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WWII kamikaze base to seek UNESCO recognition for pilots' documents

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By ELAINE KURTENBACH

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Not trying to be disrespectful at all but I never understood the "kamikaze" mentality. It seems like a dishonorable, cowardly (not brave) way to fight. Sort of like the modern day suicide bombers who blow themselves up taking as many people with them as possible. What's the difference? I know the moderators will probably delete this comment but it had to be said.

22 ( +30 / -10 )

Not trying to be disrespectful at all but I never understood the "kamikaze" mentality. It seems like a dishonorable, cowardly (not brave) way to fight.

Suicide attacks are nothing special to Japan been happening throughout history. It's the same as the "modern-day" suicide bombers too.

I for one hope they get turned down, in my opinion war and anything related to it, are not things that UNESCO should be involved with, they should stay focused on cultural heritage and not on anything related to destruction or death.

19 ( +21 / -4 )

One would think they would be trying to forget these attacks instead of immortalising them.

8 ( +13 / -6 )

Camman80MAY. 14, 2015 - 07:47AM JST Not trying to be disrespectful at all but I never understood the "kamikaze" mentality. It seems like a dishonorable, cowardly (not brave) way to fight. Sort of like the modern day suicide bombers who blow themselves up taking as many people with them as possible.

Bill Maher was widely criticized after the 9/11 attacks stating the exact opposite. To paraphrase: Which takes more courage, ending your own life in a suicide mission or sitting in a command center thousands of miles away killing people by drone?

That being said, the 9/11 hijackers would have done more towards achieving their goal of changing the nature of governments in the ME if they'd crashed planes into the Saudi "royal" palace or government ministry buildings.

The thing about the kamikaze was the futility. The war was lost by then so it was criminal to induce mostly young men to volunteer for such an assignment.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I don't know why Yasukuni doesn't apply for world heritage status?

While they're at it, UNESCO should make the whole of Japan a world heritage site and then we wouldn't have to go through this silly annual process anymore and maybe NHK can start reporting real news.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Japan needs to stop fetishizing the UNESCO designations. Not everything has have some official seal of approval from some outside authority to be worthwhile. There's a town near here trying to get an old copper mine declared a world heritage site. Spending millions of yen, and it's never gonna happen.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Can you imagine if Germany applied for something enshrining Nazis (other than holocaust sites)? Why is this any different? The only thing that should be remembered is these poor kids died for absolutely no reason. Wasted life.

10 ( +13 / -4 )

This is part of Japan's history and should be preserved, hopefully as cautionary artifacts, and made available for public viewing. However, I do not believe they should receive UNESCO certification.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Here is the link to the press conference itself, courtesy of the FCCJ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVMbdKlykpI

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Unnecessary trouble-making by Japan.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Some kamikaze pilots also violated the Geneva Convention by attacking hospital ships. This was a war crime, and the UN shouldn't entertain the underlying suggestion here in this UNESCO application that military combatants in "desperate conditions" can be forgiven for violating the Convention. If Japanese soldiers had followed the Geneva Convention (which they were required to do), their "horror of war" would have come to an end much sooner.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

To formally apply for the UNESCO "Memory of the World" recognition, Minamikyushu must gain approval from Japan's education ministry, but it is unclear whether that effort will succeed.

It will fail, as Janapese National Government has already rejected.

Web-site of Minamikyushu City.

http://www.city.minamikyushu.lg.jp/cgi-bin/hpViewContent.cgi?pID=20150511192910&pLang=ja

3 Time Table and Plans

2012 June; Minamikyushu Assembly approves plans for World Heritage application

2012 June 2013 July; Preparation for application

2014 Feb; Submission of Application to UNESCO

2014 June; National Government disapproved application upon inquiry from UNESCO

2015 Jan, May; Promotion meetings for World Heritage Registration

2015 June; Planned re-submission of application

Though, I think the documents worth recognition as bitter lessons of war.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Japan seems to think the kamikaze pilots were brave, they were not, they were sucked in by lies and desperation. The only thing to remember about kamikaze pilots is how stupid the government at the time was.

5 ( +9 / -5 )

CrazyJoeMAY. 14, 2015 - 09:24AM JST This is part of Japan's history and should be preserved, hopefully as cautionary artifacts, and made available for public viewing.

Good point, but if the Japanese are allowed to craft the narrative, it will end up like the museum (at least the old one - haven't been to Hiroshima for about 30 years) at Heiwa Koen with the discussion about the atomic bombing being divorced from the context of WWII.

