On August 6 Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi had a real hard day. Although
he had an important appointment to see former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori at night
in Tokyo (see today's TFP story "AN OBITUARY; Be prepared for another in next 24 hours"), he
had to take a trip to Hiroshima early in the morning to attend the 60th
anniversary of the Atomic bombing on the city.
At the memorial service attended by 55,000 people, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba declared the "369 days" (see Note below) from August 6, 2005 to August 9, 2006" to be a "Year of Inheritance, Awakening and Commitment."
Note: Mr. Akiba was particular about the number of days, rightly so. But to be more precise, a nuclear year from Akiba's point of view runs for 368 days except in a leap year. But wait, it's still a 365-day period, after all, running from August 9 through next August 8 because otherwise the next nuclear year would have to be shortened to a 362-day period. This is not really unimportant as it looks beacuse he was talking about a going concern whose business plan is subject to periodic review and redirection.
Last year the same mayor declared the coming nuclear year to be a "Year of Memory and Actions." At that time, too, Akiba failed to be very specific about his action plans except when he said the municipal government would submit to the U.N.-sponsored Review Conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (May 2005) a proposal to build a nuclear-free world by 2020.
And this time the Hiroshima Mayor apparently didn't feel obliged to tell the congregation what had become of the 2004 version of his grandiose action plan, as though it had been a frail midsummer night's dreem. He even forgot to mention what sort of ambitious action plan he had, or had not, submitted to the NPT review meeting three
This indicates it's none other than himself that has to be awakened and committed to whatever it was he had in mind when he delivered the touching speech 365 days earlier.
Koizumi's address was also a replay of the taped message which was filled with empty rhetoric about a nuclear-free world, in part because he was preoccupied with the fate of his pointless postal reform bills.
And look at these poor six-grade kids who were forced to read out a cheap, worn-out pledge for peace. They sounded like a pair of robots who were preprogrammed to parrot the moving lines planted by their "twelve-year-old" parents and teachers.
Watching all these proceedings on TV, I feel an urge to reiterate here how TokyoFreePress views the way Japan has increasingly been losing track of the nuclear reality:
- If I had been Prime Minister Eisaku Sato back in 1970, I wouldn't have signed the NPT because China had already been nuclearized by that time.
- If I had been then-Prime Minister Takeo Miki in 1976, I wouldn't have asked the Diet to ratify the treaty.
- If I had been Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa in 1993, I must have certainly insisted that Japan would consider the same course of action when North Korea started threatening to withdraw from NPT.
- If I were Junichiro Koizumi today, I would certainly drop every empty rhetoric about a nuclear-free world which is a product of the illusion that Japan is better-qualified than any other nation for leading the world in that direction just because it is the only nation to have experienced the nuclear apocalypses. I would also consider the withdrawal from the framework of the six-way talks because it's now crystal-clear that Japan is incapable of making the slightest difference, for better or for worse, to the geopolitical situation in this region. Instead I would concentrate solely on practicable and more relevant policy measures with which to reform, or even revolutionize, the entire 1955 System and the "unique" culture underlying it.
The masochistically self-destructive trait of the Japanese has stemmed from a deep-seated "Occidentalist" dilemma as Ian Buruma points out. This propensity had become full-blown into an irresistible impulse toward mass-suicide by the time of the Hiroshima bombing.
If you are curious about my theory, please refer to the October 14 TFP story titled "It's about time to wake up to the nuclear reality." You will find out there Professor Emeritus at Tokyo University, who is one of the right-leaning Sankei Shimbun's favorite scholars, effectively endorsed my view that thanks to the mass-suicide in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan could prevent its 26-century old polity revolving around the imperial institution from being dismantled by the U.S. occupation forces.
This culture and the System have remained unchanged ever since as if they are preserved in a freezer. And who knows what happens when they are defrosted?
I think a sound and strong Japan will only emerge when each one of its people has overcome his self-degrading and self-destructive propensity. And the only way to fix the pathological problem is for him to become himself, which means he should be able to form his own opinion using his own brain, and refuse to swallow whatever is fed by mythomaniacs in the media.
But people working for the mainstream media don't have to fret too much over my provocative heresy because in fact I am not a Prime Minister.