Sunday, August 07, 2005
Heartening Words From Hiroshima
Here's a sample of what some Japanese had to say:
Japan surrendered on August 15, bringing to an end the military aggression that had culminated in its entry into World War Two.
Yohei Kono, the speaker of parliament's lower house, said the Hiroshima anniversary should serve as a reminder for Japan not to return to militarism as well as for the world not to use nuclear weapons again.
"We made a mistake in choosing our path in Asia and followed a road to war," said Kono, known for his dovish stance. He was referring to the words: "Rest in peace for we will not repeat the mistake", engraved on the monument honouring the Hiroshima dead.
"We took away the independence of Korea and we intervened in China using the military ... one of the results of fighting against the international community was the dropping of the atomic bomb."
Even some of those in Hiroshima for the anniversary said Japan may have to go nuclear to counter the North Korean threat.
"The best is if talks with the United States go well and North Korea gives up its weapons," said Yoshiaki Onoue, 45, referring to the six-party talks in Beijing aimed at persuading the North to abandon its nuclear programme.
"But Japan may need to have nuclear weapons as insurance," said Onoue, visiting the Peace Memorial Park with his family from Osaka, about 300 km (190 miles) east of Hiroshima.