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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 May 10 - 16  > Civilian victims of the war in online meeting resolve never to allow Japan to wage war
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2023 May 10 - 16 [PEACE]

Civilian victims of the war in online meeting resolve never to allow Japan to wage war

May 14, 2023
Connecting online with civilian victims of the war, such as victims of U.S. air-raids, A-bomb survivors (Hibakusha), and victims of the Battle of Okinawa, a rally was held in Tokyo on May 13 to discuss ways to prevent war.

Nagasaki Hibakusha Tanaka Terumi said, “We are now threatened with a move toward a war worse than what we experienced 80 years ago. It is important for us to work to block this move.”

A war orphan, Yoshida Yumiko, who lost her parents in a U.S. air-raid when she was three years old, testified that she went through a terrible time after she was adopted by her mother’s sister who treated her as a nuisance.

Nishikura Masaru, a former Japanese prisoner of war, talked about his experience. He was conscripted into the Imperial Japanese Army when he was 19 years old. He said that after the war, many Japanese soldiers including him were sent to POW camps in Siberia and that 60,000 Japanese POWs died from hunger, excessive cold, and the harsh forced labor conditions.

The rally received a message from a group of bereaved families of former Korean Class-B/C war criminals. The message sent by Pak Rae-hong on behalf of the group stressed that to increase Japanese people’s understanding of the issue of former foreign Class-B and Class-C war criminals and to solve this issue will lead to avoiding wars and creating a true peace.

Lawyer Zukeyama Shigeru, who heads a legal team in a lawsuit filed by Okinawans seeking state compensation for damages caused in the 1945 Battle of Okinawa, warned, “The present government intends to use the Nansei Islands, a chain of islands including Okinawa, as a military fortress again. This means that these islands may fall under enemy attack and suffer damages even worse than those caused in WWII. It is unacceptable for the government to forget about the civilian victims of the Battle of Okinawa and embark yet again on a path toward war.”

Nagasaki Hibakusha Kido Sueichi pointed out that the United States has hidden the horrifying facts associated with the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from the general public in the United States, and that the Japanese government has abandoned the Hibakusha and refused to hear their demands. He called for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
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