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Kerry arrives in Japan for landmark Hiroshima visit

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I think John Kerry can become a fine president of America. Sorry, they have to choose from among unimpressive candidates.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Such a terrible pro-nuke article.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

You have just given a ton of ammunition to the right-wing, Mr Kerry. Very unwise

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

I hope Kerry at least mentions the crucial role the bombs played in ending the war -- within a few days.

I'm sure happy my dad, 19 at the time, was allowed to return from Europe to the peace and safety of home in the summer of 1945, and not deployed on the killing fields that Japan would have been in 1946 under Operation Downfall.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

@jefflee: I hope he does too, but it will probably come with a suimasen and a bow as if we were wrong to have done so.

3 ( +5 / -3 )

I hope Kerry at least mentions the crucial role the bombs played in ending the war -- within a few days.

I very much doubt he will as it won't ever be convincing.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I hope that Japanese government politicians will also visit Asian countries, to places where innocent civilians were deliberately killed by Japanese forces during in WW2.

Why do foreign politicians have to visit Hiroshima but Japanese politicians never do so in Asia?

That is insincere, unbalanced and not fair.

Japan plays the victim but it must also recognize victims that died because of Japan in other countries.

To do that, Japanese politicians from the ruling party must visit those countries and humbly pay their respects.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Japan wants the world to remember the atrocities they suffered, while denying the atrocities they committed.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

The Hiroshima meeting began Sunday afternoon and will also host diplomats from nuclear-armed Britain and France, as well as Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan.

What difference does it make about mentioning what everyone should obviously know? What's the point?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

choiwaruoyajiAPR. 10, 2016 - 07:03PM JST Why do foreign politicians have to visit Hiroshima but Japanese politicians never do so in Asia? That is insincere, unbalanced and not fair.

It's not fair, but if we wait for Japanese politicians to be fair, we'll wait forever.

The fact is, regardless of how useful the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima wss, innocent people were killed by the bombing, which is immoral. Whether that immorality served a greater purpose is a matter for everyone's personal philosophy to resolve, but resolving it won't make the harm done to innocents go away.

Personally, I say we should be big enough to acknowledge and apologize for that wrong without being so crass as to try and excuse it. We should do the moral thing because it's the moral thing.

If Japanese leaders are too small to also do the moral thing, frankly, that's their problem.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Ok, he's here now. Any speech he makes should mention other nations who suffered at the hands of Japan. But I'm not holding my breath. Expect little when it comes to politicians and you'll never be disappointed

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

There is no doubt that the killing of civilians during war is a terrible tragedy, even worse than the deaths of so many young combatant men. As in just about every war, more civilians were injured and killed than were military combatants.

If Japan had not committed so many war crimes, such as the carpet bombing of Chinese cities, and the execution of both civilian and military prisoners, it is very possible that the USA would not have resorted to the use of the A-bombs. The so-called rules of warfare, in which civilians are specifically not targeted for destruction, and in which prisoners are treated humanely, are rarely adhered to by combatants.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

"I very much doubt he will as it won't ever be convincing."

Except among the majority of the world's historians.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

John Kerry is one of the more boring and pedantic public speakers I have ever heard. Perhaps the large amount of botox he has injected into his face has deadened the nerves to such an extent that emotional English just won't come out.

As for the whole debate on the bombs, it has been done to death (so to speak). What isn't debatable is that the simplistic and facile sophistry of the "cult of Hiroshima", as practiced in Japan, offers nothing to the discussion.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

JeffLee: "I'm sure happy my dad, 19 at the time, was allowed to return from Europe to the peace and safety of home in the summer of 1945, and not deployed on the killing fields that Japan would have been in 1946 under Operation Downfall."

