August 6, Hiroshima

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August 6, 2011

Remembering Hiroshima

. Hiroshima Memorial Day (Hiroshima-ki 広島忌)

. Daigo Fukuryu Maru (the Fifth Lucky Dragon) .

. . . . .

Star Festival

This year August 6, is the "real" Tanabata night, with a half-moon in the Asian lunar calendar . . .

. Star Festival (Tanabata 七夕) .


. . Bulletins from NHK WORLD

Hiroshima marks 66th anniversary of atomic bombing
Saturday marks the 66th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima. In an annual peace declaration, Hiroshima's mayor will urge the Japanese government to review its energy policy amid the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The ceremony will start at 8 AM with Prime Minister Naoto Kan attending.
A list of the names of the 275,230 bomb victims will be placed in a cenotaph. The list grew by 5,785 since last year's ceremony to include those who died in the past year or whose deaths were newly confirmed.
Participants will observe a moment of silence at 8:15 AM, the exact time the bomb was dropped in 1945.
In his peace declaration, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui will point out that the accident at the Fukushima plant has shattered the public's trust in nuclear energy.
Matsui will also talk about the suffering of Hibakusha, or the atomic bomb survivors, and will call for the abolishing of nuclear weapons.
Various events will be held throughout the day in Hiroshima to promote peace and the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Saturday, August 06, 2011 09:04 - NHK
Govt may allow brief home visits to evacuees
The Japanese government may allow evacuees whose homes are close to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to return home temporarily.
In response to the nuclear accident in March, the government set up a 20-kilometer no-entry zone around the plant. Later, it allowed brief visits by residents whose homes are located within 3 to 20 kilometers of the plant.
But visits to homes within 3 kilometers of the plant have been banned.
The government says it is now making arrangements for those residents to return temporarily because the plant's reactors are being cooled in a stable manner, and radiation levels are declining.
The government will soon begin detailed radiation monitoring in the area to ensure the safety of the returning evacuees.

Saturday, August 06, 2011 14:52
Summer festivals underway in Tohoku
The summer Tanabata star festival is underway in Sendai, northeastern Japan.
The annual festival began as scheduled on Saturday, though the scale is reduced due to the impact of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. Many tourists are visiting the disaster-hit city for the celebration.
The streets of Sendai's main shopping district are lined with about 3,000 bamboo poles decorated with colorful streamers, paper strips, and about 80,000 paper cranes made by elementary and junior high school students.
The head of the city's chamber of commerce says he hopes the festival will cheer up people living in shelters. About 1.75 million visitors are expected for the festival through Monday, down 60,000 from last year's figure.
In Yamagata Prefecture, the Hanagasa Festival started on Friday night. Dancers were parading through Yamagata city's main street, holding hats decorated with safflower, a famous local product.
At the front of 4,000 dancers is a banner with messages of encouragement for the Tohoku region. Among the spectators are 50 people who were invited from affected areas in Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. The festival will continue through Sunday.
Other famous summer festivals in the Tohoku region are also going on. The Kanto lantern festival in Akita City will run through Saturday, and the giant lantern-lit Nebuta float festival in Aomori City will continue through Sunday.
(We saw some features later life on TV, it was awsome to see the energy of the people after so much loss and chaos.)

Saturday, August 06, 2011 15:59
Kan: No-nuclear generation society a gov't policy
Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan says he will promote the idea of a society without reliance on nuclear power generation, not as a personal assertion but as a government policy.
The prime minister made the remark at a news conference in Hiroshima City, western Japan, on Saturday after the 66th anniversary ceremony of the US atomic bombing of the city.
He reiterated his ceremony statement that Japan will revise its energy policy from scratch and reduce its dependence on nuclear power, aiming to create a society independent of nuclear power.
He added that he proposed at an energy and environmental panel of Cabinet members at the end of last month that the current policy be completely reversed and to submit a scenario with a timetable to realize that goal.
He said Japan will do its best to bring about nuclear abolition and aim to create a world without nuclear weapons where no nuclear deterrent is necessary.
He said the country will maintain the 3 non-nuclear principles, which are core policies known domestically and internationally, adding that he believes it is important to clearly express Japan's commitment to the principles to the world.

