Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Former Army Nurse's Story

In the afternoon of August 21, a meeting was held to prepare for the establishment of the Association of Sakai to Keep and Make the Best Use of Article 9 (a tentative name) at Sun-Square Sakai. I attended the meeting together with more than a dozen of people. We exchanged our thought about Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan and opinions for our activity.

Among the participants, there was Ms. M, who had been an army nurse and worked in Nanjing and China during the final years of the World War II. She talked about her work of cultivating bacteria at Nanjing Hospital as well as other unpleasant experiences. She did that work believing it to be for some basic research, but she was requested to grow more and more bacteria. She thought it necessary for improving her skill, and worked hard on it. However, she was ordered to do the job more and more. Afterward, she came to believe that those bacteria had been for germ weapons, and reflects what a lousy job she was made to work on.

On a holiday, Ms. M and her friend nurses saw a long line of soldiers. Thinking it to be for getting some supply, they joined the line. A soldier said to them, "Go away, or you would be laughed at." They said, "Isn't this a queue for supply?" The soldier said, "It's supply of a pea." Actually the line was for "military prostitutes."

After Japan's defeat, Japanese soldiers turned into a beast, and nurses feared them. Some nurses committed suicide thinking it better than to be a captive. In January 1946, Ms. M was carried from Nanjing to Shanghai by a freight train together with other nurses and soldiers to come back to Japan. All of them were standing in tightly filled freight cars. A soldier next to her leaned to her. She pushed him back saying, "Don't push me. I feel heavy." However, carefully looking at him, she found that the soldier was dead. She soon got a high fever. It was due to malaria. However, she could endure the fever by touching the cold corpse. — The dead body saved her. —

These are only a few examples among a lot of unhappy situations experienced by many persons in the war. Do you think it appropriate that we allow Japan again to go to war under the pretext of cooperative, self defense?

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