By Bronte Price, PoliticKING
During his visit to Hiroshima on Sunday Barack Obama said he would emphasize friendly ties between former enemies. Obama also reiterated he would not apologize for the devastating bomb dropped on the city by the United Stated on August 6, 1945 which killed around 140,000 people. Nagasaki was hit on August 9th, and Japan surrendered six days later.
Obama will be the first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima, the site of the world’s first nuclear bombing. Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe will accompany him as well.
Obama: Hiroshima visit to emphasize current U.S. ties with Japan https://t.co/PXfwALxJmm
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During an interview with Japanese national broadcaster NHK, Obama said that the reality is that leaders often have to make hard choices during times of conflict and no apologies would be included in brief remarks he is expected to make in Hiroshima.
“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,” Obama said.
“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.”
President Obama added that he feels the emphasis should be placed on the current relationship between Washington and Tokyo. “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,” he said.
President Obama, who won the Nobel Prize in 2009 for his stance on nuclear nonproliferation, said that the visit will be a time to reflect on the harsh toll that war takes at any time.
“Since I only have a few months left in the office, I thought it was a good time for me to reflect on the nature of war. Part of my goal is to recognize that innocent people caught in war can suffer tremendously,” he said adding, “And that’s not just the thing of the past. That is happening today in many parts of the world.”
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