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In Hiroshima, Obama and Abe Should Acknowledge Their Country's Wrongdoing


In Hiroshima, Obama and Abe Should Acknowledge Their Country's Wrongdoing

Satoko Oka Norimatsu

On May 27, as the first sitting president of the United States, Barack Obama, will visit Hiroshima, the city that his country attacked with an atomic bomb on August 6, 1945.

Obama neither has a plan to apologize for the bombing nor to go back to the debate on the decision to drop the bomb. He has no plan to make a significant speech in Hiroshima comparable to his “Prague Speech” of April 5, 2009. There is not a plan yet for him to meet with Hibakusha (atomic-bomb victims).


But by all means, let's not talk about GE Jeff & Fukushima.


I'd like to see Obama tour Fukushima, too. Maybe that would enlighten him on the way nuclear power can also operate AS a nuclear weapon.

As for Abe not showing any remorse for Japan's "Comfort Women" (to the uninformed, that meant women used as virtual sex slaves during the war... without their consent) it's eerily reminiscent of Obama giving the Bush administration a pass for its endorsement of torture methods.

In both instances, there's a casual "let's look forward, not back" attitude that does two things. First, it minimizes the excruciating pain done unto others; and second, by not holding criminals to account for their crimes, these methods remain "on the books" and having set a precedent, could be utilized again to the horror of a new generation of victims.


I find it interesting that Germany has made a memorial of Auschwitz to the memory of its victims whereas Japan refuses to educate its people about the evils it foisted on Asia between 1894 and 1945. No doubt the Japanese see cowardice as an essential part of "saving face".


If you call yourself a Christian, you understand nothing that Your Master conveyed in the way of forgiveness.

And if you're not, it's YOUR breed of vengeance that keeps the horror of war ongoing.

As Gandhi wisely explained, (the ethos of) "An eye for an eye renders the whole world blind."


Just so I'm clear, are you suggesting that all-pro-gressive should apologize for the dropping of the bombs to acknowledge his/her portion of the collective responsibility for dropping the bombs that WE all share?


Wait, does this mean that Obama is a shameless hypocrite and the Nobel Committee is a collection of clueless dolts? Can we expect that this year the laurels will be placed on the head of the shape-shifting Queen of Darkness, should she become our demonic ruler ?


Amazingly, I stand with SR in pointing out that she wrote nothing about "apologizing". As far as collective responsibility for nuking Japan and firebombing Dresden were concerned, the US public had no say in the tactical and strategic conduct of WWII and knew almost nothing of the A-Bomb. Ultimately it was Truman who made the decision to use the weapon. There are too many arguments against having done it and too few for.


Wow. Thanks. I never got the news that the US A bombed Korea. That should appear on every news article about problems of reconciliation with North Korea.
I agree about the need for apologies. That is the first step in stopping nuclear weapons.