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Japan tries to register letters of kamikaze pilots as UNESCO heritage

Japan tries to register letters of kamikaze pilots as UNESCO heritage

Posted February. 05, 2014 07:17,   


One Japanese local government’s attempt to register the suicide notes and letters of the kamikaze pilots as UNESCO’s Memory of the World Heritage has been raising controversies. This follows the Japanese government’s recommendation of Hashima Island where thousands of Koreans were forced to labor during the Japanese colonial rule as a nominee for the UNESCO World Heritage last year. These reckless moves by Japan are likely to increase criticisms about the nation’s continuing ignorance over historical facts.

According to NHK, a Japanese broadcaster, the city of Minamikyushu, Kagoshima Prefecture, announced on Tuesday that it would submit the UNESCO a nomination for 333 war-related documents including about 14,000 suicide notes and letters of kamikaze pilots, which are in the possession of the Chiran Peace Museum. Chiran is a Japanese town where the training school for young army pilots was located during the Pacific War. In the late stages of World War II, the Japanese forces sent a great number of fighter jets for a suicidal attack to turn the tide of the war.

The museum advertises that the pilots sacrificed themselves for their country and beloved people. However, Tsuneo Watanabe, a chairman of the Yomiuri Shimbun who also took part in the Pacific War as an army private, testified in his 2006 interview with New York Times, “It`s all a lie that kamikaze pilots left filled with braveness and joy, crying, `Long live the emperor!` They were sheep at a slaughterhouse.”