By , Rhee had lost much of his support in the National Assembly and his reelection was in doubt. In an attempt to retain power, Rhee proposed constitutional amendments providing for direct popular election of the president. On January 18, , the National Assembly, under the leadership of the opposition DNP, overwhelmingly rejected the amendments.
Rhee then instituted a campaign of political harassment and demonstrations against his opponents. When the opposition legislators held firm, Rhee declared martial law in and around Pusan, effective May 25, He also ordered the imprisonment of over 50 opposition politicians. A month later, Rhee manufactured an assassination attempt against himself that he claimed was part of a DNP conspiracy to seize control of the government Henderson , Palais , Kim For a moment, the United States considered strong actions, including urging ROK military officers to stage an anti-Rhee coup and even planning for direct military intervention.
Ultimately, it chose to use persuasion and encouragement of a political compromise. Some historians have criticized Washington for not acting to prevent Rhee from imposing his dictatorial rule on the ROK Palais But others stress that the DNP was acting to undermine his leadership to advance its own selfish political agenda, not to promote genuine democracy Keefer In the presidential election held on August 5, , Rhee easily won, obtaining After he successfully intimidated his opposition, an uneasy peace returned to political affairs in South Korea. During the last year of the Korean War, historians agree, Rhee acted purposefully to strengthen the Liberal Party and consolidate his authority.
Assisted by the powerful police and local administrations, he manipulated the politically unsophisticated populace, seized with insecurity over the war, into backing him. Although political chaos was averted, the National Assembly was powerless and excluded from any effective policy-making role. During the Korean War, South Korea experienced two infamous scandals involving the ROK armed forces that had a negative impact on its conduct of the war.
After the Chinese intervention, the National Assembly enacted the National Defense Forces Act on December 11, , which authorized the training of reservists and their prompt mobilization in time of national emergency. It required men between the ages of 17 and 40, except for soldiers, police, and public servants, to enlist in the equivalent of second reserve forces.
The National Defense Forces was under the command and supervision of the ROK Army chief of staff, who acted on instruction from the minister of defense. After promulgating the law on December 16, Rhee appointed Taehan Youth Corps leaders to key positions in the new organization. National Defense Forces leaders misappropriated money and goods allocated to the organization.
As a result, more than 1, enlisted men died of starvation, illness, and exposure. When the National Assembly learned about the scandal, it passed a bill on April 30, to dissolve the National Defense Forces, which disbanded on May 12, On June 15, 11 top leaders appeared before a military tribunal. Four days later, the court-martial sentenced five individuals to death. Millett blames Rhee for National Defense Forces scandal, while other writers view it as a clear demonstration of the undemocratic and corrupt character of his regime.
Amid a succession of battles between ROK forces and the guerrillas, there were areas where the government forces dominated in the daytime and the guerrillas controlled the night. On February 10—11, military authorities accused them of having betrayed the country to the Communists. Members of the ROK units involved in the massacre burned the bodies to destroy evidence. After the atrocity that the ROK forces perpetrated against civilians became public knowledge, the National Assembly on May 8 adopted a resolution censuring the government on this heinous incident. These scandals were sources of embarrassment for the Truman administration.
Mutual Defense Treaty, which was perhaps the most important diplomatic achievement during the Korean War for South Korea. Signed in Washington on October 1, , the agreement entered into force on November 17, , providing the formal basis for U. In June , the Eisenhower administration had agreed on terms to end the fighting that did not provide for Chinese military withdrawal, which Rhee had set as a condition for the ROK to respect an armistice.
After his release of North Korean prisoners failed to wreck the agreement, he threatened to remove ROK forces from UNC control and continue fighting to achieve reunification. Eager to end the war, the Eisenhower administration offered to provide a security guarantee through the treaty. General Mark W. Clark, the UNC commander, credits Rhee with practicing skillful hardball politics, but other historians lament that the Eisenhower administration made concessions transforming the ROK into a permanent client of the United States and recipient of enormous military and economic aid Clark , Stueck The Korean War hardened the division of the Korean peninsula, adding to the enmity between the two Koreas.
In particular, it gave rise in the ROK to a permanent sense of insecurity that fueled extreme anti-communism and justified the imposition of infringements on the basic rights of South Koreans. On the other hand, the war helped to pave the way for South Koreans to abandon narrow regionalism and their traditional sense of social hierarchy. Although it came under military rule, as a U. An official history presents a detailed and valuable account of the U. A few writers assess U. He believes that no nation could have done a better job than the United States did during the difficult years Chay : 66—7.
Metrics Views Abstract Shortly after Korea was liberated from Japanese imperialist rule in August , southern Korea below the 38th parallel came under U. References Baldwin, F. New York: Pantheon Books, 3— Chay, J. Westport, CT: Praeger. Cho, S. Berkeley: University of California Press. Vols 2, 3, 5. Clark, M. From the Danube to the Yalu. New York: Harper. Cumings, B. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 3— Dobbs, C. Gaddis, J. New York: Oxford University Press. Gayn, M. Japan Diary. New York: William Sloane Associates. Halliday, J.
New York: Pantheon Books, — Henderson, G. Korea: The Politics of the Vortex. Keefer, E. Pacific Historical Review, 60 2 , — Kim, C. Kim, J. In this regard, and with respect to Obama's legacy, the visit to Hiroshima provides an overdue opportunity to disentangle nuclear disarmament from arms control.
