(Hiroshima Genbaku Dome -- PD by Fg2 on Wikipedia )
Hiroshima atomic bomb memorial cenotaph. Photographed by Sekicho
Hiroshima Station Oct. 1945. Photo by KIKUCHI,Shunkichi
Peace Garden of Hiroshima, Japan by Fanghong
Kannon draped with cranes, Hiroshima, Japan -- by jpatokal
Monument in Memory of The Korean Victims of A-Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima. Picture by Fg2.
Marker at Ground Zero, Hiroshima. Picture by Fg2.
This building is the former Bank of Japan branch in Hiroshima, Japan. It stands less than 500 m from ground zero, yet survived the atomic bombing. Picture by Fg2.
Atomic Bomb Memorial Tower, Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima. Picture by Fg2.
Recently we commented on a crikey.com.au story, which we feel is instructive Socratic style regarding interplay of cultural and historical forces at play over the perverse but socially 'logical' claims to "scientific" whaling by the Japanese Govt:
Georgia Wednesday, 19 December 2007 1:39:31 PM
The relentless pressure on the Rudd govt. to fix great damage in areas of environment, govt. transparency, morality; the list goes on! They show up the LIberals up as corrupt, and morally bankrupt - and SO damn LAZY! Whales - we're coming to help you.
Tom McLoughlin Wednesday, 19 December 2007 3:14:42 PM Dramatic AND melodramatic. The Coalition ie Hill/Campbell/Turnbull NEEDED whales 96-07as PR cover on forests/nukes/climate etc. ALP MPs surely have learned to play this posturing 'game' while the Japs take perverse cultural revenge for Hiroshima/Nagasaki.
Tim Wednesday, 19 December 2007 5:20:15 PM If the legal remedies fail I'd get talking to other cruiseliners about buying and upgrading a fleet of boats, upgrade them with hardcore military hardware and if the Japs don't back off scuttle one of their whaling ships, see how they like the harpoon!
David Sanderson Wednesday, 19 December 2007 9:27:58 Tim and Tom, I am trying to figure out which one of you two is the bigger crackpot. It was a close run thing but yes you Tim win the prize. Enjoy it and don't come back too soon.
Jill Edwards-Davis Thursday, 20 December 2007 11:04:17 AM Rumour today that Japan will not kill humpbacks. Pressure at last getting through? But what a pity they still seem to have fin whales in their sights. Has anyone seen the RESULTS of all this research? Or even the objects they claim? Best recipes?
Bronte Thursday, 20 December 2007 4:19:23 PM Rudd has challenges closer to home too. Let's not let the whales distract too much from Tassie forests. If Gunns cut them down, we may not have to worry about whales for much longer? Time to tell us YOUR truths Mr Rudd. I'm hoping they coincide with ours.
Tim Thursday, 20 December 2007 3:10:39 PM *shrugs* The only way the Japanese will take notice and back off is if their interests are impacted. An internationally enforcable ban would work. The suck-hole diplomacy approach has not borne fruit. This is the only issue I'd agree with crackpots on...
Tom McLoughlin Thursday, 20 December 2007 6:16:44 PM David, I'm trying to decide who is most naive: The price of fine beef in Japan is lower than whale (not even popular there), only hunted since WW2 (rationing). Conclusion: Proud Right of Japanese politics like this 'symbolic' argument with the West.
To comprehend such a fraught factual distortion by the Japanese we submit one must look deeper, and further. Indeed one needs compassion and common humanity to get it.
Dennis Shanahan in The Australian last Friday is starting to suspect as much here with this historical slant with especially the last line "Don't mention the war."
During first whaling war, we were the aggressors | The Australian
With Shanahan's undoubted expertise on the right wing of politics generally, we thus infer, yes do mention it framed by compassion.
And the fusion of past historical injury and trauma in 1945 with current psychological determination to continue misconceived whaling is hinted at here with the US diplomats getting into the action, reported by AAP via Ch9 below. This is an aspect of Japanese USA history that the yanks in particular will want to keep well in the past as they manage geo politics with China and North Korea. A few dead whales is nothing in that equation. On the other hand the USA want Australia to stay jolly onside too and vis a vis other US allies.
Japan halts humpback whale hunt: USWednesday Dec 19 20:09 AEDTJapan has apparently agreed not to kill humpback whales during its current Antarctic hunt, the US ambassador to Tokyo said on Wednesday, a move that could help ease criticism of its controversial whaling program.
Japan's whaling fleet set sail last month with plans to catch more than 1,000 whales, including 50 humpbacks, which are popular among whale-watchers for their distinctive silhouettes and acrobatic leaps, before returning to port early next year.
Humpbacks were hunted to near extinction until the International Whaling Commission ordered their protection in 1966 and the planned hunt had sparked a loud outcry from activists.
"I think we had an agreement ... between the United States and Japan that humpback whales would not be harvested, I think, until maybe the International Whaling Conference in June," US ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer told a small group of reporters.
Because of migration patterns, the delay would mean it would be "a while before they are at risk again," Schieffer added.
Australia announced on Wednesday that it would send a fisheries patrol ship to shadow Japan's whaling fleet near Antarctica and gather evidence for a possible international court challenge to halt the yearly hunt.
Separately, Greenpeace sent a ship on Wednesday to try to stop the Japanese fleet hunting whales.
Japan has long resisted pressure to stop what it calls scientific whaling, insisting that whaling is a cherished cultural tradition.
"Japan's whaling is being conducted in line with international treaties and for the purpose of scientific research. We would like to win the understanding of others," a Japanese foreign ministry spokesman said in Tokyo.
Postscript 24th Dec 2007.
In the wake (?) of our piece the big Fairfax media carry this instructive opinion piece today, which is good, but doesn't quite dare to reach into the heart of the right wing of post WW2 Japanese politics complete with calls for independent re-militarisation contrary to the USA installed peace constitution. But it is at least a few planks in a diplomatic bridge that must reach a long way further across from one country to another yet:
Postscript 2 - 29 December 2008
A year later we return to note an interference in this article as follows with the images blocked out and now reinstated via wikipedia commons as follows:
* Interestingly our original post on 23rd December 2007 appears to have stumbled on a copyright dispute between wikipedia and a Japanese website and now SAM's micro news has been interfered with by blacking out of Hiroshima Peace Park images. Or perhaps some other force of censorship? These can soon be replaced with images from the wikipedia commons. A replacement web address has been added to our SAM site (without our permission too!) citing www.japanselifestyle.com.au as the image owner. This is in fact a clumsy mis-pelling of the website of the alleged image owner at www.japaneselifestyle.com.au. Here is the rude sign:
At wikipedia where the image(s) are also found they state
"This image has been released into the public domain by its author, Fg2. This applies worldwide. In some countries this may not be legally possible; if so: Fg2 grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.