Tokyo Fire Bombing in 1945: 100,000 People Died in a Single Night

On the 70th anniversary of Tokyo’s fire bombing, relatives are asking for a real tribute to its victims.

It was just after midnight when the rumble of B-29 bombers was heard, jolting Tokyo awake. The incendiaries that fell from their bellies, full of jelly petroleum, were like nothing anyone had ever seen.

They turned canals and rivers into flame and if the jelly stuck to you, it kept burning till flesh turned to bone. “The planes filled the sky like dragonflies,” recalls Michiko Kiyoka. “Everywhere you looked there were charred bodies.”

Today, Ms Kiyoka, now 91, will join a small group of elderly Tokyoites and mark the death of her father and sister in the 1945 firebombing, which killed about 100,000 people in the single night of 10 March.

Because men of fighting age were away, most of the victims were women, the elderly and children. A US survey later concluded that probably more people lost their lives during the raid by 300 bombers than at any single moment in history.

The Tokyo bombing opened the curtain on an orgy of destruction in the final months of the Second World War that included dozens of similar raids on Japanese cities, and culminated in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August. When the droning of bombers stopped on 15 August, almost 70 cities had been reduced to rubble and perhaps half a million people were dead.

Some thought that Imperial Japan, like Nazi Germany, deserved retribution for the bombing of Shanghai and Chongqing, the Rape of Nanjing and other war atrocities across Asia. But others asked where had the moral high ground gone since US President Franklin D Roosevelt described the 1940 Nazi blitzkrieg of British cities as “inhuman barbarism”?

If the bombing of Dresden a month earlier than Tokyo had produced a ripple of public debate in Europe, “no discernible wave of revulsion took place in the US or Europe in the wake of the far greater destruction of Japanese cities”, wrote Mark Selden, a historian at Cornell University.

Yet today, unlike Hiroshima or Nagasaki, there is no publicly funded museum in Japan’s capital to commemorate the night of 10 March. The Tokyo government, urged on by a small group of private citizens, began compiling an incomplete list of victims in 2010. A small memorial squeezed into a corner of Yokoamicho Park in the city contains their names, next to a charnel house with the mixed ashes of thousands who died.

© AP Survivors of the 1945 raids commuting to work through the rubble

German Chancellor Angela Merkel today reminded Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of the need to face up to the past. In a speech in Tokyo, Ms Merkel said those who close their eyes to history are “blind to the present”, a quote from a famous speech by the late German president Richard von Weizsacker.

Tokyo lacked the emotional or financial resources to properly mourn the victims after the war, says Bret Fisk, a Tokyo-based novelist who writes about the 1945 raids. Later, there was no appetite for a political fight with Washington, Japan’s new Cold War ally. Remarkably, Japan awarded the architect of the 1945 raids, US General Curtis LeMay, its highest prize in 1964 for helping to reconstruct Japan’s Self-Defence Forces after the war.

Plans for a museum became bogged down in controversy in the 1990s. Conservatives said the plans were “anti-Japanese and “self-masochistic”. The decision infuriated survivors. Tokyo had no stomach for reminding people of the horrors of war, said survivor Katsumoto Saotome, who was 12 when the bombers arrived. He set up a private fund to build the Centre of the Tokyo Raids and War Damage, and helped launch a lawsuit for compensation. The suit was dismissed in 2009; government lawyers said that since Japanese civilians had equally experienced severe hardship during a time of national emergency, no particular group could receive special treatment, says Cary Karacas, a specialist on aerial bombing at the City University of New York.

The dwindling band of survivors of the Great Tokyo Air Raid met at the weekend to demand the event is properly memorialised. Mr Saotome says he accepts they face an uphill fight. He says that after all these years, he still doesn’t even like to say the say the figure of 100,000 people out loud – it’s too impossibly large.

“They were all individuals,” he said. “They had all been talking to their families hours before they died.”