In Prague, Obama significantly noted that, "…as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has amoral responsibility to act. The language of the ICJ finding is authoritative: "There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all aspects under strict and effective international control.
In other words, there is a legal as well as a moral responsibility to eliminate nuclear weapons, and this could have made the Prague call for a world without nuclear weapons more relevant to present governmental behavior. The Prague speech, while lauding the NPT, never affirmed the existence of a legal responsibility to pursue nuclear disarmament, which was a key element in striking a bargain between the nuclear weapons states and those states without nuclear weapons.
The other key element was the commitment to share peaceful nuclear technology with the non-weapons states, thus encouraging and legitimating the development of nuclear capabilities that could be at any point configured to produce nuclear weapons, as well as creating dangerous risks of reactor disasters of the sort that occurred in Fukushima. In effect, the NPT while inducing states to forego the weapons option creates conditions that facilitate the development of a nuclear weapons capability should the political will of a government shift in that direction.
Additionally, there are the distinct problems arising from the presence of nuclear reactors vulnerable to earthquakes, terrorism, wartime targeting, and a variety of accidents. In this respect an official visit to Hiroshima offers Obama a final opportunity to reinvigorate his vision of a world without nuclear weapons by bringing it down to earth, and in the process leave an anti-nuclear legacy that overcomes the ambivalence of his record while president, that is, seeming to favor nuclear disarmament while maintaining the nuclearist agenda that has guided American policy ever since the bombs were dropped in In this regard, it would be more effective if Obama were to visit Hiroshima on August 6th, and include Nagasaki in his itinerary, rather than take advantage of the G-7 meeting to make a convenient side trip.
Choosing to visit Hiroshima on the anniversary of the attacks, especially if during the visit Obama spoke words of apology and acknowledged that the Prague speech fell short by not mentioning the coupling of an authoritative legal responsibility reinforcing the moral responsibility that was admitted. Such assertions would capture the world imagination, and give the quest for nuclear disarmament a political plausibility that it has lacked for decades.
Why is this? By acknowledging the legal obligation, as embedded in Article VI of the Nonproliferation Treaty, as reinforcing the moral responsibility, there arises a clear imperative to move toward implementation. There is no excuse for delay or need for preconditions. The United States Government could at this time convene a multinational commission to plan a global conference on nuclear disarmament somewhat resembling the Paris conference that recently produced the much heralded climate change agreement.
The goal of the nuclear disarmament conference could be the vetting of proposals for a nuclear disarmament process with the view toward establishing a three year deadline for the development of an agreed treaty text whose preparation was entrusted to a high level working group operating under the auspices of the United Nations, with a mandate to report to the Secretary General. After that the states of the world could gather to negotiate an agreed treaty text that would set forth a disarming process and its monitoring and compliance procedures.
The United States, along with other nuclear weapons states, opposed in the s recourse to the ICJ by the General Assembly to seek a legal interpretation on issues of legality, and then disregarded the results of its legal findings. It would be a great contribution to a more sustainable and humane world order if President Obama were to take the occasion of his historic visit to Hiroshima to call respectful attention to this ICJ Advisory Opinion and go on to accept the attendant legal responsibility on behalf of the United States. This could be declared to be a partial fulfillment of the moral responsibility that was accepted at Prague.
It could even be presented as the completion of the vision of Prague, and would be consistent with Obama's frequent appeals to the governments of the world to show respect for international law, and his insistence that during his presidency U. Above all, there is every reason for all governments to seek nuclear disarmament without further delay. There now exists no geopolitical climate of intense rivalry, and the common endeavor of freeing the world from the dangers posed by nuclear weapons would work against the current hawkish drift in the U. As the present state of nuclear weapons possession, climate change, and neoliberal globalization should make clear, we are not likely to survive as a species very much longer if we continue to base world order on a blend of state-centric national interests and dominant actor geopolitics and political economy.
Obama has this rare opportunity to choose the road not often traveled upon, and there is no better place to start such a voyage than at Hiroshima. We in civil society could then with conviction promote his nuclear legacy as 'From Prague to Hiroshima,' and feel comfortable that this president has finally earned the honor of the Nobel Peace Prize prematurely bestowed.
There is one final consideration. Some have noted, most influentially, Mikhail Gorbachev, that nuclear disarmament cannot be properly undertaken in isolation from the overall military setting. Especially when far along in a nuclear disarming process, political anxieties would likely shift to the dangers of making the world safe for conventional weaponry, and especially give rise to concerns around the world about the effects of American military dominance in a post-nuclear global setting. Such concerns seem only natural given the American global pattern of force projection consisting of hundreds of overseas military bases, navies in every ocean, and the militarization of space.
In this regard, as confidence grows that nuclear disarmament will be achieved, attention would likely turn to demilitarization and war prevention. Given the militarization of the planet, and the destructiveness of non-nuclear warfare, it would be beneficial to think of nuclear disarmament as a crucial and urgent step on the road to general and complete disarmament, which is without doubt a necessary dimension of sustainable peace for the peoples of the world. In effect, the ethically imperative vision that transcends Obama's Prague vision is that of a world without war, which itself is no more utopian than leaders of the world want it to remain.
What may be more utopian is to suppose that the human species can long coexist with the war system. Far-reaching revisions to Japan's national security laws became effective at the end of March Part of the government's efforts to "reinterpret" Japan's war-renouncing Constitution, the revised laws authorize military action that would previously have been unconstitutional. The move has been severely criticized within Japan as being a circumvention and violation of the Constitution, but there has been far less scrutiny of the international law implications of the changes.
