Spotlight: 75 Years After Pearl Harbor

Erika Banoun

U.S.-Japanese relations over the past 75 years is one of history's great tales of decimation and reconciliation. Japan's massive surprise attack on the Hawaiian naval base on Dec. 7, 1941, which led to the American entry in World War II, was at the time unprecedented in the efficiency of its destructive powers. On the "day which will live in infamy," 75 years ago, Japanese air bombers managed to kill more than 2,400 people and virtually wipe out the U.S. fleet in the Pacific in little more than two hours.

Of course, Pearl Harbor is bookended by the far more "efficient" attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which ended the war with more than 100,000 dead in two successive instants.

The surrender and subsequent American occupation of Japan, along with massive U.S. investment in rebuilding the Asian island nation, would pave the way for an alliance of enormous economic prosperity. The latter was on full display with the news, touted by President-elect Donald Trump, that Japanese tech giant SoftBank had agreed to invest $50 billion in the U.S., with the goal to create 50,000 new jobs.

But today's anniversary, and all the blood that was shed during the War, is a reminder that prosperity is ultimately most important as a tool for peace. In May, U.S. President Barack Obama visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the first sitting American President to visit the site commemorating the atomic bombings of 1945. This week came the news that, later this month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will become the first Japanese leader to visit Pearl Harbor. December 7, 1941 may indeed live in infamy, but the day has the power to take on other meanings too.

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A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.

A child in Galician countryside

Laure Gautherin

A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."

The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.

Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021

La Voz de Galicia

Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?

The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.

The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.

The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."

The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."

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