HIROSHIMA, JAPAN -- Editors: Children's Express, a privately funded news service, is real world journalism reported entirely by children 13 years of age or under whose tape-recorded interviews, discussions, reports and commentary are edited by teenagers and adults. By Steven Naplan, 13; Rebecca Walkowitz, 13 Assistant Editor: Felicia Kornbluh, 17.
It's difficult to talk about our trip to Hiroshima. We will remember it, though. We'll remember it because it was upsetting to have to think about the idea itself -- the idea of a nuclear threat, a nuclear bomb, and the fact that it's 2000 times more powerful these days.
While we were there, we showed the film, 'The Day After', to some Japanese children in a Kumon school. In this roundtable discussion, they tell how they feel about nuclear war and about the movie.
YOSHIMI: I moved to Hiroshima when I was in third grade. Then I found out that the people were talking about this, about nuclear war... it was quite shocking. I had never been taught about it until I came, so when I first heard it I couldn't believe it. I can not guess what really happened. It was shocking. But it's much better to know.
TARAKAWA: My grandfather has seen plays and he has seen so many documentary films about the bombings in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Everytime he sees one, he always tells me about Hiroshima.
The buildings fell down on the people, on the street. You found the dead, lying down on the street. My grandfather was secured inside a very solid building, but he was affected by the radioactivity.
He believes I may have the same problem in the future when I grow up. That's why he wants me to see films like 'The Day After' -- to have a better understanding of what happened in Hiroshima.
KAMAKATSU: It was 38 years ago... it was very disastrous. Nowadays, of course, science has developed much further. Maybe they can make the same bomb 10 times stronger than it was. Maybe more. That's why I can really feel and guess how disastrous it would be. If there is a nuclear war, it will be much more disastrous than what you see in 'The Day After.' I want all the people to know how terrible nuclear war is.
TARAKAWA: In the movie, when the people were running away it was not realistic at all because they run in the same direction, as a group. In reality, I've heard that the people were really at a loss what to do and they did not know where to go. So they scattered around into different directions.
I think my grandfather would say that those who have experienced such a horror can tell the reality. But nobody else.
HARISHI: 'The Day After' can tell people how terrible the nuclear war is. But it's a movie. It's not enough information. The films of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the real films, should be shown in America. If they saw them, people might feel against the nuclear war and make an effort to reduce nuclear weapons.
YOSHIMI: I don't think showing the real films of what happened in Hiroshima would be very effective. Americans may think what happened in Hiroshima happened to somebody else. Well, it did. So they may think it has nothing to do with America.
'The Day After' might make it more real for Americans because it happened in the United States, their country.
MIAHARA: I think that the people made this film seriously. But I just wonder how serious people really are. I think the American people will produce more weapons and arms. That's why I think people are not taking it so seriously.
TARAKAWA: Nuclear way is very, very terrifying. Just pushing a button it could happen. I think it will happen again if the people of the world do not try to make the best effort to stop it.
MIAHARA: I hope that the American people will have a much deeper interest and tackle this problem of nuclear war and the atomic bomb. And take it as their own problem, rather than somebody else's problem.
KAMAKATSU: In 'The Day After,' lots of people hid themselves in underground shelters. They had a warning so they had time. But in Hiroshima, people did not know. They did not go underground. They were on the ground. That's why, in reality, people suffered much more.
I don't think it's possible to have a warning ahead of time. By pushing a button, missiles will be here. So I don't think we really have time.