Security Council. But with the purported "reinterpretation" and revised laws — which the Prime Minister has said would permit Japan to engage in minesweeping in the Straits of Hormuz or use force to defend disputed islands from foreign "infringements" — Japan has an unstable and ambiguous new domestic law regime that could potentially authorize action that would violate international law. By way of background, Article 9 of Japan's Constitution provides, in part, that the Japanese people "forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force in the settlement of international disputes.
Charter that had been concluded just months earlier. Thus, Article 9 incorporated concepts and language from the jus ad bellum regime for the purpose of imposing constitutional constraints that were greater than those imposed by international law, and waiving certain rights enjoyed by states under international law. While drafted by Americans, it was embraced by the government and then the public, such that it became a powerful constitutive norm, helping to shape Japan's post-war national identity.
Soon after the return of full sovereignty to Japan in , the government interpreted this first clause of Article 9 as meaning that Japan was entitled to use the minimum force necessary for individual self-defense in response to an armed attack on Japan itself. It also interpreted it as meaning that Japan was denied the right to use force in the exercise of any right of collective self-defense, or to engage in collective security operations authorized by the U.
These were understood to be the "sovereign rights of the nation" under international law that were waived by Japan as a matter of constitutional law. All branches of government have consistently adhered to this interpretation ever since. Factions within the LDP have for decades wanted to amend Article 9, but for complex reasons relating to the constellation of political forces both within the LDP and between it and the various opposition parties, it has never been able to do so. Prime Minister Abe similarly sought to amend Article 9, and initially tried to first amend the amending formula itself, but the public and political opposition stymied these efforts.
In , frustrated in its efforts to formally amend Article 9,the Abe government circumvented the formal amendment procedure and purported to "reinterpret" the provision. In the summer of the government submitted two bills to the Diet that implemented these changes to policy. But leaving those issues aside, several of the changes also raise international law issues, which have been subject to far less scrutiny within Japan, and have gone virtually unnoticed outside of Japan.
One such change is to authorize the use of force in response to "an infringement that does not amount to an armed attack. The traditional interpretation of Article 9 as permitting Japan to use force in the exercise of individual self-defense has consistently and explicitly defined a direct armed attack upon Japan actual or imminent as the condition precedent for exercising the right.
The "reinterpretation" authorizes the use of force in response to "infringements" that do not amount to an armed attack, such as "unlawful" foreign incursions into territory surrounding "remote islands". This change has been implemented through revisions made to a series of inter-related provisions in a number of different national security laws, most significantly the Self-Defense Force Law , the re-named Response to Situations of Important Influence Law , and the Response to Situations of Armed Attack and Existential Threats Law the new formulation for collective self-defense, discussed below, for example, is implemented in Art.
Without getting too deeply into the details of these provisions, however, the key point is that the overall effect of the changes would appear to lower the threshold for the use of force, as that term is understood in Article 2 4 of the U. Charter, below the level of "armed attack" that is the required pre-condition for the justified use of force in self-defense, pursuant to both Article 51 of the U. Charter and customary international law. In short, the change raises the concern that in some situations the government of Japan could now use force in accordance with its "reinterpretation" of the Constitution and its revised legislation, in a manner that would constitute a violation of the prohibition against the use of force in international law.
A second change is the elimination of the long-standing interpretation of Article 9 as prohibiting the use of force for purposes of collective self-defense. This change has been widely viewed within Japan as being impossible to square with the long-standing understanding of Article 9.
But while unconstitutional, given that a use of force for purposes of collective self-defense is explicitly permitted under Article 51 of the U. Charter, this change should not be expected to raise any international law issues. The problem is that the government did not simply incorporate the international law concept of collective self-defense. In order to mollify its coalition partner, the government introduced language that would ostensibly further limit the conditions under which Japan could engage in collective self-defense.
But while purporting to narrow the scope of the right, this clause of the Cabinet Decision itself created considerable ambiguity and uncertainty. Depending on how it is interpreted this clause of the "reinterpretation" may again lower the threshold for the use of force below that required by the jus ad bellum regime. The formulation adopted, in both the Cabinet Decision and the implementing provisions of the revised Self-Defense Force Law and the Response to Armed Attack and Existential Threat Law among others , suggests that Japan may use "the minimum force necessary" when "an armed attack against a foreign country that is in a close relationship with Japan occurs and as a result threatens Japan's survival and poses a clear danger to fundamentally overturn [the] people's right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
That should create no obvious international law issues. But the problem is that this is not how the government itself appears to understand the clause. First, Abe's comments suggest that the armed attack on a country in close relations with Japan may be uncoupled from the threat to Japan's survival and the people's rights to the pursuit of happiness, such that each is a separate trigger for exercising the right of collective self-defense. In his several public comments Abe has made no reference to how Iran's mining the straits of Hormuz might constitute an armed attack on another country far less one in a close relationship with Japan , but has instead asserted that the justification for the exercise of collective self-defense would simply be the threat to the livelihood of the Japanese people posed by such a blockade — a threat to the "people's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" in the language of the clause.
This not only uncouples the exercise of collective self-defense from an armed attack on another country, but even from a threat to the survival of Japan, and rather conditions it solely upon a threat to the livelihood of the people of Japan — however, that might be measured or defined.
And since the contemplated minesweeping is justified as an exercise of self-defense, it is presumably understood as itself constituting a use of force, conducted in the territorial waters of Iran. If this is how the Japanese government understands its own definition of collective self-defense, it suggests that it may consider itself entitled to use force for "infringements that do not amount to an armed attack", consistent with its new position on the exercise of individual self-defense.
There are other changes reflected in the "reinterpretation" and in the revised legislation that similarly raise potential questions about compliance with international law, which there is no room to discuss here. The risk that such changes could permit unlawful action will depend on how the new legislation is interpreted and implemented in practice, as is true of the two examples discussed above. But the key point is that while the Japanese Constitution previously helped ensure compliance with the jus ad bellum regime, and indeed was one of the few constitutional systems that imposed limits on the international use of force, the "reinterpretation" and revised laws have created an unstable and ambiguous regime that could actually provide domestic legal authority for action that would violate international law.
What is more, with the floodgates now opened on constitutional "reinterpretation" by unilateral executive fiat, there is no telling how long it will be before these changes are themselves again revised, further relaxing the domestic legal constraints on internationally unlawful action. This is a slightly revised and expanded version of an article first published in the international law blog Opinio Juris, Apr. Yagasaki Katsuma, emeritus professor of Ryukyu University, has been constantly sounding the alarm about the problem of internal exposure related to nuclear weapons testing and nuclear electricity generation.
Since the explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant NPP , he has drawn on his expertise to conduct field research, and to support those who evacuated to Okinawa. We asked him to reflect on the five years since the accident at Fukushima Daiichi, and to lay out the issues that lie ahead. On March 17, , a friend who lived in Fukushima City contacted me. I ended up making my way to Fukushima along with several dosimeters for measuring radioactivity. I set up the dosimeters.
Fukushima was under a petrol provision restriction, and I could not travel freely. I needed to make arrangements for an "emergency vehicle" to use. The Japan Railways JR trains had stopped running. It had been 12 days since the first explosion, which had occurred at reactor No. I engaged in discussions with farmers and other locals about what steps they should take. So I suggested that if people did not plant crops this year, and removed 5 cm of topsoil from their land, they could prevent future batches of crops from radioactive contamination.
It was a situation in which both national and local governments were at a loss about what to do; they could not even come up with countermeasures, and were practically without policies. In the end, apart from a few enterprising farmers who followed my recommendations, most farm-owners felt compelled to plant crops, and ended up ploughing the soil to spread radiation up to 20 cm deep. Of the 2 dosimeters I had brought with me to conduct my survey, I lent one to a farmers' union for one year, thus doing what I could for them in terms of temporary assistance.
One of the things which stunned me was the absoluteness of the safety myth anzen shinwa. Even though radioactive dust was falling, no one knew anything about how to protect their bodies. The local governments had not a single dosimeter among them. The evacuation manual for NPP accidents used in Fukushima City's elementary schools was exactly the same as the evacuation manual for earthquakes.
Furthermore, all attempts to talk about demonstrations of the danger of NPPs were categorically suppressed. Herein lies the root of why no countermeasures were taken to protect residents from radioactivity. Before the accident, I had published a book called Concealed Radiation Exposure in with Shin Nihon Shuppansha, which expounded my view that internal exposure was a hidden kind of exposure more dangerous than external exposure. The International Commission for Radiation Protection ICRP has concealed the issue of internal exposure in the context of their commitment to the cause of the United States' nuclear strategy.
In other words, I believed that they would do everything they could to cast off health damage to Fukushima residents, and support the Japanese government's policies to abandon its own citizens. This is what drove me to rush down to Fukushima. For two years in and , I delivered more than lectures each year, and held interviews with the mass media. The mass media did courageously report on the reality and danger of internal exposure, but a distressing incident occurred in the process.
I had asked them to make a flipboard for me which showed data on how the rate of child cancer deaths in Japan had jumped five years after the atomic bombings of to three times their original rate see graph. It was data which clearly demonstrated that these children were the world's first casualties of internal exposure. The night before the show, I was handed a script and sat in a meeting discussing the show until past 10 PM.
However, the next morning, when I headed to NHK, the director told me that due to time constraints, we could not follow the script we had discussed the previous night. On entering the studio, the flipboard which I had expected to be at my feet was nowhere to be seen. When I asked a nearby staff member to please bring it for me, quickly, the reply was that they could not do that. With 30 seconds to go before showtime, I had no choice but to appear on the show bereft of my data.
The following day, when I requested a written explanation of these events, NHK did not oblige me. Faced against my will with such a situation, I feel strongly that I am responsible for not being able to properly deal with it. They demanded that the Tokyo Electric Power Company explain compensation claims to the victims of the disaster, and even made them come to Okinawa to explain this in person to the evacuees here.
In Okinawa, a group of plaintiffs for a lawsuit to "return our livelihoods, return our region" also came together. In the midst of all her work, Okimoto always came to send me off and to pick me up from Naha Airport. Now that she is gone, I have taken up her role as the representative for the "Connecting Lives" society. After the accident, the melted-down reactor core was too radioactive to be properly disposed of. It is clear as day from this fact alone that nuclear power generation should not be permitted. In these 5 years, there has been a regime brimming with pollution: it is manifest in things like the lack of intelligence and care on the part of the Japanese government, the utilitarianism that places profits and power above human rights, and the political concealment of the worst environmental radiation disaster in history.
It is now 5 years since the Fukushima Daiichi accident, and we are in an abnormal state of affairs in which TEPCO and the national government are forcing people to silently accept their victimization. Under the Atomic Energy Basic Law, the maximum annual exposure limit for the public is set at 1 millisievert. But people are being forced to accept a revised threshold that is 20 times larger, that of 20 millisieverts per year. In Fukushima Prefecture, the cessation of compensation payments and the lifting of the evacuation order in highly contaminated regions has forced people to return, at the same time that housing support for the evacuees is also being ended.
Of course, there are no measures at all in place to deal with radioactivity outside Fukushima Prefecture. The Chernobyl NPP accident of led Ukraine also Belarus and Russia to establish laws that protected human rights, which stands in great contrast with the human rights situation surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi NPP accident.
The media reports on the occasion of 3. Why do they not call this as it is, "radioactivity damage"? He remarked in a report he made in that "there are virtually no diseases that are caused by radiation, but attention must be paid to the psychological stress that is caused by wondering whether or not one has been exposed to radiation". The theory that "psychological stress causes illness" is a method used to conceal the radiation victimization of the nuclear age.
In Chernobyl, uncontaminated food was distributed to residents of contaminated areas. Respite trips for children are also ensured by the state. And yet, in Fukushima, there is a huge push to "support by consumption" tabete ouen and the administration has implemented a policy of "locally-grown and locally-consumed" in providing children's school lunches. Japan is not attempting to avoid internal exposure as Chernobyl-affected states did; it is doing the exact opposite. What is at the bottom of this response?
Whether it is protecting residents from radiation exposure, or decommissioning of the melted reactor core, or indeed dealing with the contamination of underground water, there are numerous things that need to be addressed even by diverting the budgets of the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics. However, the Japanese government is trying to overcome all these issues with cheaper costs at the expense of people's suffering. Underlying this is their utilitarianism - an ideology which prioritizes economics over human rights and human lives - as well as their philosophy of abandoning the people.
Following what the government is saying, one is left speechless. Media reports are controlled by the government, and people can only remain silent. Providing safe food is the mission of agriculture. Surely there is no more cruel infraction of human rights than to force producers, against their will, to make food that might adversely affect human health by radioactive contamination.
There is no solution to this injustice other than to get rid of this system that has been imposed by fiat. Such standard stems from the thinking that economic profits comes before health. Radioactivity even in small amounts can cause harm. International Commission on Radiological Protection has it that carcinogenesis starts with DNA mutation of a single cell. Human susceptibility to radioactivity depends on individuals, and more vulnerable ones, particularly fetuses are affected first.
Consumption of one becquerel of C with biological half-life of approximately 80 days every day will result in an internal accumulation of becquerels within about 2 years. If we have to inevitably set any standard for allowable radioactivity in food, we should use the guidelines set forth in the recommendation by German Society for Radiation Protection, which is "no food with a concentration of more than 4 becquerel of the leading radionuclide Cesium per kilogram shall be given to infants, children and adolescents.
Grown-ups are recommended to eat no food over 8 becquerel per kilogram of the leading nuclide Cesium The Japanese government's philosophy of abandoning its people starts with its refusal to trust them, in other words it views them as unintelligent citizens. It prioritized "emotional stability" over protecting residents from radiation danger.
Moreover, it implemented thorough control of information. It is not simply that residents are seen as ignorant. The government has even actively betrayed their trust. A classic example of such actions by the state is the presentation of data on the radioactive contamination levels in the environment. The government set up monitoring posts MP in Fukushima Prefecture and neighboring prefectures and made the readings from them into official data.
On top of that, there was also a deliberate downplaying in government processing of the numerical data. The level of soil contamination is directly related to the amount of radiation in the air, and an objective measurement of this thus should be obtained from the air dose. In the background to these machinations lies the will of the international nuclear energy industry. The health survey being conducted by the Fukushima Prefecture Health Survey Evaluation Committee continues to progress, and the sad news is that it has already located cases of cancer.
From a scientific point of view, it is clear that these cases are undeniably caused by radioactivity. Despite this, the Evaluation Committee continues to assert that there is no proof that these cancers are linked to the NPP accident. Just as the committee insists that the numerous stark cases of thyroid cancer are not linked to radioactivity, so they will attempt to bury all other adverse health impacts in the sand.
Environmental pollution by radiation in Japan is ongoing, and, following the Fukushima Daiichi NPP accident, it is the worst it has ever been. This is true whether we look at the amount of radioactivity being released via the long-term meltdown of the reactor core, which is spewing uncontrollably, while the government and mass media collaborate in the cover-up. From the standpoints of society, economics and preventative medicine, a terrible state of affairs will result if we do not provide public protection to the people affected by the accidents and clarify the nature and extent of environmental damage.
The Japanese government has deemed the amount of radioactivity released from the Fukushima accident as one sixth of that which was released from Chernobyl. However, the subsequent revelations suggest that Fukushima's radioactivity is actually anywhere from 2 to 4 times as high as Chernobyl's. The post-accident maintenance of nuclear reactors between Fukushima and Chernobyl also differs. Seven months after Chernobyl, a steel and cement sarcophagus was built to cover the reactor, thus stopping the further release of radioactive materials.
Japan, even after 5 years, continues to let radioactive substances spew out into the air and water, thus worsening the world's environment. Without using the necessary basic procedures, they are simply trying to implement "cheaper" countermeasures. The fact that the stricken reactor cannot be managed alone can demonstrate that nuclear power lacks practicality and there is no choice but to abolish it.
As mentioned before, Japan is not honestly disclosing the degree of contamination and is using various measures to underestimate it. They have not published dose readings for radioactive nuclides such as uranium, plutonium, and strontium The monitoring posts, which are supposed to provide public data of radioactivity, give readings that are only around half of the actual doses.
Pediatric thyroid cancer cases in Fukushima have risen to It has been proven scientifically that these are due to radiation. Tsuda Toshihide et al. In response to this research, the Fukushima Prefectural Health Evaluation Committee has continued to insist that there is no clear link between cancer and the NPP accident. They are trying to bury all the injuries to health by this denial of a link between radioactivity and the many recorded cases of thyroid cancer.
By expunging the record of health damages caused by radiation, they hope to heighten the false impression that NPPs are "safe". In Japan, excessive utilitarianism goes unmentioned; companies' profits and the state's convenience take priority over human life. The countries surrounding Chernobyl created a "Chernobyl Law" to protect their residents 5 years after the accident. Under this law, the government designated areas that received more than 0. Health checkups and respite trips for children have been covered in a massive budgetary investment by the state in order to protect its residents.
What about Japan? The legal exposure limit for the public is 1 millisievert per year. As previously mentioned, the government has raised the upper threshold to 20 millisieverts per year in their drive to push Fukushima residents to return. The Chernobyl law forbids residence and agriculture in areas where more than 5 millisieverts per year of irradiation is expected; in Japan, approximately 1,, people live in such areas. Under the Basic Law on Atomic Energy, which governs nuclear reactors and related phenomena, the standard for radioactive waste management the level considered for safe recycling use is becquerels per kilogram.
Notwithstanding this rule, the special law for measures to handle contamination by radioactive substances permits up to becquerels per kilogram. Contamination dispersal is thus becoming systematized. A law to support child victims was established, but no maps of radioactive contamination were made, and the areas specified to receive assistance under this law's "Basic Policy" are limited to Fukushima Prefecture. With this law they have thus made all areas outside Fukushima Prefecture ineligible to receive radioactivity countermeasures.
When looking at the measurements taken by the Nuclear Regulation Authority of the contamination levels in all prefectures, we see that contamination exists everywhere in the country, Okinawa being no exception. In particular, eastern Japan shows high levels of contamination. Ten prefectures showed contamination of more than 1, becquerels of Iodine per square meter of land—Tochigi, Ibaraki, Tokyo, Yamagata, Saitama, Chiba, Gunma, Kanagawa, Nagano, and Shizuoka Readings for Fukushima and Miyagi were not available for a period of time because the measurement equipment were destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami, but other sources confirm high I dispersion in Fukushima.
These readings are taken from a fixed point, which means that if a radioactive plume does not pass over these points, it will not be measured, and is liable to produce an under-estimation gap by 1 to 2 digits. Although the Ministry of Education has implemented airborne monitoring, cities with a density of buildings higher than 3 stories present obstacles to this technology, making it unable to record their levels of contamination.
Severe contamination is concealed in the Tokyo metropolitan area and other places in the region. The above facts demonstrate an intentional ignoring of the serious level of radiation pollution. Japanese citizens should recognize radioactivity pollution as a de facto state of affairs.
In order to protect Japanese citizens from radioactivity pollution, the government and administration should take responsibility for protecting victims via a swift application of the regulations exactly as they are laid out under the Basic Law on Atomic Energy. Here we raise some suggestions for administrative policies to enact not only towards evacuees, but all residents.
This is a translation of a modified version of Yagasaki's three-part article series "Kakusareru naibu hibaku — Fukushima genpatsu jiko no shinso" that appeared in Ryukyu Shimpo on March 16, 17, and 18, Asia's water woes are worsening. This has exacerbated political tensions, because it has highlighted the impact of China's dam-building policy on the environment and on water flows to the dozen countries located downstream.
Today's drought in parts of Southeast and South Asia is the worst in decades. Among the hardest-hit areas are Vietnam's Mekong Delta a rice bowl of Asia and central highlands; 27 of Thailand's 76 provinces; parts of Cambodia; Myanmar's largest cities, Yangon and Mandalay; and areas of India that are home to over a quarter of the country's massive population. Droughts may not knock down buildings, but they carry high social and economic costs. Millions of Asians now confront severe water shortages, and some have been forced to relocate. Myanmar, Thailand, and Cambodia have had to scale back traditional water festivals marking their New Year.
The High Court of Bombay moved the world's biggest and wealthiest cricket tournament, the Indian Premier League, out of the state of Maharashtra. In one Maharashtra county, the local authorities, fearing violence, temporarily banned gatherings of more than five people around water storage and supply facilities. Meanwhile, the mounting drought-related losses in some of the world's top rice-producing countries — Thailand, Vietnam, and India — threaten to roil the world's already tight rice market.
Leahy, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote that "in fighting with Japanese savages all previously accepted rules of warfare must be abandoned. One rule, much insisted upon by the United States in the past, condemned the use of unrestricted submarine warfare. In , Japan, Britain, and the United States had signed an agreement that submarines would not sink merchant vessels without having first placed passengers and crew in a place of safety. A Japanese document was submitted at the Tokyo war crimes tribunal ordering the "complete destruction of the crews of the enemy's ships.
Japanese cruelty was horrendous, but it cannot justify the behavior of U.
