Japan atomic bomb survivors criticise Obama's Hiroshima speech


The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2016 AFP

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

As Obama prepares to leave office, the fawning has begun all over again. One of the more violent presidents, Obama gave full reign to the Pentagon war-making apparatus of his discredited predecessor. He prosecuted more whistleblowers - truth-tellers - than any president. He pronounced Chelsea Manning guilty before she was tried. Today, Obama runs an unprecedented worldwide campaign of terrorism and murder by drone.

In 2009, Obama promised to help "rid the world of nuclear weapons" and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. No American president has built more nuclear warheads than Obama. He is "modernising" America's doomsday arsenal, including a new "mini" nuclear weapon, whose size and "smart" technology, says a leading general, ensure its use is "no longer unthinkable".

James Bradley, the best-selling author of Flags of Our Fathers and son of one of the US marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima, said, "[One] great myth we're seeing play out is that of Obama as some kind of peaceful guy who's trying to get rid of nuclear weapons. He's the biggest nuclear warrior there is. He's committed us to a ruinous course of spending a trillion dollars on more nuclear weapons. Somehow, people live in this fantasy that because he gives vague news conferences and speeches and feel-good photo-ops that somehow that's attached to actual policy. It isn't."

At a popular exhibition called "The Price of Freedom" at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Lines of people, mostly children shuffling are dispensed a variety of lies: the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved "a million lives"; Iraq was "liberated [by] air strikes of unprecedented precision". The theme was unerringly heroic: only Americans pay the price of freedom.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

These Japanese atomic bombing survivors are confused. It is Imperial Japanese government and military that was responsible for the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not the US government.

It was Imperial Japan that started the Pacific War, it was Imperial Japan that refused to surrender and show Americans what would happen if they tried to land on mainland Japan by sacrificing 300K troops and civilians at Okinawa and Iwo Jima. Truman's hands were tied with regards to nuking, because 1 million US troops and 3 million Japanese civilians were to perish during the US landing of mainland Japan if he didn't.

Morons like Tanaka is the result of Japan's garbage history education that fails to teach that Japan was 100% responsible for starting the war, and 100% responsible for the consequence of the war.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

avoid the responsibility of the United States in having dropped the bomb

I don't think the US has ever avoided accepting responsibility for dropping the bombs. How on earth could the US deny being responsible for dropping the bombs? “Death fell from the sky” accurately describes the nuclear bombings, as well as earlier fire-bombing runs..

1 ( +3 / -2 )

i wonder if these people are apologizing to China, Korea and other Asian nations for the atrocities Imperial Japan wrecked on them. Not to mention Pearl Harbor.

The Japanese government certainly has not.

I am no fan of President Obama, but I thought his speech was spot on.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

what they fail to understand is Obama wasn't there to apologise but to pay respects, Obama also is leaving office so his powers in helping eliminate nukes will be greatly reduced. Millions died during WW2 the vast majority non-Japanese. japan needs to move on and stop playing the victim card which was a direct result on Imperial Japan aggression. Any apology to Japanese should come from the Emporer and the J-gov itself.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

How so Samit? Did the "Imperial Japanese government" bomb itself?


The Japanese government certainly has not.

Yeah, right https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

Did they mention "apology" or merely note that Obama made the bombs sound like really bad acid rain. They were dropped and a more or less conscious decision was made to drop them. I like to think that they were not, and are not justifiable. Otherwise similar situations will pertain again, and they will be dropped again. This is not what we want.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

One can make a sound intellectual argument for using the A-bombs to help speed up the end of World War II. If Japan had had to be invaded, the USSR would have joined in the invasion of the Japanese homeland, and as a result, Japan would have been partitioned. Today, there would be a North and a South Japan, like there is a North and South Korea. When the Soviets demanded to be allowed to occupy part of the Japanese Homeland, the American government turned them down, since it had not been necessary to invade.

We Americans have to live with the responsibility for having used nuclear weapons against Japanese cities. That is not a pleasant thing to live with. Still, we know that we did not start the war, and we know that the Imperial Japanese government was exceedingly murderous, brutal, and cruel in its conduct of the war, and that the Potsdam Proclamation demanding surrender was not accepted, even though it allowed for a free and independent Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Utorsa: such utter nonsense you write. Obama was here as gesture of recognition. It was act of remorse for the atomic bomb, but not an apology. There was too much blame to the Japanese in WW2, for the US to Take complete responsibility. You want to blame someone or rake on, Blame war and human aggression. Japan had more than its share Of killing and war time cruelty. I can't imagine a Japanese PM going to Nanking. Obama should be lauded, not criticized.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Samit If you argue that all of the consequences of a war are the responsibility of the aggressor, even the actions other parties. You are essentially saying that 'anything is acceptable' in war, if you are the party that was attacked.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )


Let's say there is a hostage taker holding a gun to hostage's head.

A SWAT team sniper puts a bullet through the hostage taker's head.

Now, who is responsible for that bullet through the hostage taker's head, the sniper or the hostage taker?

**Of course the hostage taker!!!!

I repeat, Imperial Japan alone was 100% responsible for nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, because Imperial Japan was the hostage taker while Japanese civilians were hostages.**

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This statement shows very clearly the ignorance around WWII that is so pervasive in Japan, as a non-Japanese its embarrassing to read such a low level of understanding.

Sadly this just illustrates the level of white washing of Japans history, but many in Japan sadly wont know that...........

3 ( +4 / -1 )

7sky7 Utorsa: such utter nonesense you write.

It's only nonesense if you have trouble reading facts! Though I voted for Obama twice, that doesn't mean I have to support everything he has done or is doing. Utorsa is spot on with his comments, if it's nonsense, then please show us what facts he got wrong?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I have sympathy with the confederation and the goals that it works toward. That being said, I think the organization needs to step back for a moment and recognize what just occurred. A sitting U.S. president brought the world's attention back to Hiroshima and the legacy of the bomb that Hiroshima carries for the world. Obama didn't have to go to Hiroshima, didn't have to give an address, didn't have to meet survivors. Yet he did all of those things and did so with grace and dignity. Maybe he didn't say or do everything some people expected, but they got far, far more than they had any right to expect or any reason to hope for. And hopefully the objectors will realize that sooner rather than later.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is just one group claiming to represent survivors. In fact other groups, and individual survivors, said they were pleased with Obama's speech. So be careful not to mistake this group with the "voice of all survivors."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Newsman: for the most part, I agree with your post. It was a fine speech and it did bring attention back to the subject and he was the first U.S. President to do so. But many of Obama's actions, during his presidency, do not match the content of this speech. I'm still waiting for someone to challenge the facts Otorsa mentioned, those important points are just some examples of actions that don't fit with what Obama said.

So, other than being the first U.S. president to give a heartfelt speech in Hiroshima, of this topic, what ACTIONS (of his) can you point to, that support each thing he said?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites