By Saheli Chowdhury – Aug 8, 2023
Japan’s “leadership” seemed to be suffering from amnesia on the 78th commemoration of the destruction of the city of Hiroshima by a nuclear bomb dropped by the United States, the first nuclear bomb to be used in war, and only one of the two nuclear bombs ever used in war, the second of which was also dropped by the United States, and that too against Japan. Yet, all the political leaders of Japan who participated in the official commemoration of that crime against humanity forgot to name the criminal, the United States. However, all of them, for some unknown reason, mentioned Russia, although it was the United States that was solely responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in that crime in 1945, and perhaps the principal motive behind that bombing was the United States’ intention to threaten the USSR, of which Russia was a part at that time.
At the official event held at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, neither the mayor of the city that was reduced to dust on August 6, 1945, Kazumi Matsui; nor the governor of the Hiroshima prefecture, Hidehiko Yuzaki; nor the prime minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, made any mention of the real war criminal.
Matsui, in his declaration of peace, as has been traditional for all mayors of the city for the past 78 years, remembered the victims of Hiroshima, and condemned wars and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, but failed to name the country that created the victims of Hiroshima in the first place.
Similarly, Kishida said, “On this day 78 years ago, hundreds of thousands of precious lives were lost due to only one atom bomb. A city was burnt, in an instant the dreams and the bright future of the people were ended,” but did not name who precisely ended the dreams of those people.
Yuzaki beat both of his companions in amnesia as well as rewriting of history. He highlighted the supposed threat of “Russia’s nuclear weapons” and the DPRK’s missile and nuclear weapons programme, but forgot to name the criminal state that actually dropped a nuclear weapon on the city of Hiroshima.
Yet Russia has never threatened any country with a nuclear attack. According to the military doctrine of Russia, its nuclear arsenal is solely for defensive purposes and may be used if and only if the country faces an existential threat. As for DPRK, although its testing of ballistic missiles has recently been the subject of hyper-focus for mainstream media worldwide, the country’s government has insisted that its weapons tests are in response to the threats from the US and its vassal states in the Asia-Pacific – Japan and South Korea.
However, the greatest disappointment came from the secretary general of the United Nations, who did not dare name the perpetrator of the nuclear attack against Japan. Antonio Guterres, whose tenure as the head of the world’s highest multilateral mechanism has been marked by submission to the US global hegemonic agenda, sent a message of peace and disarmament on the commemorative occasion, but could not bring himself to direct that message to the world’s greatest violator of peace.
On behalf of the secretary general of the United Nations, his representative on Matters of Disarmament, Izumi Nakamitsu, read out the message at the memorial ceremony. “Any use of nuclear weapons is unacceptable,” read the text. “We cannot stand idle while the States that possess nuclear weapons are trying to develop even more dangerous arms. The elimination of nuclear weapons remains a matter of highest priority for the United Nations in matters of disarmament. We will not rest until the nuclear shadow disappears forever. Hiroshima never again. Nagasaki never again.”
Yet, how could this call of “never again” be considered sincere if the perpetrator of that crime against humanity is not even mentioned, let alone held accountable? How can nuclear disarmament be possible in a world where a country–no, an empire–keeps in force a nuclear first strike policy and maintains nuclear warheads in combat-ready conditions in military bases in multiple countries around the world?
“Almost eighty years ago, Hiroshima was razed by a nuclear bomb. However, anyone who has been here knows that memories never disappear,” said Nakamitsu before reading out the UN secretary general’s speech. Let us make sure that the memories do not disappear. We demand that the US be held accountable for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If the Nuremberg principles do not hold, then a new tribunal should be created, and the US State should be prosecuted there for all its war crimes and crimes against humanity, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Saheli Chowdhury is from West Bengal, India, studying physics for a profession, but with a passion for writing. She is interested in history and popular movements around the world, especially in the Global South. She is a contributor and works for Orinoco Tribune.
Saheli Chowdhury#molongui-disabled-linkSeptember 14, 2023
Saheli Chowdhury#molongui-disabled-linkSeptember 11, 2023