Kolom IBRAHIM ISA
Saturday, August 06, 2011
COMEMMORATING ATOMIC BOMBING OF A PEACEFUL CITY OF HIROSHIMA
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On the occasion of the 66th anniversary of the atomic bombing on the peaceful city of Hiroshima, Japan, 66 years ago, ---- published below are clippings of press reporting the event, from Japanese, American and British sources.
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Will the world finally get rid of the arms race? Foremost the ending of atomic weapons race? It depends on how strong and wide the worlds movement for peace, will develop. The Japan International Conference Against A & Bomb, held annually in Hiroshima, is one of the peace activities that should be supported by all peaceloving individual all over the world.
Today, August 6th, 2011, the annual Japan International Conference against A & H Bomb take place at Hiroshima. The site of the world's first A-bomb attack observed a moment of silence at 8:15 a.m. Saturday (2315 GMT Friday) — the time the bomb was dropped on Aug. 6, 1945, by the United States in the last stages of World War II.
Meanwhile, The Japan International Conference Against A and H Bombs, has launched a nationwide signature campaign to get rid of nuclear power and move toward renewable energy. The goal is to collect 10 million signatures by the end of this year. On Sept. 19, the group plans a rally in Tokyo's Meiji Park.
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U.S. to send Zumwalt to Hiroshima ceremony
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Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011
NAGASAKI — The United States is planning to send James Zumwalt, deputy chief of mission at its embassy in Tokyo, to Saturday's ceremony in Hiroshima to mark the 66th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing, according to sources.
Zumwalt would be the first U.S. government representative to attend both ceremonies in a single year.
Last year, Ambassador John Roos became the first U.S. representative to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima, but he did not go to last year's Nagasaki ceremony, citing scheduling difficulties.
The attendance of Zumwalt appears to be aimed at demonstrating the resolve of the U.S. to work toward a world free of nuclear weapons at a time when the administration of President Barack Obama is facing criticism from atomic bomb survivors for conducting a string of subcritical nuclear tests, observers said.
Zumwalt's attendance also appears to be aimed at calling attention to the strengthened friendship between Japan and the United States following the active participation of U.S. military forces in Operation Tomodachi to help the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, they said.
The municipal government of Hiroshima has asked 152 countries to send representatives to this year's peace ceremony and 68 governments planned to do so as of July 15.
Yoko Ono receives prize
Yoko Ono, a New York-based artist and the widow of former Beatle John Lennon, visited the city of Nagasaki on Tuesday and offered flowers at the ground zero monument marking the 1945 atomic bombing of the city by the United States.
Ono, 78, also visited the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum to see exhibits on the aftermath of the World War II bombing.
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HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) The English translation of a Japanese picture book on Sadako Sasaki, a girl who died at age 12 after battling leukemia resulting from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, has been completed recently, according to its publisher.
Okura, who spent three months with Sasaki in the same hospital room when she was 14-years-old, had expressed hope that her book would be translated into English for people around the world.
Sasaki, who became the model for the Children's Peace Monument in Hiroshima, was 2 years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. She later developed leukemia and folded paper cranes while in the hospital, praying for recovery, only to succumb to the illness.
The book describes Sasaki in her early adolescence and includes episodes such as when she and Okura figured out unique ways to fold paper cranes, racing to see which of them could fold more cranes, finding a pen pal from the readers' column in a magazine and taking on the challenge of reading Ogai Mori's novel "Gan" ("The Wild Geese").
The English book, which has 64 pages, is priced at ¥840.
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BBC – COMEMMORATES ATOMIC BOMBING OF HIROSHIMA
HIROSHIMA, Japan (AP) — The Japanese city of Hiroshima on Saturday marked the 66th anniversary of the bombing, as the nation fights a different kind of disaster from atomic technology — a nuclear plant in a meltdown crisis after being hit by a tsunami.
The site of the world's first A-bomb attack observed a moment of silence at 8:15 a.m. Saturday (2315 GMT Friday) — the time the bomb was dropped on Aug. 6, 1945, by the United States in the last stages of World War II.
The bomb destroyed most of the city and killed as many as 140,000 people. A second atomic bombing Aug. 9 that year in Nagasaki killed tens of thousands more and prompted the Japanese to surrender.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Saturday laid a wreath of yellow flowers at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and reiterated Japan's promise to never repeat the horrors of Hiroshima, whose suffering continues today because of illnesses passed down over generations.
Japan has long vowed never to make or possess nuclear weapons, but embraced nuclear power as it aimed to rebuild and modernize after the war.
Crowds of people clutching Buddhist prayer beads bowed their heads Saturday in commemorating the dead as pigeons were released during the solemn gathering repeated every year before the skeletal dome of a bomb-ravaged building.
The prime minister, in his speech, also touched on Japan's more recent nuclear catastrophe at the northeastern Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant, where a massive tsunami set off by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake on March 11 knocked out backup generators that powered the plant's cooling mechanisms.
Kan repeated a promise to embrace renewable energy and rely less on nuclear power.
"Japan is also working to revise its energy policy from scratch," Kan said. "I deeply regret believing in the security myth of nuclear power."
Hiroshima mayor Kazumi Matsui stopped short of calling for a nation without nuclear power while retierating his pledge to work toward a world without atomic weapons.
But he acknowledged that the trust people had in the safety of nuclear power had been damaged.
"Some seek to abandon nuclear power altogether with the belief that Mankind cannot co-exist with nuclear energy, while others demand stricter regulation of nuclear power and more renewable energy," he said.
1945: US drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima
The first atomic bomb has been dropped by a United States aircraft on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
President Harry S Truman, announcing the news from the cruiser, USS Augusta, in the mid-Atlantic, said the device was more than 2,000 times more powerful than the largest bomb used to date.
