Japanspecialist, forskare, journalist, författare
2014 Citizens’ Peace Declaration
August 6, 2014
On August 15, 1945, Japan officially surrendered to the Allied nations following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, which indiscriminately killed over 210 thousand people, mostly civilians, including 40 thousand Koreans. The US proudly claimed this a “victory of freedom and democracy” against Japanese militarism and fascism. At the same time, President Truman justified this genocide with the ironic excuse that it was “to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians,” and to end the long-lasting bloody war in the Asia-Pacific. In this way the US created a myth so as to evade responsibility for its grave war crime. On August 10, 1945, the Japanese government denounced the atrocity of using a nuclear weapon as a serious war crime. It was, however, the first and only protest that the Japanese government ever issued regarding the atomic bombing, and was not supported by any other nation. Thus, the justification of the use of nuclear weapons as an effective means to achieve a “victory of freedom and democracy” was widely accepted. As a consequence, the opportunity to thoroughly examine the criminality of nuclear weapons was lost.
In other words, the opportunity to expose the fact that the American motto “justice is power” had been reversed to mean “power (i.e. nuclear weapons) is justice” had been lost. This is the reason that the truly criminal nature of nuclear weapons has still not been clearly addressed, thereby preventing universal knowledge and recognition of this fact. The use of nuclear weapons in any form is a crime against humanity, and the possession of nuclear weapons or nuclear deterrents is a crime against peace, because it is preparation for committing a crime against humanity.
Failure to examine the criminality of the atomic bombing also led the Japanese government to deny the plight of A-bomb survivors. Even today, 69 years after the atomic bombing, many A-bomb survivors are still fighting court cases to gain official government recognition as victims who require proper health care services. At the same time, these sufferers are exploited politically and are seen as symbolic “victims of nuclear weapons.” This is the attitude of conservative politicians and scholars patronized by the government, who simply repeat the slogan “ultimate abolition of nuclear weapons” without questioning the criminality of these weapons. Omission to examine the criminality of the atomic bombing had other implications as well. It led the Japanese government to grossly underestimate the effects of radiation on people and the environment; to introduce and expand the use of nuclear energy for the purpose of maintaining the capability of producing nuclear weapons; and ultimately it led to the disastrous nuclear power accident in Fukushima three years ago, which exposed so many people to high levels of radiation.
There were other ramifications too. On August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito stated in his Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the War that his government had decided to surrender because of the inhumane atomic bombs. By singling out the atomic bombings as the decisive factor in the decision to surrender, Hirohito was able to completely ignore the war crimes committed by the Japanese military across Asia and the Pacific, as well as the anti-Japanese resistance that was taking place throughout Asia. In addition, he exploited the A-bomb damage to indirectly justify the war as a “war to liberate Asia.” In this way, the atomic bombings became a means to conceal not only the war responsibility of the emperor himself and other wartime leaders, but also the responsibility of the Japanese people for a war in the name of the Japanese empire that took tens of millions of lives throughout the Asia-Pacific. Just as President Truman fabricated a myth to cover up the US government’s responsibility for its grave war crimes, so, too, did the Japanese government use the same A-Bomb attacks to conceal its war responsibilities.
Japan’s refusal to openly recognize the criminality of the many brutal acts it committed against other Asian peoples and its responsibility for those actions means that it has been denied the right to expose the illegality of similar crimes that the US perpetrated against Japanese people. This is the reason why Japan has willingly subordinated itself to US military control, although it has never been trusted by neighboring Asian nations, and cannot establish a peaceful relationship with them.
Indeed, it can be said that the current depressing political and social situation in Japan is closely related to the failure to carefully examine both the US responsibility for the indiscriminate mass killing caused by the atomic bombings and Japan’s responsibility for war crimes it committed against people throughout the Asia-Pacific. In particular, a recent series of undemocratic and anti-human rights policies that Abe Shinzo’s government has been introducing are a clear manifestation of problems that stem from this failure which have accumulated over the past 69 years. These are: the enactment of the Secret Information Protection Act; cabinet’s approval to exercise the right to collective self-defense; the virtual disapproval of the Kono Statement on comfort women, as well as the Murayama Statement on Japan’s war of aggression; and the plan to resume nuclear power plant operations.
