I phoned my brother to finally confirm that I would travel to Japan. He was waiting for confirmation to come pick me up at Nagoya airport, in the province of Aichi, where he lives with his wife and 3-year old daughter. I asked what the economic situation was like and he answered it had changed a lot in the last year. He lost his job at the end of the year and since then, was supporting himself working temporary jobs, also known as “arubaito”. He and his wife are surviving thanks to odd jobs lasting a few weeks at a time.
I told him I was sorry I hadn’t phoned earlier and I explained I had had trouble with my Japanese visa. He added that the situation regarding the treatment of Brazilians living in Japan had changed a lot. The Japanese government was now making the arrival of foreigners very difficult. “The Empire is falling,” he commented.
**The second fall**
The sentence, “The Empire is falling.” kept going around my mind. It made sense. The powerful Empire of the Rising Sun is falling once more. Japan has the oldest Imperial family in humanity. Of course, Emperor Akihito does not nearly have the same power his father once had. The all-powerful Hirohito was an absolute ruler until WWII. Today, the Imperial family holds simply a symbolic position, but is still very much respected by the population. However, until WWII, the Emperor was the head of government and the commander of the armed forces. Further still, he was attributed as having a divine nature.
Japanese fighters were completely faithful to the Empire and gave up their lives in battle. Japan had never lost a war in two millennium. What ended this trajectory of military success? Two nuclear bombs detonated on Japan on August 6 and 9, 1945. First on Hiroshima, followed three days later by one on Nagasaki, with an even more devastating explosion than the prior one. It was the first fall of the Empire.
Japan was vanquished, but in the decades to follow it would rise up to become the second economic world power, only behind its executioner, the United States. Less than six decades after the first fall, comes the second fall, the economic world crisis. The crisis that had started in Wall Street last year has exploded in Japan more powerfully than in any other country. It’s the second fall!
**Pressenza editor, Alexandre Sammogini was invited by the Hiroshima City Council to pay homage to the victims of the atomic bomb. On August 5, the journalist will officially launch Pressenza Press Agency from Hiroshima with the symbolic lighting of a torch for the World March for Peace and Nonviolence.**