To view articles in English only, click HERE. 日本語投稿のみを表示するにはここをクリック。点击此处观看中文稿件한국어 투고 Follow Twitter ツイッターは@PeacePhilosophy and Facebook ★投稿内に断り書きがない限り、当サイトの記事の転載は許可が必要です。peacephilosophycentre@gmail.com にメールをください。Re-posting from this blog requires permission unless otherwise specified. Please email peacephilosophycentre@gmail.com to contact us.

Saturday, August 08, 2020

韓国・陜川(ハプチョン)で原爆75年を記憶する Remembering the 75th of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in Hapcheon, Korea

 広島と長崎の原爆投下75年を記憶する時期である。

昨年の7月、釜山と陜川(ハプチョン)を訪ねた。釜山で「国立日帝強制動員歴史館」に行った経験については昨年『社会民主』10月号に書いた「吹き荒れる韓国ヘイトの中で  ――植民地主義克服と、朝鮮半島の平和を考える」を読んでほしいが、この「歴史館」でもう一つ印象に残ったのは、広島・長崎原爆の朝鮮人被害者についてのパネルだ。「各地域の強制動員の概要」というコーナーの中心的位置にあることからも、広島・長崎の朝鮮人被害は、植民地支配の上に被爆までさせられた朝鮮人の二重の被害であることが明確にわかる。当然といえば当然だが、広島・長崎現地の公的式典・資料館には不在の視点だ。このパネルの文言の全訳を紹介する。

国立日帝強制動員歴史館

「1945年8月6日午前8時15分広島市、8月9日午前11時2分長崎市に、人類に向けた最初の原子力爆弾が3日間隔で投下された。その結果、死傷者が数十万名に至ったが、そのなかには日帝の植民地下に故郷を離れてきた数多くの朝鮮人農民と日本の軍需工場に動員された朝鮮人徴用工もあり、日本軍の捕虜として送られた連合軍の兵士もいた。朝鮮人原爆被害者は概ね広島5万人、長崎2万人に至ったが、そのなかで約4万人は1945年を越すことなく死亡し、残りの3万名中23000余名が帰還していたことが推測される。全体の原爆被害者の約1/10に該当する朝鮮人の死亡は57.1%であり、全体の33.7%に比して非常に高い。日本は二つの都市における惨状を大々的に広報し、反戦平和を全世界に訴えている。反戦平和は、人類共通の普遍的価値である。しかし、誰が言うかによりこの意味合いはかなり変わる。日本は反戦平和を叫ぶ前に戦争加害に対する痛切な反省と共にその事に対する責任を負う姿勢を見せなければならない。」

広島の朝鮮人被爆者のうち多くが、釜山から2時間ほどバスに乗ったところにある陜川(ハプチョン)郡出身者であり、「韓国のヒロシマ」と言われている。植民地支配下、「土地調査事業」で土地を奪われたり、日本人の食糧確保のための米の増産計画や日本の紡績・製糸産業のための農業形態転換によって困窮する農民が続出、日本に生活の糧を求めざるを得なくなって移住する人が増えた。陜川の場合は1920年代から広島に移住が始り、血縁や地縁のつながりを通し、また、日中戦争・アジア太平洋戦争の本格化による軍需産業の需要増加、強制動員などで30年代後半から移住は急増していった。

ハプチョンの「平和の家」で語る韓正淳さん(2019年7月)

植民地支配が故に広島に住み、自分たちが始めたわけでもない戦争の中で、米国が日本を標的に落とした原爆に巻き込まれ、戦後朝鮮に帰還しても貧困・差別・医療ケア不足の中での生活を余儀なくされ、その影響は被爆二世、三世にまで引き継がれている。陜川では、仏教団体がつくった被爆二世支援施設「平和の家」で、二世の韓正淳(ハン・ジョンスン)さん(1959年生)と交流した。彼女の母は、被爆後帰国した後に、正淳さんを含む6人兄弟姉妹を産んだが、全員が健康障害を抱えており、自身と姉の一人は大腿部無血性壊死症という難病で何度も人工関節の手術を受けている。正淳さんの二人の息子のうち一人は脳性麻痺を持って生まれた。

韓正淳さんは、「日本には、朝鮮人を犬のように扱った責任を、米国には、核兵器を人間に使った責任を問いたい」と語った。日本は、「徴用工判決」を受けても植民地責任に向き合うどころか国を挙げてヘイトとも言える批判を展開している。米国については2016年にオバマ大統領が現職米国大統領として初めて広島を訪問したが、それは謝罪のためではなかった。陜川でもう一人話を聞いた、幼子のときに被爆した、韓国原爆被害者協会陜川支部長の沈鎮泰(シム・ジンテ)さん(1943年生)は、この時他の韓国人被爆者や韓正淳さんと共に広島で直接オバマ大統領に謝罪をを求めるべく来日したところ、関西空港で入管に3時間も足止めを食らった。沈さんは、「植民地支配の上に原爆を受けた自分たちが、その上犯罪者扱いされた」と悔しそうに語った。

陜川の原爆資料館(2017年開館)。

陜川でも毎年8月6日、追悼式が行われている。2016年には日本の要人としては初の、平岡敬元広島市長が訪問した。

今年の「8.6」は、梅雨の雨の中、コロナのせいで簡素化したとはいえ、しめやかにとり行われたということだ。韓正淳さんから提供され、使用許可していただいた写真をここに紹介する(場所は、陜川原爆福祉館慰霊閣)。





