June 25, 2019

9/11 from a Japanese perspective

by Akira Komatsu

Modern communication technology makes it possible for people all over the world to watch what is happening in the world when it is happening. The Japanese people watched two unprecedentedly shocking news through live television broadcasting. The first satellite television broadcasting from the United States to Japan brought us news about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 23, 1963. The young, capable president became the victim of hateful terrorism.

On September 11, 2001, Japanese people again had to watch news about the massive terrorists’ attacks on America on television. I was one of the Japanese people watching live, shocking acts of terrorism. Above all, the terrorist attacks on September 11 came as a extremely terrible shock to me. I watched the second jet liner smash into the rest of the Twin Towers with my own eyes through live television. The television commentator had already told us the terrorists’ attacks on America were not an accident. I could not dream of such attacks on the symbolic business buildings in New York. I could anticipate that an individual might become an obvious target for assassination or terrorism, but September 11-scale massive terrorist attacks were unthinkable by any stretch of my imagination. Whatever the reasoning is, terrorism should not be allowed at all. Twenty-six Japanese citizens lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

No one should use violence or arms in order to achieve political aims or destroy a democratic government. It is quite natural for me to oppose any kinds of terrorists’ acts or attacks because I was brought up in a democratic society. Nobody has any right to kill others.

On July 2008, I visited Ground Zero. The Twin Tower’s ground was

completely leveled. I had never seen the World Trade Center before. I had only watched the jet planes crash into the Twin Tower, and the burning and falling buildings. The victims in the buildings never thought of being attacked by the terrorists. They did not have any idea what was happening to them, and why they had to encounter horrible situations. Their situations must have been hell. When I stood at Ground Zero, the mortification of the victims clearly communicated itself to me. I strongly felt that justice expelled the regrets of the victims, and people in the world must not overlook the ferocious acts of the terrorists. I had a feeling that Ground Zero without a new building would convey historical facts of the day when about 3000 people were killed.

Nothing is more important than human life. Human beings have conscience. As long as they have conscience, they definitely must not deprive others of life. I believe in conscience and humanities. I believe in the view that humans are born good. Once others disregard these theories of mine, it is my duty to fight against people who cannot share my sense of value. I would like to have as many people as possible in the world whose ideas are the same as mine. Then the fear of terrorism will disappear from the world.

*Editor’s note- Akira Komatsu is a non-traditional student from Japan studying journalism at Webster.

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