CBC’s The Current had coverage today respecting Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I’m happy to advise that it looks like Setsuko Thurlow was interviewed as was Stephen Okazaki, the producer of the documentary “White Light, Black Rain”. For a description of these and another interview, see below. Go to this link for a link to the audio tapes:
*The Current: Part 2*
*Japan – Hiroshima Survivor *
Sixty two years ago today, the United States carried out what many regard as a war crime. It dropped an atomic bomb nicknamed “Fat Man” on the Japanese city of Nagasaki and killed seventy thousand people. Three days earlier, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima killed 140,000 people. Most of the dead in both cities were civilians.
The attacks ended the Pacific war. And the Americans imposed a pacifist Constitution on conquered Japan, exacting a commitment never to pursue a Japanese nuclear bomb.
Over the years, the U.S. has encouraged Japan to get back in the militaristic game, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe now seems inclined to do just that. He has pledged increased co-operation with the Pentagon on missile defence and logistical support for U.S. combat troops. Other prominent Japanese have suggested there should at least be debate on developing nuclear weapons.
So, Japan finds itself memorializing war and, in the same breath, talking about preparing for war. We’ll discuss that in a moment. But first, Setsuko Thurlow was with her 30 classmates when the bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. She now lives in Toronto. We asked her to tell us what she remembers from that day, after regaining consciousness.
* Japan – Doc Filmmaker *
Steven Okazaki is a Japanese-American who was raised in Venice, California and has been producing documentaries for over 30 years.
He won an Oscar for “Days of Waiting,” the story of one of the few Caucasians to be interned with Japanese-Americans during World War II.
His most recent film is “White Light/Black Rain” and it features interviews with survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki examining how they were treated by Japanese society and how the bombings are remembered today. Steven Okazaki joined us from Berkeley, California.
Steven Okazaki’s most recent film “White Light/Black Rain” airs on HBO.
*Japan – Analyst*
A lot of people, understandably enough, find the prospect of a remilitarized Japan disturbing. Michael Zielenziger is a longtime Japan watcher who was bureau chief for the Knight-Ridder news agency in that country from 1996 to 2003. He’s also the author of “Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation” and he’s a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley. That’s where we reached him this morning.