Clearly, in order to achieve a long-term prospect for peace and wellbeing for our nation and its people, it is necessary to re-examine our history over the last 69 years from the perspective of the above-mentioned war responsibilities. Based on that exercise, we then need to destroy the myth of the value of nuclear power and nuclear deterrence, so as to establish a strong, anti-war solidarity between the citizens of Japan and our neighboring countries. The late Ishibashi Tanzan, one of a few truly admirable Japanese politicians, once stated “the best strategy for peace is to create harmony among the people.” The fraudulent policies Abe is now promoting all run against this philosophy, and are destroying harmonious relationships between people, both domestically and internationally. To transform this deadlocked situation, we must begin by overthrowing the Abe regime as quickly as possible. (Coordinator and Author: Yuki Tanaka Email: email@example.com)
Hiroshima 2012 Citizens’ Peace Declaration
August 6, 2012
“When all living creatures are now in danger of extinction, the last resort is our determination to live through.” the late professor Tsurumi Kazuko
The large quantity of high-level radiation, which is still being emitted from the crippled Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant continues to endanger not only the people and environment of Fukushima, but the entire nation, as well as many parts of Asia.
The use of nuclear weapons is unquestionably a crime against humanity. Similarly, indiscriminately killing and injuring large numbers of people and causing severe physical and psychological pain to the survivors must also be seen as such a crime. As citizens of Hiroshima we are well aware of this inhumanity. Unfortunately, it is likely that over the next decades many people will suffer from various illnesses due to both external and internal irradiation as a result of the nuclear power accident at Fukushima. It is estimated that 3.43 million people were irradiated in the Ukraine alone as a result of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power accident. A high incidence of various types of cancer and heart disease has since emerged amongst these people. It seems appropriate, therefore, to claim that a nuclear power accident is a crime inflicting indiscriminate mass killing and injury. Radiation attacks indiscriminately, affecting unborn babies, infants and children in particular.
Contamination by radiation, either as a result of a nuclear power accident or due to the use of nuclear weapons, forces many residents to migrate far away from their homes. This leads to disintegration of the local community and the close relationship between residents. Families, too, are destroyed when couples lose partners and children, either due to illness caused by irradiation or financial difficulties that lead to breakdowns. Old people, who loose their family and are forced to live alone in refuge shelters, often die in solitude, as was the experience of many A-bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In short radiation ruins human society.
Politicians and entrepreneurs who advocate nuclear power are reluctant to take responsibility for its failures, dismissing them as “incidents that exceed hypothesis.” As they abdicate accountability from the beginning, obligation to the victims always seems to be abandoned. After the Fukushima accident, not only people, but many animals including cattle were abandoned and starved to death. Environmental contamination affecting soil, river and seawater, destroys primary industries, such as agriculture and fisheries, the most essential industries for the survival of human beings. Effectively, this means that people lose “the right to live in peace,” which was proclaimed and guaranteed in the preamble of Japan’s Constitution as well as in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. At the same time radiation makes the survival of all living creatures impossible, denying their right to live. As humans we have no right to deprive other creatures of the right to live. Yet, in fact, a handful of us are monopolizing such authority.
Mass destruction and damage caused by a nuclear accident is equivalent to that caused by a nuclear attack. We must remember that the nuclear reactor was originally invented to produce nuclear weapons. Thus when an accident happens to the reactor, the result is the same as employing nuclear weapons. From the start Japan’s development of nuclear energy was also aimed at developing and maintaining a nuclear weapons capability. The policy of “three non-nuclear principles” – “not to produce, not to possess, and not to allow to bring in nuclear weapons” - was introduced in order to conceal the real intention without giving substance to the policy. At the same time, Japan has recklessly promoted the so-called “nuclear fuel cycle industry” in order to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons, having so far spent 10 trillion yen. Even now, a year and a half after the Fukushima nuclear accident, the Japanese government and nuclear industries have no plan to abolish this policy, which has endangered the lives of many living creatures including human beings.
