Seventy-seven years have passed since the bombing of Tokyo.
In the early morning hours of March 10, 1945, the Shitamachi region of Tokyo was the target of indiscriminate bombing by U.S. military B-29 aircraft, which claimed the lives of over 100,000 victims.
In addition to remembering the days of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the end of the Battle of Okinawa, we must not forget the day of the Tokyo bombing. Once again, we pray that the victims find happiness in the next world.
This year especially, we must remember the wickedness of indiscriminate bombing. In Ukraine, many citizens, including children, have died from assaults by the Russian military.
The airstrikes against the Japanese mainland grew more relentless around the end of 1944. Initially, the U.S. military mainly targeted military facilities with precision bombing, but in 1945, it began carrying out low-altitude carpet bombing of densely packed residential areas.
At that time, the U.S. government, in order to “quickly end the war,” continued airstrikes even against provincial towns, in addition to large cities such as Nagoya and Osaka.
At a time when the signs of defeat were already apparent for Japan, it is very doubtful that such dreadful and appalling indiscriminate bombing was really necessary.
Regarding the past war, the focus tends to be on war crimes committed by the defeated, but we must not forget the brutal acts of the victorious nations. It is critical that we properly convey the memories and records of the disaster to posterity.
In the Tokyo airstrikes, many homes were burnt down by firebombing; the death toll was over 1 million.
In Ukraine as well, not only military establishments, but also civilian establishments, such as apartment complexes and nuclear power plants, have been bombarded by the Russian military. The number of refugees abroad has already surpassed 2 million.
According to a note that Sankei News received from a Ukrainian woman, the Russian military has been increasingly shelling people who have been trying to evacuate and gunning down vehicles carrying volunteers transporting food and other relief supplies.
No matter what pretext Russian President Vladimir Putin makes up, these inhumane massacres and acts of aggression must not be tolerated. Japan especially, knowing the tragedies of indiscriminate bombing, has a responsibility to lead international consensus in censuring Russia.
The national security situation surrounding Japan is becoming even more unstable. In Ukraine, places such as subway stations have become bomb shelters. In postwar Japan, the topic of guarding against airstrikes has become taboo, and Japan has become lax in maintaining its air defense systems.
The Japanese government and citizens must directly face the crisis in front of them, with a sense of urgency about being near a crisis, and take the appropriate measures.