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Post Reply A-Bomb Survivors Want Obama to Meet, Apologize in Hiroshima
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Posted 5/21/16 , edited 5/25/16

A group representing Japanese survivors of U.S. atomic bombings urged President Barack Obama to hear their stories and apologize when he visits Hiroshima next week.

Two leaders of the Tokyo-based nationwide group told a news conference Thursday that many survivors still want an apology, though they have long avoided an outright demand for one out of fear that it would be counterproductive.

Toshiki Fujimori, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, said he found it awkward to hear local and central government officials say they are not asking for an apology.

"I suspect there was a pressure (not to seek an apology) to create an atmosphere that would make it easier for Obama to visit Hiroshima," Fujimori said, declining to identify where the pressure was coming from. "But many of the survivors don't think they can do without an apology at all."

He said the survivors want Obama to know that their suffering is not limited to immediate damage and visible, physical scars. They also suffered discrimination at work, in marriage and in other areas of their lives, from their own people in Japan, said Fujimori, who nearly died in the blast at age 1.

The U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, killed 140,000 people and nearly destroyed the city. A second atomic attack three days later on Nagasaki in southern Japan killed 73,000 more people. About 180,000 people recognized by the government as survivors are still alive. Many have remained unmarried and without children because of concerns about birth defects, or have suffered from cancer and other radiation-induced illnesses.

Obama is to visit Hiroshima on May 27 after the Group of Seven summit in central Japan, becoming the first serving American president to do so. In announcing Obama's visit, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he will escort him and suggested that no apology is necessary.

A Cabinet-approved statement signed by Abe last August states that the U.S. atomic bombings "caused an extremely regrettable humanitarian situation because of its widespread damage," but does not call them war crimes. It says it is more important to make an effort toward achieving a nuclear-free world "rather than seeking an apology and remorse from the United States at this point, 70 years after the war."

Washington said Obama won't apologize and a meeting with survivors is unlikely. Japan's government has also told U.S. officials that it is not expecting an apology, according to Japanese and American officials.

That apparently prompted the survivors to try to let Obama know their feelings and hope that he will be committed to a nuclear-free world, which they say can be achieved only by learning and coming to terms with the past.

Terumi Tanaka, a survivor of the Nagasaki atomic bombing who serves as secretary-general of the Japan Confederation of A and H Bomb Sufferers Organizations, said he wishes that Obama will apologize at least to the survivors.

"Families of the victims, those who lost their children. They deserve an apology and I really hope Mr. Obama will at least apologize to them," he said, adding that he hopes Obama will be touched and gain a deeper understanding from being in Hiroshima.

But Shizuka Kamei, a national lawmaker from Hiroshima whose sister died in the blast, said Obama is not welcome without an apology.

"If he is not going to show remorse or offer an apology, he shouldn't come," he told a separate news conference. "Is he going to Hiroshima for sightseeing? Then please come after stepping down as president. I'll be there to welcome him."


http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/bomb-survivors-obama-meet-apologize-hiroshima-39220694

Why should we be sorry, Japan? You started that fight and we ended it.
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Rabbit Horse
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Posted 5/21/16 , edited 5/24/16
maybe if Abe comes to S Korea and publicly apologizes for the war crimes.
but of course, they still try to deny that mass rape of children even happened.
Rohzek 
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Posted 5/21/16 , edited 5/24/16
Heck no. Why should we apologize for dropping the bomb? Both of my grandfathers, who fought in the Pacific, would quite possibly be dead if it weren't for those bombs; which means I wouldn't be here today. I'm not trying to paint this as a black and white issue. It was a tough decision to drop such a horrific weapon. But I'd be really mad if someone demanded a total apology as if it were black and white. The bomb was dropped. Learn of its pros & cons and move on.

If they want us to apologize so bad, then allow us Americans to dig up Emperor Hirohito's grave and put him on trial for war crimes.
Posted 5/21/16 , edited 5/25/16
No. We did what we have to do to win. Also, your country started the fight. Your country attacks us first. You refuse to surrender after being beaten. You force our hand. You decide to keep fighting after having the first A-Bomb drop on your ass. This is fucking stupid.
Posted 5/21/16 , edited 5/21/16
Never understood the sentiment of apologizing for things that pretty much no one is alive anymore that was responsible.
No one should apologize for america dropping a bomb when anyone that tried to drop the bomb is dead.
It happens with black people trying to throw around stuff about slaves and things too, they weren't ever a slave and no one that enslaved anyone is around right now either why should we care.
I'm sure there's other examples of having to apologize to people representing people that were around 200 years ago, on behalf of people that were around 200 years ago.
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Posted 5/21/16
Someone is probably going to comment thinking it's the other way around. What a shame?!
zaldar 
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Posted 5/21/16 , edited 5/21/16
Yup - you started the fight in a war the lives of the enemy are what you are going after. You can save 1 life of your country by killing 100 of the enemy you do it. Going and apologizing is the kind of thing Obama or Clinton would do though....
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Posted 5/21/16 , edited 5/24/16

Why should we be sorry, Japan? You started that fight and we ended it.


Economically, we started the fight long before when we told Japan that we wouldn't allow them to develop needed resources in that area.