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One American war correspondent later wrote: "We shot prisoners in cold blood, wiped out hospitals, strafed lifeboats, killed or mistreated enemy civilians, finished off the enemy wounded, tossed the dying into a hole with the dead, and in the Pacific boiled the flesh off enemy skulls to make table ornaments for sweethearts, or carved their bones into letter openers.
The most serious U. Again, it is worth recalling the "previously accepted rules of warfare. Department of State announced that aerial bombardment of civilians was "in violation of the most elementary principles of those standards of humane conduct which have been developed as an essential part of modern civilization.
Army Chief of Staff George C. In the European theater, the United States in contradistinction to Britain had a reputation for "precision" bombing. The evidence seems clear, however, that policy makers -- from the president on down -- favored terror bombing when it could be appropriately disguised. Back in Roosevelt had confided that the way to beat Hitler was to send a hundred planes over Germany for military objectives, but that ten of the planes should bomb smaller towns that hadn't been bombed before. That is the only way to break German morale.
By refraining from explicitly announcing a policy of terror bombing in Europe, the U. Air Force encountered none of the postwar criticism that the British Bomber Command experienced. Although Japan had only one eighth the tonnage of bombs dropped on it as Germany, its civilian death toll from bombing far surpassed Germany's , Only a quarter of the tonnage was devoted to aircraft factories, oil refineries, arsenals, or other industrial targets. On the evening of March , , over three hundred B Superfortresses loaded with 2, tons of napalm and jellied gasoline flew over Tokyo.
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A few explosives had been mixed in with the incendiaries, recalled Gen. Curtis LeMay, the commander of the operation, in order to demoralize firefighters. It was unreal. These were dead people, but you couldn't tell whether they were men or women. You couldn't even tell if the objects floating by were arms and legs or pieces of burnt wood. The B crews had to wear oxygen masks to avoid vomiting from the stench of burning flesh. The attack area was Strategic Bombing Survey, "probably more persons lost their lives by fire at Tokyo in a 6-hour period than at any [equivalent period of] time in the history of man.
This mission shows your crews have got the guts for anything. For the next five months, these fire raids were continued, hitting some 66 Japanese urban centers, including multiple return attacks on Tokyo. That civilians were the primary target was no post-war discovery. An air force operations analyst presumably attuned to class analysis from his pre-war position as a professor of physiology at Harvard recommended that in order to emphasize social cleavages, American planes should avoid hitting upper class areas while destroying the homes of workers.
Fortunately we were on the winning side. General Bonner Fellers, a key MacArthur aide, in a confidential memo of June , called the incendiary raids "one of the most ruthless and barbaric killings of non-combatants in all history. Stimson told Truman he was concerned about area bombing. Throughout the war, public opinion polls showed percent of the American public consistently supporting the annihilation or extermination of the Japanese as a people. McNutt, the head of the War Manpower Commission, gave public voice to this sentiment when he declared in April that he favored "extermination of the Japanese in toto" though he later added that he was expressing his personal view.
In examining whether dropping the atomic bombs was militarily necessary, a number of points need to be kept in mind. First, the real issue is not whether the atom bombs were preferable to an invasion or other forms of warfare, but whether the war could have been ended before August without resorting to either atomic weapons, invasion, or anything else. The United States had broken the Japanese code and therefore knew what Japanese leaders were holding out for: they wanted to be assured that they could retain the emperor.
Washington, however, was insisting on unconditional surrender, which, as Foreign Minister Togo Shigenori cabled to his ambassador in Moscow in July , "is the only obstacle to peace. The Potsdam declaration which called on Japanese forces to surrender unconditionally said nothing about the emperor. A plausible argument can be made for demanding unconditional surrender: only by eliminating Japanese militarism root and branch could there be peace in Asia for the long term.
This view, however, naively assumes that the victors in the war were not themselves going to be an impediment to peace in Asia, but in any case whoever else might be able to advance this argument, the U. For in fact, after dropping two atom bombs, and exterminating a few hundred thousand people, the Japanese offered to surrender on the condition that they could retain their emperor.
And the United States agreed, not because it was feeling sorry for the victims of its nuclear attacks, but because U. So, with macabre irony, the United States wiped out two cities in order to get the Japanese to accept terms they had probably been willing to accept before. If this approach had been tried and found wanting, what other methods would there have been for ending the war?
The social scientists at the Office of War Information knew that Japanese resolve was not as strong as commonly thought, but their studies were ignored. In another cruel irony, a top-secret U. Admiral Leahy considered the atom bombs "an inhuman weapon to use on a people that was already defeated and ready to surrender But these were not the only choices. A strong case can be made that precision attacks would have won the war with far fewer civilian casualties than either the atom bombs or the urban conflagrations.
It is sometimes argued that time was of the essence because the invasion of the first of the Japanese home islands was scheduled for November 1. But there is no reason why the invasion time-table had to be followed: the Japanese potential for offensive military operations was nil. Some of the scientists who worked on the bomb recommended that the United States carry out a demonstration explosion for the Japanese, rather than dropping it unannounced on a civilian target.
But the bomb of the type dropped on Hiroshima was considered by all those who worked on it to be a sure thing. As for the scarcity of bombs, a third one was ready for later in August, with several expected to be available in September. In any event, Truman rejected the demonstration idea and ordered that the first bomb be dropped on Hiroshima. It has been suggested that to policy makers the bomb was just another weapon.