Originally published on 2015-03-10

Author: David McNeill

Source: The Independent, UK

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

READ MORE!
The Origin of Jihadism
The origin of jihadism is prohibited from being reported truthfully — this truth is prohibited by all of the Establishment ‘press,’  including almost all ‘alternative news’ sites — in the West, because it challenges all of the “sensitive” buttons (all of the bigotries, to put the matter in plain terms); and, though this fact (the Establishment’s bigotries, and its hypocrisy to preserve and protect their bigotries even while condemning those of other people) will prevent almost all of the news-media that I send this to from publishing it, nothing prevents me from writing it; so, here it is (in whatever ...
READ MORE
Hypocrisy
Paris vs. Donbass Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.   Save
READ MORE
What Trump Has in Common with the Last German Emperor
President Donald Trump appears sui generis. Other troublesome populists, like Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, hold power. But no other nation of great influence is governed by someone so little rooted in reality and so much dominated by personality. However, the president has a historical soul mate who ruled a century ago. The similarities are striking, though their lives obviously differed in important ways. One wonders: was the German Empire’s Kaiser Wilhelm II reincarnated as President Trump? Wilhelm II was born in 1859 in the house of Hohenzollern. A grandson of British queen Alexandrina Victoria, he grew up in a life of wealth ...
READ MORE
A “Greater Israel” to Control Mediterranean from Beirut to Gaza?
With the recruitment of novice French President, Emmanuel Macron, the US Israel lobby can now boast a powerful political agent inside the corridors of power of the Élysée Palace, to liaise with those agents already resident in the British Parliament and at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington. It is, of course, no small achievement to have managed to recruit half of the European Union as well as the United States Senate to support the dispossession of five million indigenous Arabs who have populated the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Gaza for over a thousand years. No small achievement of the powerful minority Zionist movement ...
READ MORE
How the US Empire Was Made in North Korea
Over the past 15 years, fighting-talk has periodically flared over ‘what to do about that alleged “crazy Asian dictator”   in North Korea. Today’s round of brinkmanship by the US/Western ‘deep state’ against North Korea will – in all probability – unfold the same way as in previous episodes; it will fizzle out. China is a guarantor of North Korean security, so the US will not go to war with North Korea. Period. The battle between Trump and the Washington Crazies for control of the reins of empire continues, however, and the ‘Krazy Korean’ is relevant to that. I hope ...
READ MORE
Proxy Wars: Kosovo and South Ossetia
Yada…yada…yada. The discussion on the unprovoked and planned aggression by Georgia on South Ossetia is futile and moot because Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced last week that the Russian Government would recognize the independence and freedom of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. On August 25, 2008, both houses of the Russian Parliament or Duma voted unanimously to recognize the independence of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia. On August 26, 2008, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced that the government of the Russian Federation officially recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Save your rhetoric. Georgia has lost those areas permanently. Ossetians and ...
READ MORE
The Myth of NATO’s “Humanitarian Intervention” in Kosovo (in 1999)
Some of those currently advocating bombing Syria turn for justification to their old faithful friend “humanitarian intervention”, one of the earliest examples of which was the 1999 US and NATO bombing campaign to stop ethnic cleansing and drive Serbian forces from Kosovo. However, a collective amnesia appears to have afflicted countless intelligent, well-meaning people, who are convinced that the US/NATO bombing took place after the mass forced deportation of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo was well underway; which is to say that the bombing was launched to stop this “ethnic cleansing”. In actuality, the systematic forced deportations of large numbers of people from Kosovo ...
READ MORE
Neocon Insanity and “Political Madness”: Hillary Clinton and the Dangers of Nuclear War
