Category: Japan
What Dollars Have to Do With Reason for US’ Japan Atomic Bombing 72 Years Ago
| August 9, 2017 | 8:27 pm | Analysis, Japan | 1 Comment
An atomic cloud billows above Hiroshima city following the explosion of the first atomic bomb to be used in warfare in Hiroshima, in this handout photo taken by the US Army on August 6, 1945, and distributed by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

What Dollars Have to Do With Reason for US’ Japan Atomic Bombing 72 Years Ago

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Sunday marks the 72nd anniversary of the first nuclear weapon ever used in warfare in human history, when an atomic bomb, codenamed “Little Boy”, was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Three days later, a second atomic bomb landed in Nagasaki, Japan.

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Tommy Yang — An 85-year-old survivor in the subsequent atomic bombing of Nagasaki spoke to Sputnik about his experience in the US atomic bombing of Japan.

Terumi Tanaka was on the second floor of a wooden house in Nagasaki, Japan, when bright white light all of a sudden surrounded him on August 9, 1945. Only a 13-year-old boy at the time, he tried to run downstairs as fast as he could, but was knocked unconscious by the following blast.When Tanaka regained conscious, he was under the cover of a large glass door, which miraculously did not break and saved his life. Tanaka’s house was about 3.2 kilometers [2 miles] from the epicenter of the atomic bomb, codenamed “Fat Man,” dropped on Nagasaki by the US Air Force.

Tanaka’s family members, including two of his aunts who lived closer to the epicenter, were not as lucky as him. On the third day after the bombing, he walked past hundreds of corpses and seriously injured survivors, who were left unattended, trying to find out whether his relatives were safe.

Tanaka eventually found out that five of his family members were killed in the devastating nuclear attack. He had to cremate his aunt’s body in a field.

“I will not stop thinking about this tragic and disastrous scene until I die. Nuclear weapons are not just weapons. It’s a devil’s tool. It cannot coexist with the mankind,” Tanaka, who now co-chairs the Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), told Sputnik.

Controversial Decision

In an effort to force the Japanese wartime government to accept an unconditional surrender, the US president at the time, Henry Truman, made a controversial decision to use the newly developed atomic bombs, from the Manhattan Project, against targets in Japan.The Truman administration argued that the use of nuclear weapon was necessary, because Japan’s warrior code that inspired its military invasion in Asia considers surrender dishonorable. During the World War II, defeated Japanese leaders preferred to take their own lives in the painful samurai ritual of seppuku, suicide by disembowelment. A land invasion of Japan could have cost the lives of as many as 100,000 US soldiers.

Japanese Emperor Hirohito announced the nation’s surrender in a recorded radio address on August 15, 1945, six days after the second atomic bomb was dropped in Nagasaki.

Some US historians argued that the decision to deploy nuclear weapons also served the purpose of preventing a possible Russian invasion of Japan and ensuring US influence in the Asia-Pacific after the war. The Soviet Union launched its invasion of Japanese puppet state of Manchuria on the same day as the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.However, Jeremy Kuzmarov, an assistant professor of American History at the University of Tulsa, told Sputnik that he believes the United States may have deliberately prolonged the war.

“That’s because there was such huge investment, in terms of taxpayer dollars, into the Manhattan Project. They feared that taxpayers had to see some return for their dollars. They needed to demonstrate the strength of US military power to show that money has been well spent and to show the world who is boss,” he said.

Kuzmarov added that there was heavy censorship initially after the attacks from US authorities, seeking to convince the public that Hiroshima was a military base.

“That was the original propaganda. Of course, that’s not true. Huge number of civilians were affected both short and long term. That makes it a heinous act,” he said.

Official figures estimate up to 140,000 civilians were killed in Hiroshima, with another 80,000 killed in Nagasaki. Many victims did not die on the first day of the attack, as a large number of them died from effects of burn and radiation sickness. Numerous survivors also suffered a wide range of sickness, as a result of exposure to radiation.Former US president Barack Obama became the first sitting US leader to visit Hiroshima in May 2016. But he did not apologize for the decision to drop the atomic bomb.

“Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in a not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead,” Obama said in a speech at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park.

