On August 6th, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. The bomb instantly transformed Hiroshima into hell on earth. It wiped out 90 percent of the city and killed 80,000 people instantaneously. Many more perished later due to exposure to radiation. Everything was on fire, and cries for help could be heard everywhere. What followed next was a peculiar silence that indicated death and desperation.
As Japan approaches the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, this year’s August 6 provoked extraordinarily strong emotions among the Japanese, partly because of changes to Japan’s pacifist policy that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is trying to introduce. The peace memorial ceremony in Hiroshima did not seem to welcome his presence, even though he promised to work toward nuclear disarmament. I closed my eyes to offer my condolences to all the people who lost their lives. Some closed their eyes in fear, foreseeing the danger that the same mistake may be made due to the current security bills that Mr Abe is trying to pass.
But what I found equally disheartening and disappointing were comments from foreigners I read on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, about Hiroshima this year. There were those who, after 70 years, still would claim, “The Japanese deserved the bomb”.