Thursday, August 06, 2020

福山市の無料風疹抗体検査で医師から差別を受けたYさんからの経過報告

福山市「人権・生涯学習課」HPより

7月29日の投稿「福山市が市民に提供する無料風疹抗体検査を受けた福山市民のYさんが担当医師から受けた差別」をまだ読んでいない人は読んでください。この投稿には何千ものアクセスがあり、「ちきゅう座」に転載もされ、広島県内で人権活動に携わっている市民からも連絡があったり、SNSを通じて支援の申し入れがあったりと、反響がかなりありました。福山市にも問い合わせの電話がかなり行ったようです。

以下が、Yさんからの、経過報告です。
市民相談課に先のメールを送ったところ、担当者は重大な人権侵害があったと受け止め、より問題に沿った対応が期待できる人権生涯学習課と保健予防課に繋いでくださった。

8月4日、人権生涯学習課の担当者から連絡を受けた。気持ちに寄り添って下さり、たいへん心強かった。

8月5日、保健予防課から連絡があった。とても丁寧に対応して下さった。この課では管轄上の問題で医学的な指導しかできないが、苦情の事実を伝えることはできるとのこと。

8月6日、人権生涯学習課から再び連絡を受けた。課として、あるいは保健予防課とともにどのように医院に働きかけるかについて具体的に検討してくださるとのことだった。

今後、つらい思い出付きのこの医院で診療を受けるつもりはないが、現在検査結果を待っている状況であるため、もう一度医院にアクセスする必要がある。市の担当者も私の心理的負担に配慮し、私たち夫婦が結果を受けた後に行動してくださるとのことである。
人権生涯学習課」が対応しているということからも、福山市がこれを人権侵害として真剣に受け止め対応しようとしている姿勢は確認できました。検査結果が出て、Yさん夫婦がこの医院に連絡する必要がなくなってから市が行動するということなので、引き続き注視していきたいと思います。@PeacePhilosophy 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

福山市が市民に提供する無料風疹抗体検査を受けた福山市民のYさんが担当医師から受けた差別

※追記。8月6日の投稿でその後の経過報告をしています。

広島県福山市に住むYさんが、医療機関で差別を受けた。福山市は、妊婦が風疹に罹り、胎児が先天性風しん症候群になることを防ぐために、市民に、無料で、妊婦や妊娠を希望する女性やその家族に、風疹抗体検査を行っている。 http://www.city.fukuyama.hiroshima.jp/soshiki/hokenyobo/135719.html 

福山市HP



Yさんと夫は、7月25日、それぞれが同一の住所が記載された保険証(Yさんは社会保険、夫は国民健康保険)を持って、指定医療機関の一つで検査に臨んだ。以下がYさんから提供された経緯である。

先に夫が診察室に呼ばれ、私は後から呼ばれて入り、椅子に座る。 
医師:「あなた税金は払っているの」 
私:質問に驚き、言葉に詰まる 
医師:「税金は払っているの」 
私:「はい」
医師:「住民票はあるの」
私:「はい」
医師:「あなた、対象かどうか確認した?」私が答える前に、医師:「籍に入っているの」。「3年前に婚姻手続を行った」と答えるも、医師は夫に向き直り、同じ質問をする。 
夫:「はい」
医師:「もう国籍は変えたの?」
私:「いいえ。変えていません」
医師:「韓国籍?朝鮮籍?」
私:「韓国籍ではありません。朝鮮籍です。日本の制度上、婚姻したからといって国籍が変わるわけではありません」
医師、これには答えず、夫に対し、「あなたは日本国籍?」
夫:「はい」
医師:「じゃあ、日本人だけど外国人と結婚しているということね。あなた(夫)は福山市の検査の対象だけど、あなた(私)はわからないから、今日は自費で出してもらって後で対象とわかったら返すということでいい?」
夫:「はい」

結局、自己負担はなかったということだ。

私はこれを読んで、悪質な在日朝鮮人差別であると思った。

1) 診察室に入っていきなり「税金を払っているの」。「税金を払っている」ことが公共サービスを受ける条件であるかの如くだ。検査に来る全員にいきなりこのような質問をしているとは思えない。これはYさんの名前が、いわゆる日本的な名前ではなく、朝鮮半島にゆかりのある人ではないかと思ったからこのような検査にも資格にも関係ない質問をしたのである。これは明白な差別だ。

2) 「住民票はあるの」という質問だが、保険証を見れば住民かどうかはわかるはずだ。これも、検査に来る人全員に聞いているはずはない。相手の名前を見て、在日朝鮮人のようだから、検査資格はないとでも言いたいのか、立て続けにこのような失礼な質問をする。全体を見て言葉のトーンも上から目線で、相手に対する敬意を欠くものだ。女性蔑視も入っているのではないかと感ずる。

3) 「あなた、対象かどうか確認した」か、と聞いた直後に「籍に入っているの」と聞いたことから、相手を検査の「対象」ではないという疑いの目で見ていることがわかる。「籍に入っているの」という質問は全く的外れである。そもそもこれは日本の人の多くが勘違いしているが法的に「籍に入る」という手続きはない。日本の法律では、結婚したら新たな戸籍ができるのであって、どちらかがどちらかの籍に「入る」のではない。いずれにせよそれは検査とは関係ない個人情報を要求するプライバシー侵害である。Yさんが一緒に来たパートナーと結婚していようとしていまいとこの検査を受ける資格はある(一人で来たって当然ある)。

4) 「もう国籍は変えたの」。これも検査とは全く関係のない質問である。私はカナダに25年間住んでいるが、妊娠・出産したときを含め、医療機関で国籍を問われたことなど一度もない。Yさんと同様に、自分の住む地域の公的健康保険に入っていれば十分であり、在留資格が何か、国籍があるかないかは関係ないし、そういうことを聞くこと自体が人権侵害なのである。

