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Photo © Hans Brinckmann

Habri Opinion Habri Diary Attention!

On August 15th, the annual secular ceremony to commemorate Japan's surrender at the end of the Second World War, now 72 years ago, was held in the National Budokan hall in Tokyo, attended by over 6000 people. Both Emperor Akihito and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered brief messages. The Emperor expressed his "deep remorse" over the war - reflecting his well-known pacifist feelings and belief in democracy - while Abe repeated his last year's vow to keep Japan from waging war again.

A minute of silence was observed in remembrance of the 3.1 million military and civilian war dead, after which the emperor and Empress Michiko left the hall (photo at left). As it is now likely that the emperor's stated wish to abdicate in view of his advanced age (he is 83) will be granted by early 2019, next year's August 15 ceremony will likely be his last.

The above picture shows the emperor and empress standing in front of the wooden cenotaph.

As part of the commemoration, The Japan Times on August 10 published Hans Brinckmann's illustrated memoir about the war, Of Guns and Cutlery. Its online version can be accessed by clicking here

The Japanese version of the article, in Hiromi Mizoguchi's translation, appeared in 2015 on the 70th anniversary of the war's end in Issue No. 32 of the Japanese-language literary magazine Atlas.