Saturday, August 06, 2011 22:09
A-bomb survivor in Fukushima remembers Hiroshima
85-year-old Minoru Oka, a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing, marked the anniversary of the attack in his native Fukushima Prefecture on Saturday.
Oka was 19 years old and serving as a soldier in Hiroshima when the bomb fell. He was about 2 kilometers from the explosion. Oka says he remembers people crying for help and water.
When the war ended, he returned to his home town, Minami-Soma in Fukushima prefecture, to raise cattle. But the nuclear accident in March suddenly changed his life again.
Oka had to dispose of his cattle when he was forced to evacuate from his home located about 30 kilometers from the damaged nuclear plant for a month.
After he began to raise cattle again, the government banned the shipment of beef cattle from Fukushima due to fears of radioactive contamination, dealing a severe blow to the old farmer.
Oka says he sees no difference between an atomic bomb and a nuclear power plant because both can inflict fatal damage on human beings.
He says Japan needs to find an alternative source of power, and consume less.
He adds that if Japan continues to operate nuclear plants, it should be on the condition that their operations can be halted safely at any time.

Sunday, August 07, 2011 05:15 - NHK
Readings depict A-bomb tragedies
Actresses have read stories by mothers who lost their children in the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The performances are based on poetry and written accounts by more than 3,000 people, including mothers and women, who suffered from the aftereffects of radiation exposure.
About 500 people visited a theater in Tokyo on Saturday to see the play, "Kono ko tachi no natsu ", meaning, "These children's summer, 1945, Hiroshima, Nagasaki."

On stage, 6 actresses read stories by mothers, including one who finally found her child after a desperate search across a burned-out area, only to see the child die before her eyes.
The play has been performed around the country more than 750 times since 1985, but it was suspended 4 years ago after its organizing group disbanded. It resumed this year to convey the tragedy of the atomic bombings to people across generations.
Parents in their 40s from Saitama, near Tokyo, said that they were shocked to hear about the terror of atomic bombings. They said they recognized anew the precious gift of being with their children.
The play opened on Saturday, the 66th anniversary of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima. It will close on Tuesday, the anniversary of the attack on Nagasaki.

Sunday, August 07, 2011 05:15
MOF introduces hibakusha stories to the world
Japan's Foreign Ministry has posted stories by hibakusha, or atomic bomb survivors, on its website, with translations into several languages.
The stories were collected with the help of atomic bomb museums in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They include videotaped accounts by 11 survivors and written accounts by 15.
In the videos, survivors show photos, talk about what happened when the atomic bomb was dropped, and describe their lives since the event. Their stories have been translated into six languages, including English, Chinese and Korean.
The ministry plans to post more stories to help people to learn about the tragedies caused by the atomic bombing, as part of its effort to create a world without nuclear arms.


. . Japan Times

Hiroshima's thoughts turn to Fukushima
On the eve of the annual ceremony to remember the dropping of the atomic bomb, the thoughts of many in Hiroshima were on those living near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
"Nobody knows the fear and uncertainty Fukushima residents face over radiation levels better than the people of Hiroshima," said Setsuko Kumazaki, 68, who lost several relatives on Aug. 6, 1945.
While media polls over the past few months indicate a majority of Japanese favor reducing or eliminating the nation's reliance on nuclear power, traditional groups formed to seek the abolition of nuclear weapons are more divided.
At a symposium Thursday organized by three groups, there were calls for Japan to abandon nuclear energy in favor of renewable sources. But other participants called for a freeze on new nuclear plants or the continued use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes.
The relationship between nuclear power and nuclear weapons has always been close. Nonproliferation experts worldwide have long expressed concern over the possibility of nuclear material and technology from a power plant falling into the hands of those wanting to use it to manufacture weapons.
... With the Fukushima plant in mind, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui was expected to call for a review of the nation's energy policies during Saturday's ceremony to commemorate 66 years since the dropping of the bomb.
A growing number of local governments are also calling for a review of the national energy policy and a gradual shift from nuclear energy to renewable. Nuclear power had been providing 30 percent of the nation's electricity, on average, although some regions are more reliant than others.

