Connect with us

World

Japan A-bomb survivors speak out against nuclear power, decry Abe’s view of war

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Japan A-bomb survivors speak out against nuclear power, decry Abe’s view of war | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Japan A-bomb survivors speak out against nuclear power, decry Abe’s view of war
Phuket Gazette / Reuters


PHUKET: When Atsushi Hoshino set out to revive a group representing atomic bomb survivors in the rural northeast Japanese prefecture of Fukushima 30 years ago, one topic was taboo – criticizing the
nuclear power industry upon which many relied for jobs.

That changed dramatically after March 11, 2011, when a massive tsunami devastated the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, triggering meltdowns, spewing radiation and forcing tens of thousands of residents to flee their homes.

“Until then, I felt somewhat uncomfortable about nuclear power, but not enough to oppose it. Rather, I was in a situation where it wasn’t possible to oppose it,” Hoshino, 87, told Reuters at his home in Fukushima City, about 60 km (37 miles)from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi plant, the country’s first commercial nuclear plant when it went on line in 1971.

Now, Hoshino, a survivor of the August 6, 1945, U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, is among the majority of Japanese who oppose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to reboot reactors taken off line after the Fukushima disaster. Kyushu Electric Power Co’s Sendai plant in southwestern Japan is expected to resume operations on August 10, the first to do so in nearly two years.

“I think that since the risk of nuclear power and the fact that human beings cannot control it has become clear; none of the reactors should be restarted,” Hoshino said.

Akira Yamada, chairman of Fukushima’s atomic bomb survivors group, says he reached a similar conclusion. Still, both men are wary of comparing the risks of nuclear power to the horror of atomic weapons.

“There is a difference between military use and peaceful use,” Yamada, who, like Hoshino, became a professor at Fukushima University after the war and later served as its president, told Reuters.

STARK MEMORIES

Seventy years after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, the experiences of the elderly survivors remain seared in their memories.

Hoshino was a high school student deployed to a munitions factory when a U.S. bomber dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing nearly 140,000 people by the end of the year. Three days later, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

On Aug. 15, Japan surrendered.

For Hoshino, who had been out of the city but returned to search for missing classmates, one of his starkest memories is of finding two friends, one seemingly unhurt but unconscious, the other barely alive with his entire body – including nose, lips, and eyes – burnt and blackened like charcoal.

The first died in a truck en route to their dorm. The other was alive, but his body was already infested with maggots, which Hoshino removed with tweezers, until that friend died, too.

“Even now, I cannot forget the appearance of those friends who were victims of the atomic bombing,” he said.

Nagasaki survivor Yoshiteru Kohata, 86, who returned to his birthplace in Fukushima a few years after the war’s end, says he long tried to forget the days after the bombing, when he helped injured and carried corpses up to the mountains for burial.

Recounting his experiences, such as hearing a young woman screaming “Please stop, Please stop,” as an army doctor operated on her wounds without anaesthetic, still distresses him.

“Even now, when I tell the story, tears well up and my chest gets tight,” added Kohata, a retired schoolteacher.

DOOMED TO LOSE

Yamada, 89, who was at home 2.5 km from the centre of the explosion when the bomb fell on Hiroshima, filling the sky with black clouds and red flames, says he knew early on that Japan was doomed to lose the war.

While Yamada was in middle school, his cousin, one year older, decided to apply to Yokaren, an Imperial Navy pilot school that ultimately trained many of the “kamikaze” pilots who flew suicide missions in the final months of the conflict.

“I told him, ‘Give it up. Japan cannot win this war’.”

His cousin joined anyway and in February 1945 came to say farewell. “‘We have no gasoline. We have no planes. All I can do is die’. You stay alive and work for Japan’,” Yamada quoted his cousin as saying.

Two months after Japan’s surrender, the family was notified that his cousin had died in the bloody battle of Iwo Jima.

Kohata said he, too, might have flown to his death had not an army colonel told him not to quit school and train as a pilot. “There were many who died at the age of 16,” he said.

Like many “hibakusha” survivors, Yamada, Hoshino and Kohata are harsh critics of Abe, whose conservative agenda includes easing the constraints of Japan’s pacifist, post-war constitution on the military and adopting a less apologetic tone over the war.

Abe is set to mark the 70th anniversary of the war’s end with a statement that some fear will dilute past apologies.

“If you delve into the atomic bombings which had such inhumane results, it was because we fought that war of aggression,” Yamada said, calling Japan’s wartime leaders “murderers”. “But Mr. Abe is not delving deeply.”

Hoshino was even blunter. “I don’t think Shinzo Abe truly recognises that the war was a criminal war of aggression.”

— Phuket Gazette Editors

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Find more SE Asian News courtesy of The Thaiger.

Broke? Find employment in Southeast Asia with JobCute Thailand. Rich? Invest in real estate across Asia with FazWaz Property Group. Even book medical procedures worldwide with MyMediTravel, all powered by DB Ventures.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Thailand

BBC names Thai protest leader Panusaya in global list of 100 most inspiring women

Maya Taylor

Published

on

BBC names Thai protest leader Panusaya in global list of 100 most inspiring women | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The BBC has named prominent Thai pro-democracy activist, Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, aka, “Rung”, as one of the world’s 100 most inspiring and influential women of 2020. The BBC’s “100 Women of 2020” list singles out women around the world who are driving change in challenging times. Panusaya is one of 3 Thai women to be listed.

