To re-enter this new neighborhood as a "normal power" in the future, Japan must first come to terms with its past. Despite the manifestly evident peacefulness of Japanese society for the last 70 years, the wounds of war remain fresh because they are part of the founding identity of modern Asia's nation-states.
As a 13-year-old schoolgirl, I witnessed my city of Hiroshima blinded by the flash, flattened by the hurricane-like blast, burned in the heat of 4000 degrees Celsius and contaminated by the radiation of one atomic bomb. Miraculously, I was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building, about 1.8 kilometers from Ground Zero.
One thing that originally sparked efforts for the dome's historical preservation was the diary of Hiroko Kajiyama, a high school student who died of leukemia as a result of radiation exposure. A former classmate who seeks to keep the memory of Hiroko alive has been collecting information in order to document her life.