Hiroshima survivors remember lasting pain

Extensive coverage of the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing prompted moving reports of the terrible suffering it caused. The media also reflected on how Japan’s wartime history affects its place in the modern world.

The Imperial Household released photographs of the vinyl records which contain the sound recordings of the surrender speech made by Emperor Hirohito in 1945, along with pictures of his bunker at the Imperial Palace.

Former diplomat Amaki Naoto wondered if this was to counterbalance the nationalistic tone of prime minister Shinzo Abe. Mr Abe used his speech at Hiroshima to call for peace and nuclear disarmament but the Chinese government believes he is still attempting to deny Japan’s “aggression” during WWII.

BBC radio broadcast a dramatic eye-witness account of the Hiroshima bomb with a doctor who was in the city at the time. There was also a moving interview with Kyoko Gibson, who said hostility towards Westerners led some of her Japanese friends and family to boycott her wedding to her British husband 46 years ago.

The Hiroshima anniversary came as Japan is debates whether to restart its nuclear power reactors. One in Kyushu could recommence operations next week. The nuclear power industry is still reeling from the disaster at Fukushima, where a reactor was badly damaged by the 2011 earthquake. Three executives from the Tepco power company will be charged with professional negligence. Nevertheless, a rally in Tepco’s share price enables it to rejoin the JPX-Nikkei Index 400, which contains companies of high market value. Panasonic will exit the index because of an accounting scandal and McDonald’s Japan is leaving following a food safety scandal. However most major Japanese exporters, including Toyota, have seen their profits rise, partly because of a weak yen.

Finally, Brittany Fowler in Business Insider puzzles over why Japanese people do not seem to much like online dating sites, despite their enthusiasm for social media. It could be that shyness plays a part and apparently some women would rather show a picture of their rice cooker than their real photograph on their online dating profile. Perhaps it will help win the hearts of hungry men but I wonder how it leads to passion.

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