As the leader of protest group, the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, she came to international attention at a Bangkok rally in August, when she read out the group’s controversial 10 point manifesto calling for reform of the Monarchy – a taboo topic never publicly discussed. Her nomination follows the news that a Grammy Music executive has filed a charge of lèse-majesté against her.

The other 2 Thai women to make the list are Kotchakorn Voraakhom and Cindy Sirinya Bishop. Kotchakorn is an urban landscape architect, who promotes the importance of green and public spaces in urban environments. Her aim is to transform vast, sprawling cities into more liveable spaces, while protecting them from the impact of climate change. The BBC describes her as someone who started by prising apart the “cracked pavement” of Bangkok’s cityscape to let new ideas come through.

BBC names Thai protest leader Panusaya in global list of 100 most inspiring women | News by The Thaiger

Cindy Sirinya Bishop is the UN Women Regional Goodwill Ambassador for Gender Equality through Education, Communities and Governments. She is a TV host, actress, and model, known for her campaigns to end violence against women. She came to prominence in 2018, when she created the movement #DontTellMeHowToDress. The campaign was a response to authorities in Thailand telling women they shouldn’t dress provocatively during the Songkran period if they wanted to avoid being sexually assaulted.

Other women shortlisted by the BBC for the 2020 list include Sarah Gilbert, who is leading the research into the Covid-19 vaccine at Oxford University, Sanna Marin, the leader of Finland’s all-female coalition government, and Michelle Yeoh, a Malaysian actress, who the BBC notes is one of very few Asian actresses to enjoy a successful career in the US.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Tourism

No vaccine, no flight – Qantas will require international travellers to be vaccinated

The Thaiger

Published

on

No vaccine, no flight – Qantas will require international travellers to be vaccinated | The Thaiger

Qantas, Australia’s national airline, is announcing a new requirement that all international travellers will need to have a vaccination against Covid-19 in a move that could become the norm for the world’s airline industry. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says the Australian flag carrier would implement the measure once a coronavirus vaccine was made available to the public.

“We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say for international travellers that we will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft.”

“Whether you need that domestically, we will have to see what happens with Covid-19 in the market but certainly, for international visitors coming out (to Australia) and people leaving the country, we think that is a necessity.”

Joyce says the new rule is likely to become a standard practice by all airlines worldwide as many governments are now working to introduce electronic vaccination passports. Vaccination requirements are already widely used around the world for those wishing to enter certain countries, with many countries wanting travellers show they have been inoculated against yellow fever if they are coming from regions where that disease could be acquired.

The International Air Transport Association has also announced it is in the “final stages” of developing a digital health pass that it says can be used to record Covid-19 tests or vaccinations and will “support the safe reopening of borders.”

“We are bringing this to market in the coming months to also meet the needs of the various travel bubbles and public health corridors that are starting operation.”

Australia’s borders have been closed since March to help stop the spread of the virus, which has taken the lives of more than 1 million people worldwide. The country has even limited its own citizens arrivals from abroad by implementing a weekly quota that has left thousands stranded overseas. Qantas has grounded more than 200 planes and let go 8,500 staff members as it attempts to offset a US 1.9 billion loss.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Malaysia

Technical issues force Singapore aircraft to land on Malaysian highway – VIDEO

Maya Taylor

Published

on

Technical issues force Singapore aircraft to land on Malaysian highway – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Twitter

A single-engine prop plane from Singapore has been forced to make an emergency landing on a Malaysian highway due to technical difficulties. A report in Coconuts says the aircraft touched down on the hard shoulder of a highway in Johor, as cars sped past. The 2 pilots on board are believed to be in stable condition.

Chester Voo, CEO of Malaysia’s aviation authority, says an investigation has been launched to determine what went wrong with the plane, which has now been removed.

“Search and rescue teams have completed all required tasks. The investigation will be conducted by the Air Accident Investigation Bureau under the Ministry of Transport, Malaysia.”

It’s understood the plane left Seletar Airport in Singapore and was flying to Melaka when the pilots contacted Air Traffic Control at Johor, requesting permission to land at Senai International Airport, due to technical problems. However, Voo says the aircraft did not make it to the airport before it had to land on the highway.

Meanwhile, Thomas Ong from Premier Aero Singapore, who provide services at Seletar Airport, says his company provided immigration assistance to one of the pilots prior to departure, but doesn’t know what happened to cause the emergency landing.

“We only assisted Dr Yang in immigration formalities with the Seletar Airport Authority for his arrival and departure.”