But Truman didn't think so: "This is the greatest thing in history," he commented after Hiroshima was incinerated. Truman recorded in his diary that he and Stimson agreed that the bomb should be dropped on a "purely military" target. Hiroshima had some military facilities, but there were more than six times as many civilians as soldiers in the city. The bombing of Nagasaki had even less military justification than that of Hiroshima.
Two days after the first bomb, Moscow declared war on Japan. Surely these were two severe jolts to the leaders in Tokyo, but the United States didn't wait to see what their impact might be and dropped the next bomb twenty-four hours later, on August 9. Marshall was at first surprised that the Japanese did not sue for peace after Hiroshima; he concluded that because the destruction had been so complete in that city, it took longer for word to get out and for an assessment to be made. Marshall ordered a crash propaganda campaign to inform the Japanese public about the bomb in order to get them to press for surrender.
Propaganda leaflets were dropped on many cities, but Nagasaki did not get its full quota of leaflets until August 10, the day after it was obliterated. Japan now announced that it was willing to surrender if it could keep its emperor. Washington replied that the emperor would have to be under the authority of the U. But before the Japanese acceptance was officially received Washington ordered a final raid.
The official history reports that the air force chief "wanted as big a finale as possible," hoping that the Tokyo area could be hit in a 1,plane mission. The head of the strategic air forces disagreed; he "still wanted to drop the third atom bomb on Tokyo but thought the battered city a poor target for conventional bombing. The day after Pearl Harbor, the Secretary of the American Asiatic Association wrote privately to a State Department official, "It will be a long, hard war, but after it is over Uncle Sam will do the talking in this world. First was "no aggrandizement, territorial or other.
The principle of self-determination, the New York Herald Tribune declared, was irrelevant where "the security of the United States and the stability of the Pacific world" were at stake. Byrnes insisted that Washington did not seek empire in the Pacific, only scattered bases and islands with few inhabitants. If the self-determination of these island inhabitants could be subordinated to the interests of the war's winners, so it was in Southeast Asia. At the San Francisco Conference setting up the United Nations, the United States had joined the European colonial powers in deciding that former colonies would become trusteeships of the international body only with the agreement of the metropolitan power.
As early as February , the Department of State had endorsed the idea that the East Indies should be given back to the Netherlands.
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Journalist Harold Isaacs described how the British dealt with this problem:. At Semarang and Bandung, where bitter battles were fought to take those cities away from the Indonesians, Japanese infantry and tanks carried the main brunt. In his official report on the fighting at Semarang at the end of November, the local British commander The British also used their own forces against the Indonesians. The latter appealed to the United States that the British were using U.
When the Dutch returned, they were armed with weapons purchased with U. The United Nations worked out a compromise between the Indonesian nationalists and the Dutch, but the Dutch refused to abide by it and Washington failed to enforce its implementation. In defiance of the UN, the Dutch imposed a strict economic blockade on Indonesia, cutting off supplies of food and medicine and causing great suffering.
Then, in , Indonesian leftists with no backing from Moscow tried to take power and when Sukarno and the other moderate nationalists crushed them, Washington did some rethinking. Because Sukarno seemed firmly anti-communist, and to forestall any further radicalization of Indonesian nationalism, the United States now pressed the Netherlands to settle. In Indochina, too, Japanese troops and U. When the British landed in Vietnam, the first thing they did was free the French forces who had been imprisoned by the Japanese.
Then, the British and French, with Japanese troops assisting, went out to crush the Vietnamese. Because the nationalists in Vietnam were communist led, the United States did not push the French to agree to independence. Over the next eight years, the French war to reassert its colonial rule over Indochina would be four- fifths funded by Washington. Thus, even though it had been the Japanese advance into Indochina that precipitated U.
Indeed, as the next two decades would show, the very lives of the people of Indochina mattered little to U.
Japan as the Occupier and the Occupied
In the Philippines, the bulk of the pre-war elite had collaborated with the Japanese, while many Filipinos fought in guerrilla units against the Japanese occupation. Some of these guerrillas were American led, but the largest grouping was the left-wing Hukbalahap Huks which drew its strength from the radicalized peasantry of Central Luzon. When U. In return, the elite obtained preferential access to the U. Matters were no better in East Asia.
Korea had been a Japanese colony since the early years of the century and the popular desire there for independence was intense. At first Koreans were told that the colonial government would continue to function with all of its Japanese and Korean personnel, including the Japanese Governor-General. A measure of the popularity of the U. Utilizing the Japanese colonial structures was not an oversight on the part of the United States.
It was the only way to block the emergence of a left-wing government in the south, which had the backing of a majority of the population. In China, the defeat of Japan left a raging civil war between Chiang Kai- shek's "Nationalist" government and the Communists. The United States promptly determined to intervene in this civil war. Truman instructed Japanese troops outside of Manchuria to surrender only to Nationalist forces and not to the Communists. George Marshall told Truman that if the U. But the rest of Marshall's comment is quite revealing, for it acknowledges that what the Pacific War was about was not self-determination for the Chinese people -- for they certainly didn't support Chiang Kai-shek -- but maintaining U.
The most valuable prize in Asia, however, was none of these countries, but Japan itself.
Compilation of Periodical Literature: Truman Library Cluster | National Archives
Neither China, nor Britain, nor the Soviet Union, nor any of the countries that suffered from Japanese conquest would play any role in the occupation of Japan. This meant that any criticisms of the emperor had to be suppressed. Thus, a left wing film critical of the emperor was banned by American officials in