There are approximately 180 atomic bomb victims in the Hawaiian
Islands. This is an invisible aspect of the war rapidly disappearing
as victims age and die.
Pearl Harbor played to more than 2,000 VIPs and opened
nationwide to mixed responses. The welcome of distinguished
guests with red carpeting, the display of fireworks before
the screening, and the party on the deck of the Stennis, made
obvious the significance of Pearl Harbor to all Americans.
Pearl Harbor opened in Japan on July 14, and, apparently,
the reviews of this film are on the whole favorable among
Japanese people, because they recognize the movie as a love
story, with the Pearl Harbor attack as a background. However,
in America, especially among young people, some believe that
the movie would have potential to be more productive if it
had emphasized the facts of Japanís brutality and aggression,
rather than seeming to whitewash it.
Inevitably, many Americans who saw the movie came away feeling,
if only subconsciously, that the Japanese are cowardly people,
because only cowards pull sneak attacks. On the other hand,
many Japanese, especially those young Japanese who saw the
movie, tend to not take the historical event of Pearl Harbor
as seriously as Americans do, because it didnít happen to
The attack on Pearl Harbor really altered many civiliansí
lives forever, including those innocent bystanders of war
who were in the fields and on the roads, who saw the numerous
Japanese planes overhead, who couldnít believe what was happening
to them. It has been nearly 60 years since Japanese forces
made a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, and 56 years since the
atomic bombs destroyed both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And still
those people, both Americans and Japanese, who lived through
such a human tragedy, are suffering.
People, especially our generation, often forget the commitment
that created the freedom we have now. If we reflect upon the
war, the realities and scars of war, the mutual suffering,
from both Americaís and Japanís viewpoint, we will understand
each other in the true sense of the word. To gaze on both
sides of this matter is the only thing we have to do now in
order not to make the same mistake again.