Contamination by radiation is constantly produced at every phase of the so-called nuclear chain. It is a factor in uranium mining, in the enrichment of nuclear fuel, in the production of nuclear weapons including the so-called DU weapons, in nuclear tests, in operating nuclear power stations and in transporting and treating nuclear waste. The Age of Nuclear Power, which began in the middle of the last century, could even be called a “genocidal socio-political, economic and cultural system,” which was built upon the victimization of many living creatures including human beings. Human activity that contributes to the establishment and maintenance of such a system can be seen as criminal conduct, as it constantly endangers the existence of all living creatures and the planet as a whole. Sadly many people are still constantly engaged in such activities in various parts of the world.
Surely, it is now time to unite against this mass killing of living creatures due to the nuclear cycle and to abolish every phase of that cycle. If we fail to do so, sooner or later, we will destroy our planet and annihilate the human race. The late A-bomb survivor from Hiroshima and professor in philosophy, Moritaki Ichiro, once claimed “human beings cannot co-exist with nuclear weapons and power.” This dictum should be emphasized by rephrasing it as “no living creature can co-exist with nuclear weapons and power.” As the late Tsurumi Kazuko said, we need determination to live through, but that determination must be extended to protect all fellow living creatures and the environment. Now is the time to act, as we recognize the common fate of all creatures on this planet.
(Coordinator and Author: Yuki Tanaka Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
昨 年3月11日に起きた福島第1原発事故によって放出され、今も放出され続けている大量の高レベル放射能は、福島ならびにその周辺地域住民と環境にはもちろ ん、今や日本全国、いやアジアを含む世界の様々な地域に及ぶ住民と自然環境にまで危険をもたらしていることは、誰の目にも明らかです。
長 年にわたり無数の市民を無差別に殺傷し、生存者の心身両面に激しい苦痛をもたらす核兵器の使用は、広島・長崎の経験からも明らかなように、重大な「人道に 対する罪」です。ひじょうに残念ながら、今回の福島原発事故でも、外部・内部の両被曝の結果、これから長期にわたり、予想もつかないほど多くの市民が様々 な病気に苦しむことになるでしょう。1986年4月に起きたチェルノブイリ事故では、ウクライナ国内の被曝者数だけでも343万人に上ると言われており、 周辺住民の癌や心臓病などの発生率はとりわけ高くなっています。このことから、原発事故も「無差別大量殺傷」という犯罪行為です。「無差別殺傷」ではあり ながらも、とくに胎児・乳幼児・小児に犠牲者が多いのが、放射能汚染の特徴の一つです。
核 兵器使用の結果であれ原発事故によるものであれ、放射能汚染は、住民に故郷を捨てさることを余儀なくさせ、強制移住に追い込み、その結果、地域社会は完全 に崩壊します。住民相互の人間関係が断ち切られると同時に、近親者の（主として被曝が原因による）病死、家族別居、夫婦・親子離散などの家庭崩壊を引き起 こし、住み慣れない仮設住宅（広島の場合は「原爆スラム」）での孤独死が起きます。すなわち人間社会の崩壊をもたらします。
核 兵器・原子力を使う権力者・資本家は、その結果を「想定外」として、決して責任をとろうとはしません。最初から責任放棄をしているため、被害者が見捨てら れるのは当然の結果なのです。市民だけではなく、多数の家畜を含む動物が見捨てられ餓死します。放射能汚染による環境破壊、とくに土壌・河川水・海水の汚 染によって、農漁業という人間生存にとって不可欠な第１次産業活動が不可能となります。同時に、その他の全ての「生きもの」にとっても、生存が不可能とな ります。したがってこれは、日本国憲法前文で謳われ保障されている「平和的生存権」はもちろん、全ての「生きもの」にとって「生存権」の否定を意味するも のです。私たち人間の誰にも、全ての「生きもの」の生存権を奪う権利などありません。しかし、そのような権利を、ごく一部の人間が握っているのが現状なの です。
こ のように、原発事故による「大量破壊と被害」は、まさに核兵器使用による「大量破壊と被害」に匹敵するものです。なぜなら、原子力の「平和利用」は、本来 は「軍事利用」であるからに他なりません。日本の原発開発も、当初から核兵器製造能力の開発と維持を目的としていました。その目的をごまかすために実体の ない「非核三原則」が採用され、同時に核兵器用の高濃度プルトニウム製造のための「核燃料サイクル事業」が、これまで10兆円という膨大な予算を使ってが むしゃらに推進されてきました。福島で重大な原発事故を起こした1年半後の現在も、政府・産業界は、多くの人間を含む「生きもの」の命を危険に曝す犯罪的 政策を廃絶しようという考えは全く持っていません。