Do I think Japan was wrong? Yes. But that doesn't mean the US was by any measure innocent.

The release of the two atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki triggered the paranoia of the 1950's against the 'Red Menace' (the same paranoia that's being inflamed today against Muslims), and they may not have been necessary to end the war.

Did Japan do terrible things to other countries' citizens during the war (and prior to it)? Absolutely. However, so did the US and the rest of the Allies so we shouldn't be too quick to claim the higher moral ground.

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Posted 5/21/16 , edited 5/21/16

MeanderCat wrote:


Why should we be sorry, Japan? You started that fight and we ended it.


Economically, we started the fight long before when we told Japan that we wouldn't allow them to develop needed resources in that area.

Do I think Japan was wrong? Yes. But that doesn't mean the US was by any measure innocent.

The release of the two atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki triggered the paranoia of the 1950's against the 'Red Menace' (the same paranoia that's being inflamed today against Muslims), and they may not have been necessary to end the war.

Did Japan do terrible things to other countries' citizens during the war (and prior to it)? Absolutely. However, so did the US and the rest of the Allies so we shouldn't be too quick to claim the higher moral ground.



The alternative was an invasion that would have dwarfed D-Day and resulted in 2-5 million American casualties and 5-10 million Japanese casualties. That's assuming the Soviet Union didn't follow through with their invasion of Northern Japan, which would have likely put Japan in the same situation as Korea, i.e. North Japan and South Japan.

You want the US to regret making a decision that led to ten times fewer deaths and likely averted a North Korea-style puppet state in Northern Japan?
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Posted 5/21/16

MeanderCat wrote:
However, so did the US and the rest of the Allies so we shouldn't be too quick to claim the higher moral ground.


that's completely overlooking the fact that Germany apologized repeatedly. iirc the chancellor went so far as bow down and shed tears of repentance. it wasn't just one chancellor that gave an apology, mind you. they even went so far as to make denying war crimes made by Germany during WW2 a criminal offense and punishable by a heavy fine & prison

in Japan, the prime ministers stopped short of giving a true apology to the victims, and they still honor the war criminals as "heroes".
Abe himself is a radical nationalist.
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Posted 5/21/16 , edited 5/21/16
I don't think Obama should apologize, specifically because he had nothing to do with the dropping of the bombs. He wasn't president then, nor was he even alive then. Truman chose to drop it, and he is no longer alive, and hasn't been for a long time. Many of the people in charge of making the bomb are not alive. If the US wanted to apologize, they should have done it long ago.

It is not like it was an easy choice either. Truman saw it as, either risk prolonging the war by not dropping it, therefor killing more US soldiers (notice I said US soldiers), or drop it, kill thousands of japanese, and have an almost guarantee that it will end the war. Which by the way, the japanese STILL were planning on fighting even after the first bomb dropped. All about that honor :/

There is no reason Obama should apologize. Nagasaki and Hiroshima were absolute tragedies, but I kinda think its time to move on. Both sides did terrible things, its all over the history books. WW2 is something that will never, and should never be forgotten. But to beg for an apology from people who have nothing to do with it is just plain dumb.
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Posted 5/21/16 , edited 5/24/16
Only if they head to China and Korea and apologize, then im all for Obama going to Japan and saying sorry
Ronxz 
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Posted 5/21/16
I have visited Hiroshima and while I came away with an understanding of why we should never use nuclear weapons in the future I did not feel bad for having dropped the Atomic Bomb. We were at war with an enemy that attacked us. The Japanese Empire launched an attack on Pearl Harbor. We didn't attack them. We ended the war in a manner that saw it come to a complete conclusion swiftly and conclusively.

What is NOT mentioned is that after the atomic bomb was dropped even the Allies realized the level of destruction and devastation was beyond what they had anticipated. They willingly sent tens of thousands of medical supplies without question to aid those suffering.

What America did was necessary and we owned up to it when we spent millions to help rebuild Japan, sent massive amounts of medical supplies and aid directly after the bomb was dropped, and ended a war swiftly to save millions of lives from what would have been the bloodiest island invasion in history.

But Obama will still apologize because that is what he does. He think America is wrong in all foreign policy and will apologize just as he's bowed to foreign leaders in other countries. I'll be so glad when we get a President who is proud to be American and not ashamed of it.
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Posted 5/21/16 , edited 5/21/16
I don't particularly care. An apology for dropping the bomb is undue and would be dishonest. Apologizing for the suffering people have and will endure--why not? Most of those killed were civilians whose lives were paid for the sins of the country they resided in. War is ugly. An apology of that sort would not hurt. It's not required either. It might not satisfy these people, but it might some.

"I'm not sorry for what I did, but I'm sorry it hurt you" as such apologies go.

Sogno- 
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Posted 5/21/16

piepie526 wrote:

I don't think Obama should apologize, specifically because he had nothing to do with the dropping of the bombs. He wasn't president then, nor was he even alive then. Truman chose to drop it, and he is no longer alive, and hasn't been for a long time. Many of the people in charge of making the bomb are not alive. If the US wanted to apologize, they should have done it long ago.


yeah
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