News On Japan

Lennon, Ono asked Japan to allow A-bomb film to be shown abroad

TOKYO, Jan 01 (Japan Today) - Beatles musician John Lennon and his peace activist wife Yoko Ono asked Japanese Prime Minister Eisaku Sato in 1969 to permit overseas release of an unedited film on the aftermath of the U.S. atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to prevent a similar "atrocity," the Japanese Foreign Ministry's archives show.

"Effects of the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki," taken as a scientific documentary a month after the bombings in 1945, was requisitioned by the United States a year later. It was returned to Japan in November 1967, but only its edited version had been shown to the Japanese public.

The United States dropped the bombs on Hiroshima on Aug. 6 and on Nagasaki three days later, at the close of World War II. Filming, involving scientists and film production companies, began a month later. The movie is divided by themes such as on locating the bombs' hypocenters, medical activities and radioactive effects on humans and plants.

Writing at the height of the Cold War and during the Vietnam War, the two antiwar activists said, "In view of the uncertain world situation we feel it very important to show the uncut version of the above film to the rest of the world" in their letter seen by Kyodo News on Saturday.

"We feel the time is urgent, and it is the responsibility of the Japanese people to show the rest of the world the actual atrocity that took place in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the hope that it would never be repeated again," they added.

"Please give us permission to show the film outside Japan," they ended the letter dated Dec. 17, 1969, with their cartoons drawn. ...continue reading

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