Nagasaki Peace Discourse

Richard Tanter, of Melbourne University and the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability, reviews a new book by Geoffrey Gunn, The Nagasaki Peace Discourse: City Hall and the Quest for a Nuclear Free  World, published by NIAS Press as a part of its Asia Briefing series.

Tanter notes that “Nagasaki, the second site of nuclear first use, is often somewhat neglected in nuclear history and popular culture.” In that use, “more than 70,000 people died immediately or shortly afterwards as a result of the bombing…”.

In his book, Gunn introduces the question of what is distinctive about Nagasaki and seeks to reduce the neglect. Tanter considers the second half of the book to be the most rewarding, with Gunn focused “on questions of contested memorialisation in Nagasaki, the Nagasaki strains of the Japanese peace movement, and the prolonged and still ongoing disputes in Nagasaki politics centring on the Nagasaki City Hall Peace Declaration.” The discussion leave Tanter wanting more. That seems the nature of such briefing books.

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