polarized on single events, however appalling and brutal.  

Lessons must be reflected in classrooms up and down the country.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I’m behind you mate.

start by inspection of US bases on Japanese sovereign soil, and remove nukes to Guam.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The use of such a weapon is clearly a war crime as no legitimate military target would ever be nearly as big as a nuclear blast radius, nor civilians safe from its after-effects. This is all so very obvious but ignored because people need their comforting delusions, such as the need to believe their governments are benign heroic stewards of their country, as if they never got over the childish need for a "papa".

I think that probably the first step needed to nuclear de-armament will be to remove all government secrecy. No one is going to de-arm when governments have such power to hide so much because they may not have actually de-armed as per agreements.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

A truly noble cause but it's not going to happen. If you think any country is going to do that, you are foolish and besides, the formula is out there. You could disarm now but someone is bound to build another one.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Sadly humankinds history of heaping violence, death and destruction upon each other, will not disappear with the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Newer methods of killing are constantly being developed - just that, cloaked in secrecy, we know little about them. From space initiated attacks to bio-warfare to AI drones to....? There is a possibility in this warped futuristic scenario that less lives may be lost as counties / regions are essentially eliminated by the destruction of their power / communication infrastructures. And germ warfare - well we don't even want to think about it.

So our only hope is for people like Tanaka-san to keep spreading the message that not only nuclear weapons are to be abolished, but humankinds obsession with killing others must be addressed.

Peace is the only option. Wars of history never had the weapons of the 21stC.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Since Cain slew Abel out of jealousy and spite, humankind has been on a path to destruction.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

The fault of dropping the atomic bomb was not the US Government, not the Military and not the industrial complex! It was the Japanese leadership! Please try to understand this. US firebombing raids on Japan were often 1000 plane raids that pick a city and reduced it to ash were near impunity, yet the Japanese government refused to surrender. The senior government and emperor did not care about the common Japanese people. US was feeling so bad about the raids, they even give the Japanese people target list of the next cities to be fire bombed because US felt bad about the civilian casualties! The atomic bomb was not much more than a 1000 plane raid on a Japanese city, and still the Japanese government did not surrender. US was at wits end to find a way of getting Japan to surrender, but the Japanese government wanted to push their agenda through at the expense of the Japanese people. The A-Bomb did not end the war! Russia entry into the war caused Japan to surrender. The Japanese high government told their people how bad the Americans were but they knew better. The German POW's in US were often treated better the our own Black Americans. They knew how the Russians treated the civilians in East Europe (bad). They knew how the Russians treated the German civilians (very bad). And they knew how the Russians treated the German Military POW's (extremely bad). The Japanese senior government chose to surrender to the Americans because it was better then the Russians. Think: East & West German. North & South Korea. What about North & South Japan? The fault of the A-Bomb usage is the Japanese fault. PS Japan had two A-Bomb programs in progress! Do you think imperial Japan would have used them if they could?

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Absolutely so, never give up the fight, even though it is a futile one. People who do not understand the destructive power of atomic and nuclear bombs would never know what the catastrophe is like, until they experience it.

But then, once they see a such a bomb explode, they would very unlikely to have a chance to tell others their experience..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The senior government and emperor did not care about the common Japanese people.

Bingo.

The A-Bomb did not end the war! Russia entry into the war caused Japan to surrender.

Bingo again. Its baffling how you can say those obvious things yet think that somehow the U.S. government and military just had to drop nukes and firebombs on civilians and so are blameless. Why drop nukes when it was known the Japanese leadership did not care about its own civilians? That was obvious since the Battle of Okinawa and more obvious when Kobe, Tokyo, Shizuoka, Toyohashi etc were half or more turned to ashes. And the U.S. did all this and often did not lose a single plane in the process. Japan was defenseless whether they surrendered or not.

Mass murdering civilians accomplished nothing for the surrender and it was well known it would not. It was not necessary at all and neither were most of the firebombings. Therefore, the U.S. government and military leaders who ordered it and carried it out are TOTALLY guilty.

About all the murder of Japanese civilians accomplished was to scare the Soviets away from Japan. And that's just not good enough.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

It is because nuclear weapons are so horrible that we haven't had any major wars since World War II.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Sadly, but nuclear weapon is the only deterrent against new global wars. In its absence, "The West" will try to "liberate" North Korea, Russia or China again, or "There can be only one" in case of India vs Pakistan or Israel vs Arabs.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I am saddened to see comments like "Evil America". I ask that those people judge the situation at the end of WWII. If American was truly evil they would have killed or enslaved all of Japan, they had the power. Remember what the Japanese politicians did and said they would do. Now look back and see what the US has done for Japan. I never hear any negative comments about the Japanese in the US. We really do love you guys and we want the best for you. We were sick about having to drop those bombs we did not want to do it. We work very hard to protect the world form that kind of situation ever happening again.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Yes, you should be saddened.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Good luck with that, mate.

There's no way anyone would give up nukes.

Most nations that have them have got very good reasons to keep 'em. Mostly because of direct threats from their rivals.

He's just banging his head against the wall.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I think everyone needs to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Extremely important and moving museum to document one of the most horrific events in modern history. Very powerful and somber museum that details some of the most graphic photos, accounts, and facts of the event.

Being Japanese and American, I have watched several documentaries on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings, but they never fully detailed how horrific the conditions really were with people affected. This museum shows the most unfiltered and real life accounts of the event. I don't think anyone can leave the museum and not be affected by it. The museum completely changed my thinking on the events.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I find it rather ironic that Mr Trump is telling NK to give up/scrap its nuclear ICBM, when he has not scrapped his.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Let's not forget that Japan is a huge manufacturer of weapons too. An inconvenient truth...

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Abe said 'Japan will work to achieve a world without nuclear weapons', that is fine, but cannot be too sure.

As to whether Japan is really 'committed to its three principles of not producing, possessing or allowing nuclear arms on its territory', one is doubtful. How would the world know if Okinawa military base has not been equipped with nuclear war-head missiles?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The good thing is that no country has a monopoly when it comes to nukes.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ken WyattToday  02:21 pm JST

Good luck with that, mate.

He's just banging his head against the wall.

Of course he is. But considering what he experienced at the age of 13 and how it has affected his entire life, can you blame him?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Terumi Tanaka is a Wisdom Bank.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Mr. Tanaka and other A-bomb survivors forget there was a time during their lifetime when nuclear weapons (even in its primitive form of atomic bomb) DID NOT EXIST. That was Pre-1945.

Was the world prior to 1945.....a world without atomic bombs.......a peaceful world? NO.

Will the abolishment of nuclear weapons.....resulting in a reliance on Conventional weapons.....guarantee there will never be wars likes World Wars II again? Look at history prior to 1945.

In fact, the abolishment of nuclear weapons will make All Out Total War thinkable once again and waged again with Conventional bombs and warheads. And don't forget biological and chemical weapons....which nobody today is protesting for their abolishment.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

HalwickToday  04:40 pm JST

And don't forget biological and chemical weapons....which nobody today is protesting for their abolishment.

In the case of Chemical or Bio weapons, I don't think there are living survivors to speak out.

https://www.opcw.org/our-work/eliminating-chemical-weapons

https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/policy/publicpolicies/science-policy/preventing-chemical-weapons.html

https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/bio/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5314976/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Let's not forget that Japan is a huge manufacturer of weapons too. An inconvenient truth...

-5( +0 / -5 )

Downvote all you like. Doesn't change the reality. It's not all sushi and samurai in JP...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I've studied the history of WW2 in the Pacific area since 1977 and I think I know rather well what happened and how it happened.

I'm still dumbstruck that there are still people around who believe in the tales of "nukes ended WW2" and "the use of atom bombs was justified to save the lives of US soldiers". The bombings were clearly used as tests which is proved by the fact that the targets chosen were previously unharmed by fire-bombing. If the US had wanted to set an example, a warning about what might happen, they could have chosen an uninhabited island far off the main islands of Japan. This was not even considered.

And don't get me started about the terms of surrender - there were none. The US made it clear there were no terms and the Japanese should they surrender would lose everything. Which nation would have agreed to that?

Einstein requested Roosevelt not to use the bomb on people but alas, Roosevelt died before he received that letter. And Truman never gave a toss.

So hundreds of thousands of civilians and POWs got incinerated, burned, irradiated, survivors got their DNA harmed which resulted in cancer and other diseases in their descendants.

Do you really believe a baby deserves that fate just because his father or grandfather got drafted to Imperial Japanese Forces?

Chemical and biological warfare got banned, yet it is still researched and probably used. But the threshold to use it has become a high one. Conventional warfare is bad enough. The use of anything else should be banned forever.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Since Cain slew Abel out of jealousy and spite, humankind has been on a path to destruction.

You say that as historical fact. It's a fable, it didn't actually happen. But yes, it does seem humanity is always inventing and perpetuating new and exciting ways to kill each other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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