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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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被害者としての日本と加害者としての日本

 
「原爆投下は当然だ!」と言い切った『くたばれ、ジャップ野郎!―日本軍の捕虜になったイギリス兵の記録』の著者ジャックエドワーズさんが気になってしまっていた時に読んだイアン・ブルマの『戦争の記憶―日本人とドイツ人』で大久野島を知りました。



恥ずかしながら今までこの島の存在を知りませんでしたし、東京の新宿区に毒ガス研究所があったんですねえ。1994年のイアンブルマさんの本を種本としたのかわかりませんが、1995年にニューヨークタイムズのコラムニストのニコラス・クリストフが大久野島のことを取り上げていました。

Okunoshima Journal; A Museum to Remind Japanese of Their Own Guilt
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: August 12, 1995

"If you ask why America dropped the atomic bomb, Japan should also ask why it made chemical weapons at Okunoshima," said Hatsuichi Murakami, who worked at the poison gas factory as a teen-ager.

Some Americans and Japanese alike complain that Japan suffers from a "victim consciousness," in which it is obsessed by the atomic bombing but forgets the aggression that preceded it. Okunoshima both confirms and undermines this interpretation of Japan.

On the one hand, every Japanese knows that the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and 1.5 million people each year pass through the museum in Hiroshima that shows the awful human effects of the bomb. But few Japanese have ever heard of Okunoshima and its poison gas factory, and only 52,000 visitors a year pass through the island's poison gas museum and its grisly exhibits about the effects of the gas.


被害者意識だけを前面に押し出すことに対する日本人への違和感を感じていたジャックエドワーズさんの気持ちがようやくわかったような気がしました。そもそも広島は軍都であったんですよね。

Japanese soldiers used the gas more than 2,000 times against Chinese soldiers and civilians in the war in China in the 1930's and 1940's. At the end of the war, Japan left munitions dumps that China says contain 2 million poison gas shells.

The Japanese Government early this year confirmed that the poison gas in China had been left by Japan and accepted responsibility for cleaning up the dumps.

After the war, the Japanese Army tried to hide its activities at Okunoshima. But Allied soldiers found the plant, and the Americans dumped almost 5,000 tons of poison gas into the sea in 1946.

Those who seem to feel guiltiest about the gas are in some cases the survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Acutely sensitive to the agonies of war, many have visited Okunoshima and called for more attention to what went on here.

"We should think of other victims as well," said Akihiro Takahashi, an atomic bomb survivor who until recently was the director of the Hiroshima peace museum. "We should think more of the victims in Okinawa, of the Tokyo firebombing, of the toxic gas made in Okunoshima. Have the atomic bomb survivors thought enough about these people? I'm afraid we haven't, and that's what I feel badly about."


1995年はちょうど戦後50年ということもあってか、クリストフさんは広島なども取り上げていました。

Hiroshima: A special report.; The Bomb: An Act That Haunts Japan and America
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: August 6, 1995

HIROSHIMA; Justified Bombings? A Survivor's Reply
Published: August 6, 1995

Kokura, Japan: Bypassed by A-Bomb
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: August 7, 1995

いよいよ22日の水曜日にバンドンのアジアアフリカ会議で、29日には米国議会で安倍首相が演説をします。被害者か加害者かという二者択一ではなく、日本は紛れもなくどちらでもあったんですよね。そのあたりの現実を踏まえた内容であることを期待します。

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Yuta

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