VJ Day 75 plans ignore nuclear bombings

Peace Pledge Union critisises ministers for 'erasing history'

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) has strongly criticised British ministers after Boris Johnson failed to mention the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki when announcing plans for VJ Day 75 (Victory in Japan).

The organisation accused the prime minister and his allies of ‘erasing history’ after speaking about the VJ Day anniversary on 15 August and the end of world war two without mentioning the nuclear attacks, despite it being their 75th anniversary.

Meanwhile, it said the government’s official website for VJ Day 75 only ‘squeezes in a brief reference to the bombings at the end of one page’.

Geoff Tibbs, the PPU’s remembrance project manager, said the lack of acknowledgement was ‘a shameful attempt to erase history and play down the horrors of war. The government, armed forces and arms industry have an interest in ignoring the realities of war, particularly nuclear warfare, at a time when their Trident nuclear missile system is being renewed and the UK government is refusing to sign up to the global nuclear ban treaty.

‘The government is right to encourage remembrance for Allied troops who died in the war, including the 12,000 British people who died due to horrific mistreatment in Japanese captivity. It gives a lop-sided view of history if Japanese victims are not included as well as British victims and those of other nationalities. Children, as well as adults, are being given a misleading impression of the events.’

The plans for VJ Day 75 include a live message from Philip Mountbatten. The PPU has urged him to express sorrow for the more than 200,000 people killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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