Old and new nuclear perils

Aug. 6 and 9 are the days on which Japanese pray for the souls of those who died due to the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, and renew our resolve to seek a world without nuclear weapons.
But a new dimension has been added to this year's atomic bombing anniversaries. The disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has made the risk of radiation exposure all too real to many people.
For Japan, this poses a very significant question:
Can humans coexist with nuclear power?
..... Anti-U.S. sentiment, in particular, soared in the wake of the March 1, 1954, incident in which the Fukuryu Maru (Lucky Dragon) No. 5, a fishing boat, was irradiated by nuclear fallout from the test of a U.S. hydrogen bomb explosion in the Bikini Atoll. One crew member died of radiation poisoning about six months later.

Tepco redress: from tourism to tea
Tokyo Electric Power Co. must compensate travel agencies, inns and hotels nationwide for cancellations made by foreign travelers fearing radiation from Tepco's stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, a government panel says.

U.S. base has nuke disaster waste
The municipal government of Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, will ask the central government to promptly dispose of radioactive waste from the Fukushima crisis being stored by the U.S. Navy at the Sasebo Naval Base.
... The materials include cleaning cloth and other items used to decontaminate aircraft, the officials said. They contain low levels of radioactive substances, most likely from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
... Sasebo officials were unaware of the materials until they received an inquiry from the media Thursday. They approached the Foreign Ministry, which later confirmed with the U.S. military that radioactive waste is being kept at the base.

Public hoarding old rice over fallout fears

Consumers are starting to hoard last year's rice over concerns the next crops may be contaminated with radioactive materials released from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, retailers say.

Next nuclear watchdog needs teeth: Hosono

Panel to probe NISA's alleged opinion manipulation

Largest labor organization questions nuclear energy policy

Hiroshima, August 6, 1945

Hiroshima Day -
talks of No-Nuke and
no war

Gabi Greve


hiroshima day . . .
the acid smile
of clouds

robert d. wilson


Hiroshima Day
green shoots from rubble
rise up

Jim Grossmann



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  1. Kazumi Matsui, Mayor of The City of Hiroshima

    Hiroshima Peace Declaration

    Sixty-six years ago, despite the war, the people of Hiroshima were leading fairly normal lives. Until that fateful moment, many families were enjoying life together right here in what is now Peace Memorial Park and was then one of the city's most prosperous districts. A man who was thirteen at the time shares this: "August fifth was a Sunday, and for me, a second-year student in middle school, the first full day off in a very long time. I asked a good friend from school to come with me, and we went on down to the river. Forgetting all about the time, we stayed until twilight, swimming and playing on the sandy riverbed. That hot mid-summer's day was the last time I ever saw him."
    The Great East Japan Earthquake of March eleventh this year was so destructive it revived images of Hiroshima 66 years ago and still pains our hearts. Here in Hiroshima we sincerely pray for the souls of all who perished and strongly support the survivors, wishing them the quickest possible recovery.

    The accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and the ongoing threat of radiation have generated tremendous anxiety among those in the affected areas and many others. The trust the Japanese people once had in nuclear power has been shattered. From the common admonition that "nuclear energy and humankind cannot coexist," some seek to abandon nuclear power altogether. Others advocate extremely strict control of nuclear power and increased utilization of renewable energy.



  2. U.S. Air Force course apparently justified A-bomb attack on Japan

    A training course using Christian ethics for U.S. Air Force officers in charge of nuclear missile launches, which was suspended in July, included references that seemed to justify the atomic bombing of Hiroshima....
    The materials effectively justified the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by pointing out that Japan and Germany would have used atomic weapons first if they had the technology.
    Several airmen who had anxieties over the ethics training told the nonprofit organization Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), of the course. Then, through the Freedom of Information Act, the MRFF obtained related materials.


  3. Gabi from afar you have been keeping us aware daily....not to forget...