As we move into the final month prior to this year’s presidential election, the tempo of dramatic world events and developments that are breaking daily is mind boggling. Every single day we are seeing more outrageously desperate actions on the part of the globalists and their US government minions. Among the latest unfolding developments this week all fast tracking towards world war against Russia is NATO’s violation of international law deploying AWACS (Airborne Radar Warning and Control system) in Syria despite only Syria and Russia possessing the legal right to control the embattled country’s airspace. With both US and Turkish boots ...
READ MORE
Can the United States Own Up to Its War Crimes During the Korean War?
When I was living in San Francisco in 1981, I met and became friends with Chun Sun-Tae, a Korean immigrant who had come to the United States as a college student in the 1960s and ran a small luggage shop in Oakland. James, as he was known, had grown up in the 1940s in the city of Kaesong in what was then the northern frontier of South Korea. One warm day in June, 1950, he went camping with a group of friends at a nearby lake. The next morning, they woke to the sounds of artillery and gunfire: Kaesong had just ...
READ MORE
For 68 Years NATO Failing to Create a Peaceful World
It is unreasonable to ask taxpayers to pay billions more dollars for NATO’s budget because they get less and less peace, security and stability, says Jan Oberg, director of Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the bloc’s security spending would see its biggest increase since 2014, by 4.3 per cent in 2017. This is a response to US President Donald Trump‘s criticism of NATO countries failing to increase military budgets. Stoltenberg also said the alliance has combat-ready forces along Russia’s border. “NATO’s four multinational battle groups in the Baltic countries and Poland are now fully operational, ...
READ MORE
Neoliberalism and The Globalization of War. America’s Hegemonic Project
The world is at a dangerous crossroads.  The United States and its allies have launched a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The US-NATO military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states. America’s hegemonic project is to destabilize and destroy countries through acts of war, covert operations in support of terrorist organizations, regime change and economic warfare. The latter includes the imposition of deadly macro-economic reforms ...
READ MORE
The CIA’s Involvement in Chile’s 9/11 Military Coup
Though intelligence documents from the 1973 coup period have been declassified since 1999, the CIA continues to censor them. The CIA continues to withhold information on its involvement in the Sept. 11, 1973 coup that led to the death of President Salvador Allende in Chile, followed by adeadly dictatorship, according to documents posted Friday by the National Security Archive. In the list of published documents, the section regarding Chile is censored. The President’s Daily Briefs, the intelligence reports given daily to the U.S. president, in particular former President Richard Nixon days before Allende’s death, were among those censored. According to Peter Kornbluh, director ...
READ MORE
The Geopolitics of Targeting Russia
The escalation of tensions between the United States, Britain and France, on the one hand, and Russia, on the other, should not surprise anyone. In the last few years, the US leadership and mainstream British media have presented Russia as a major threat to global peace and the international order. Russian president Vladimir Putin in particular has been demonised as a ‘war-monger,’ an ‘aggressor,’ an ‘unscrupulous politician’ hell-bent on restoring Russia’s past glory’ at whatever cost. This projection of Russia as a threat to world peace has intensified in recent days partly because of Putin’s unveiling of Russia’s cutting edge military ...
READ MORE
The CIA: Nazifying Ukraine since 1953
The recent declassification of over 3800 documents by the Central Intelligence Agency provides detailed proof that since 1953 the CIA operated two major programs intent on not only destabilizing Ukraine but Nazifying it with followers of the World War II Ukrainian Nazi leader Stepan Bandera. The CIA programs spanned some four decades. Starting as a paramilitary operation that provided funding and equipment for such anti-Soviet Ukrainian resistance groups as the Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council (UHVR); its affiliates, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), all Nazi Banderists. The CIA also provided support to a relatively anti-Bandera faction ...
READ MORE
Obama: Yes We Can
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
READ MORE