SOURCE: Coconuts

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | No vaccine, no flight, protest latest, smoking ban | November 25 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 hours ago

Thailand News Today | No vaccine, no flight, protest latest, smoking ban | November 25

Health officials call for smoking to be banned in residential buildings in Thailand | The Thaiger
Thailand7 hours ago

Health officials call for smoking to be banned in residential buildings in Thailand

Police hunt armed man who robbed Chon Buri store of 200,000 baht worth of gold | The Thaiger
Crime8 hours ago

Police hunt armed man who robbed Chon Buri store of 200,000 baht worth of gold

Traffic jams in Bangkok as police use containers to block protesters from Crown Property Bureau | The Thaiger
Protests8 hours ago

Traffic jams in Bangkok as police use containers to block protesters from Crown Property Bureau

12 anti-government protesters summonsed to hear lèse majesté charges | The Thaiger
Protests9 hours ago

12 anti-government protesters summonsed to hear lèse majesté charges

Location of Bangkok rally changed from Crown Property Bureau to Siam Commercial Bank headquarters | The Thaiger
Protests9 hours ago

Location of Bangkok rally changed from Crown Property Bureau to Siam Commercial Bank headquarters

UPDATE: Protesters flip the location of today’s protest. Counter protests planned. | The Thaiger
Protests9 hours ago

UPDATE: Protesters flip the location of today’s protest. Counter protests planned.

Monk dies after jumping in front of speeding train in north-east Thailand | The Thaiger
North East10 hours ago

Monk dies after jumping in front of speeding train in north-east Thailand

Department of Land Transport threatens hefty fines for customised vehicle headlights, taillights | The Thaiger
Crime10 hours ago

Department of Land Transport threatens hefty fines for customised vehicle headlights, taillights

BBC names Thai protest leader Panusaya in global list of 100 most inspiring women | The Thaiger
Thailand10 hours ago

BBC names Thai protest leader Panusaya in global list of 100 most inspiring women

Thailand eyes first half of 2021 for production of AstraZeneca vaccine | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Thailand eyes first half of 2021 for production of AstraZeneca vaccine

9 underage girls rescued from brothel posing as spa in central Thailand | The Thaiger
Crime11 hours ago

9 underage girls rescued from brothel posing as spa in central Thailand

No vaccine, no entry – the world’s next travel challenge | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

No vaccine, no entry – the world’s next travel challenge

Thailand News Today | Holiday road toll, protests tomorrow, GDP recovery | November 24 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 day ago

Thailand News Today | Holiday road toll, protests tomorrow, GDP recovery | November 24

No vaccine, no flight – Qantas will require international travellers to be vaccinated | The Thaiger
Tourism1 day ago

No vaccine, no flight – Qantas will require international travellers to be vaccinated

Thailand News Today | No vaccine, no flight, protest latest, smoking ban | November 25 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 hours ago

Thailand News Today | No vaccine, no flight, protest latest, smoking ban | November 25

Thailand News Today | Holiday road toll, protests tomorrow, GDP recovery | November 24 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 day ago

Thailand News Today | Holiday road toll, protests tomorrow, GDP recovery | November 24

Thailand News Today | Dinosaurs in BKK, BOT tackles Baht, Special K isn’t special | November 23 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 days ago

Thailand News Today | Dinosaurs in BKK, BOT tackles Baht, Special K isn’t special | November 23

Thailand News Today | Bangkok exodus, Pattaya air pollution, Vaccine next month? | November 20 | The Thaiger
Thailand5 days ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok exodus, Pattaya air pollution, Vaccine next month? | November 20

Thailand News Today | Protests to escalate, Domestic violence, Tourist visa exemptions? | Nov 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand6 days ago

Thailand News Today | Protests to escalate, Domestic violence, Tourist visa exemptions? | Nov 19

Thailand News Today | Emergency Decree, Protesters shot, Baht boost temporary | Nov 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Emergency Decree, Protesters shot, Baht boost temporary | Nov 18

Thailand News Today | Protesters v Police, Quarantine reduction, VietJet passenger arrest | Nov 17 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Protesters v Police, Quarantine reduction, VietJet passenger arrest | Nov 17

Thailand News Today | The RCEP reset, Hotel Talkfest, Protesters to be arrested | November 16 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | The RCEP reset, Hotel Talkfest, Protesters to be arrested | November 16

Thailand News Today | Coconut Business, Weekend protests, Pork dressed as Beef | November 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Coconut Business, Weekend protests, Pork dressed as Beef | November 13

Thailand News Today | More Thai Airways debt, Korean soldier, TripAdvisor warning | November 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | More Thai Airways debt, Korean soldier, TripAdvisor warning | November 12

Thailand News Today | PTT pays out, Revised visa requirements, Protester’s asylum | Nov 11 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | PTT pays out, Revised visa requirements, Protester’s asylum | Nov 11

Thailand News Today | Thai official positive, Head-butt latest, protest letters | November 10 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Thai official positive, Head-butt latest, protest letters | November 10

Thailand News Today | Golf STVs, Russian head-butted, protest latest | Nov 9 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Golf STVs, Russian head-butted, protest latest | Nov 9

Thailand News Today | Shorter quarantine, STV update, THAI jets for sale | November 6 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Shorter quarantine, STV update, THAI jets for sale | November 6

Thailand News Today | Political homes, Adult site bans, Nok Air rehab | November 5 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Political homes, Adult site bans, Nok Air rehab | November 5

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending