Japanese girl starts 'mushroom cloud' logo debate
NHK -- Jun 14
A Japanese exchange student in the US state of Washington has sparked an online debate about a high school's use of a mushroom cloud logo.

Nonoka Koga is from the southwestern Japanese prefecture of Fukuoka. She studied at Richland High School in the city of Richland.

The school's logo depicts an atomic bomb's mushroom cloud. She discovered that the plutonium for the atomic weapon that was dropped on Nagasaki in 1945 was produced in Richland.

She found that many local residents were proud of the city's history. As she learned about the logo and how local people see it, Koga was prompted to express her own view.

Encouraged by her teacher and host family, Koga appeared on May 30 in a video produced by students at the school.

She said in the video that in Richland High School, the cloud is celebrated and can be seen everywhere in the school.

She said that, for her, the logo is a reminder of the people who lost their lives and it is also a reminder of the current peace. She also said those who were bombed were civilians, not soldiers. She asked, "Should we take pride in killing innocent people?"

Her statement sparked a debate on Twitter about the use of the logo.

Koga returned to Japan on Tuesday. She said she was the only student in the school who had a completely different view.

She said she had wondered whether she could make her opinion understood as she is not fluent in English and didn't know how people would react.

The high school senior said she had been scared and nervous the day before the video was put online.

Koga said she had a feeling of fulfillment when she was told by people that if it were not for the video, they might never have been aware of the Japanese perspective.

News source: NHK
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