Military occupations often lead to atrocities but how does bombing an ossuary help matters?
YOKOHANA, JAPAN — Every once in a while I come across an article about a terrorist attack that went awry. Awry in the sense that no innocent people got hurt, just the terrorists. This often takes the shape of a team building a bomb (like an IED – an improvised explosive device) and having it go off prematurely. Result: dead terrorist. And like I always say, a dead terrorist is a good terrorist.
I suppose it is not a good idea to make fun of terrorism as a lot of people get hurt (and killed) and the knock-on effects on families are tremendous. Still, those of us who worked in counter terrorism did develop a sense of ‘gallows’ humour’: I hear that medical professionals and funeral practitioners/morticians are similar.
But sometimes you come across a story that just brings a smile to your face. Why? Because the act described seems, at least on the surface, to be utterly ridiculous. Read on dear subscriber.
Bombing of the Soji-ji Ossuary
On this day in 1972 members of the East Asia Anti-Japan Armed Front (EAAJAF), a leftist group that had a very short life span (1972 to 1975), bombed the Soji-ji ossuary (a place or receptacle for the bones of the dead) in Yokohama, Japan, killing a grand total of… wait for it… 0 people. You see, the targets were already very dead. Hardly an act of terrorism to be proud of, now is it?
On this day in 1972, members of the East Asia Anti-Japan Armed Front (EAAJAF) bombed the Soji-ji ossuary in Yokohama, Japan, killing a grand total of… wait for it… 0 people.
The EAAJAF claimed it carried out its action to punish “the bones of the invaders” in the name of “a resistance campaign for the Korean people”. This is a reference to the long occupation by the Japanese army of Korea from 1910 to 1945. We have all heard of the pain and suffering of Korean ‘comfort women’ forced to satisfy the sexual desires of Japanese soldiers.
So while the cause makes sense, the attack does not. I guess maybe it is symbolic in value and might strike some as heroic, but don’t count me among those. This was a futile act by a group that fizzled out pretty quickly after it formed.
I am not suggesting that we do not recognise the suffering of the Korean people at the hands of their Japanese overlords for decades. I am just saying that blowing up bones is not a very effective way to get your message across.