70 שנה להירושימה

On Thursday, August 6, was the 70 years memorial day to the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

The tragic event was mourned throughout Japan, with the main ceremony held in the actual place of event in Hiroshima city, in the presence of survivors of the attack and leading political figures, including Japanese PM, Mr. Shinzo Abe.

The bombing, that was followed by a second bomb thrown on the city of Nagasaki, has claimed the lives of over 200,000 people, and left dozens of thousands of survivors who suffered from effects of the radiation for the rest of their lives. It was also one of the major factors that turned Japan into a pacifist country, forsaking the use of war as a mean to solve political disputes.

This year ceremony was held, however, under an intense internal debate regarding Japan military use. The recent attempts of the current Liberal Democratic Party led Govt., to change article 9 of the Japanese constitution, which outlaw the use of war and the Japanese Self Defense Forces in international disputes, is creating a strong and emotional opposition within the Japanese parliament and public opinion alike. Many of the survivors of the Hiroshima bomb has warned that the changes, promoted by PM Abe coalition, might expose Japan to external threats similar to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 70 years ago.

On the other hand, a constant rise in regional tension, caused by Chinese expansion into disputed territories with its neighbors; a lasting demand from the US, that Japan will shoulder a larger part of the military burden of securing the regional stability and global flow of trade and oil; and a Japanese sentiment, that a country cannot claim to be independent while totally relaying on its allay for its protection, are fueling the coalition drive for a change of the constitution.

The struggle over this issue will continue, but on the day marking 70 years for the annihilation of a whole city in a matter of seconds, it is worth stopping the debate for a moment and seriously thinks on the consequences of war…

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