Mayors to play game of catch at CHS Field

Tomhisa Taue, the mayor of Nagasaki, Japan, is in St. Paul this weekend to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the sister-city relationship between the two cities.

One of the events on his schedule is Saturday’s St. Paul Saints game at the new Lowertown stadium, where he’ll be joined by St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman in a pre-game event that may not be as memorable as some of the Saints’ antics, but does have the distinction of being a transPacific toss, of sorts. Taue will throw out the first pitch and Coleman will catch it.

Nagasaki, the second Japanese city to be decimated by an atomic bomb at the end of World War II, because St. Paul’s first sister city in 1955.

Taue and a Nagasaki delegation will attend several events here, including the Saturday morning opening at Landmark Center of  “From War to Reconciliation: Hiroshima Nagasaki Peace Exhibition,” presented by the Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for Atomic Bomb Victims.

The group also will attend a Friday night Native American Pipe Ceremony on Friday at City Hall, and a visit to Como Park’s Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival Sunday.

Coleman visited Nagasaki in 2008 and plans to return this fall.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Douglas Westfall on 08/21/2015 - 02:32 pm.

    Bombing of Nagasaki

    On July 24th, 1945 at the Potsdam Conference, Truman approached Stalin about the use of a powerful weapon on Japan. The next day, Atlee would replace Churchill and Churchill knew what was about to happen. It was a sensitive issue, if Truman would say too much, Stalin would expect details. Say too little and it would not have any impact. The goal for Truman was to stop Stalin from doing to Japan, what he had to Berlin — devastation. President Truman said to Stalin, “We have a new weapon of unusual destructive force.” Stalin replied to Truman, “Make good use of it against the Japanese” He had little reaction. With his message delivered, Truman and the two world leaders went on with the business at hand: the Potsdam declaration of surrender, issued to Japan on the day of Churchill’s departure. Japan refused to surrender. Preparations for Little Boy began.

    On August 6th at 4:00am Tokyo time, the Japanese received a declaration of war from the Soviet Union. Manchuria had been invaded the night before, and this would ensure the Japanese knew Stalin was at their door. Four hours later, Little Boy dropped on Hiroshima with the equivalent force of 20,000 tons of TNT. Of the 350,000 people there at the time, well over 100,000 died instantly. There was no response from Tokyo as they believed the US could not have more than one or two more atomic weapons. Japan chose to endure more atomic bombs — which was true, only one more existed. The Chief of the Japanese Navy General Staff Admiral Soemu Toyoda then stated, “There would be more destruction but the war will go on.” Japan refused to surrender. Preparations for Fat Man began.

    The target now is Kokura, a large munitions plant. On August 9th, cloud cover and smoke blocked their view. At that point Nagasaki was selected for the target. Of some 250,000 people, near 50,000 died immediately. Of course many more would die later due to wounds and radiation. Formal surrender from Japan then occurred. The surrender came on August 14th. The Emperor then made his speech to the Japanese people in private, his advisers made two recordings of it and these were taken to two different radio stations for safety. It was broadcast in Japan at noon. Stalin’s invasion was planned for August 15th.

    Col. Rollin Reineck of the 73rd Bomb Wing on Saipan in 1945 said, “War is an atrocity. The real war against the Japanese Military Regime only lasted nine months, from November of 1944 to August of 1945. Using conventional bombs we destroyed 172 square miles of urban industrial areas, yet both atomic bombs together only destroyed 3% of that: some six square miles. We there not to win a war but to stop it.”

    — From The Taking of Saipan, SpecialBooks.com

    Douglas Westfall, American Historian

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