An accurate assessment of the damage caused has so far been impossible due to a huge cloud of impenetrable dust covering the target. Hiroshima is one of the chief supply depots for the Japanese army.
The bomb was dropped from an American B-29 Superfortress, known as Enola Gay, at 0815 local time. The plane's crew say they saw a column of smoke rising and intense fires springing up.
The President said the atomic bomb heralded the "harnessing of the basic power of the universe". It also marked a victory over the Germans in the race to be first to develop a weapon using atomic energy.
President Truman went on to warn the Japanese the Allies would completely destroy their capacity to make war.
The Potsdam declaration issued 10 days ago, which called for the unconditional surrender of Japan, was a last chance for the country to avoid utter destruction, the President said.
"If they do not now accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the like of which has never been seen on Earth. Behind this air attack will follow by sea and land forces in such number and power as they have not yet seen, but with fighting skill of which they are already aware."
The British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, who has replaced Winston Churchill at Number 10, read out a statement prepared by his predecessor to MPs in the Commons.
It said the atomic project had such great potential the government felt it was right to pursue the research and to pool information with atomic scientists in the US.
As Britain was considered within easy reach of Germany and its bombers, the decision was made to set up the bomb-making plants in the US.
The statement continued: "By God's mercy, Britain and American science outpaced all German efforts. These were on a considerable scale, but far behind. The possession of these powers by the Germans at any time might have altered the result of the war."
Mr Churchill's statement said considerable efforts had been made to disrupt German progress - including attacks on plants making constituent parts of the bomb.
He ended: "We must indeed pray that these awful agencies will be made to conduce peace among the nations and that instead of wreaking measureless havoc upon the entire globe they become a perennial fountain of world prosperity."
'Impenetrable' Cloud of Dust Hides City After Single Bomb Strikes < An abridged article>
By SIDNEY SHALETT
Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES
Japanese Solemnly Warned
What happened at Hiroshima is not yet known. The War Department said it "as yet was unable to make an accurate report" because "an impenetrable cloud of dust and smoke" masked the target area from reconnaissance planes. The Secretary of War will release the story "as soon as accurate details of the results of the bombing become available."
But in a statement vividly describing the results of the first test of the atomic bomb in New Mexico, the War-Department told how an immense steel tower had been "vaporized" by the tremendous explosion, how a 40,000-foot cloud rushed into the sky, and two observers were knocked down at a point 10,000 yards away. And President Truman solemnly warned:
"It was to spare the Japanese people from utter destruction that the ultimatum of July 26, was issued at Potsdam. Their leaders promptly rejected that ultimatum. If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the like of which has never been seen on this earth."
Most Closely Guarded Secret
The President referred to the joint statement issued by the heads of the American, British and Chinese Governments in which terms of surrender were outlined to the Japanese and warning given that rejection would mean complete destruction of Japan's power to make war.
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Since 1939, American, British and Canadian scientists have worked on it. The experiments have been conducted in the United States, both for reasons of achieving concentrated efficiency and for security; the consequences of having the material fall into the hands of the enemy, in case Great Britain should have been successfully invaded, were too awful for the Allies to risk.
All along, it has been a race with the enemy. Ironically enough, Germany started the experiments, but we finished them. Germany made the mistake of expelling, because she was a "non-Aryan," a woman scientist who held one of the keys to the mystery, and she made her knowledge available to those who brought it to the United States. Germany never quite mastered the riddle, and the United States, Secretary Stimson declared, is "convinced that Japan will not be in a position to use an atomic bomb in this war."
A Sobering Awareness of Power
Not the slightest spirit of braggadocio is discernible either in the wording of the official announcements or in the mien of the officials who gave out the news. There was an element of elation in the realization that we had perfected this devastating weapon for employment against an enemy who started the war and has told us she would rather be destroyed than surrender, but it was grim elation. There was sobering awareness of the tremendous responsibility involved.
Secretary Stimson said that this new weapon "should prove a tremendous aid in the shortening of the war against Japan," and there were other responsible officials who privately thought that this was an extreme understatement, and that Japan might find herself unable to stay in the war under the coming rain of atom bombs.
It was obvious that officials at the highest levels made the important decision to release news of the atomic bomb because of the psychological effect it may have in forcing Japan to surrender. However, there are some officials who feel privately it might have been well to keep this completely secret. Their opinion can be summed up in the comment by one spokesman: "Why bother with psychological warfare against an enemy that laready is beaten and hasnt't sense enough to quit and save herself from utter doom?"
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Explosive Charge Is Small
Hiroshima, first city on earth to be the target of the "Cosmic Bomb," is a city of 318,000, which is- or was- a major quartermaster depot and port of embarkation for the Japanese. In addition to large military supply depots, it manufactured ordinance, mainly large guns and tanks, and machine tools, and aircraft-ordinance parts.
President Truman grimly told the Japanese that "the end is not yet."
"In their present form these bombs are now in production," he said, "and even more powerful forms are in development."
"What has been done," he said, "is the greatest achievement of organized science in history.
"We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive and enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. We shall destroy Japan's power to make war."
The President emphasized that the atomic discoveries were so important, both for the war and for the peace, that he would recommend to Congress that it consider promptly establishing "an appropriate commission to control the production and use of atomic power within the United States."
"I shall give further consideration and make further recommendations to the Congress as to how atomic power can become a powerful and forceful influence toward the maintenance of world peace," he said.
Investigation Started in 1939
It was late in 1939 that President Roosevelt appointed a commission to investigate use of atomic energy for military purposes. Until then only small-scale researach with Navy funds had taken place. The program went into high gear.The Tennessee reservation consists of 59,000 acres, eighteen miles west of Knoxville, it is known as Oak Ridge and has become a modern small city of 78,000, fifth largest in Tennessee.
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