However, I do not believe they should receive UNESCO certification.

Goodness no. What is the whole fascination with this? Bulking up before 2020?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Show me something old in Japan and I bet it's already applying for UNESCO recognition.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

gogogoMay. 14, 2015 - 09:41AM JST

The only thing to remember about kamikaze pilots is how stupid the government at the time was.

That is exactly the reason the organizers in Minamikyushu want the documents registered, and at the same time, the reason Tokyo does not want them registered.

These in-depth analyses are all reported in Japanese media. A lot is lost in translation.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

There's a couple things above the general legend about Kamikaze to be known, and shown and explained in such a museum.

To quote Wikipedia: "During World War II, about 3,860 kamikaze pilots were killed, and about 19% of kamikaze attacks managed to hit a ship." "These attacks, which began in October 1944, followed several critical military defeats for the Japanese. They had long since lost aerial dominance due to outdated aircraft and the loss of experienced pilots. " "Tokkōtai pilot training, as described by Takeo Kasuga, generally "consisted of incredibly strenuous training, coupled with cruel and torturous corporal punishment as a daily routine." "The tokkōtai pilot's manual also explained how a pilot may turn back if the pilot could not locate a target and that "[a pilot] should not waste [his] life lightly." However, one pilot who continually came back to base was shot after his ninth return." "It was customary for GHQ [in Tokyo] to make false announcements of victory in utter disregard of facts, and for the elated and complacent public to believe them" "While it is commonly perceived that volunteers signed up in droves for kamikaze missions, it has also been contended that there was extensive coercion and peer pressure involved in recruiting soldiers for the sacrifice." "Some Japanese military personnel were critical of the policy. Some officers, Minoru Genda, Tadashi Minobe and Yoshio Shiga, refused to obey the policy."

Methamphetamine (under the name "Philipon") use was also widely encouraged by the Japanese Army, not limited to Tokkōtai. One may doubt the depth of choice from somebody under drug influence...

4 ( +6 / -1 )

Still trying to glorify its war past. Get it over with. It is done.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Glorifying the kamikaze again. If recognized, it needs to be done so according to the tragedy, stupidity, and utter waste and bad governance of it, not for bravery or 'sacrifice' or nationalistic purposes.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

FoggiaMAY. 14, 2015 - 10:01AM JST Methamphetamine (under the name "Philipon") use was also widely encouraged by the Japanese Army, not limited to Tokkotai. One may doubt the depth of choice from somebody under drug influence

This was used by Allied pilots as well, particularly bomber crews that had to fly for hours in often frigid conditions. While it's been long understood that amphetamines increase "territoriality" (why they were commonly used in the NFL for years), they were primarily used to keep people awake and alert. Meth, administered in higher doses, would actually make someone less likely to follow instructions than make them pliable or suggestible.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Obviously they want to register this as Japanese fighter's "sacrifice", "bravery", mixed in with nationalism and sense of victimhood, to glorify and honor their WWII "heroes". What a sickening display of glorification of Japan in WWII.

If this gets passed as UNESCO, then so should the Iraqis honoring their suicide bombers against American military.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I think most of the stuff they are trying to get recognition for can probably just be in a war museum

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What they say and what they do will be two different things.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Not going into the politics but,

It seems like a dishonorable, cowardly (not brave) way to fight

No. Here's your ship, here's my plane. Try to stop me with your anti-aircraft and fighters. Do you see a coward doing that?

Quoting from Wikipedia (due to it being easy to copy and I'm on my morning break)

Before the formation of kamikaze units, pilots had made deliberate crashes as a last resort when their planes had suffered severe damage and they did not want to risk being captured, or wanted to do as much damage to the enemy as possible, since they were crashing anyway; such situations occurred in both the Japanese and Allied air forces.

Yep, Allied pilots did it too, without special corps or aircraft. To fight the enemy by giving your life is generally recognized as heroic by all services, no matter which country or era.

Suicide bombers on the other hand hide their actions until the last moment.

That said, I'm ambivalent about recognition. Making a political statement is something that I firmly disagree with, as an example of war's impact is okay.

3 ( +12 / -8 )

Can I make the point that this is not UNESCO world heritage recognition. This is a different program, "Memories of the World", which seeks to preserve documentation of historic passages in the world's history, such as the Battle of the Somme, or the Auschwitz camp. Both of the latter are included in the program.

Also, this is not Japan making the application - it is the local community (Minamikyushu). Professor Sheftall yesterday made the very strong point that the application would be withdrawn if the central government attempted to put any spin on it which led to glorification or fetishizing of the tokkō strategy or its practitioners.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

What a conundrum. I'm in two minds about this.

Part of me says that such resources should be preserved as part of the historical record. Being somewhat older than most JT posters, I had an opportunity to talk to a number of Japanese veterans during grad school here in Japan. The stories told of growing up in what was essentially an authoritarian state in the 1930s, undergoing forced conscription around 1942 (remember that video of the university students), and then being half trained, starved and left to die in some South-East Asian S H were truly heartbreaking.

However.....

The clear links between the personal stories and Japan's wartime conduct (which still hasn't been fully addressed) isn't something that should be lauded by UNESCO. Indeed, if the Japanese application is to be granted what about Germany seeking UNESCO approval for diaries of the Hitler Youth (many of whom graduated to the SS and SD, etc? Moreover, the Japanese experience of loss (of innocence) in this instance is not unique. Given that we are now around the centenary of the First World War (1914-1918), what is the difference between what Japan experienced and what Britain experienced on the first day of the Somme (July 1st, 1916) with Kitchener's New Army battalions (the Pals Battalions) or the German Kindermord of 1914.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Btw, I strongly recommend Professor Sheftall's book (Blossoms in the Wind) on the subject - it does not glorify or exonerate the practice, but based on many years of interviews with survivors, it does an excellent job of explaining exactly how these young men (and the women who acted as support for them) felt at the time, and how they feel now.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

don't know why Yasukuni doesn't apply for world heritage status?

While they're at it, UNESCO should make the whole of Japan a world heritage site and then we wouldn't have to go through this silly annual process anymore and maybe NHK can start reporting real news.

I agree 100%. Maybe Japan can just buy UNESCO outright.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

japan's history resemble very ancient chinese, in war period, that was around more than 2200 years ago, shì meant to be similarly samurai, and shì has been abolished by chinese own imperial rule since 2000 years ago, in exchange of confucius and bureaucracy, average climbing social ladder through exam, which just like japan doing now. it was a mystery to rest of asian nations to see japan's success after meiji restoration, and i thought could it be possibly japan has a samurai's heritage, to hold self together, sure that'll be too simple to generalize. anyone has to question self if willing to sacrifice to death for a cause, and it is easy and sure luck to stay peacefully and live to enjoy on work, chosen lifestyle. wars always end and started for some causes. japan's samurai tradition isn't something has to be forgotten, even the war ended and a defeat. german's embracing their own defeat and moving forward really a western approach, not sure it'll work out well in the far east, and sure it isn't wise to do so from japan's own interests. however, japan is a centre of cultural creativity, economy, fashions, etc. now and in the future.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They can make all of Japan, UNESCO, and buy up UNESCO itself. It still wouldn't be enough, they'll want to UNESCO all of Japan's war heroes. Hirohito as UNESCO figure, Gen.Tojo, as UNESCO figure, attack on Pearl Harbor as UNESCO, POW camps as UNESCO, all of Japan's generals UNESCO, heck, even Shinzo Abe will become UNESCO for his successes of UNESCO'ing all the Japan's UNESCO's. Then Abenomics itself will become UNESCO, and on and on. It will never end.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Among the Kamikaze pilots (there were suicide boats and lots of soldiers ran at machine guns brandishing just swords or bamboo spears too) there were undoubtedly brave people, and suckers. There was also a nasty bit of stick for people who refused or couldn't do it.

Essentially in the Pacific and East Asian war, Japan lost well over 10% of its population, collateral which self-centered myopic militaristic idealogue leaders were divorced from and hardly concerned about - and I have not even begun to catalogue all the collateral damage in the Pacific and East Asian region that the Chinese government and others bang on about. Among Japanese combatants, more were lost to disease, maltreatment and deprivation than to actual combat. And that is all just sad, with very little that is noble about it. Then there was that stupid enduring rivalry between Imperial Army and Imperial Navy.

UNESCO heritage listing for one ex-base hypothetically would require recognition of a heap of others in Kyushu, Okinawa and in present-day Taiwan. Even the present Abe regime would not want to go down that road. It is in the same ballpark as making Auschwitz a heritage site memorializing Nazi ex-SS war criminals but probably not as sick nor extreme as that would be.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

'These documents serve as a reminder of the extremes people are driven to in such desperate conditions', said Matsuo Kuwahiro.

Perhaps, the most illuminating comment in the whole article as to the intended spin on how these documents would be pitchted as being worthy for UNESCO consideration.

The implication is one that is constantly repeated in the mainstream Japanese narrative on WWII. A narrative that implies the country was somehow driven by circumstances beyond its control...A narrative that implies that the country was somehow a prisoner of inertia to outside forces...and not suffering under its own brutal dictatorship that was the catalyst to its own destruction.

It is precisely for that reason that these documents should not be considered. If on the otherhand, the spin was 'this is what can happen under a extreme dictatorship' then such documents may be worthy of consideration... But as it stands it would simply serve as a reward to those who believe Pearl Harbor somehow attacked itself...etc...ad infinitum....

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I don't know but you need have a lot of guts to kill yourself for something you believe or too desperate.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Moreover, the Japanese experience of loss (of innocence) in this instance is not unique.

See, that's the thing. Japan wants to publicize and eulogize the Kamikaze's who wrote their last letters before they flew to their deaths. Japanese say they want to publicize the pitfalls of war. Why do I have such hard time believing this? Well, because Japan is also applying for 22 old industrial sites dating back to the Meiji era, which all were sites where slave laborers from Korea were forced to work, and died. Did Japan publish any letters from these victims? No. Japan doesn't even mention the fact that thousands of people were forced to work in these factories in inhuman conditions. Not a peep about this, in their UNESCO application. So, is this mean Japan only cares about Japanese victims of war? Yes, and more. Japanese are just attempting to use this UNESCO to publicize their whitewashed views of their war time record, as normal. Japan doesn't apply for something for world organization unless they're proud of whatever they think should be recognized Of course nationalism has had a heavy hand in this, and whoever denies this, has no credibility. It's hogwash what some people are saying, that Japan wants to make an anti-war statement. If that's really the case, then Japan would be publicizing all of the victims regardless of the ethnicity, nationality, or the race, and not just want recognition for the Japanese 'victims'.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

“The documents serve as a reminder of the extremes people are driven to in such desperate conditions,” said Mutsuo Kuwashiro, an adviser to the city government and curator of the Chiran Peace Museum. “We believe they are an invaluable record of the horror of war.”

All I need to read. The old victim card -- "extremes people are driven to in such desperate conditions". Respectfully, they are not an "invaluable record of the horror of war". They are simply a record of Japanese arrogance and rascism in that they thought they could scare the Allied sailors enough to force a more favorable outcome. It is an "invaluable record of the horror of what extremes the Japanese military would go to, and how little they valued their own young men's lives".

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Why not start by publishing them in textbook form and making them required reading for every schoolchild - but without annotations of opinion, only of historical fact, ie dates, times, place and names.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Though I do not think such documentation should be registered as UNESCO world heritage, I believe it should be preserved and open to everybody who wants to read through it. Showing the tragedy and human side of the people who were forced to sacrifice their lives by a government that obviously held little to none respect for human life does not sound like glorification. As a reminder of the horrors of war, it is indeed something that those who want to know about should be allowed to see.

@Maria: Why not start by publishing them in textbook form and making them required reading for every schoolchild - but without annotations of opinion, only of historical fact, ie dates, times, place and names.

Good idea. Yet, there must be some commentary on how war devastates human life and steals young people’s future. Otherwise some may still see such publications as glorification of Kamikaze and the war.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

One would think they would be trying to forget these attacks instead of immortalising them

Good point. Forget Japan's own atrocities, but remember the "brave" kamikaze pilots - many of whom took methamphetamine. How convenient

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

In my opinion, those young men who gave their lives for their country (regardless being deceived by their superiors or not) should be remembered.

This is part of the Japanese history, and you can't just forget that it happened.

At least have some respect for those young soldiers who have died in vain believing that they are doing it to protect their loved ones, if you don't think that's brave, I don't know what is?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I am retired now, but I used to work at a company in the U.S that had an ex-kamikaze pilot on its payroll as a mechanic.

The pilot had decided that he did not want to crash his piloted-bomb into anything, so instead he landed it on an American aircraft carrier, then got out and surrendered. Of course he couldn't go back to Japan after such a rational act, so he was allowed to immigrate to the States after the war.

I have read that at one point the canopies of the piloted-bombs had to be welded shut in order to prevent more such acts of rationality from being completed.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

so many confused comments, re-posting this clarification in the interest of the facts,

****Can I make the point that this is not UNESCO world heritage recognition. This is a different program, "Memories of the World", which seeks to preserve documentation of historic passages in the world's history, such as the Battle of the Somme, or the Auschwitz camp. Both of the latter are included in the program.

Also, this is not Japan making the application - it is the local community (Minamikyushu). Professor Sheftall yesterday made the very strong point that the application would be withdrawn if the central government attempted to put any spin on it which led to glorification or fetishizing of the tokkō strategy or its practitioners.****

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I've been to the museum at Chiran. Very impressive. Spent a couple of hours looking at the many items on display.

I believe the mayor of Minamikyushu and others associated with the project have good intentions in registering the document collection as a UNESCO “Memory of the World” exhibit to help ensure it will convey the horrors and suffering of the war to future generations. If you should happen to visit the museum perhaps you might come away with the same feeling.

Also at the museum, and placed outside on open grounds, is quite a collection of old aircraft. This in itself is worth seeing.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

There is another -- "Japanese revisionist" or "Japanese right wing" -- WW2 narrative, in which these pilots were heroes fighting a war against a terrible aggressor. This video presents that narrative by combining the soundtrack of the trailer of the movie "300" with images from the trailer of "Pearl Harbor" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwNh4LXkRjQ Is this as absurd as suggesting that "Pearl Harbor somehow attacked itself"?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

maybe NHK can start reporting real news.

Wow someone who actually watches NHK, I hope you pay the fees!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@KobeKid does an excellent job of reminding all of us that this is not for the UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. This is for the UNESCO Memory Of The World program.

I would suggest all readers, before commenting on the appropriateness of this submission, actually go and review the current register of designated Memory Of The World entries. Much of the comments I see here are knee jerk reactions based on views of WW2, Japan's actions and whether recognising anything related to the war amounts to endorsement of wartime activities.

I am not saying that this should be approved by UNESCO and, given that it still has to be approved and submitted by the Japanese government, which is highly unlikely given the orientation of the current administration, I doubt UNESCO will actually even have an opportunity to review the submission.

However, on the face of it, if I take what is represented in the article at face value, there is no reason for it not being considered. Indeed, the Gwangju Uprising in S. Korea and the documents associated with it are part of the register. Not exactly S. Korea's finest moment.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is a site that deserves the same respect as a Nazi concentration camp. It needs to preserved but not glorified.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@hotmail: I do understand that you have been raised to beware (I could not think of any softer way to talk about your hatred to this country) of anything Japan as a country or the Japanese as a nation do but could you please stop mixing threads and bother us with comments on topics of different articles?

Thank you very much for your consideration in advance.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

this is getting rediculous, maybe America should ask if the runway used for the "Enola Gay" be included also! after all it was an important piece of ending WW2

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm for one quite excited this is a possibility. The world needs to recognize, respect, and remember the gallantry of these men who, rather than be captured, chose to die against their enemy. This would also serve as a huge boost to the pride and patriotism of the children of Japan who have been manipulated to be ashamed of their antecedents who, belonging to a great stock of warriors, took the initiative to free Asia from the western yoke. If only the west would have given up the oil, all of this could have been avoided. Now, because of victor's justice, Japan's reputation is tarnished and Japan doesn't get the credit for what it is: a liberator, a tiger against western imperialism, and a bearer of peace.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@wtfjapan:

I get the point, but this is centered around documents related to certain events/things. If you take a look at the current registry of designated Memory of the Wold items, you will see this.

The link is below:

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/flagship-project-activities/memory-of-the-world/register/full-list-of-registered-heritage/registered-heritage-page-1/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Thanks to Hugh Ashton and the others who have tried to inject some accuracy and balance jnto the comments.

I think these documents are an important part of history and have no objection to them being added to the Memory of the World list. It's got nothing to do with "enshrining", "glorifying", or "justifying."

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Can I make the point that this is not UNESCO world heritage recognition. This is a different program, "Memories of the World", which seeks to preserve documentation of historic passages in the world's history, such as the Battle of the Somme, or the Auschwitz camp. Both of the latter are included in the program.

Exactly. People need to get their head out of their... whatever orifice they have it firmly planted inside of... and actually do a little research before spouting off. UNESCO has more programs than their World Heritage program. "Memories of the World" seeks to protect important historical documents from being destroyed or changed to reflect current social mores. With all the claims of Japan trying to re-write history, I would have thought the JT posters would have applauded this move by Minamikyushu. Instead, I read post after post about the World Heritage program.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I love Chiran not for the war stuff, but the tea, friendly people and the Samarai houses.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kobekid, Fadamor, Educator60

Point taken. Thanks.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

this is getting ridiculous, maybe America should ask if the runway used for the "Enola Gay" be included also! after all it was an important piece of ending WW2

Is that an example of ridiculous? As far as I know there was an exhibit of the actual plane, and even some commemorative postage stamps http://digital.lib.lehigh.edu/trial/enola/ http://www.nytimes.com/1994/12/04/world/japan-protests-us-stamp-on-a-bombs.html to the distress of some Japanese whose relatives were incinerated. Is "ridiculous" the right word?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

.......I doubt this is a good idea, Japan is always editing, twisting, lying when it comes to WWII etc.

And the kamikaze thing was such a sick & twisted idea in the first place the only thing it deserves it upmost condemnation!

I mean its one thing for a country to send its men/women to war knowing they might get injured, might get killed, BUT to send them off knowing they are DEAD from the time they leave is criminally IN-HUMAN!!! War is bad enough but Japan took an awful war to some the sickest ends in human history. I simply DO NOT trust Japan to deal with anything related to WWII is a fair & honest way, Japan so far in simple incapable of doing so!!

We only have to look at abe to see Japan continues to get WWII wrong 99.9999999% of the time!

And then we see Merkel-san of Germany go to Russia recently & AGAIN do it RIGHT!! Meanwhile in Japan......same ole cock & bull story!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

maybe the "Enola Gay" itself can be included, after all it played one of the most important roles of WW2

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A world heritage recognition for suicide bombers?? What is next, a memorial in honor of the 9/11 jihadis? Please, stop it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

comparing kamikazi equally..to suicide bombers is the activity of biased indoctrinated minds. No, they are not the same... and there are too many reasons why, to list. Just read the available information, and think about it more carefully. To forget...any of it...if anyone can bear to preserve evidence and memories...given the human propensity to twist the facts to suit fashionable thinking of the day...is a sad and irresponsible path to take. Keep every bit of evidence, keep every note, every thought, every voice from that time... as evidence. Let the world understand as long as it can, what a miserable mess it is possible to achieve, even with the best possible intentions.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Forgetting the kamikaze aspect of Japan's role in the Pacific War is most absolutely not the way to go. Just because something is unpleasant to think about does not automatically mean it should be shuffled away to a dark corner, out of sight, out of mind.

The mayor of Minamikyushu is absolutely correct in his desire to ensure that the horrors of war are not forgotten, and that people are constantly reminded of the dangerous lengths a people will go to when faced with desperation. As long as that's all the message is. Anything even remotely resembling glorification or romanticization of that particularly shocking chapter in Japan's wartime behavior should effectively shut down any efforts at sort or memorializing effort. In other words, as long as the stench of Shinzo Abe and his nationalistic ilk are nowhere near this project, it could be a positive thing.

However, that's not what UNESCO is for. It's a designation that is and should continue to be reserved for those aspects of human cultural heritage that contributed to positive outcomes, and not death and destruction.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

LFRAgain

-- You have covered the points well! Agree UNESCO is for positive elements of human cultural heritage.

Austria has its memorials / museums of Nazi concentration camps which shows the shocking behavior of humankind so that it is not repeated. It would be good for Japan (and Asia) if similar place which constantly educates and reminds that the humans have a capacity for evil.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Yubaru

I for one hope they get turned down, in my opinion war and anything related to it, are not things that UNESCO should >be involved with, they should stay focused on cultural heritage and not on anything related to destruction or death.

That would also require revoking UNESCO status for Himeji-jo. As a military fortification its functionally similar to this kamikaze base....right?

Numerous large, influential cultures throughout history have been closely tied to their proficiency at death and destruction (the Romans, Mongols, and Aztecs, to name just a few). The Japanese are no exception.

If anything, humanity's proficiency at murdering each other is one of our defining traits throughout the aeons...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Kamikaze were a waste of manpower. It takes at least 4-5 years to train a good pilot and some idiot general is going to ask for volunteer, knowing that they can't say no to protect their family. Kamikaze were not brave, they just did what they had to do protect their family from the Japanese Government. It is recognized by UNSECO, it should be for one the worst acts a government did to it's own people. At the end, they were using kids with only days of training like the 9/11 terrorist, their leader only cared about a one way trip. Kamikaze pilots were murdered by their own government and it was a useless effort once the good pilot were gone. Just sad!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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