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Asahi Shimbum

  • Originally published 08/15/2013

    Wartime maps of Japanese cities damaged by Allied bombers on exhibit for first time

    Maps of Japanese cities that were devastated by Allied air raids during World War II are currently on display at the National Archives of Japan in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward.Covering 131 municipalities stretching from northern Hokkaido to southern Kagoshima Prefecture, most of the maps are being shown to the public for the first time.The maps were completed in December 1945 to provide information to military personnel, as well as civilian workers for the military, on their way home from overseas battlefields. Records show the maps were displayed in ships bringing back demobilized soldiers to Japan, according to officials....

  • Originally published 08/15/2013

    Abe refuses to move into prime minister's 'haunted' mansion

    Traditionally, Japanese tell ghost stories in the middle of summer, perhaps as a chilling way to take their minds off the heat.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was no exception when he invited executives of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party to a dinner at the Prime Minister's Official Residence on July 30.“Why don't we live here together? I am frightened," Abe is quoted as telling one participant. "I do not feel like living here because there are ghosts.”Abe and his Cabinet have categorically denied that ghosts appear at the structure, associated with two bloody coup attempts by the military before World War II....

  • Originally published 08/14/2013

    Ex-Korean war criminal seeking compensation, apology from Japanese government

    Once sentenced to death for war crimes against POWs, Lee Hak-lae was later spared the gallows and is now on a mission of passing on the sorrow of his colleagues who died as war criminals after being forced to work for Japan during World War II.Lee recently braved the withering summer heat, despite his advanced age, to continue spreading their message as organizer of a Korean POW guards' group seeking an apology and compensation from the Japanese government."I do not want the money," Lee, 88, said. "When the people of my homeland were celebrating their liberation from Japanese colonial rule, my colleagues died in execution chambers in a foreign land. Why did they have to die? Who did they die for? It is my mission, as someone who just happened to survive, to clear away the chagrin felt by my friends."...

  • Originally published 08/06/2013

    U.S. professor connects global nuclear victims, raises awareness

    HIROSHIMA--An American professor living in Hiroshima is getting the young descendants of hydrogen and atomic bomb survivors to tell their stories, as well as linking victims of nuclear weapons and accidents around the world, to prevent future tragedies.Robert Jacobs, 53, an associate professor of the history of nuclear weapons and scientific technology at Hiroshima City University, settled near the city’s Mitakidera temple seven years ago. The old temple is well known for offering water of the falls on its grounds to the annual Peace Memorial Ceremony, held on Aug. 6 to commemorate victims of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima.Jacobs has interviewed a number of people at nuclear testing sites and in areas affected by nuclear accidents all over the world....