There is ZERO proof that a single American would have died if the bombs had not been dropped. Contrast that with the fact that hundreds of thousands of lives were lost as a result of the bombs, nearly all of them innocent. It is among the worst atrocities committed by human beings ever, and Kerry saying it "was a good thing" would be tantamount to a crime. Your father's life, and the lives of a few other Americans, even if they were lost had there been no bombings, are not at all worth any more than the lives lost by the bombs. You may think so, being your father's son, but that is the kind of thinking that allowed the bombings to occur. Americans are no better, nor worth any more, than anyone else -- and in fact worth less if they think they ARE worth more.

All that said, I do not think that any US president should visit Hiroshima at this time; Japan is not necessary, and it would be abused by the right and instead of used for peace and a message for disarmament, would go towards proclaiming Japan the victim of WWII and justify a lot of the hate being spewed here. Maybe in the future, but not right now. Kerry visiting is not that bad of an idea, as it goes towards the former end, but much less so the latter.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

The irony of the political power games and the way realities are being twisted to suit the powers of the day.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Smith, when you say, "Your father's life, and the lives of a few other Americans, even if they were lost had there been no bombings, are not at all worth any more than the lives lost by the bombs.", you are simply wrong.

In a war, the enemy's life is worth less than our own. Well, if an American life or three aren't worth it, how about the life of my wife's grandmother? She was a junior high school student at the time (in Japan). She and her classmates were all learning how to fight with bamboo sticks and strap-on bombs so as to attack the Allies when they invaded. Surely HER life is worth saving?

Also, don't forget that every day the war continued, lives were lost. The estimate I saw was an attrition rate of approximately 500 deaths per day among Allied servicemen in the Pacific at that time, mostly due to injuries and tropical disease. Add potential combat casualties to that and you rapidly get a significant number.

As for Kerry saying "it was a good thing", it is NOT tantamount to a crime. It is merely an opinion. One that you obviously don't share, but an opinion nonetheless.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"Kerry’s trip is seen as possibly paving the way for Barack Obama to become the first serving U.S. president to journey to the thriving metropolis next month when he visits Japan for the G-7 Summit."

Great. Now if we can just get Abe to visit Pearl Harbor...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

although the professional victimhood won't allow it, Kerry should get a standing ovation in Hiroshima for the US ending the war prematurely and saving countless lives on both sides.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Do you think now Japan will admit to their wartime atrocities as well? Doubt it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"She was a junior high school student at the time (in Japan). She and her classmates were all learning how to fight with bamboo sticks">

So Hiroshima and Nagasaki had to be nuked because 11 year old girls had bamboo sticks? smh

Kerry should get a standing ovation in Hiroshima for the US ending the war prematurely and saving countless lives on both sides.>

The "holy bomb" mythology had now reached laughable proportions :/

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Nuclear weapons in the USA are reaching the end of their lives, and plans at present are to invest many billions of dollars into building new ones. Some people in Congress especially like the idea of small nukes, because they might be more likely to be used than large ones.

The support for nuclear weapons cuts across party lines, and Obama's work against nuclear power is nothing to write home about. On the other hand, he certainly doesn't go around blabbing about how he'll nuke this or carpet-bomb that, like Trump or Cruz.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/12/science/as-us-modernizes-nuclear-weapons-smaller-leaves-some-uneasy.html?_r=0

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@utorusa: where you got story of bamboo stick? your reference is phony creation by a none Japanese.

there was no Jr Hs. Girls went either girls middle school (Jo ggakko) or 7 th grade of elementary schools. first year of joggakko. Ichi neon see, A bomb was dropped during summer recess. We knew a different bomb Many people had radio and A NHK announcer nicknamed Tokyo Rose announced and said stay in home she was a Japanese American returned from Calf. and J gov't used to talk to American soldiers. After war, When GHQ inquired who is Tokyo Rose, despite of others advice, she said she is and arrested and lived in Sugamo Prizon. She was American but we nicknamed Yamato Nadeshiko. please stop making a phony story about us old Japanese who still live.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@ Schopenhauer

The office of President of America does not exist ... America (North, Central & South and the Caribbean) is the name of the entire continent ... The office of President of the United States of America (POTUS) does exist and John Kerry at- tempted to be elected before and failed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Toshiko the reference to bamboo sticks etc is real, my MIL even told me about it

check this

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volunteer_Fighting_Corps

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@kammmajima: and Oval Office is the smallest nickname. People call him President of USA. You are right.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kerry should apologize to the remaining Hiroshima and Nagasaki civilian victims and their families.

