Re: What I thought about on the day of the end of the war (56) August 19, 2022

August 15, Monday this week was the 77th anniversary of the end of the Pacific War. At that time, I was a little child just before three years old, and I hardly have memories about the war. But based on records of the time, from midnight to dawn ten days before the day of the end of the war, Ashiya city where I lived at that time suffered B-29 aerial bombings, and 1,500 incendiary bombs were dropped. (It is called Great Hanshin Air Raids.) I think that it was probably at that time, but I cross my mind a momentary view without a front and back that I escaped through the fields carried on the back of my father like a dream or an illusion. My family was luckily safe in this air raid, but a company-owned house where I lived at that time was burned down together with household belongings. I heard from my mother that “it was starting fresh from one rice bowl and one chopstick” literally.

As stated above, I regard myself as the prewar generation, born before 1945. This generation was about 17 million as of October 1 last year, and more than 10 million people were decreased in the last ten years, and a percentage ratio of total population is also falling to about 14 %. I realize that “Showa is far away” unquestionably. And what I remember in particular is food shortage of growing children with a healthy appetite called “brat”. I can’t imagine it today in “being well fed and warmly clothed”. It is said that “old habits die hard”, and due to such my childhood experience, as far as foods are concerned, I eat everything feeling that “I am happy just in able to eat it”.

I would like to mention a little bit as I remember, and when I got and ate a bar of chocolate from a soldier of the Occupation Forces one day, I felt that “I have never eaten such delicious food”, and I have my memory that I had a nosebleed at that time. What I wore was not brand-new, and someone’s hand-me-downs. It was not only me, and almost every people had severe living. My school was short of classrooms because a school building was destroyed by fire. Therefore, my school was 2-part system that was morning session and afternoon session. And in order to rid me of lice, I had an experience that I was sprayed with white powder of DDT on my head. There were a lot of war orphans, and there were students suffering severe burns by an atomic bomb. On an excursion, some children had no box lunch. When I went to a place crowded with people, there were a lot of sick and wounded soldiers returning from a battlefield who wore white smocks and battle caps, and begged for pure goods wearing prosthetic limbs and legs. When I listen to a song called “a hill where the Angelus rings” written by Kazuo Kikuta and composed by Yuji Koseki, remembering those days, I almost burst into tears without thinking even now.

Ukrainian people at present are likely to have the same feeling. In modern warfare, indiscriminate mass murder is taken place, and ordinary citizens are the hardest hit. Therefore, a war should not be done, and needless to say, “a losing battle” is out of question.

In addition, 53 years ago humankind landed on the moon for the first time. When I watched the shape of the Earth floating in space on television, I expected that humankind’s view of the world would change, and boring conflicts would disappear on a tiny earth. However, a dispute over national policy, race, religion or territory does not vanish as before. I think that human “nature”, in which we don’t follow teachings and commandments of our predecessors, and fall into “arrogance or conceit” unnoticeably, seems to lie at the root. It may be a factor that “history repeats itself”.

I think that trilateral framework, which is liberal and democracy camp, totalitarianism and despotism around China and Russia, and a group that does not make its attitude clear in the national interest first, will last long in the world. And in emerging countries, due to dispute and poverty, geopolitical risks are growing and political situation is destabilized. From now on, Japan will be headed for some difficult maneuvering with diplomacy and national security. If we are off guard, history shows that a fanatic person such as former Hitler and present Putin, and dangerous country come into existence.

On the other hand, in Japan, there are a lot of structural problems such as declining birthrate and aging population, population decline, severe financial situation, and so forth. Such domestic and international situation also affects business management tangibly and intangibly. In particular, the way globalization supporting the development of world economy and trade, that is overseas expansion and investment by companies, so far ought to be is being questioned.

In any case, the decisive factor is economic power, advanced technology, and human resources supporting these. Now is the time that not only politicians bur also business people go back to basics, and show “animal spirit” or entrepreneurial spirit, and have to grit their teeth and work hard.

(P.S.) The seventh wave of coronavirus has not settled as yet, and hospital beds are under strain, and patients forced to take care of themselves at home are increasing. Heat stroke due to extreme heat is also happening frequently. And depending on the area, damage caused by record-breaking heavy rain is occurring, and earthquake is also occurring somewhere almost every day. And abnormal weather brought about by global warming is seen around the world. Before everything, it is necessary to prepare. “Protect yourself”.
I hope you will take good care of yourself.

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