In what is described as the biggest disaster and challenge to the people of Japan in the post-war era, emperor Akihito has, interestingly enough, appeared on television for the first time to address his people. Reminding many of how emperor Hirohito spoke on the radio to his people for the first time on 15th August 1945 to announce that Japan was surrendering. Although Akihito spoke normal modern Japanese, Hirohito’s speech was in a Japanese so formal that it was unintelligible to ordinary Japanese – so much so, in fact, that they had to wait until his words were summed up by the broadcaster at the end before they understood anything.
Media are increasingly comparing the recent earthquake in Japan to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; sudden devastating disasters with high death tolls, unfathomable destruction, confusion and fear, as well as and the scare of intangible radioactivity.
Minamisariku today, Hiroshima 1945