Saturday, 15 June 2013

Ghost of WWII in Tokyo

Departure information for the Shinkansen trains in Tokyo Station on June 4th, 2013

It is said that the train operation in Japan is very punctual, but not always. On June 4th, 2013, the operation of several railways in the northern part of Tokyo was suspended for three hours. It was caused by bomb disposal.

Japan has been a nation of peace for 68 years since 1945 when WWII ended. Most people, including me, were born after WWII; however, we sometimes remember that this country used to be involved in wars. For instance, we sometimes hear news about the discovery of an unexploded bomb, which was dropped by coalition aircraft during WWII.

Once it is found, the bomb-disposal squad of the Ground Self-Defense Force is sent to the site. While the bomb disposal operation is being conducted, the residents in the vicinity are forced to evacuate, and railway operations near the site are suspended.

Look at the following photo. This picture shows the platforms for the Tohoku Shinkansen in Tokyo Station at 12.30 on June 4th. There were no trains on the tracks, since all the trains were only going as far south as Omiya Station, which is north of Tokyo.

The top picture shows the departure information at the entrance of Tokyo Station. The first train to pass by the bomb disposal site was due to be at 14.04 (left display), despite the first train on the westbound Tokaido Shinkansen, which was being operated as usual, leaving at 12.26 (right display).

Bomb disposal in Tokyo, it is a ghost of WWII. For the sake of world peace...
Platform for the Tohoku Shinkansen in Tokyo Station on June 4th, 2013