Reporters on the Job

The View from Aceh: Correspondent Tom McCawley was one of the first Western journalists to see what's left of Meulaboh, the city on the island of Sumatra that was closest to the epicenter of the quake. He flew over the region Thursday in a Cessna (page 1). On Monday, the Indonesian government lifted the ban on journalists and aid workers visiting the province of Aceh, where the military has been battling a separatist rebellion. But Tom says that suspicions still run high in the area. "I was not allowed to go anywhere without being accompanied by an Indonesian soldier carrying an AK-47," he says.

Shrine Visitors: When correspondent Bennett Richardson visited the Yasukuni shrine for his story on the controversial visits by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (this page), he encountered large numbers of Japanese World War II veterans there paying respects to their fallen comrades. The gardens surrounding the shrine and war museum next door are "filled with old soldiers who go there and hang out and exchange war stories," says Bennett. They sit on benches and in the noodle shops leading to the shrine, located in central Tokyo.

There's also a younger generation of soldiers attracted to the museum: Americans from the US military bases near Tokyo. It gives a decidedly Japanese point of view of the war, but "I think many come to see the zero aircraft and kamikaze exhibit in the museum," he says.

David Clark Scott
World editor

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