When Australian diplomatic relations with Japan were threatened in total by the the high profile whaling issue we blogged here at SAM* a proposal. That the Australian Govt look into the mythology that has grown out of the very real nuclear weapons tragedy of WW2 at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
On 8th June 2008 we wrote, harking back to our post on 23rd December 2007:
- We at SAM urged the federal govt Garrett and PM Rudd to approach the whaling issue between major trading partners as a western diplomatic issue sourced ... to use of nuclear bombs in WW2 on Japan. Yes we know there is no great logic or rationality to on the one hand whaling and on the other nuclear disarmament.
But we see Japanese stubborness as their way of expressing their psychological pain over the western arrogance of nuclear weaponry causing mass mortality compared to mere whales. If so sensitive to animals why not the great suffering of the Japanese people. It's a dysfunctional spiral of emotional violence. So going to the peace shrine at Hiroshima is exactly the right place to start for PM Rudd:Sunday, 23 December 2007Cruel 'scientific' whaling today, cruel nuclear bomb science 1945
[And notice the interference in that post explained at the footnote below, we are trying to correct, but it's proving harder than we expected because the html has been sabotaged]
We already suspected the ALP federally were backing off the anti whaling agenda in favour of trade relations when we read a change of tone in The Australian business friendly press months back though we are having trouble locating the exact article that was the pivot. Certainly the Coalition's Greg Hunt is alive to the ALP go slow in favour of broader trade and security agendas. Here is more on security here from the dusty files:
Security deal a significant step for two aspiring nations ... 16 March 2008
Japan halts humpback whale hunt: US
Wednesday Dec 19 20:09 AEDT
Given the trauma of this historic event we speculated about the symbolic confusion that might exist in the similarity of the Godzilla figure and the leviathans of the deep.
We speculated about reaching beyond the economic travesty of the whaling issue and embracing the heart of Japanese sensitivities - namely the only population on earth to be bombed by nuclear weapons. Although the Aboriginal Australians and South Pacific Islanders might argue with that given the cynical testing in the past.
Back on 23 December 2007 we wrote:
"In our estimation, our PM Rudd and Minister Peter Garrett could do alot worse for the sake of saving the magnificent whales of the world by reaching out to the soul of the Japanese People at Hiroshima and Nagasaki to resolve the neurosis of the right wing of Japanese politics over the 1945 conclusion to the war in the Pacific via horrifying nuclear bombs .
In our humble way we simply ask when the Japanese refer to "scientific" whaling "Is this what is really going on here?". Even a child can see it is not.
After watching this annual political theatre for at least a decade now, it becomes clear it's more to do with the proud west's nuclear bomb miracle science. Now Japan's Govt are rubbing our nose in this same false notion of the 'purity of science' resulting in massive loss of innocent life. At least 100,000 people back in 1945, and whales today. Taking their subtle revenge. An irritant on the pages of history. And the Japanese in their conflicted way have got a point.
For Japan to change on whales, we in the West will almost certainly have to change on the triumphalism of Hiroshima and Nagasaki."
This approach is one that the Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett, former Nuclear Disarmament Party Senate Candidate could relate to. As it happens PM Rudd, whether by coincidence or not, did visit the Hiroshima shrine. Did break through the diplomatic impasse with the right wing of Japanese politics. Did succeed in sidelining criticism of the Australian Opposition around that time asserting that Rudd was endangering our most important trade relationship.
Such is the powerful symbolism of Hiroshima. Such is the work of the SAM micro news website too, at least we like to think so.
Belatedly here are the details of the media event today:
Sent: Sunday, December 28, 2008 4:10 PMSubject: [Greens-Media] Message to Rudd from 100 A-Bomb Survivors ? TakeLeadership to End Nuclear Age
Monday 29 December 2008
PRESS CONFERENCE PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
Message to Rudd from 100 A-Bomb Survivors - Take Leadership to End Nuclear Age
More than 100 Hibakusha - survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb attacks - arrive in Sydney on the Peace Boat today, Monday 29 December.
Peace Boat is an ocean liner with 1,000 passengers that have travelled to 20 countries to promote the vision of a nuclear weapon free future. Australian Greens nuclear spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam joined the voyage in Auckland.
"The arrival of the Peace Boat is an opportunity for Kevin Rudd to reconsider the role of nuclear weapons in our security policy," said Senator Ludlam.
"The Hibakusha have a detailed letter they wish to deliver to the Prime Minister at Kirribili House," he said.
"The Hibakusha have high expectations of our Prime Minister because he was the first serving Western head of state to visit Hiroshima. Soon after, he initiated the joint Australia-Japan Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament to be chaired by former Foreign Ministers Gareth Evans and Yoriko Kawaguchi."
"All countries - not only the 9 with weapons - have a stake and a role to play in a nuclear weapon free world," continued Senator Ludlam.
"In 22 days our ally the United States will be led by Barack Obama, the first person to put nuclear abolition on the agenda of a US Presidential race.
"As Obama reverses the Bush regime's effort to upgrade the US nuclear arsenal, Australia should signal an intention to take nuclear weapons out of our alliance. We can show the US how to remove reliance on nuclear weapons by taking them out of our security policy," Senator Ludlam continued.
Jillian Marsh of the Adnyamathnha people will be attending the Peace Boat Day events in Sydney to remind participants of where nuclear weapons begin: uranium mining. Winner of this year's Nuclear Free Future Award for her work against the Beverley Uranium Mine, Jillian is travelling from her country in South Australia to meet the Hibakusha, "I want our story to be told, the way we as Indigenous Australians experience the social and environmental impacts from uranium mining and the nuclear industry."
"These remarkable survivors truly understand the devastation of these hideous weapons. Their message must be heard," Senator Ludlam concluded.
** Press conference 11 am, Terminal, Wharf 8, Darling Harbour - free parking available
** Public Meeting 2.30 - 5pm, Mori Gallery 168 Day Street, Sydney
For more information: Felicity Hill 0417 174 302
* Interestingly our original post on 23rd December 2007 appears to have stumbled on a copyright dispute between wikipedia and a Japanese website and now SAM's micro news has been interfered with by blacking out of Hiroshima Peace Park images. Or perhaps some other force of censorship? These can soon be replaced with images from the wikipedia commons. A replacement web address has been added to our SAM (site without our permission too!) citing www.japanselifestyle.com.au - which is a sloppy mis-spelling of the alleged image owner's website we used - being www.japaneselifestyle.com.au. It's quite a mystery:
At wikipedia where the image(s) are also found they state
"This image has been released into the public domain by its author, Fg2. This applies worldwide. In some countries this may not be legally possible; if so: Fg2 grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.