Japan’s New Sense of Fear: North Korea

In recent days, with the ever-increasing threat of North Korea’s missile testing getting more erratic and consistent, Japan has recently seen a spike in fear very reminiscent to the old days of World War II. It may seem stranger than fiction, but the truth of the matter is that Japan really is reliving their worst fears possible.

The threat of North Korea send nuclear warheads to them has never been more real than it is now.

Via VICE News’ new documentary titled: How Japan is Preparing for North Korean Threats (HBO); (Click the name of the film to watch it!) a lot of worry has fallen over the relatively small island country recently over the fact that they could face another Armageddon in their homeland reminiscent to when the U.S. nuked two of their cities during World War II.

The Japanese people are essentially preparing for the worse. We hardly ever think on such a small-scale, but you and me must both remember that there are real people with their own daily lives who will likely be caught in the cross-hairs of war if we cannot contain such an event from happening. Just thinking about it makes me shudder with small disbelief as I begin to think endlessly on thoughts pertaining to the massive implications this can have on our world, and most importantly, to the very structure of our global relationships itself.

The Japanese have begun to encourage their citizens throughout the country in all cities, to purchase underground bunkers for their homes in case such a nuclear threat does face them. Japan’s education system has also had some of their schools in prominent cities like Osaka, Nagoya, Kobe, Kyoto, Fukuoka, and even Tokyo, prepare their students in evacuation-inspired drills in order to ensure that even their children are prepared for such a catastrophic event.

What has the world come to? This is what you may be asking yourself, certainly I have in recent days.

History, as you may or may not know already, is a fickle thing. Even though history is in the past now (pun intended), it seems like we as a species never learn to stop from repeating what has already happened before. The truth of the fact is that conflict can never be eliminated in the world, and that’s the primary force for why history, in the context of war, never changes. Because we are always and constantly fighting with each other and even with our own selves. I speak as though I’m talking about human interaction, because that’s exactly what war is about for us.

War is human. It is erroneous. It is malicious. It is messy. And most of all, it is misunderstood. War is born from a sense of not being heard or not being taken seriously enough. It is born from insecurity of a lack of resource, born from the dark truths of mal-treatment, of under-representation among the bigger countries/nations. War is born from those who feel like an outcast in a global society which favors capitalism over human life. It is the very force that drives us to react intellectually, emotionally, and at times, physically. 

To Japan, however, it would seem that their very people are in fear. The few elderly left in Japan who were just babies and very young children during World War II, must remember how the nuclear attacks on their homeland affected their sense of security and sense of livelihood as a people. It must have created a deep-rooted fracture in their national psyche. I wouldn’t be surprised if it traumatized even the feudal government in Japan at the time of World War II (before the U.S. made Japan a democracy, of course). They must have felt like failures in a world in which they never accepted defeat so abruptly as they did when the U.S. “won” against them.

Not to mention that the Japanese elderly folk certainly do not want war to happen again. I remember watching footage on YouTube a couple of weeks ago, where some elder Japanese men and women were actually protesting peacefully. Peaceful as it was, they were still protesting. If you know anything about Japan’s incredibly strict laws, you would understand just how serious the situation must be for Japanese then. To feel so compelled as to actually resort to taking that risk to speak up in a time of turmoil, speaks volumes of what the people themselves must feel internally as a culture and as a society.

But going back to the drills that Japan is having their people partake in; I find it incredibly insightful that a country such as Japan feels so compelled to conduct such drills. Though Japan’s government is usually trying to make their country seem perpetually strong, in some ironic way, it’s nice to know that Japan’s government really does care for the well-being of their people to some extent. Even if the threat of a nuclear missile undoubtedly means certain death, the attempt to try and calm their people’s nerves down by any means possible must mean they know this situation could easily turn nasty. 

I think the best thing any home-owning Japanese citizen could do right now, is purchase a bunker. I never thought I’d be “that-guy” with the tin foil hat suggesting to invest in such a thing. But in Japan’s case, I think it’s the smartest thing to do right now. If you have the money saved up, I think it wise to make such an investment. It could very well save not only your lives, but the lives of your family members as well. After all, that’s what truly matters in this sometimes horrifying and distorted world. We must remember in dark times who really matters to us, and what we’re willing to do to protect our loved ones.

Of course, here in America, we also face that threat of nuclear missiles. But in truth, as many of us already know, North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jung-un, and his cabinet, can only “claim” to be able to launch a nuclear missile that could hit the mainland U.S.A. It’s obvious in today’s world though, that this is not the case. North Korea has attempted, through practice rounds, at least 15 times, and has failed each time. On top of that, our (America) military force is unmatched. We have technology that far-exceeds North Korea’s military prowess. Not to mention all of the counter-measures undoubtedly in place if our long-rang radars were to ever pick up the in-coming threat. We could easily defend ourselves against such real-world issues. 

In conclusion, should we fear for Japan’s safety? Yes.

Do I think they will be okay in the end? Maybe.

But what I do know for certainty, is that Japan is facing a real threat with North Korea’s taunts to the U.S. about using nuclear missiles. Even if the threats seem empty and hallow to many people throughout the world, don’t forget the truth of history. Nobody took Hitler seriously when he was coming into prominence in Germany. Don’t underestimate the force of desperate men, and more importantly, we cannot take North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jung-un, very lightly. If he losses this battle, he will lose his livelihood essentially. Thus, at this moment in time, he is a man with nothing to lose but his life. And that is after all, the most dangerous kind of man to deal with.

Forever in Your Debt,

R.S. Noel

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