Newspaper, October 20, 2012 by Akinori Takamoto
Six Veterans Exchanged with Citizens at the Ritsumeikan University International Museum
On October 19, a meeting was held between former US soldiers, who became POWs of the Japanese, and citizens at the International Peace Museum of Ritsumeikan University in Kita-ward, Kyoto-City. The US veterans looked back on their experiences of bombing Japan by air, or the cruel days in POW camps, and expressed their desire for peace, saying, “No one becomes happy in war”, or “I have no animosities any more.”
Six visitors, who came over to Japan, accepting the invitation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responded to a call made by an NPO, the “Association for Peace Studies through War Remains”, and held dialogue with around seventy students and citizens.
Mr. David Farquhar (90), who was shot down during his bombing mission of Tokyo, said,
“We had to go through horrible violence repeatedly given by the Military Police. However, Japanese people, except for soldiers, were kind. When we were to meet an air raid, they put us into a shelter and saved our lives.”
When a male student asked about his sense of guilt during the bombing, he answered, “We were told we were to destroy military factories. I am sorry a lot of innocent people were sacrificed.”
The ex-US soldiers and the participants also exchanged opinions on the issues like the US bases in Okinawa and the Atomic-Bombing.
Out of their POW experiences under the Japanese, the US veterans expressed their
desire for peace. (At the Int. Peace Museum, Ritsumeikan University in