Tag Archives: terrorist

2011 in review

31 Dec

It is now the evening of 2011 December 31st in Japan…a few hours ’til New Years Day 2012.

So, what do you think the five biggest news stories of 2011 were?

I think I’d say:
● The 2011 March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku, Japan.
● The ten year anniversary of the 2001 September 11th terrorist attacks in America.
● The death of Muammar Gaddafi on 2011 October 20.
● The death of Osama bin Laden on 2011 May 2.
● The Occupy protest movement.

Which events epitomized this past year to you? Tell me in the comments section of this post.

Here’s a YouTube video that shows many photos and videos of this year’s biggest news through a series of “Google searches“:

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Anniversary of one tragedy and another around the world

11 Sep

Today is the tenth anniversary of the 2001 September 11th terrorist attacks in America.
No one will ever forget the two jumbo jets that were crashed into the World Trade Center towers and brought them down. It was a shocking and tragic event.
2,753 innocent people were killed in the attack on New York City.

But less often mentioned are the other two planes of the September 11th attacks.
American Airlines Flight 77 was hijacked and crashed into The Pentagon in Washington DC, killing 184 innocent people.
And United Airlines Flight 93 was also hijacked and most likely headed for another high-profile crowded target to be crashed into. But this flight was different. The hijackers of United 93 had their cowardly plan foiled by the heroic passengers and crew of that flight!
The passengers and crew of that plane called their loved ones on the ground and told them that they understood what had to be done…and then they overtook the terrorists and forced the plane to crash into an empty field rather than another building.
Tragically, 40 innocent people lost their lives from that flight…but if it wasn’t for their selfless actions, the death toll most likely would have been much higher.

Memorial to the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93

Some of the phone calls weren’t disconnected and a telephone operator heard the voice of one of the passengers named Tom Beamer as he led the revolt against the terrorists with rallying cry to his fellow passengers of “Are you ready? OK, let’s roll!

Shortly after the events of 2001 September 11th, the American heavy metal band “L.A. Guns” recorded a song about the heroes of United Flight 93.

The song is titled “OK, Let’s Roll!”.  Here are the lyrics:

United Airlines Flight 93
Left 8:01 from Gate 17
Victims of a war they never knew existed
Hell looked them in the eyes and still they resisted

Lost brave souls, your courage we remember
Sacrificed your lives that September
We still hear your battle cry
Are you ready? Okay, let’s roll
Are you ready? Okay, let’s roll

So began the massacre at twenty thousand feet
Red devils lead the charge and pulled the captain from his seat
They watched them cut and slash at anyone left standing
We knew deep in our hearts this plane would not be landing

Never once were they ever in control
Lives were lost, but they never took a soul
We still hear your battle cry
Are you ready? Okay, let’s roll
Are you ready? Okay, let’s roll

Skies of Pennsylvania became a battle ground
Two hundred miles away, the towers had come down
One last chance to say goodbye, he called her on his phone
Said he knew what must be done, “I am not coming home.”

Are you ready? Okay, let’s roll

–“OK, Let’s Roll” by L.A. Guns

You can listen to it here:


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Today is also the six-month anniversary of the 2011 March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the Tohoku area of Japan.

There are still many people there living in evacuation shelters. And, just like the 2001 September 11 attacks, there are many heart-breaking stories of people who lost their loved ones. And there are stories of courage and people helping each other.

Both the events ten years ago in America and six months ago in northern Japan were terrible and shocking.  I hope we never have to see such tragedies ever again.

Is it right to cheer?

3 May

It was reported on the news yesterday that the self-credited mastermind of the 2001 September 11 terrorism attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in America, Osama Bin Laden, was killed by the American military.

Without a doubt, anyone responsible for crimes against humanity such as Bin Laden was should be brought to justice.

But I’m not sure I agree that the celebrations and cheering across America that was shown on the TV news yesterday is appropriate.

A crowd in Washington DC cheered the news that Osama Bin Laden was killed in a firefight with the U.S. military.

The Americans crowds that were shown on TV were chanting “USA! USA! USA!” and singing pro-America songs such as the American National Anthem.

It reminded me of the images of the reaction in some Middle Eastern countries about ten years ago after the WTC attacks on America.
There were some anti-American crowds in some countries who were cheering America’s loss.
It was quite offensive to see!