In the same vein he must also apologize to the civilian victims of the Battle of Okinawa .

His visit will then be certainly considered as not only truly historic but will also serves as a new landmark for Japan-US relationship .

Otherwise , Japanese will ask him why only Japan needs to apologize for past war ?

Japan have been a peaceful country post WW2 while same could not be said about USA .

It seems chaos and mayhem follows US foreign policy as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria.

PM Abe should be careful not to make Japan a part of that list.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

So now, Kerry is in Japan accomplishing nothing more than photo-op. I suppose Obama figures Amerika is better off with him not hanging around Washington.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Regarding the battle of Okinawa I think the apology to Okinawans needs to come from the Japanese govt!! The Japanese govt held little to no regard for its own people during WWII & not much has changed since then!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

North in just 50 years may have sophisticated nuclear arsenal similar to Israel in capacity so Trump having this in mind wish Japan can have some deterrent in this situation and probably he is right but its up to Japanese people how to protect themselves and US should be neutral on this issue.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@GW: not bamboo. If someone mentioned how suicises were to be done. Katana with blacksmith bladed. Ichioku gyokusuin was slogan. Wiki is unreliable.

Swordmaster business employed itinerant Sana thrive people to create. Katana.

During WW II, there were many katana in Japan. Sank people settled instead of roaming.

And try to learn when and who ordered Japan changed school system to HS system before you write phony story about Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

cue victimization posts

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Smithinjapan - There is ZERO proof that a single American would have died if the bombs had not been dropped. The American estimates after they learned of the scale of Japanese counter invasion preparations were between 500,000 and 1,000,000 casualties. Japanese casualties were hard to estimate due to the probable involvement of civilians but conservatively were thought to be in the region of 1-2 million (in the light of later facts probably a massive underestimate) many coerced civilians.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

That bomb fell upon men, women, and children who had never picked up a weapon or vowed to fight the United States. This was a war-crime, plain and simple. No amount of rationalization will justify the murdering of thousands of innocents. Play your "this ended the war and spared millions on both sides" and "we didn't start it" and "we needed to keep the Russians out of Japan" arguments if you must. Those were children that died. Burnt to ashes in seconds. One of them could have been yours. The United States is a nation of war criminals until it admits it acted in an inhumane and barbarous manner and pays reparations to the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Then it must remove the dozens of bases it still has in Japan. Occupation is not humane.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Again, why not Obama is coming to Japan to apologize for the illegal dropping of the bombs. It has been long overdue. When does American president plan to apologize for their killing of Japanese non-combatants: women, babies, young school boys and girls, elderies, doctors and nurses. Killing non-combatants was (and is) a war criminal. International war law clearly states that then and now. America never admits the criminal acts AS USUAL. 60% of the Americans still feel they did a right thing: dropping two bombs to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. America planned to drop Kyoto or Tokyo originally. They wanted to kill more Japanese effectively so America decided to drop to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yes, killing the non-combatants innocents was (and still is) a right thing for them. American government continues to teach their children how bad Japanese military was then; and therefore, the suffering of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki's civilians was natural and proper. The way how most Americans think about the justification of dropping bombs to Japan really really makes me sick.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Apology by Obama is unnecessary

He was not born when Truman ordered dropping a-bomb. It was War

Just no more A bomb that created cancer.

Btw, Kokura was targer. Weather changed to Nagasaki, Then a majority of Japanese guesses USA will not forgive Japan It had been Christian area.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Peace is always beautiful and happy are the peace makers who love, respect, and are kind to each other that they may grow with peace in mind.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Smithinjapan

"There is ZERO proof that a single American would have died if the bombs had not been dropped."

