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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 May 21 - 27  > Keep record of air-raid damage: JCP Tamura
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2014 May 21 - 27 [HISTORY]

Keep record of air-raid damage: JCP Tamura

May 21, 2014
Under the wartime Japanese regime during WWII, a law banning ordinary people from fleeing fire raids caused an increase in the deaths and injuries from relentless U.S. aerial bombings.

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Tamura Tomoko on May 19 at an Upper House committee meeting showed old directives issued by the Home Ministry of the time, and demanded that the present government give support to all the victims of U.S. air raids.

Tamura argued that the state has a heavy responsibility for having given the people strict instructions to not attempt to escape but to work to put out the fires. She proposed that the authorities, along with relief for the sufferers, should embark on an effort to archive all available records of the air strikes, including documentation of the exact number of victims and detailed descriptions and verification of the incidents.

Pointing out that the present framework which just pays tribute to the war dead does not properly look into the events, the JCP councilor stressed the need for a full-fledged state project to record the past. “We should hurry, or we won’t be able to establish an accurate record of the air attacks,” she warned.

In a pending lawsuit regarding Osaka air raids, the judge acknowledged that the wartime Rules and Regulations of the Air Defense Law had made it difficult for the general public to flee from the flames.

In response to Tamura presenting this fact, Internal Affairs Minister Shindo Yoshitaka said, “We are awaiting a Supreme Court judgment so I decline to comment on that.”

Past related articles:
> Top court rejects Tokyo air raid victims’ demands [May 10, 2013]
> Osaka air raid victims bring case to Supreme Court [January 30, 2013]
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