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The mayor of one of the cities that has suffered most at the hands of nuclear weapons announced that he will call for a review of Japan's energy policy August 6, during the annual peace memorial. Japan's complicated embrace of nuclear energy is faltering, should Matsui come out strongly against it his voice would have the resonance of history's hard lessons. Should he support it, it would be disheartening for many who already feel the world has not learned the necessary lessons from nuclear weapons testing and use, nuclear accidents, uranium mining, and the insolvable waste question.
HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) -- Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui said Wednesday he intends to urge the government to "review its energy policy" in his speech at the peace memorial ceremony on Aug. 6, marking the 66th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of the western Japanese city in 1945.
"The peaceful use of atomic power in terms of nuclear power generation was approved in our energy policy because of public support and trust. But now, support and trust are faltering," in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis, Matsui told Kyodo News.
"Consequently, we should call for a review of the idea and I think we can say it," Matsui added. But he did not clarify his position on whether he opposes nuclear power or approves of it.
In this disturbing article, Greg Mitchell asks why, if the military & the government maintain that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was defensible, have they suppressed 90,000 ft of footage shot in Japan, most of which still has not been aired.
He chronicles the long search for, and simultaneous efforts to hide, this footage. Some sought to reveal it, to show the horror of war, while the military sought to keep it from the public eye indefinitely. He interviewed Lt. Col. Daniel A. McGovern, who directed the U.S. military film-makers in 1945-1946, managed the Japanese footage, and then kept watch on all of the top-secret material for decades.
"I always had the sense," McGovern [said], "that people in the Atomic Energy Commission were sorry we had dropped the bomb. The Air Force -- it was also sorry. I was told by people in the Pentagon that they didn't want those [film] images out because they showed effects on man, woman and child....They didn't want the general public to know what their weapons had done -- at a time they were planning on more bomb tests."
Whether it was regret, or worry about new war appropriations, it may never be clear. But, to this day, while some of the footage has been shown, most rests unseen by any but the original filmmakers. And this, even years later, is still shocking.
Suvendrini Kakuchi / Inter Press Service 4 August 2010
But the devastation they suffered was not only about living with radiation burns and medical problems. To this day, Hamamako, others like her and their families suffer from the social fallout of the atomic bomb blasts: stigma and discrimination toward survivors.
"I told the audience how awful it is to live as a hibakusha," said Hamamako, who now lives in Saitama, a suburb west of the capital Tokyo, with her husband and daughter. "My mother never spoke to me of that time because she did not want to recall the long years of how she and my sister, as well as everybody else around them, suffered. They were so badly affected from radiation burns that never healed."
"People like Hamamako are crucial to the lesson we bring from Hiroshima to the world," explained Prof Mitsuo Okamoto, head of the Hiroshima Centre for Non-violence and Peace. "Their testimonies represent a continuation of the role played by the older generation of survivors, whose stories of that fateful day have galvanized global action for peace," he said.
Hiroshima, The Difficult Questions: An Interview with Steven Okazaki Director of White Light, Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
In the opening section of Steven Okazaki's latest documentary, White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japanese teenagers on the streets are asked if they know the significance of the date August 6, 1945. Despite the fact that the events of that date radically transformed the future of their country as well as the dynamics of international diplomacy forever, the youngsters giggled nervously, embarrassed that they did not know.
The interviews... illustrate the necessity for creative works of artistry, history, and reporting to fill in gaps in our knowledge with vivacity and intelligence. Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki has made acclaimed films on Japanese American incarceration, heroin addiction, and Asian American identity. White Light/Black Rain, [is] a labor of love spanning several decades. For a mainstream documentary, it's a pioneering work: a collection of interviews that seeks to transcend continents and political agendas, while reaching a mass audience.