You're joking right? Operation Downfall and Coronet were real. There are reams of documents on them in fine detail. The plans were set to go ahead March 6, 1946. Thank god for all of us here they did not.

"You may think so, being your father's son, but that is the kind of thinking that allowed the bombings to occur."

Survival? Absolutely. Hey, let's surivive and not give the Japanese the chance to kill us. Sorry for being so selfish on that front. Not just my survival but the survival far, far more others including those in Japan. Anyway, I shudder at the thought of me and my family line not existing because Japan wanted to continue the war, a stance it made clear a month earlier by ignoring the Potsdam declaration.

"It is among the worst atrocities committed by human beings ever,"

No it isn't, not by a long shot. The numbers for a start. The victims are a tiny, tiny fraction of those of the Holocaust, Japan's rampage thru China, Mao and Stalin purges, etc., etc. and etc. What's more, a not-stupid person cannot evaluate the bomb without acknowledging its immense strategic value: quickly ending the bloodiest war in human history.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

From the newer article Japan did not seek any apology, what they are more worried now is the state of the economy of the G7 countries, ISIS, North Korea, and of course South China Sea issues. This is the more pressing matter right now.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The nuking of H & N was the most disgusting and cowardly war crime ever committed. It was little more than a brutal and cynical live human experiment on women and children. The depravity and racism of the US government and military is apparent from Harry Truman`s demented giggling prior to his announcement of the mass murders at Hiroshima:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d42dMSAltnQ

See Kermit Beahan gloat as he claims responsibility for nuking the women and children of Nagasaki:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdJyOBriLTI

As Brig Gen. Carter W. Clarke, the officer in charge of preparing MAGIC intercepted cable summaries in 1945, stated:

"... .we Brought them [the Japanese] down to an abject surrender through the accelerated sinking of their merchant marine and hunger alone, and when we did not need to do it, and we knew we did not need to do it, and we knew that we knew we did not need to do it, we used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs. "

As the historical record shows, six of the seven US WWII five star officers concluded that the nuking of hundreds of thousands of civilians was unnecessary. In fact, the nuking was one of the most brutal and cynical atrocities ever committed. As Admiral Chester W. Nimitz stated:

"The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military standpoint, in the defeat of Japan. The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace before the destruction of Hiroshima and before the Russian entry into the war ...."

Truman`s own diaries show that he prolonged hostilities until the nukes were ready. We also know that he lied to the US public when he stated that Hiroshima was a "military target".

Prior to nuking Hiroshima, the US military had already obliterated over 60 Japanese cities with napalm and white phosphorous. This conclusively proves that Hiroshima and Nagasaki had little value other than as an opportunity for the US military to conduct nuke testing on human subjects.

In this connection, Paul Tibbets is on record as stating that Hiroshima was set aside as a "virgin" test city. Additionally, the primary targets at Hiroshima were residential in nature with the overwhelming majority of casualties being civilian. In fact, Hosokawa Elementary school was mere meters from the epicenter of the Hiroshima nuke strike. The fire-bombings and nuclear attacks on Japan were war crimes on par with the holocaust suffered by the Jews.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

"You see, since ancient times true warriors have been fighting enemy forces, not women and children."

WW2 wasn't an "ancient" war. It was a modern technological one. It was a war started by Japan and between societies, not merely soldiers,

The massive death toll of women and children in Nanking and scores of other Chinese cities is obvious proof of that. Talk about "cowardly."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I guess the difference between opinions is between those who believe that the ends justify the means, and those that don't. There is no doubt that the end desired by the Americans was met - the war was ended and ended quick. Whether it was justified is a moral question for each person to decide between themselves, but don't expect others to agree with your morality no matter which side of the decision you fall.

Now that all said, sure it's too bad that all those civilians died (I think everyone is in agreement with that), but the fact is that Japan brought it upon itself. It's like if you keep provoking a mean dog. It's not supposed to attack you and bite your face off, but if it does, you only have yourself to blame for provoking it. Japan started it, and if they don't like the outcome, then they'd be best to remember that fact for the end of all time, to ensure that they don't do something to provoke such a response again.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@JeffLee"It was a modern technological one."