Challenging Nuclear Disarmament

Almost 72 years after the catastrophic nuclear bombing, many big nations in the world, especially those who have already developed nuclear weapons, are far from ready to give up their nuclear arsenal.

The United Nations General Assembly passed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear arms, on July 7 this year. But 69 of the 193 nations in the UN did not vote, including all the countries that have already obtained nuclear weapons.Five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and Russia, have all successfully detonated nuclear weapons and did not vote on the new treaty. Those countries are part of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, signed in 1968.

As North Korea started to actively pursue its nuclear arms program in recent years, neighboring countries including South Korea and Japan also began to explore the possibility of obtaining nuclear weapons.

“As a result of regional geopolitics, North Korea felt it needed to develop nuclear weapons to protect its national security. That has triggered discussions in countries like South Korea and Japan on whether they should also acquire nuclear weapons. In regions where the geopolitical tension stays high, nations started to pay more and more attention to nuclear arms,” Zhao Tong, a fellow in Carnegie’s Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing, told Sputnik.

Zhao pointed out that as tension continued to rise between the United States and other nuclear states such as Russia and China, a growing sentiment emerged to call on the US government to abolish progress toward nuclear disarmament during the Obama administration.

“There have been demands to develop strategic nuclear warheads with a smaller payload and improved accuracy, which could be easily deployed and cause less collateral damage in the battlefield,” he said.

Despite initial success in advocating global nuclear disarmament in the early years of his presidency, including signing the New START Treaty with Russia, Obama was forced to settle on the US Nuclear Modernization Program with a total cost exceeding $1 trillion in the next 30 years.

The Chinese expert explained that nuclear weapons remain an important asset of deterrence because of the massive destruction it can cause compared to conventional weapons.The US Air Force dropped a conventional bomb, dubbed as “the Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB), in an airstrike in April against Daesh targets in Afghanistan. The explosive yield of the MOAB was equivalent to about 11 tonnes of TNT, while the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had explosive yields that equal to about 20,000 tons of TNT.

“In terms of power, the MOAB is still on a different level compared to nuclear bombs. It remains a fraction of the destructive power of nuclear weapons, even compared to the early models used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” Zhao said.

Tanaka, the nuclear bombing survivor in Nagasaki, expressed serious concerns about the future of nuclear weapons.

“I often think that the mankind will be destroyed,” he said.

The Japanese nuclear disarmament advocate believes that many still do not understand the cruelty of nuclear weapons, which makes it more important for people, especially politicians, to listen to the experience of atomic bomb victims and visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

KKE: Statement on the 72 years since the imperialist crime in Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Sunday, August 6, 2017

KKE: Statement on the 72 years since the imperialist crime in Hiroshima and Nagasaki

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/08/kke-statement-on-72-years-since.html
On the occasion of the 72 years since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) issued the following statement:
 
“This year marks the 72nd anniversary since the U.S. imperialist crime in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, an act which did not serve any military need against the- already defeated- Japan, but the intimidation of the people, of the Soviet Union and the then rising socialist system and communist movement. Thousands of people lost their lives from the dropping of the atomic bombs, while thousands continue dying every year as a result of radioactivity’s consequences. 
Today, 72 years later, the people continue facing the most repulsive product of capitalist barbarity, the imperialist war. The sharpening of the antagonisms between states and monopolies, for the distribution of markets and energy resources, across the world and especially in our region, consist the cause of military interventions, of the dozens local and regional wars, of borders’ redrawing, with the people being the victims and thousands of refugees and uprooted ones. They increase the risk of a generalized imperialist war. They confirm the need for the workers-people’s movement to be firmly in the direction of the struggle against imperialist war and its causes. 
 
All the above prove how fake and misleading is the argument of the SYRIZA-ANEL government that Greece consists “an ‘islet’ of securityand stability” in a burning region. And all these when the current government, like the previous ones, willingly and actively participates in all the dangerous plans of the USA, NATO, EU in the region. The government has legitimized NATO’s presence in the Aegean, expands NATO’s bases in Greece and has supported all NATO’s decisions which, within the context of competion especially with Russia, move towards actions that can cause a real holocaust to the people of Europe and general. 
 
Capitalism cannot be humanited, it can neither give solutions to the basic problems of the people nor secure peace for the people. The imperialist wars will exist as long as the power is in the hands of the capitalists.
 
For that reason, the struggle for disengagement from NATO and all the imperialist organisations, the struggle for the defense of the country’s borders and sovereign rights, for the disengagement from imperialist wars and interventions, is inseparable from the struggle for the overthrow of the capital’s power, with the sovereign peoples and their power. 
 
Source: 902.gr / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
 
* On the 72nd anniversary of the imperialist crime in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Greek Committee of International Detente and Peace (EEDYE) organises in Athens an event in honor of the victims, Tuesday 8 August 2017, at 8 pm at the Acropolis. A similar political event will take place in Thessaloniki, also on Tuesday 8/8. 
‘US Strategic Assets’ to Be Deployed In South Korea Against Northern Threat
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‘US Strategic Assets’ to Be Deployed In South Korea Against Northern Threat

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South Korea’s Defense Ministry said Friday that they’ve reached an agreement with the US to regularly deploy “strategic assets” from Washington as part of efforts to stave off provocation from North Korea.

South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense reported that the two allies agreed to institute “measures available in all aspects, including the regular deployment of US strategic assets.”

These assets include the US B-52, B-2 and B-1B bombers; F-35 fighter jets; and aircraft carriers usually housed at American bases in South Korea, Japan or Guam.

The announcement came during a media briefing on the biannual Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) meeting between the US and South Korea that took place in Washington, DC, on Thursday.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs David F. Helvey represented the US delegation at the defense meeting with his Korean counterpart Wee Seung-ho, deputy minister for policy.

Seoul and Washington also reiterated that the US’s recently deployed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system was intended purely for defense purposes. China has complained that the THAAD’s strong radar could be used to spy on Beijing.

China demanded South Korea remove THAAD on Wednesday. THAAD’s presence “destroys the regional strategic balance and further prompts tensions on the Korean Peninsula,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, UPI reported.

“Cancel the deployment of THAAD. Otherwise China will decisively take necessary measures,” Geng warned.

When it was announced earlier this week that THAAD was close to being operational, China carried out a military drill using “new weapons” in order to “defend national security and regional stability.”

Washington and Pyongyang have been engaged in a war of words in recent weeks, trading barbs as the North continues its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests and the US threatens military action in retaliation.

Tensions have calmed somewhat since the flashpoint of North Korea’s recent Day of the Sun celebration, when another nuclear test was feared. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday that Washington was open to talks with North Korea about denuclearization, a tactic China has called for for some time.

When asked about the possibility of talks, Tillerson said, “Obviously, that would be the way we would like to solve this. But North Korea has to decide they’re ready to talk to us about the right agenda,” according to the BBC.

Wang Yi, China’s foreign minister, suggested that, “The use of force does not solve differences and will only lead to bigger disasters … Peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and negotiations represents the only right choice that is practical and viable.”

There are about 285,000 American troops currently stationed in South Korea.

The Korean Crisis, the US’ Next Phase of Pan-Eurasian Containment
| March 10, 2017 | 7:19 pm | Analysis, China, DPRK, Japan, political struggle, Russia | No comments
In this photo provided by U.S. Forces Korea, trucks carrying U.S. missile launchers and other equipment needed to set up the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system arrive at the Osan air base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Monday, March 6, 2017.

The Korean Crisis, the US’ Next Phase of Pan-Eurasian Containment

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The security situation has markedly deteriorated on the Korean Peninsula in recent days following the North’s latest missile test, which Pyongyang antagonistically said was a drill for striking US bases in Japan in response to the latest US-South Korean military exercises that it rightly views as a sign of hostility.

These surprise launches prompted the Pentagon to speed up its planned deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system to South Korea, which has drawn the immediate ire of Russia and China who previously warned that it would set the precedent for undercutting their nuclear second-strike deterrent and spy on their territories.North Korea’s latest moves have also led to talk in Japan for a “first-strike option” to complement Tokyo’s militant reinterpretation of its post-war (supposedly) pacifist constitution. Not to be outdone, the Trump Administration ominously reiterated that “all options are on the table”, which Reuters reports could include “a return of U.S. nuclear weapons to South Korea, and even pre-emptive air strikes on North Korean missile installations.” China has frantically sought to cool down the dangerously rising temperatures on the peninsula and kick start a new round of negotiations by wisely calling for the dual suspension of the North’s nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the US and South Korea putting their joint military exercises on hold.

Neither side, however, seems ready to follow Beijing’s advice, thus running the risk that tensions will only continue to rise for the foreseeable future. This can’t help but work to Russia and China’s overall strategic detriment since the leading Eurasian Great Powers can ill afford for the US to open up yet another containment front against them. On the upside, however, this would serve to strengthen the already rock-solid Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership and accelerate Moscow and Beijing’s previously stated joint efforts to confront THAAD, though both of them are at a loss for how to properly respond to their wayward and increasingly reckless North Korean partner.High Stakes

All of the actors in Northeast Asia have significant stakes in the outcome of the Korean Crisis, not least of which is that they’d all like to avoid the worst-case scenario of a nuclear war. Here’s a brief look at the interests and agendas that the exclusively Asian countries are pursing, followed later by an examination of the US and Russia’s:

North Korea:

Pyongyang has the long-term goal of reunifying the Korean Peninsula under communist leadership, though its short-term motivations are more directly geared towards countering US-South Korean belligerence in staging their inciting war games (which this year happen to be the largest-ever) so close to the DMZ. The North’s nuclear and missile tests are muscle flexing aimed at showing the US that it will not fall victim to a Yugoslav-Iraqi-Libyan-style regime change war, but its predictable knee-jerk reactions feed into US strategy by gifting Washington the excuse for THAAD and other expected future deployments which are tactically much more about subverting Russia and China than North Korea.South Korea:

Just like the North, the South also wants to reunify the peninsula, albeit under capitalist leadership, and its latest moves are responses to what it perceives as (and is led by the US to believe is) the “North Korean” threat, ignorantly unaware of how its own actions play into and actually started this whole escalation cycle in the first place. In regional terms, South Korea endeavors to remain the pivotal economy wedged between its larger Chinese and Japanese neighbors, ideally retaining respectable and positive relations with each, but the country is inadvertently endangering its pragmatic and profitable high-level ties with China because of THAAD and strategically converging with Japan despite Seoul’s historical-territorial disputes with Tokyo (as per the US’ envisioned Northeast Asian NATO plans).

Japan:

This archipelago country hosts the most US troops anywhere in the world at approximately 50,000 and is a key component of the Pentagon’s “Pivot to Asia”. The US and the Abe government aspire to help Japan return to its World War II-era sphere of influence in East and Southeast Asia in order for Tokyo to become Washington’s premier “Lead From Behind” partner in the Asia-Pacific. In pertinence to the problems on the Korean Peninsula, Japan plays the role of an indirect antagonist by giving the US an “unsinkable aircraft” carrier for deploying ever more THAAD-like systems under the cover of ‘responding’ to North Korea but in reality to undermine Russia and China. Tokyo also has personal disputes with Pyongyang over the latter’s alleged abductions of Japanese citizens throughout the years, while North Korea viciously hates Japan for its brutal 35-year-long occupation between 1910-1945.China:

Beijing wants a nuclear-free and stable Korean Peninsula preferably united by peaceful methods and becoming a militarily neutral country. China does not want to see American troops on the Yalu River again under any circumstances, as this would present a national security threat of the highest caliber. Accordingly, it also wouldn’t tolerate pro-American United Korean troops there either. China wants North Korea to act as a buffer between itself and the US military and its proxies, but it recognizes that this said buffer region also carries with it inherent risks as well. Other than the fact that the Kim government is irresponsibly enabling the US to expand its strategically disruptive military footprint in the peninsula, its sudden and unexpected collapse could generate a sweeping flood of millions of “Weapons of Mass Migration” into China which could later be exploited by any pro-American United Korean government to press ancient historical claims in destabilizing this part of the People’s Republic.American Aims

While none of the exclusively Asian participants in the Korean Crisis want a hot war to break out, the US doesn’t necessarily have the same reservations despite having at least 80,000 troops stationed in total in Japan and South Korea, to say nothing of their many dependents (family, contract workers, etc.). The author isn’t suggesting that the US’ one and only goal is to spark a regional war, but just that it comparatively has the least to lose out of any of the countries involved (whether directly or indirectly), and that its military forces are more than capable of obliterating North Korea, although likely with substantial American casualties depending on how long and effectively Pyongyang holds out (which could include a suicidal last-ditch nuclear strike).

Accepting that the above scenario is the worst-case and least-likely one (at least for the time being), it’s much more relevant to discuss the more realistic reason why the US instigated the Korean Crisis. In the larger scheme of things: the US is hoping that its provocations against Pyongyang can drive North Korea into simultaneously providing Washington with the indefinite ‘justification’ for THAAD and thus transforming the country into a troubling security liability for Russia and China. If successful, then Washington could cleverly prompt Moscow and Beijing into taking on the burden of dealing with Pyongyang and consequently making Kim Jong Un the ultimate international pariah by turning his last remaining partners against him.This would amount to skillfully utilizing Russia and China as the US’ ‘cat’s paws’ in handling North Korea, as all parties would by then have a large degree of common ground between them in working towards the same ends (restraining Pyongyang), whether together or separately, no matter which means they go about in attempting to do so (barring of course the unacceptable unilateral use of force by the US). There’s nothing wrong with multilateral cooperation on such a pressing regional security issue as North Korea, let alone one with such profound global implications, so the reader shouldn’t misinterpret this as necessarily being the author opposing this potential eventuality per se, but just that the US certainly has ulterior motivations in prompting this scenario in order to promote its own self-interests.

Russian Recourse to Prevent Divide And Rule

US Interventions in World Politics: Infographic
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It was earlier alluded to how the leading Eurasian Great Powers of Russia and China can ill afford to intensely focus on the Korean Crisis at this moment in time, and the title of the article does indeed refer to the latest events being part of the US’ next phase of pan-Eurasian containment. What’s meant by this select choice of words is that the US has already engineered serious strategic proxy crises against Russia and China in Eastern Europe (Ukraine), the Mideast (“Syraq”), and Southeast Asia (South China Sea), and that yet another major disturbance in a different corner of Eurasia – this time one which borders both Great Powers – would occur at a very inopportune time for them.Moreover, the Korean Crisis is unfolding concurrently with the intensification of the existing containment proxy battlegrounds, with the Balkans boiling, the “Cerberus” coalition of the US-Israel-Gulf teaming up once more against Iran, and Myanmar slipping back into all-out civil war in parallel with Daesh ominously rising in the tri-border Mindanao-Sulawesi Arc between the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Understandably, if the incipient Korean Crisis was paired with a Central Asian expansion of the Hybrid War on CPEC, then the entire supercontinent would be embroiled in destabilizing conflicts (or threats thereof), which would surely create the perfect divide-and-rule existential challenge for the emerging Multipolar World Order.

The most realistic recourse against this insidious stratagem is for Russia to leverage its newfound diplomatic balancing role in Asia by urgently staging a diplomatic intervention aimed at calming tensions between the two Koreas in order to stem the American-encouraged spread of pan-Eurasian destabilization. Moscow enjoys excellent relations with Beijing, is in a promising rapprochement with Tokyo, and has unrealized by strong potential to better its ties with both Koreas, so it’s perfectly positioned to liaison and mediate between the four most directly affected actors. While the ongoing “deep state” war in the US has considerably diminished the prospects for reaching a New Détente in the New Cold War, Russia could still find a way to utilize any pivotally forthcoming diplomatic role that it plays in the Korean Crisis to its own bargaining advantage in attempting to secure a holistic and comprehensive ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with the US.At the end of the day, since all Eurasian diplomatic roads lead through Russia nowadays and the solution to seemingly intractable conflicts like Syria and Afghanistan is being actively discussed in Moscow, there’s no reason why Russia shouldn’t be at the center of organizing multilateral efforts aimed at resolving the Korean Crisis too and simultaneously strengthening its own “Pivot to Asia.”

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.