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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Power And Glory

Who could gloss over power and glory if given the opportunity? I believe my late Dad could as he was once offered by his employer a study tour to Japan in the early 1980s - much to the envy of others - but he declined and preferred to press on with his routine instead. For all his life, he focused on providing for the family and living a simple life.

Since the 1980s, I have been to Japan numerous times but it was only in January 11, 2018 that I first visited Hiroshima. I had heard before my visit that apart from the Atomic Bomb Dome, there was not much to see and do there. When I was there, I felt myself moved by the place's history and thought that it should have been my first visit-Japan destination.

I think the Hiroshima story evidenced the downside of a country's indiscriminate seeking for power and glory. "But was it right that ordinary people who just wanted to get by had to suffer and endure the dire atomic consequences back then?" My lingering question reminded me that the Geneva Conventions that established the international legal standards for humanitarian treatment in war were only concluded in 1949.

During my 40 years of civil service in Hong Kong, I was vested with power from dealing with housing and land matters in Hong Kong to administering Hong Kong's intellectual property system and developing WTO jurisprudence among international entities. Although I was just playing my due roles, I was content with my incidental "power-and-glory" opportunities. Peace and family are everything to me now!

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