Obama should not visit Hiroshima

Regarding Hiroshi Noro’s April 26 letter, “Coexisting or co-perishing“: While I fully agree with the writer that world leaders should take all necessary steps to ban nuclear weapons to save Earth, I do not believe that U.S. President Barack Obama should visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki as the leader of the only country that used A-bombs in war.

I am a holder of the Hiroshima A-bomb victim’s health book, so I think I have a small right to opine on this subject. The Hiroshima-Nagasaki subject is very delicate and can naturally become political. The opinion that use of the A-bomb was an extremely inhuman act has very strong support. At the same time, there are many who say dropping the two atomic bombs was a necessity for terminating the war and saving the lives of millions of people.

I agree that dropping the bombs was very inhuman, but I side with the second view that it stopped the war and saved Japanese citizens from further sufferings. Without the two A-bombs, the Emperor perhaps would not have been able to reach the decision to order a ceasefire and surrender, and Imperial Army chieftains would have most certainly ordered every citizen to fight with a bamboo spear against machine guns. Battlefields would have expanded to Kyushu from Okinawa, and major cities would have become piles of rubble.

Obama, as U.S. president, does not have to, and should not, visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If he does, then Japanese leaders must at least pay official visits to Pearl Harbor to apologize for killing innocent civilians there and for actually starting the war. Whether Japan was “forced” to begin the war is not relevant. Wars are almost always started by stone-headed politicians and selfish bureaucrats.

masanobu saito