実 は、放射能汚染は、核兵器（DU兵器を含む核兵器製造、核実験、核兵器輸送事故）と原子力産業（ウラン採掘・加工、原発稼動・事故、核廃棄物、核燃料再処 理など）の全ての局面で常に起きている重大な問題です。20世紀半ばから始まった「核の時代」は、かくして、人類を含むあらゆる「生きもの」、すなわち様 々な生命体を犠牲にして築き上げられてきた、いわば「殺戮の政治・経済・社会・文化体制」であると言えます。このような体制の確立と維持に努力または協力 してきた人間の行為は、人類とすべての生物と地球を絶滅の危険に曝すことを厭わなかった明確な「犯罪行為」であり、現在も多くの人間が、そうした犯罪行為 に深く関わっているのが実情なのです。
こ の「核・原子力サイクル」による「あらゆる生きものの無差別殺傷行為」という犯罪に対して、今、私たちは一致団結して立ち上がり、「核・原子力サイクル」 全体を廃棄しなければ、遅かれ早かれ、地球と人類が破滅するのは目に見えて明らかです。「核と人類は共存できない」という、私たちの先駆者・森瀧市郎の言 葉は、「核・原子力と“生きもの”は共存できない」という命題にまで深められるべきでしょう。「人類は生きねばならぬ」という森瀧のもう一つの言明は、思 想や信条を超えた普遍的なメッセージです。「人類が生きる」ためには、人類が共存するあらゆる「生きもの」と自然環境が生きねばなりません。今や、私たち はこの言葉の意味を深く噛み締めるだけではなく、そのために具体的な行動を起こすべき時なのです。
The first time I arrived in Hiroshima I was humbled. As a history student and a journalist I ought to have known much more. I ought to have realized what the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki meant. But I didn’t.
Not until I had met the survivors, hibakusha. When I had heard them tell about their experiences I decided to try to contribute what I could, as an historian and a journalist, in spreading knowledge about the effects of nuclear weapons. Especially important 65 years afterwards is the long-term psychological effects, lasting generations.
Almost every one of us has seen the pictures of the mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Maybe we have also seen the almost complete destruction of Hiroshima, a large city on the banks of a river with five arms. In that desert, in an instant, only very few buildings were left standing. One of them, the skeleton of a former industrial exhibition hall, is the symbol of the slogan ”No more Hiroshimas”. It is preserved to our days.
Since that first time I have visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki on many occasions. My doctoral dissertation in history, The Atomic Bomb Suppressed. American Censorship in Occupied Japan (M.E. Sharpe 1991) studies censorship of all material concerning the atomic bombings by the American occupation authorities 1945-1949. It included even a young girl’s eyewitness account.
In the novel Hiroshima överlever (Hiroshima survives, Bonniers 1982; transl. into German Wir sind die Angst der Welt, Fischer Taschenbuch 1984), I describe the means that the hibakusha use to come to terms with the fact that they did survive – and the way a well-informed non-Japanese university professor tries to cope with meeting them.
In later research, I have followed how the survivors have been and still are discriminated against – and how the atomic bombings influence not only themselves but also their children and grandchildren.
All the hibakusha are old. They are survivors of that, which changed the future of mankind forever. We must listen to their experiences to save ourselves.
Below are books where Monica Braw has written about Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the effects of the atomic bombings on the survivors: