'Tis the season here in Japan to relive World War 2, and today is an especially important day, because it is the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Hiroshima is a really lovely town, a lively downtown area and a pleasant riverside walk way. It is a shame that all it is remembered for is that the Americans dropped nuclear weapon on it.
I listened to the radio this morning; there was coverage of the commemoration ceremony in the Peace Park. I found it all to be far too ironic and cynical to listen to for long. The people in attendance were focused on the events in 1945 that led to the death or injury of thousands of people. Then at 8:15 came the ringing of the bell that signified the time that that bomb was dropped. Afterward there were speeches by various people. By now the have almost all trundled off in their gasoline powered cars or on public transportation that is powered by electricity generated by oil-fired generators without a thought to the death and injury that they are sponsoring by supporting the US, by allowing their country to be just another colony of the American empire.
A whole bunch of people get their cathartic therapy for what is happening in Iraq by moaning about a bombing that happened even before the present prime minister was born. They can't do anything about that bombing now, though Abe promised to consider what more the government can do for the survivors... Japanese survivors, mind you. (For information on how Korean survivors are being treated, read this article.) This group turns on their TV's and snivel into their Kleenexes as the bell tolls in Hiroshima, and vows that this should never be any more Hiroshimas. 140,000 people are believed to have died in Hiroshima as a direct result of the bombing and through other related injuries and sickness. As of October, 2006, a Washington Post article reports that there had been 655,ooo "excess deaths" since US troops arrived in March, 2003. For what? Bush won't level with you, even if he knows, but we all know now, as we knew before the conflict even started, that it's all for oil. Oil for America and its colonies, of which Japan is one. That means that there have been roughly five more Hiroshimas in Iraq since 2003. That's roughly one Hiroshima a year.
I hope no one brings this up with me today. They'll get an earful if they do.