5) Yさんは答える必要もなかったが、「3年前に婚姻手続を行った」と答えた。この医師はその直後に夫のほうに同じ質問をするとは、Yさんの答えを信用していないからである。Yさんを嘘つきと言っているかの如く、Yさんの答えを無視して夫に同じ質問をするというのはこれも女性蔑視の入った人種差別、民族差別、「日本人」ではないように思われる人を差別する姿勢である。

6) 「もう国籍を変えたのか」。この医師の差別度は深まる一方のようだ。繰り返すが、この検査を行うのは福山市民であれば資格があるのであり、国籍は関係ない。ましてや、Yさんが結婚するにあたり国籍をどうするかといった個人的選択について詮索する権利はゼロ、ゼロ以下である。そもそも結婚によって国籍を変える必要などない。この医師の無知が露呈している場面でもある。

7) 「韓国籍?朝鮮籍?」この質問で、この医師の本性が現れたように思う。やはりこの医師は、Yさんが朝鮮半島にゆかりのある人の名前のように見えたから差別を始めたのではないか。在日朝鮮人を意図的にターゲットにした差別のように見える。「韓国籍?朝鮮籍?」という質問で何を知ろうとしたのかはわからないが、日本では「朝鮮籍=朝鮮民主主義人民共和国の国籍」と勘違いしている人が多いので、きっとこの医師もその部類で、「南なのか、北なのか」尋問するようなうつもりで問いただそうとしたのではないか(いずれにせよ検査とは全く関係のない差別、プライバシー侵害である)。

8) 当然ながら、夫に対し「日本国籍?」と聞くことも検査に何も関係がないしこの医師の職権で聞ける質問ではない。

9) このような差別発言を繰り返し挙句の果てにこの医師は、Yさんが検査の対象になるかわからないから実費で払ってもらって、対象とわかったらあとで返すとまで言っている。しかしこの日は結局請求されなかったということは、この会話と、請求の間の時点で「対象である」ということがわかったということなのだろうか。それともこの医師は、差別をしたいから差別を行っただけなのだろうか。「日本人」ではないものは一切の公共サービスを受ける資格がないとでも言うのだろうか。

Yさんは、7月29日、福山市の市民相談課にこの件を報告している。そのメールでYさんはこう書いた。

私が外国的な名前であったことから、このような対応をしたのだと思います。
この検査は市民ならば無料で受けられるものなので、所得税免除の場合の割引があるものではなく、医師の質問の流れから「外国人は税金を払っていないかもしれないから無料受診の対象ではないかもしれない」と考えたのではないかと推測します。また、「日本人と結婚しているから日本人に準じて対象になるかもしれない」と考えたのかもしれません。
納税、国籍、婚姻の有無など、本来受診資格の有無と無関係な質問の連続で不躾な対応であると感じましたし、私も日本で生まれ育った福山市民に違いはないのに大変な疎外感を感じました。
私は納税を怠っていませんが、民主主義社会では税金は公共サービスの原資であって条件ではないにも拘らず、税金を払っていないから公共サービスを受ける資格がないのではという発想自体、優生思想にも通じる危険なものと思いました。
受診した医院は実施機関として福山市で案内されているところなので、他の外国人市民が同じような思いをしないよう、お伝えしておこうと思いました。

Yさんのように、自分の生まれ育った国で、自分に市民としての資格がないかのように扱われるのはどれだけ悔しいことかと思う。この医師と、医療機関と、福山市はこれを差別行為と認め、Yさんに対して誠実な謝罪をするべきである。そして、Yさんや、すべての市民が今後このような屈辱的な差別を受けることがないような対策を具体的に講じるべきである。

このブログでは引き続きこの件の経緯を追っていく。

乗松聡子 @PeacePhilosophy 

Sunday, July 26, 2020

沖縄戦の記憶-アジア太平洋戦争の戦犯を美化する「黎明の塔」を放置してはいけない(琉球新報コラム転載)A Ryukyu Shimpo Column on the Battle of Okinawa Memory

『琉球新報』7月8日「乗松聡子の眼 35回」「沖縄戦の記憶 皇軍の加害性を明確に」を琉球新報社の許可を得て転載します。Here is Satoko Oka Norimatsu's article in July 8, 2020 edition of Okinawan newspaper Ryukyu Shimpo. Re-posted with Ryukyu Shimpo's permission. 

Related article in English: 
From Nanjing to Okinawa – Two Massacres, Two Commanders (Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus(「南京から沖縄へ 二つの虐殺、二人の司令官」)


琉球新報社提供

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Attention! A Public Webinar on July 25 (Sat) 1 PM EST (New York time) on the U.S. Decision to Drop the Atomic Bombs on Japan. Gar Alperovitz, Marty Sherwin, Kai Bird, and Peter Kuznick. 米国による日本への原爆投下決定についての4人の専門家による公開ウェビナー: ガー・アルペロビッツ、マーティ・シャーウィン、カイ・バード、ピーター・カズニック

Posted on July 29: according to the organizers, the webinar was a success, attended by more than 300 people! Here is the recording of it.
追記。ウェビナーは300人以上の参加を得て成功裏に終わりました。録画リンクはここです。


ピース・フィロソフィー・センターも後援団体の一つとなっている、原爆投下決定についてのウェビナーです。以下ご覧ください。
Peace Philosophy Centre is one of the sponsoring organizations of an upcoming webinar:
What Every Global Citizen Needs to Know About the Decision to A-Bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Date: July 25, 2020
Time: 1pm EST (New York Time)

Zoom link:
The debate over the atomic bombings -- a controversy that forced the Smithsonian Institution to abandon its Enola Gay exhibit 25 years ago -- continues unabated in America today as we approach the 75th anniversary of the incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Four historians, Gar Alperovitz, Martin Sherwin, Kai Bird, and Peter Kuznick, each of whom has written extensively on the topic, will discuss the documentary evidence and assess the current state of knowledge about the bombings in a webinar open to people from around the world. Internationally acclaimed poet Carolyn Forche will moderate. The webinar will critically explore in depth the “official” explanation that use of the atomic bombs was the only way to force the fanatically resistant Japanese to surrender without an Allied invasion that would have cost hundreds of thousands of U.S. and British and an even greater number of Japanese lives. Attendance is free and open to the general public. A question and answer period will follow the presentations.
Speakers include:

Gar Alperovitz, formerly a Fellow of Kings College Cambridge, the Institute of Politics at Harvard, and Lionel Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, is the author of Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam and The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb. He is currently a Principal of The Democracy Collaborative, an independent research institution in Washington, D.C.
Martin Sherwin, University Professor of History, George Mason University, is author of A World Destroyed: Hiroshima and Its Legacies winner of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relation’s Bernath Book Prize, co-author with Kai Bird of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for biography, and Gambling with Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis, forthcoming in September 2020.
Kai Bird, Executive Director, CUNY Graduate Center’s Leon Levy Center for Biography, co-author (with Martin Sherwin) Pulitzer Prize-winning American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, co-editor (with Lawrence Lifschultz) Hiroshima’s Shadow, and author The Chairman: John J. McCloy and the Making of the American Establishment.
Peter Kuznick, Professor of History, Director, Nuclear Studies Institute, American University, co-author (with Akira Kimura), Rethinking the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Japanese and American Perspectives, co-author (with Oliver Stone) of the New York Times best-selling The Untold History of the United States (books and documentary film series), and author “The Decision to Risk the Future: Harry Truman, the Atomic Bomb and the Apocalyptic Narrative.”
Carolyn Forche’s first book of poetry, Gathering the Tribes, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, and was followed by The Country Between Us, The Angel of History, and Blue Hour. In March, 2020, Penguin Press published her fifth collection of poems, In the Lateness of the World. She is also the author of the memoir What You Have Heard Is True (Penguin Press, 2019), a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Juan E. Mendez Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America. Her international anthology, Against Forgetting, has been praised by Nelson Mandela as “itself a blow against tyranny, against prejudice, against injustice.” In 1998 in Stockholm, she received the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture Award for her human rights advocacy and the preservation of memory and culture. She is one of the first poets to receive the Wyndham Campbell Prize from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, and is a University Professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Webinar sponsors include:

American Friends Service Committee's Peace & Economic Security Program American University Nuclear Studies Institute Article 9 Canada Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security Code Pink COVID 19 Global Solidarity Coalition Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space Hiroshima Nagasaki Peace Committee of the Greater DC Area Historians for Peace and Democracy International Peace Research Institute Meiji Gakuin University (PRIME) Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown  Los Alamos Study Group Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Peace Action Peace Culture Village  Peace Philosophy Centre (Vancouver, Canada) PEAC Institute  Proposition One Campaign for a Nuclear Free Future United for Peace and Justice Western States Legal Foundation Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) USA World Beyond War Youth Arts New York/Hibakusha Stories

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

「COVID-19世界連帯マニフェスト」について――「『ズーム』で築く世界連帯」(琉球新報より)Ryukyu Shimpo aritcle on the COVID-19 Global Solidarity Manifesto

『琉球新報』6月1日3面に掲載された「乗松聡子の眼」34回「コロナ時代のマニフェスト 『ズーム』で築く世界連帯」を許可を得て転載します。Here is Satoko Oka Norimatsu's article in June 1, 2020 edition of Okinawan newspaper Ryukyu Shimpo. See below for English translation. 

ここで紹介している「COVID-19世界連帯マニフェスト」のサイトはここです。このHPから20か国語版へのリンクを張っています。See the COVID-19 Global Solidarity Manifesto website and sign!

日本語での署名はここからできます。

琉球新報社提供

 In the Corona-Era, Global Solidarity Building is Still Possible


Satoko Oka Norimatsu


(The original article in Japanese appeared in the June 1 edition of Ryukyu Shimpo. Translated by the author.)

Twice from May 23 to 24, the COVID-19 Global Solidarity Manifesto launch events were held using the online conference system ZOOM.

In mid-March, as strict quarantine measures were underway to deal with the global spread of COVID-19, David Vine, professor of the American University, reached out to his colleagues around the world. Vine is the author of Base Nation (Japanese version is Beigun kichi ga yattekita koto, Hara Shobo, 2016), which he put together after six years of field work at more than sixty U.S. military installations in twelve countries and territories, including Japan, Korea, Italy, and Germany. He is also one of the signatories of the “International Intellectuals’ Statement to Oppose the Henoko Base Construction” of 2014.

Almost every week since our first meeting on March 22, participants from the U.S., Canada, Italy, Spain, Okinawa, Korea, Brazil, Peru, Greece, and other countries came together and exchanged ideas. Soon enough it transpired that our common concern was the fact that under the pandemic, the socially and economically vulnerable people -- the poor, homeless, imprisoned, ethnic minorities, sexual minorities, women, disabled, refugees and immigrants – are most affected.

How can we save the lives that we can save now? What kind of a world do we want to build? We brought our visions together to draft the “COVID-19 Global Solidarity Manifesto.” The Manifesto denies militarism by calling for an “immediate ceasefire,” “closure of foreign bases,” “cessation of military exercises,” and “immediate lifting of all sanctions.” It urges a departure from the “fantasy of endless growth” and transformation to the economies “where human life, biodiversity, and our national resources are conserved.” It demands “health care as a basic right,” the guarantee of a “universal basic income,” and the rights of all workers to work safely. It challenges the “wealthy nations” to “live up to their responsibility” as they brought about the extremely unequal world in which the “richest 1% having more than twice of the wealth of 6.9 billion people.” The Manifesto, which has been translated into 19 different languages including Ryukyuan and Japanese, accepts on-line signatures. For details, visit the website (covidglobalsolidarity.org).

We had two launch events, twelve hours apart, over May 23 and 24, so that people around the world could participate in at least one of them. We had a total of over one hundred people attending (See video links to the 1st event, and 2nd event). Both events started with Okinawan member Sunshine Chie Miyagi’s performance of a song, with sanshin, the Okinawan 3-string instrument. Her grandparents died in the forced mass suicides of Tokashiki Island, March 1945, at the start of the Battle of Okinawa, one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific Theatre of WWII. Through Miyagi’s singing of “Tinsagu nu Hana (Balsam Flowers),” participants paid tribute to the lives lost in the battle that happened 75 years ago.

Other participants of the event included historian Peter Kuznick, who continues to raise his voice against the military occupation of Okinawa, and Daniel Ellsberg, who is known for exposing the secret Department of Defense documents “Pentagon Papers,” in opposition to the Vietnam War.

Akari Kojima, an editor who participated from Hiroshima, commented afterwards, “Through this event, I realized that the COVID-19 crisis that we are facing is not just about dealing with the infectious disease, but it is fundamentally about facing the whole system that stands on war, poverty, discrimination, and the capitalist economy, and that is why we have to tackle this challenge with a global perspective.”

I find it hopeful that, even though many international events have been cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions, such citizen-oriented global solidarity building is still possible.


Satoko Oka Norimatsu is an Editor of The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, Director of Peace Philosophy Centre, Co-chair of Vancouver Save Article 9. 


Thursday, May 21, 2020

In Memory of Horace (Gerry) Gerrard, a Canadian Hong Kong Veteran (1922 - 2019): An English Version of the 2016 Interview 元カナダ兵日本軍捕虜 ジェリー・ジェラードさんの一周忌に

元カナダ兵日本軍捕虜ジェリー・ジェラード氏の一周忌ということで、ジェラード氏のインタビュー記事(週刊金曜日17年2月10、17日号)の英語版をここに載せています。日本語版はこちらを見てください

On May 22 a year ago, Horace (Gerry) Gerrard, a Canadian Hong Kong veteran, died at age 97. He was one of the 1,975 Canadian soldiers who were sent to defend the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong against a Japanese attack in December 1941. The Battle of Hong Kong was one of the Japanese multiple attacks on the Allied nations on December 7/8, including the Pearl Harbor attack. 290 Canadian soldiers died in the battle that ended with the British surrender on Decemeber 25, and those who survived, like most of the other Allies' POWs, were put to slave labour, suffered from harsh living conditions, malnutrition, diseases and violence for 3 years and 8 months until Japan surrendered in August 1945. 264 more Canadians died during that time. With the death toll of 554 and approximately 500 more wounded, the casualty rate was more than 50%, "one of the highest casualty rates of any Canadian theatre of action in the Second World War" ( Canadians in Hong Kong, Veterans Affairs, Canada). Those who survived and returned to Canada continued to suffer physically and mentally from the wartime trauma, with its impacts on the second and the third generations.

Back in October 2016, I had an opportunity to interview Gerry, one of the few surviving Canadian Hong Kong veterans, with the help of a friend Lee Naylor, another Hong Kong veteran's son. I was told then that there were only two veterans who were still able to talk about their experiences, one in the East, and one in the West of Canada, and Gerry was the one in the West. My two-part article on Gerry was printed in the February 10 and 17, 2017 editions of Japanese weekly political magazine Shukan Kinyobi



Gerry Gerrard interviewed at his home near Victoria, Vancouver Island. Photo by author. 
ジェリー・ジェラード氏(2016年10月6日、バンクーバー島のジェラード氏の自宅で。筆者撮影)

Here are the articles.

知られざるカナダ兵日本軍捕虜の歴史 生存者ジェリー・ジェラード氏の証言
Unknown History of Canadian POWs of the Imperial Japanese Army - Testimony of a Survivor, Gerry Gerrard 
(上)飢えと虐待の収容生活
Part I: Life of Hunger and Abuse, at the Concentration Camp 
(下)屈辱だった日本の「謝罪」
Part II: Humiliating "Apology" from Japan 
URL: http://peacephilosophy.blogspot.com/2017/02/interview-with-gerry-gerrard-canadian.html  (The text is in Japanese, but you can look at photos.) 

I have not had a chance to publish Gerry's story in English yet, so I will do so now, on the first anniversary of Gerry's death.

After being captured, Gerry was put to forced labor for one year in Hong Kong under harsh living conditions. Then he was among the 500 Allies' POWs who were sent to Japan in January 1943. He was placed in the Tokyo 3D Tsurumi Prisoner of War Camp (Nippon Kokan Tsurumi Shipyard), located in Yokohama, and there too, persevered slave labour, abuse, and beriberi under the cold weather. He witnessed the Tokyo Air Raid on the early morning of March 10, 1945. Later he was transferred to Sendai POW Camp #4-B (Nippon Seitetsu Ohashi Branch) that was located in Kamaishi, Iwate, and stayed there until the Japanese surrender of August 1945. Since he hadn't thought he was going to survive another winter in that camp, it was the moment he knew that he was coming home alive.

Gerry was paid a minuscule amount (after the food expense was deducted!) only once, while he was at the Yokohama camp, when the Red Cross came. The Japanese government never compensated for the unpaid work of Canadian veterans. In 1998, the Canadian government paid 24,000 dollars to the Hong Kong veterans and widows who were alive at that time. They were not happy that the money came not from the Japanese government, but from Canadian taxpayers (see CBC Digital Archives).
Lee Naylor and Gerry Gerrard. Photo by author. 

In 2011, then DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan) government  made an "apology," one that was really not an apology and delivered in a humiliating manner as described in the article. It was delivered behind the closed door, without a proper document signed by the prime minister. With no presence of media, Japanese people were not informed of this "apology."

Apology can be only acceptable when the history is made available widely to the citizens of the perpetrating country and it is taught to the children of that country so that the history is not repeated. The Japanese government has failed to deliver such an apology to the Canadian Hong Kong veterans (let alone many other victims of the Imperial Japan's wartime atrocities).

This is why it was such a precious opportunity for me, as a citizen of Japanese ancestry, to interview Gerry and publish his story in a Japanese media outlet. I am grateful for Lee Nayor, without whom I could not have met Gerry. Having avoided Japanese products where he could, it must have not been such a pleasant thing for Gerry to meet me, but with Lee's introduction, he agreed to be interviewed. He even kindly took a photo with me.

Gerry thanked me for shedding light on this history in Japan. He said at the end of the interview, "I meant to ask the Japanese government, 'Have you apologized to your own people?' I am sure they suffered a lot." I was surprised and moved that Gerry, with all the suffering of himself and his comrades on his shoulders, extended such thought to the Japanese war victims.

I will continue to tell your story, Gerry. Rest in peace.

Gerry and author. Photo by  Lee Naylor.


[Below is an English version of Gerry Gerrard’s story printed in two parts in the February 10, and 17 editions of Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Kinyobi. Please note that some parts are not word-by-word equivalents of the Japanese version, as I tried to use original expressions by Gerry as much as possible in the reverse-translated English version.] 


Part I

[Headings]
Unknown History of Canadian Prisoners of War in the Battle of Hong Kong: Part I
Story of Survivor Gerry Gerrard

Hunger and Abuse --- Life at the POW Camp

[Lead]
Not much has been told about the former Canadian soldiers who were captured as POWs by the Imperial Japanese Army in the Battle of Hong Kong.
We have been fortunate to hear a story from one of the survivors. It reveals the abuse of POWs then and the fact that Japan has not provided a proper apology to the Canadian veterans.

Satoko Oka Norimatsu

(Page 36)
-        Please tell us about your background.  
I was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England, on January 19, 1922. When I was four years old, my family moved to Alberta. During the Great Depression, it was not easy for the family, with six children. I left school in Grade 9, and did any job I could find to help support the family.

When I was sixteen, I faked my age to be eighteen and joined the army reserves. I was able to do that because I was in the scout and I knew signaling. On September 2, 1939, just before WWII broke, I was called up and went to the West Coast by train. In Victoria, I was trained as a gunner and a signaler. Later I became a member of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals and was stationed in the East. I received infantry training too.

In the middle of October, 1941, I was one of those called out for overseas duty. We went to the West Coast by train. Joined by Royal Rifles, and not even given time to say goodbye to family, we boarded the troop ship Awatea at Vancouver, and headed for Hong Kong. On a separate ship were all the equipment, gear, ammunition, vehicles, etc. It went as far as the Philippines, and there Americans used them. We arrived in Hong Kong on November 16, and for three weeks, we were at Sham Shui Po, and were taken around to different defence places.

Transferred to Japan

-        The Japanese attack on Hong Kong was December 8, 1941?
Yes. It was 8 A.M., several hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hawaii wasn’t even thinking what was going to happen to them, but we were prepared the day before. We set up a temporary wireless station right in front of the quarters. I went to breakfast at 7, and came back, let other guys go for breakfast and I took over. That was when the planes came over.

-        (The British/Canadian) forces were defeated and were taken as POWs in Hong Kong. What was the experience there?
We were transferred back to Sham Shui Po. When we got there, every wood was stripped down. All my stuff, all my gear were gone. There was no door, no window – all taken. I had no blanket. I found somewhere a light canvas – big enough to lay. For a pillow, I bundled up my clothes and put underneath that canvas. That was my pillow.
Food was terrible. Everyone was hungry. Beri beri, dysentery, typhoid, diphtheria – all these serious diseases. With beri beri, you couldn’t stand on your feet. I was in Hong Kong for a year, repairing and extending Kai Tak Airport. We had to mix cement with hand. The Jap guards didn’t know how to make cement. We would do things like making one batch with half sand, and another with too much cement.

-        Later you were transferred to Japan.
On January 19, 1943, five hundred of us were transferred to Japan. The name of the ship was Tatsuta Maru. It was my 21st birthday. They just let us right down into the hole. Guys kept coming down, and if we all wanted to sit down we had to sit between the legs of the guy behind you. We landed in Nagasaki. As soon as we landed, they gave us five small buns. We went by train from Nagasaki, and there they fed us the same food as their own. A little square, a half-inch deep. One for rice, and one divided into 6 compartments – a little bit of fish, a little bit of meat, and a little fruit. Good, except the amount was really small. We got off at Tokyo and got on an electric train. We went to Kawasaki, and they marched us to 3D (Nippon Kokan Tsurumi Shipyard Tokyo No.3 Camp).

(Page 37)

Days at the Camp

-        What was the camp like?
There were platforms, each for twenty men, sleeping head to head with the next guy. All they had was straw mats, about half an inch thick. Every two feet was strip of woods. They gave us four blankets. We couldn’t believe this, but they were all made of shredded wood, pressed together. There wasn’t much warmth. The siding of the building was about half an inch and there was no lining in the inside. It was freezing cold. They had sometimes snow. There were stoves, but never used because there was no fuel. There was a bathing tub that would hold about thirty men, but there was no fuel so it only got used a few times.

When we first got there, one of the commanders at the camp spoke to us, and after talking about rules and punishments, he told us “Some of you may never see Canada again; in fact, none of you will. Canada will be divided, and Japanese will govern.” I was shocked to hear that.

-        What was the work condition there?
We marched to and from work. I think it was about 5 miles. When it snowed, they marched us to work one way and back another to break trail.

One thing we didn’t want to do was to get caught in the compartment by yourself with a couple of Japanese. Not that I found civilians mean, but when there was bad news they weren’t good; they take it out on us. If you do something you weren’t supposed to do or if you are caught doing something… I just take it easy and don’t get excited. They are going to get their way anyway.

-        There was much violence at the camp, wasn’t there.
The army guys had guns and factory guys had sticks. I wasn’t beaten up so badly. The worst thing of course was the slap in the face; it was pretty bad. One day at Sham Shui Po we were lined up to be counted… and we were short by one. This interpreter, the Kamloops kid (Japanese-Canadian Kanao Inoue who was notorious for his abusiveness), he beat up our officer. It was pretty hard to take when guys stand behind you with a rifle. You know what they can do.

At 3D, one guy got caught for smuggling cigarettes. They beat him up. He was stood up all night and every hour, they poured cold water over him. He survived.

[In the column on the left side of Page 37, Interviewer Satoko Oka Norimatsu gives a brief background of the Battle of Hong Kong, including how these almost 2,000 Canadian soldiers were brought to fight the hopeless battle; the massacre at the St. Stephen’s Hospital; casualties of the battle, the worst (in terms of rate) among all the Canadian missions in WWII; soldiers who survived the battle being taken as POWs for the 3 years and 8 months of life under slave labour and abuse in Hong Kong and Japan; and veterans suffering various forms of PTSD, affecting children and grandchildren. On October 6, 2016, an interview took place with one of the 18 surviving Canadian Hong Kong veterans, 94-year old Gerry Gerrard, at his home near Victoria, on Vancouver Island. Gerrard is one of the perhaps only two surviving veterans who are able to tell their stories.]

(Page 38)

War ends at last

-        At the end of March, 1945, you were transferred to Kamaishi (Sendai POW Camp Sendai No. 4, or Nippon Seitetsu Ohashi Kogyosho).
It was because the bombing got bad. They never expected they were going to get bombed. In fact, they never made preparations for the population. They had no place to go. They built air raid shelters. This is funny. They dug it down and they put a board across and put sod on the top. That was an air raid shelter. One night they bombed out a strip about a mile wide --- Yokohama, Tokyo (air raid of March 9/10). We spent the whole night in the shelter. There was light, bombing noise, and loudspeakers…

I was at Kamaishi for 6 months. There were Americans, Dutch, Javanese, Australians, British, and Canadians. Most worked in the mining, but I was put on one of the fires working for the blacksmith. Hammering everything…There was nobody else around. Nobody else spoke English. I was in the same building where the machine shop was. Americans were running the machine shop. I never saw anyone, but I used to get messages. Somebody would walk by and say the news quickly. By the time I turned around, they would be gone. There was a radio at the machine shop.

-        How did you know about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
It was about four days later we found out what it was. I got the story from one of the Americans who was talking to one of the kids and that said that… one bomb, the whole city was gone. The Japanese had their heads down… they were really upset. So that’s what we assumed it was. We knew then that the war was on its way to end.

-        What was your feeling then?
Well, I think, we are going to make it. We knew that we weren’t going to make another winter up in that mountain, so half the time I used to tell myself. If you had told me people could live under that condition, I wouldn’t have believed it. It is amazing what you can do when you have to.

-        I remember reading in your story that at the beginning the Japanese commander told you that you weren’t going to see Canada again.
That’s right. That was what kept me going.

-        How was the day Japan surrendered, August 15?
We all knew that the end was coming. They used to call people in the loud speakers. On that day, when the guy came, he just didn’t stop and he says the war is over. We went back to the camp. The guys weren’t so excited. There was no cheering and all that… I guess most of them hadn’t heard yet. Things were the same the next morning. We would get up and then were going to see what was going to happen, because we weren’t going to work. For sure. They left overnight. We were ordered to wait there, and we were there for another month.


Part II

[Headings]
Unknown History of Canadian Prisoners of War in the Battle of Hong Kong: Part II
Story of Survivor Gerry Gerrard

Humiliating “Apology” by Japan  

[Lead]
The war finally ended, and the POWs of Allied Nations were able to go home.
After the war, the Japanese government repeatedly rejected the former Canadian POWs’ requests for an apology, and the “apology” that did happen in 2011 was far from sufficient.
Canadian Hong Kong veteran Gerry Gerrard carries a gentle tone, but his nightmare will never disappear.

Satoko Oka Norimatsu

(Page 38)

-        How did you manage the month you spent at Kamaishi while waiting for rescue? 
Americans dropped the food by air. We got K-ration, dehydrated fruit, cigarettes. Chewing gum. Oh, kids. Bubble gum. They go around saying “gum, gum.” I made sure that I didn’t overeat. I liked chocolate bars though.

Americans picked us up on September 15, 1945. It was Nimitz fleet. They went up and got the train. We got aboard the train. We went on the destroyer, down to Tokyo Bay. From there we could see the shipyard where I worked. On 18th, they put us on the hospital ship. It wasn’t originally a hospital ship but they made it into a hospital ship. There were 2,500 passenger on that, mostly American troops. We were eating for 5,000. We went to Guam first. A few days there. They had a B29 airport. Big planes. Running their bombing from there (to Japan).

Home at Last

-        Did you lose a lot of weight at the camp?
One time they weighed me in 1942, and I was 136 pounds. 113 in the camp. I got worse than that. I never had a chance to weigh. My normal weight after I came home was 155-6. I am 167 now.

-        Did the letters you received from your family encourage you?
Not too much. All they let me know was that they were alive. Didn’t mean too much. Sometimes these letters were a couple of years old. I thought, at least they know I am alive. I am not going to worry about them. I am just going to worry about this guy (me). I guess these (other) guys get too upset, you know… I guess it depends on your own makeup. For me, since I was told I wasn’t going to see Canada again, I was determined that I was going home.

-        Did you ever get paid, in Hong Kong or in Japan?
The only time was when Red Cross came in, they gave some of the money they owed us. 10 cents a day. So much off for our food. I don’t know how much they owed us. I was at 3D. We were not allowed to talk to Red Cross. They just came in, looked around, and went out. They (Japanese) brought extra food while the Red Cross was there, and when they left, they took out all that extra food out again.

I was never paid at Kamaishi. It was Japan that had to pay us. It was asked, but nothing came out of it. Canadian government gave us money (24,000 dollars, in 1998). Canada sort of settled the war by just claiming what was the Japanese property overseas, so they signed it off (in the San Francisco Peace Treaty). That was why they (Japan) didn’t pay us. Japs couldn’t pay all those POWs anyway. That would have cost a fortune.

(Page 39)

Is This an Apology?

-        How did you get from Guam back to Canada?
I was in San Francisco for a few days. We boarded the train. We were dressed in Navy dungarees. Blues jeans, and hats. They gave us 20 dollars. From Seattle, we got on the ferry to Victoria. We disembarked right in front of the legislature. My girlfriend was there. Speller had sent a telegram while I was at San Francisco. He knew where she lived. Evelyn. I married her on November 27.

I wasn’t ready to get married. I needed some breathing time. But she waited that long. What the hell. I needed a place. She was pushing me. Our first child Bev was born on July 13, 1947.

-        What work did you do after you went home?
I never stayed in the military. I signed the release at Calgary, and got discharged. It was December 1945. I went into a hospital. I had abscess on my tailbone, since before I went to Japan. I got by okay. They just cut it open and drained it.

I got apprentice as an electrician. I worked in construction; went to work on a lot of houses. I worked at a shipyard for a year. In between layoffs. Finished one job, then don’t know another one or not. I built a house shortly after.

-        You went to Japan a number of times after the war.
The first time was 1995, then 2005, 2010, and 2011. Four times. I went with a group, with other veterans and families, organized by HKVCA (Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association). I went back to the shipyard in Tsurumi. They don’t build ships anymore; they build engines. We went to Yokohama War Cemetery too.

-        2011 was when the Japanese government offered an apology?
Yes. It was really a farce. We were not to tell anyone that we were going. We went to Hong Kong, then we went to Japan. The minister (Steven Blaney, then Minister of Veterans Affairs) met us in Tokyo. At the apology, there were three veterans in the room, and three more attended. Derrill Henderson was allowed in. From the Japanese side were the parliamentary vice-minister of foreign affairs, his aide, and the translator. There were no reporters. No cameras. Nothing. I had a phone call from a fellow, after I got back, whose son lived in Japan for 29 years. He said no media, none of the media reported it. So people don’t know the apology. They wanted us to agree to their apology. It was all about friendship, making trades and so on and so forth. That was probably what it was all about. To me, an apology is not worth if you have to ask for it. That was asked once and it was refused, and that was it. I was not even in favour of going over, but in the end, I agreed to it. We took pictures of the guys afterwards but none of the Japanese were in it. After they finished, they just walked off and that was it.

[In the column on the left side of Page 39, Interviewer Satoko Oka Norimatsu provides additional background such as the large role Canadians played in the WWII (with more than a million military members participation out of the then population of 11 million); relative emphasis of war memory on Europe overshadowing the Hong Kong experience; Canadian’s Veterans Affairs website specifically noting that POWs under Imperial Japan went through harsher experience than those of Nazis; the 2011 “apology”, after decades of rejected requests, being a humiliating one]

(Page 40)

Feelings towards Japan

-        Was there a document signed by the prime minister?
No. I don’t think we signed anything. I just agreed to it. At the meeting the vice minister read out the apology and each of us responded. I just questioned. Why? How come it took so long?

The minister didn’t understand what you were saying anyway. So there was an interpreter. You don’t know what’s going on between them you know. We’ve been all through that in the prison camp. If you got charged in the Jap camp…. You couldn’t defend yourself or your fellows, so you depended on their interpreter, you know.

-        What else did you tell the Japanese government?
I told him, if it is about peace and future, that’s okay. That was why I agreed to it, for that, but not for what you did in the past.

-        In the end, you didn’t think it was the right apology.
No, no, I didn’t. It was Derrill’s death wish. There were people who wanted it (an apology). I didn’t care. I didn’t think you should have to ask for an apology.

-        After the war, did you have trauma?
No, I did quite well. Health-wise. I have two daughters, five grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. My daughter lives here. That’s one reason why I am here. There are two grandsons, with families here. They said we can see you, but I never see them!

-        I am sure you had anger during the camp.
Yes.

-        Do you think you have forgiven them, or?
I can’t hold somebody here responsible for what somebody else did. Right now there are not many left. I’ve never held anything against them, but I don’t go look for Japanese cars when I buy a car. Something like that… but I ended up buying some (Japanese products) anyway… it is hard to avoid.

But I don’t hold any grudge… I guess I just have to relax. I might lose a few nights sleep after this, you know. All these interviews they do… prey on your mind. I used to wake up with beri beri --- it wakes me up at night kicking and all that. Got me into single beds.

-        (Doing an interview) must be a lot for you.
It is nice to know people are remembering this. You know one day we are going to die and it will be lost. The kids (the second generation) took up the organization and they deserve a lot of credit. Thank you people too for bringing this to light… though it won’t prevent any war, I don’t suppose.

There is something when I went up to this apology. I came out, and I meant to ask them, “Have you apologized to your own people?” I am sure they suffered a lot.


Interview in collaboration with Lee Naylor

Satoko Oka Norimatsu, Director of Peace Philosophy Centre