President Obama said he would not apologize for the United States’ decision to attack Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the atomic bomb.
As of last Friday, Obama became the first American president to tour the site of the devastation from the world’s first nuclear bombing with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, reported Reuters. Prior to visiting Japan, Benjamin J. Rhodes, President Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communication, explained in a post on medium that he wouldn’t “revisit the decision to use the atomic bomb at the end of World War II,” but instead “offer a forward-looking vision focused on our shared future,” reported the New York Times.
President Obama isn’t the only one that is looking to avoid the subject of a Hiroshima apology, but as is Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. Instead, the two world leaders are using this visit as a way amend the relationship between the two countries, who were once very close allies during World War II. Rather than pressing for an American apology, the Japanese Prime Minister wants to look forward, he explains in a piece done by the New York Times.
“Japan is the only country to be hit by a nuclear weapon, and we have a responsibility to make sure that terrible experience is never repeated anywhere.”
President Obama has made his disdain for what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki quite clear. Like Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the United States’ president has also shared his hope for a “world without nuclear weapons,” and urging peace activists to “pursue more concrete steps” in preventing such violence, according to a report done by the New York Times. In fact, a huge factor in President Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 was for his efforts in decreasing the world’s collection of nuclear weapons and lowering the risk for nuclear attacks.
Though President Obama more than acknowledges the devastation done to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he still can see a silver lining from the attacks, which has resulted in the outcome of a relationship between the United States and Japan.
“I think it is also a happy story about how former adversaries came together to become one of the closest partnerships and closest allies in the world.”
Though President Obama has been an advocate for decentralization in his first term, presidents can’t always keep their promises. While doing an interview with Japan’s NHK, Obama addressed his struggle in keeping to his word.
“It’s important to recognize that in the midst of war, leaders make all kinds of decisions, it’s a job of historians to ask questions and examine them… But I know, as somebody who’s now sat in this position for the last seven and half years, that every leader makes very difficult decisions, particularly during wartime.”
As a part of his visit to Japan, President Obama wants to use this time as a way to reflect on the violence and the anguish that had occurred as a result of dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The United States President also said in his last few months of his presidency, he plans on reflecting on “the nature of war,” according to a report done by Reuters. He explained how he wants to have a better understanding of the amount of innocent lives that are continuously taken away on a daily basis as a result of violence.
The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the first and last time the United States dropped the atomic bomb, killing over 100,000 people at the tail end of World War II in August of 1945. President Harry S. Truman made the decision to drop the bombs.
[Photo by Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images]