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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

'Hiroshima Nagasaki' by Paul Ham

When I was in London, I was initially called "Hiroshi", well, that's my name (I now prefer to be called "Hiro"), and a lot of people associated it with "Hiroshima". My hometown is also very close to the famous city. 
When they heard of that, interesting things started to happen. 
They all expressed a very heartfelt sympathy for us Japanese, and a few of my friends (Americans) offered me an apology for its atrocious "genocide (their word, not mine)" in 1945. 

The question of the use of A-Bombs in these two cities is profound and enormously complex. Particularly the question of whether or not the bombs led to Japan's surrender, hence, saving the lives of millions of people (Japanese and Allied forces). 
And its moral turpitude. 
I still wrestle with it. 

I've read many books on this subject, particularly in my youth. Visiting a special hospital in my hometown where survivors have seen their lives totally wasted and ruined was part of frequent school excursions. 

This book is probably the best I've ever encountered. It covers a wide range of issues surrounding the bombs. 
His detailed narrative and its ultimate conclusion concur with the knowledge and thoughts I've come to possess. 
Most of the facts in the book are already familiar to me, including Japanese government's deranged persistence to uphold "Kokutai (Emperor's sovereignty)" even in the face of two vaporised cities. Also, the genesis of Japan's mentality of victimhood. 
Still, it's very refreshing to read the book written so well by a prominent Australian writer. 

This is a great audiobook, borrowed from a local library, extensively researched and written in a lucid style. Also narrated sensitively by Robert Meldrum. 

I'm very grateful to them for producing this and giving us an opportunity to educate ourselves, rather than believe in what a majority of the press (particularly in America) try to make us believe. 

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