I certainly wouldn’t compare a villain such as Bin Laden to the innocent lives lost on 2001 September 11th…but seeing Americans cheering may fuel “anti-American” feelings in some countries.

Sadako’s crane part of WTC memorial

11 Sep

Today is 2010 September 11.
Nine years since the 2001 September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

Last year I wrote a post about Sadako Sasaki. She was a young girl in Hiroshima when America dropped the atomic bomb on that city in 1945 and she developed leukemia from the radiation and died at the age of twelve.

The story of the 千羽鶴 (“1000 origami cranes”) that she folded while in the hospital is well-known in Japan.
(Click here to read that post.)

Almost all of the origami cranes that Sadako Sasaki folded were cremated with her when she died, but her family kept a few of the cranes.

Sadako Sasaki’s surviving brother learned of a memorial in New York to the Japanese employees of Fuji Bank‘s New York branch in the World Trade Center who died in the 2001 September 11 attacks.
This memorial included thousands of origami paper cranes…and now one of those cranes is one of those folded by young Sadako Sasaki before she died in 1955.

15 years ago today

20 Mar

Today is the fifteenth year anniversary of the worst domestic terrorist attack in Japanese history…the 「地下鉄サリン事件」 (“Tokyo Subway Sarin Gas Attack“)

On 1995 March 20, the religious cult 「オウム真理教」 (“Aum Shinrikyo“), led by the bizarre 麻原 彰晃 (Asahara Shoko), released a toxic gas called Sarin on five subways simultaneously.

Their intentions were to overtake the government of Japan and start a “new world order”.

Their attack killed twelve people and injured thousands, fifty people seriously.

The members of the cult who carried out the attack and their leader Asahara were put on Japan’s most wanted list. The posters were all over Japan.

A few of them were captured, including Asahara, and given death sentences. Asahara is currently on death row.

Also the government removed the Aum Shinrikyo group’s “religious group” status.
Soon afterwards, the Aum Shinrikyo cult changed their name to “Aleph and tried to distance themselves from the attack and gain a positive public image.

Even with the name change and new leadership, most people in Japan still distrust them and the government still hasn’t reinstated their “religious status”.

Most Japanese people, by the way, aren’t religious at all. So it’s very uncommon for people to join a religion…especially one as bizarre as “Aum Shinrikyo” (“Aleph”).

Three people who helped carry out the 「地下鉄サリン事件」 (“Tokyo Subway Sarin Gas Attack“) are still fugitives on the run.

Their faces can be seen on “Wanted” posters around Japan. (If you see one of them, call the police. They have a 200万円 (¥2,000,000 (about US$20,000)) bounties on their heads.)

The 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th

12 Feb

Have you seen the photos of the “2001 September 11th attacks” on the World Trade Center towers in New York City that were recently made public?

These photos were taken by New York Police Officers who were on the scene in a police helicopter.

Here are some of the photos they took:

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The 2010 Winter Olympics will take place in Vancouver, Canada.
The opening ceremony is scheduled to begin on Friday, 2010 February 12th in the evening…Canada time. So, it’ll be Saturday, 2010 February 13th here in Japan when the ceremony begins.

The official 2010 Olympics logo.

The games will go from 2010 February 12-28 (Canada time).
Do you watch the Olympics?
I watch them…but the games go for over two weeks—I don’t watch everyday of the games. I like to watch some of the opening ceremony and some of the closing ceremony and a few games in between.

This year, Japan is sending 95 athletes to compete in the Olympics, America is sending 216, and Canada (the host country) will have 206 athletes play.
How many athletes from your country will be at the 2010 Olympics?

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Sunday, February 14th will be Valentine’s Day.
How is Valentine’s Day celebrated in your country?

In Japan, it’s done the opposite of how America celebrates it. And Japan has another holiday (called “White Day“) in March that is more similar to Western-style Valentine’s.

Click here to read my FAQ about Valentine’s Day in Japan…
and click here to read my post that explains Japanese Valentine’s (and other holidays in February) in more detail.

Also, this year on February 14 will be the Chinese New Years.
I mentioned it on my site’s “Festivals In Tokyo” page….click here to read it.

Have you ever experienced a Chinese New Years ceremony?
If you’re in the Tokyo area this weekend, you can go to 「横浜中華街」 (“Yokohama China Town“) and see a Chinese New Years ceremony.