The Worst Mistake in U.S. History
The worst mistake in U.S. history was the conversion after World War II of the U.S. government from a constitutional, limited-government republic to a national-security state. Nothing has done more to warp and distort the conscience, principles, and values of the American people, including those who serve in the U.S. military. A good example of how the national-security state has adversely affected the thinking of U.S. soldiers was reflected in an op-ed entitled “What We’re Fighting For” that appeared in the February 10, 2017, issue of the New York Times. Authored by an Iraq War veteran named Phil Klay, the article ...
READ MORE
Bismarck, the United States and the Pomeranian Grenadier
All of the Balkans, legendary German Reichskanzler (Imperial Chancellor) Otto von Bismarck famously said, were not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier. And Bismarck, a Prussian landowner or junker had nothing but amused contempt for Pomeranian grenadiers who were regarded as a standing joke in the German Army. In 1890, brash, young new German Emperor Wilhelm II fired Bismarck after 28 years as minister-president of Prussia and then first Imperial Chancellor of Germany. He abandoned the priority policy of maintaining warm ties and close communications with Russia that Bismarck had always followed and scrapped the Dreikaiserbund, the League of ...
READ MORE
Being the Only Candidate: DPS is Losing Elections in Niksic (Montenegro)
As the Niksic (Montenegro) local elections approach, the situation is becoming more and more fascinating. On one hand, the Montenegrin opposition, aiming at the transparency and integrity of the government, boycotted the plebiscite in the country's second largest city and turned it into a show – elections with no choice. On the other is the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists which has been forming the conditions for its unlimited rule while violating the interests of the Montenegrin people. Exploiting its ultimate power, DPS withdrew the immunity of the opposition leaders and is set to win the elections with simply no rally. The ruling ...
READ MORE
Obama’s Ukrainian Coup Caused 2.5 Million Ukrainian Refugees into Russia
On Tuesday, March 7th, Russia’s top parliamentarian dealing with the Ukrainian refugee influx into Russia — dealing, that is, with the people who have fled Ukraine as a result of U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2014 coup overthrowing Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych — presented the first-ever comprehensive number of asylum-applicants from Ukraine who have received asylum there after that February 2014 coup. The Russian government had never before publicly provided a number, but does have an established system of processing refugees, including assignment of official refugee status, which «allows the recipient various social benefits, including unemployment compensation» and so each Ukrainian refugee has ...
READ MORE
The Balkan Caliphate: Saudi Power in Kosovo
Greater Albania has been debating deployment in Syria. A Muslim state, a Balkan Caliphate in the heart of Europe, was supported by Internationalists when they created independent Kosovo and Bosnia. Kosovo registered its first Islamist political party in 2013.  UPDATE: An article on NYT on the inroads of Wahabism into Europe from the Saudi foothold in Kosovo is oozing criminal naiveté on the part of postmodern globalist thinkers. Bill Clinton’s nexus with the lobby for Greater Albania created a Islamic state in the heart of Europe. To those with basic knowledge of Islam and its 1400 year old history — not least ...
READ MORE
The Origin of Jihadism
Hypocrisy
What Trump Has in Common with the Last German Emperor
A “Greater Israel” to Control Mediterranean from Beirut to Gaza?
How the US Empire Was Made in North Korea
Proxy Wars: Kosovo and South Ossetia
The Myth of NATO’s “Humanitarian Intervention” in Kosovo (in 1999)
Neocon Insanity and “Political Madness”: Hillary Clinton and the Dangers of Nuclear War
Can the United States Own Up to Its War Crimes During the Korean War?
For 68 Years NATO Failing to Create a Peaceful World
Neoliberalism and The Globalization of War. America’s Hegemonic Project
The CIA’s Involvement in Chile’s 9/11 Military Coup
The Geopolitics of Targeting Russia
The CIA: Nazifying Ukraine since 1953
Obama: Yes We Can
The Worst Mistake in U.S. History
Bismarck, the United States and the Pomeranian Grenadier
Being the Only Candidate: DPS is Losing Elections in Niksic (Montenegro)
Obama’s Ukrainian Coup Caused 2.5 Million Ukrainian Refugees into Russia
The Balkan Caliphate: Saudi Power in Kosovo
Policraticus

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu