Japanese WWII Vet Sees Trouble on the Horizon

One of my favorite bloggers, GP Cox posted a particularly compelling story today. It is a bit of a departure from his usual fascinating, historical posts, yet very much “on topic”. Please read and know that GP writes one of the top blogs on the Pacific war in WWII. Never forget the sacrifices of the young men and women we send into our wars!

Pacific Paratrooper

04zero1-master1050 Kaname Harada, 98, holding a picture of himself when he was a fighter pilot

NAGANO, Japan — Kaname Harada was once a feared samurai of the sky, shooting down 19 Allied aircraft as a pilot of Japan’s legendary Zero fighter plane during World War II. Now 98 years old and in failing health, the former ace is on what he calls his final mission: using his wartime experiences to warn Japan against ever going to war again.
This has become a timely issue in Japan, as the conservative Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has called for revising Japan’s pacifist Constitution. On a recent afternoon in this alpine city near his home, Mr. Harada was invited to address a ballroom filled with some 200 tax accountants and their business clients.
After slowly ascending the stage with the help of his daughter, he stopped to hang up hand-drawn war maps and a sepia-toned photo of himself…

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12 thoughts on “Japanese WWII Vet Sees Trouble on the Horizon

  1. Thank you for sharing this interesting article. It reminds me of the stories that say the holocaust never happened because they are too young to remember and now grandparents are gone that actually went through the ordeal. What is the saying about remembering the past so we are not doomed to repeat it.



  2. How much I agree with Mr Harada ‘ s testimony.
    I understand perfectly what he saud ( I read his page ) . War is awful for those below and for those who fight. I was in the Algerian war like an officer and when I came back home I could not sleep . Younger I was also under the Bombing of the war I. never , the war !
    The problem in japan is ( if I remember well ) the prime minister would like change the constitution to re-arm the country but the Emperor is a pacifist and many japanese ,too. North Korea is a problem.
    Great post ,Doug,
    In friendship
    ps ! at my beginning on xanga in 2001 -2002 I related my memories of War II but I abandonned this .


    • Michel, as a child citizen of Amiens during the invasion of Normandy in WWII, you have a unique and frightening insight into the impact of war on civilians.

      I was unaware you’d served in Algeria, though I suppose i could have guessed you had. Anyway, you are correct about the prime minister of Japan.

      Though the American occupation under General Douglas MacArthur imposed the current pacifist constitution on Japan, it was under that constitution they achieved the economic (if not political) spot of considerable influence (if not domination) of the world they hoped to achieve through military adventurism and a savage war.

      One hopes that success and the success of denazification of Germany would set the model for world peace after war, and, possibly, the European EU process can show rival and aggressively warlike neighbors in the Levant and nearby how to reorder their priorities to work together instead of in a process of mutual destruction.

      Whew! I don’t expect much, do I? Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Michel.


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