Japanese naval forces attacked the US naval harbor and Americans responded by nuclear bombings of civilian population of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, let alone setting many japanese cities and towns on fire by napalm and white phosphorus. This was not a modern technological warfare but plain barbarism.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

One question...if Japan had a couple of nuclear bombs, would they have used them to slow or stop the US after they took Okinawa and prior to the expected build up and invasion of the main land? My answer is yes, they would have. Probably somewhere unexpected like DC or Detroit.

What say you Yamashi?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"Japanese naval forces attacked the US naval harbor...."

You conveniently forgot to mention the 10 million people the Japanese murdered in Asia before and during that event. Most were civilians.

"This was not a modern technological warfare but plain barbarism."

In the context of Japan's behaviour, yes, absolutely. And something had to be done about it.

Your worldview only works by ignoring the most significant events and facts. It's in the realm of an especially hokey conspiracy theory.

"There is no doubt that the end desired by the Americans..."

It was desired by the rest of the world.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's all very well playing the victim card, but hosting this kind of event in Hiroshima will backfire on Japan one day. It's reasonable to assume that, given a chance, the Chinese would choose to hold a similar meeting in Nanjing. How would fact-deniers Kishida and Abe react to being taken for a tour around the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall? I'm pretty sure that they would "fall ill" and be unable to make the tour. They talk about morals, but they are both snivelling, lying cowards.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If Japan had not committed so many war crimes, such as the carpet bombing of Chinese cities, and the execution of both civilian and military prisoners, it is very possible that the USA would not have resorted to the use of the A-bombs.

The Jewish designers of the atom bomb (Oppenheimer and co) created the atom bomb with the Nazis in mind. Germany was the intended target. As history shows, Germany surrendered first. That, and the fact that the US wartime propaganda machine did a thorough job of dehumanising the Japanese (and visa-versa) made dropping the bombs more acceptable to the public. Having said that, their use was a totally pointless exercise: it was the threatened Soviet invasion of Hokkaido that hastened Japan's surrender. I've been to both atom bomb museums, and seen the singed school uniforms. The atom bombs were ghastly things. Japan has used the bombs to play the victim card ever since, however. This is what I find objectionable

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

How would fact-deniers Kishida and Abe react to being taken for a tour around the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall? I'm pretty sure that they would "fall ill" and be unable to make the tour. They talk about morals, but they are both snivelling, lying cowards.

Good post Scrote. They would "fall ill." Heck, this why those incidents are not mentioned in-depth in Japanese school textbooks. They don't want to teach Japanese youth that they were "the bad guys" in WW2.

Typical Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Fizzbit"One question....if Japan had a couple of nuclear bombs, would they have used them...What say you Yamashi?"

Pretty laughable. If Japan had ICBMs, combat laser platforms, deployed on LEO together with Death Star station? We're talking about real events, not Sci-Fi "what if".

@JeffLee "the 10 million people the Japanese murdered in Asia". Please! The last thing for American is to think about revenge for murdered Asians ! Your countrymen used to show arrogance to all Asians, calling them by derogatory names. Do you know American derogatory terms for Chinese, Koreans, Philipino people ? Besides, those Asianpeople were killed by IJA, not Japanese women and children. For the pure revenge, Americans would have bombed say, Army Command center or naval harbor.

"Your worldview only works by ignoring the most events and facts.".

History repeats itself, JeffLee. In Syria and Afganistan American pilots of combat jets mostly attacked bazaars, hospitals, wedding ceremonies. Do you remember it ? It's so easy to slap a defenceless kid or woman instead of armed thug. The same mentality. During WWII Soviets fought IJA and didn't bomb Japanese civilians. In Syria Russians are fighting ISIS thugs, not women or children.

"It was desired by the rest of the world".

A clear example of US-invented mythology and weak attempt of self a justification.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

All readers, please tone down your rhetoric.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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