NHK to air 'August Chronicles' on war, peace, nuclear issues

TOKYO —

NHK WORLD will present 13 programs that pose the question of war, peace and nuclear power in its “August Chronicles” series. The programs are timed to coincide with the anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. NHK said it produced the programs to rethink the issues of war and peace.

NHK said that the programs were also influenced by the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. “While we acknowledge that the peaceful use of nuclear energy and the belligerent use of nuclear weapon are a different matter, this year, we feel it is imperative to reflect on the damage caused by nuclear war, considering the rising interest in the effects of radiation since the Fukushima crisis,” NHK said in a statement.

The lineup of “August Chronicles” is as follows:

Aug 5 11 p.m.  “Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony”
Aug 7   0:45   “Lost Innocence, Lost Lives”
Aug 9   1:30   “Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony”
      13:10 “Why Did Japan Go to War? Part 1: Diplomatic Defeat Path to Isolation”
Aug 10   13:10 “Why Did Japan Go to War? Part 2: Imperial Army Spinning out of Control”
Aug 11   13:10 “Why Did Japan Go to War? Part 3: Media-fueled Fanaticism”
Aug 12   13:10 “Why Did Japan Go to War? Part 4: Fight or Not? Wavering Leadership”
Aug 13   2:10   “My Father Killed Japanese - Pulitzer Author on Battle of Okinawa”
Aug 13   13:00 “Motivating Thought - Revisiting Justice, A message from Hiroshima for Fukushima Part 1”
Aug 14   13:00 “Motivating Thought - Revisiting Justice Part 2”
Aug 15   13:10 “The Forsaken Ones: Korean A-Bomb Survivors 65 Years After Hiroshima”
Aug 16   13:00 “My Burning Back”
Aug 17   13:10 “Victor’s Plea for Peace: An American Officer in Occupied Nagasaki”

For more info, visit http://www.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/tv/featured/

  • 0

    some14some

    For more info, visit http://www.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/tv/featured/

    Thanks JT - but the above information is more than enough (even for the historians).

  • 0

    Nessie

    we feel it is imperative to reflect on the damage caused by nuclear war, considering the rising interest in the effects of radiation since the Fukushima crisis

    Is this a pity party to show that things are not so bad now?

  • 5

    steve@CPFC

    So we go from the A bomb horrors to start. then onto what caused the war, tehn onto battle for Okinawa, then returning to the A Bombs. Anything in between missed out?

  • 5

    Virtuoso

    NHK has been doing this every year, for as long as I can remember. Last year I think it was, they showed some fantastic documentaries, with personal testimonies from survivors of the Imphal Campaign in Burma. There was also a fantastic series after that about fighting in the Aleutians and Palau, which proved soldiers in the field were ordered to perform suicidal assaults (gyokusai) on direct orders from Army HQ in Tokyo. As the war turned against Japan, the so-called "banzai charges," as it turned out, were not decisions by local commanders but an instrument of national policy, in completely callous disregard for the lives of the soldiers.

  • 0

    Spidapig24

    steve@CPFC

    So we go from the A bomb horrors to start. then onto what caused the war, tehn onto battle for Okinawa, then returning to the A Bombs. Anything in between missed out?

    Steve well said, but l guess its a bit much to hope for a true and honest account of Japanese actions during the war. We are in Japan afterall home of the eternal victim. I particularly like the one "My father killed Japanese" although l failed to see the documentary "my father killed innocent prisoners or civilians". Guess telling it as it was is too much to hope for though.

  • 0

    the_sicilian

    Well, about time to rally the sympathy cry for poor Japan.

  • 0

    WordStar

    I strongly object to the previous two posts, which are uninformed and unfair. I've been watching (and understanding) these August series for several decades and I think their message is unambiguous. Don't confuse NHK with the Ministry of Education. These TV documentarians don't pull any punches. The details of Unit 731, mistreatment of POWs, etc. have all been introduced and I never sensed any attempt to justify or cover up Japan's wartime activities.

  • 2

    Spidapig24

    WordStar,

    I strongly object to the previous two posts, which are uninformed and unfair.

    Feel free to strongly object all you like. Lets look at the documentaries shall we:

    There are 3 about the A Bombs, there is one about US troops battling Japanese on Okinawa, there is on about the Occupation of Japan by the US and there are several about the justification and reasons for Japan going to war.

    I really dont see any reference there to the other side of the coin do you. Please correct me if lm wrong.

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    Given how badly they white-wash their textbooks this will be yet another example of Japan trying to justify its atrocities while at the same time promoting itself as victim. Yet one more reason NEVER to pay NHK.

  • 2

    forzaducati

    Well, History Channel recently showed a series of programs about the Pacific war and the only mistreatment they showed was the internment of Japanese Americans in camps. O yes, and a lot of dead Japanese soldiers. What else, they managed to call the installment of the puppet regime in Manchikuo as "Manchukuo becoming independent". They even mentioned that the population of Indonesia started to become annoyed with their new masters. But I have never ever seen a Japanese made documentary touch on the subject of the the Imperial Army's "exploits" in Indochina etc. Yes, in the 80's they went to these South Pacific islands, interviewing the war surviving population and having them tell how good of a time they had while the Japanese were there. It later turned out however, that they had hailed there former masters after being paid a fist full of yen. Nevertheless, I will make sure to watch this upcoming series then.

  • 0

    Cricky

    Unit 731 let's see a doco justifying this, or the Nanking "incident" or as my grandfather experienced systematic beatings and physical abuse on a daily basis...please explain and educate the public most people seem to have no idea, makes them look stupid. PR for a Tv show presented as News... The bar is low, very low hang your heads in shame.

  • 0

    kaketama

    smithinjapan,

    I often hear many, especially Korean and Chinese people, crame that history textbooks in Japan distort the fact. But I don't know which part of these contains distorted facts. As I have some Japanese textbooks, would you tell me about that?

    I've been fed up with such TV programs about war in this season. It only says one side aspect of war.

  • 1

    cloa513

    How about the invasion of Germany right down to the street to street fighting in Berlin as a comparison to end the war in Europe as a comparison, it was incredibly bloody on both sides.

  • 3

    Virtuoso

    The singular message in these NHK programs is that war is bad. If the Japanese who view them watch and come away with this conclusion, then how can anyone fault the manner in which the message is conveyed? Several years ago NHK ran some interviews with women on Okinawa who gave very detailed testimony from personal experience that the army ordered civilians to commit suicide using hand grenades. The woman, then in her early teens, talked of how she defied the officer's order and saved not only her own life but the lives of the others in the cave, including an older woman with whom she was reunited for the first time since 1945. It was very moving, and flew right in the face of accounts in ministry-approved textbooks. I have seen plenty of accounts of personal testimonies by Chinese, Koreans, Malayans, Indonesians, etc. as well. They seem to mesh with what I've read in English-language materials. If you watch these shows with an open mind, the messages are inescapable.

  • -2

    saru_au

    probably typical "info-tainment" NHK propaganda, if i paid for NHK I'd record all these shows :P

  • -1

    saru_au

    national policy, in completely callous disregard for the lives of the soldiers

    wow, so much has changed in Japan... oh wait, nothing has ...

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    kaketama: "I often hear many, especially Korean and Chinese people, crame that history textbooks in Japan distort the fact. But I don't know which part of these contains distorted facts. As I have some Japanese textbooks, would you tell me about that?"

    To be fair, the chapters on the atomic bombings are rightly very detailed and tell the truth about a horrible chapter in history. But then you get to colonization and they eliminate the atrocities Japanese troops committed, eliminate the entire sex-slave issue ("too sensitive"), and instead have inserted claims that Japan in fact HELPED SE Asian nations with their education systems and what have you. The death march in Indonesia? Nah! three years ago a news reporter claimed it was like "a hike and not bad at all". The death railway in Thai/Myanmar? Nah... all good fun if even mentioned in the textbook.

    Here's a better question to answer your own, kaketama: How many people did the imperial Japanese army kill in SE Asia during colonization? Here's a hint, it makes the Nazi holocaust look like break time.

  • 0

    Virtuoso

    The death march in Indonesia? Nah! three years ago a news reporter claimed it was like "a hike and not bad at all".

    Please get your geography right, sir. The death march was on the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines, not Indonesia, and the article you're referring to was by Yukie Sasa, a female reporter writing in the December 2005 issue of Bungei Shunju, a magazine noted for its right-wing slant.

  • 0

    USNinJapan2

    “While we acknowledge that the peaceful use of nuclear energy and the belligerent use of nuclear weapon are a different matter, this year, we feel it is imperative to reflect on the damage caused by nuclear war, considering the rising interest in the effects of radiation since the Fukushima crisis,”

    Do you're able to differentiate the two independent issues but you're still going to jumble the issues in this series of programs, to be aired during the week of the atomic bombings to boot. Good luck maintaining objectivity with that one NHK.

  • -1

    herefornow

    The programs are timed to coincide with the anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. NHK said it produced the programs to rethink the issues of war and peace.

    IMO the obvious question is: Why? What will be gained by airing these documentaries at this time and why can't Japan simply let go of the war? Japan has a war-renouncing constitution, so the potential for Japan to have to face the "issues of war and peace" again are almost nil. Don't see what this can possibly do other than continue to reinforce Japan's victim mentality. What might have been of value would have been a two-part special. The first part would strictly show the terrible long-term impact of the bombings of Horoshima and Nagasaki, while the second would show the terrible impact Japan has wrought on itself by bringing on its own nuclear disaster and explore why the country, in effect, allowed itself to become the victim of nuclear technology again.

  • -1

    Godan

    Just more of the same old same old - wonder if anyone in Japan (other than the people posting here on JT) even watch?

  • 0

    Ivan Coughanoffalot

    Oh boo hoo, let's all watch this and agree that Japan was the only victim of WWII, ONLY the victim, never the aggressor, and is the only country who knows the meaning of suffering and sacrifice. Poor little peace-loving Japan.

    Oh, by the way, Korea, the Imperial General's grandson wants to talk to you about getting his islands back.

    Bunch of babies.

  • -1

    nigelboy

    To be fair...

    smith

    I believe you just proved to kaketama that you didn't read any Japanese history book. (What a surprise)

    NHK has in the past covered atrocities done by Japanese soldiers with interviews from former soldiers. Some people just need to watch a few but then again, some have here claimed that they don't own a TV and/or don't watch NHK to avoid paying NHK dues.

  • 0

    sdbri

    Most of the controversy about history books deals with the fact that some have literally a single paragraph or a single sentence describing Japan's involvement in World War II. The government even acknowledged this was a problem, but denied any ill intent. Teachers even protested because of this. That said, they've since addressed this years ago. I doubt nigel actually ready any of those books either or realizes this happened.

    These days they're much more careful with what they allow in schools, and the complaints are more over details rather than wholesale whitewashing.

  • -1

    nigelboy

    Most of the controversy about history books deals with the fact that some have literally a single paragraph or a single sentence describing Japan's involvement in World War II. The government even acknowledged this was a problem, but denied any ill intent. Teachers even protested because of this. That said, they've since addressed this years ago. I doubt nigel actually ready any of those books either or realizes this happened.

    Come again?

    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%95%99%E7%A7%91%E6%9B%B8%E8%AA%A4%E5%A0%B1%E4%BA%8B%E4%BB%B6

    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%BF%91%E9%9A%A3%E8%AB%B8%E5%9B%BD%E6%9D%A1%E9%A0%85

    The first link is basically the starting point of this ridiculous "textbook" fiasco. Funny thing is that this is a case of Chinese government ever "actually read any those books either or realizes this happened".

  • 0

    Gavin

    There are clearly a lot people on here who have never watched NHK documentaries but have decided that they must be towing some nationalist/revisionist line, despite the fact that a lot of them do the exact opposite. Everyone is aware that there are textbooks that attempt to whitewash history and get approved - though nearly every country does this to some extent or another - but that doesn't mean everybody in the country does it; nor that a series of documentaries you've never seen does the same. Think before you post sweeping generalisations about something of which you have minimal knowledge.

  • -2

    BlueWitch

    @JapanGal

    They should add one more episode:

    *****Which did more damage to Japan, 2 atomic bombs, or 4 melt downs?

    Japan is the only country in the world to get nuked by another country, and then nuke itself. Congratulations.

    Hahaahahahahahahaaha ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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