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Should U.S. President Barack Obama visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki when he comes to Japan in November?

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the answer is NO. US won the war.... why act like "we're sorry" now. People love liars though.

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I've never been able to make up my mind on the wisdom of an American president visiting these sites. On the one hand, it could put a lot of things to rest for the Japanese public, and is a positive good will gesture. However, it sets a really bad precedent for American polity, and a gesture does nothing to alter the facts of history. I don't actually mind though, if an American president visited; not gonna get all hopped up about it.

All that said, since Obama seems to retain high regard in Japan, I'm not sure he can avoid it; not going would be a blow to expectations of him. For those Japanese who've been waiting for a gesture like this, Obama is the most likely guy to do it in very long time. Congress and the American People would get pretty riled.

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How on earth could anyone say 'no' to this? It's amazing the number of people in this world -- pretty much all overzealous Americans -- who think dropping atomic bombs is a GOOD thing, and mourning death is bad.

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How on earth could anyone say 'no' to this EXACTLY, you can't be more correct. Rudd has already done this, it is Obama's turn now . Waiting ,waiting...

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Considering his recent speech at the UN, I'd be surprised if he does not go, unless he's a complete hypocrite.

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In all fairness, how about if we do this in the proper chronological order. The Emperor of the Japan (and IMO the Prime Minister) officially visits Pearl Harbor, specifically the USS Arizona Memorial, THEN the President of the United States will visit Hiroshima and/or Nagasaki the peace memorials there. That's the order the historical events originally occured and that's the order in which these visits should be carried out.

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I agree with USN.

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President Obama who lived Hawaii/Indonesia ,go ahead,just do it.

Visit Hiroshima/Nagasaki. It will not take long.

Then there will more visits to USS Arizona Memorial,Pearl Harbour.

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corrections-President Obama who lived in Hawaii/Indonesia,go ahead,just do it.

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To what end? No, skip it and focus on real issues, not some perceived victim-mentality BS.

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Obama is very happy to receive Nobel Peace Prize, so he should visit these cities. If he does not go, he should give up the Nobel.

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Let the nation with the greater leader and the more magnanimous people choose to pay the first visit. Quibbling about which event happened first in history as the determining factor reveals the opposite characteristics.

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With all due respect in Pearl Harbour 2,400 Americans were killed. The atomic bombs claimed the lives of 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki. I know that two wrong don’t make a right and that American lives are more important than …

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The primary aim of war is to win. Secondary aims are ending it as soon as possible and minimising your own casualties. I usually disagree with right wingers like Sarge but I really don't think the US can be blamed for nuking those cities, especially given that they were not the aggressors in the war.

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yabits@: "Quibbling about which event happened first in history"

There should be no quibbling. Pearl Harbor was attacked way before Hiroshima and Nagasaki were hit by A-bombs. Therefore, Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama should visit the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor before U.S. President Barack Obama visits Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

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And I'm sure, Sarge, that when the call goes out for the magnanimous, you'll be holding up the sign for where the pusillanimous should muster.

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And I'm sure, Yabits, that you are among the 61% who voted yes on this. Sometimes the majority is wrong, just like the majority in the U.S. who voted for Obama.

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BobbieWickham

With all due respect in Pearl Harbour 2,400 Americans were killed. The atomic bombs claimed the lives of 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki. I know that two wrong don’t make a right and that American lives are more important than …

Simple cause and effect Bobbie. Without Pearl Harbor there would never have been a Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Unfortunately for the blame-th-US-for-the-A-Bombs-crowd the reverse isn't true. You really need to put things into histrorical perspective instead of simply counting bodies.

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Barack does not need to go to Hiroshima simply because in accepting his recent Nobel Prize you could say he became World President. Besides,Hiroshima and Nagasaki were mentioned in his first book.And his pastor frequently mentioned them in his inspirational homilies. Citizens of those two cities, and of all Japan in fact, should be content with that.

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Sometimes the majority is wrong, just like the majority in the U.S. who voted for Obama.

We have yet to be proven wrong -- unlike those who voted for his predecessor.

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does this question come up every time an american president visits japan ? & let's not forget all the logistics involved. how much extra it would cost . how many people in hiroshima & nagasaki would be inconvenienced with stopped traffic. road blocks. etc....

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let's not forget all the logistics involved

A tiny price to pay for the message it would send.

Nobody calculated the inconvenience to the people involved when the U.S. dropped the bombs.

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Obama goes to H&N to show respect to the deads, to mourn, to show sympathy for casualties of war, NOT TO apology to Japan...why that point is so hard to understand by some people is beyond me.Rudd did this because he stayed in China for years and understand it very well. This should be done years ago, before internet was invented.

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yabits said: "A tiny price to pay for the message it would send". what message would that be which hasn't been said 100 times before & which everyone, at least most sane people already know, that war is evil.

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what message would that be which hasn't been said 100 times before & which everyone, at least most sane people already know, that war is evil.

Well then, it's well overdue for an American president to ratify with his words and actions what "most sane people already know."

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With all due respect in Pearl Harbour 2,400 Americans were killed. The atomic bombs claimed the lives of 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki.

Good point, but you should also add that the Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims were civilians, the Pearl Harbor ones were not.

Without Pearl Harbor there would never have been a Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

If you truly want to put things into historical perspective, you should not have the clock start ticking at Pearl Harbor, it started before that.

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sabiwabi

Oh right, with Adam and Eve.

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but you should also add that the Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims were civilians, the Pearl Harbor ones were not.

The base at Pearl Harbor was purely a military target. In the years prior, there had been a slow and steady ratcheting up of hostilities between the US and Japan. To portray the US as a completely innocent victim demonstrates a profound ignorance of the history leading to the attack.

On the other hand, by August of 1945, Japan was a defeated nation, and could not defend itself from air attacks. Hiroshima and Nagasaki had no military value whatsoever. The U.S. left those two cities as well as a few others completely unscathed from bombing so that when the military conducted its atomic bomb experiments, they could assure themselves about the cause of any damage they later surveyed. Hundreds upon hundreds of innocent children and babes were incinerated. Many died slow horrible deaths.

Americans should stop duping themselves that it was a noble or just thing that they did. It was a crime against humanity, and I long for the day when an American president shows enough backbone to pay a visit to the scene of the crimes.

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"On the other hand, by August of 1945, Japan was a defeated nation, and could not defend itself from air attacks. Hiroshima and Nagasaki had no military value whatsoever. The U.S. left those two cities as well as a few others completely unscathed from bombing so that when the military conducted its atomic bomb experiments, they could assure themselves about the cause of any damage they later surveyed. Hundreds upon hundreds of innocent children and babes were incinerated. Many died slow horrible deaths."

The counter argument has always been Japan wasn't about to surrender anytime soon. The 200,000 or so who died was much less than the millions who would have died in a "landing invasion".

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in accepting his recent Nobel Prize you could say he became World President.

What does that even mean? He's not the world president, he's the USA's president and he should have American welfare as his primary goal. Do Japanese make decisions based on the detrimental effects of their actions to the American public? Of course not, so why would you expect Obama to do it? World President. I would laugh at the absurdity, but unfortunately this is what the USA has become. Everybody else's "parent" and they think America owes them something. Why does everybody think it's okay to leech? People should understand that war is horror, and if you start a fight you shouldn't complain about getting beaten "too badly." 50 million people died in WW2. 2 million Japanese died. Stop crying and get over it. The American occupation was the greatest thing to happen to Japan since the meiji restoration. They wouldn't be where they are now (kind of like Korea). The previous thing to force japan to modernize was in 1854 with Perry, and he was an American, too.

//obviously a little facetious near the end; not really, though. People need to stop worrying about what America is or isn't symbolically doing and get to work themselves.

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@ yabits - you are way off, do some research. Hiroshima & Nagasaki did indeed have military value.

From Wikipedia:

"The city of Nagasaki had been one of the largest sea ports in southern Japan and was of great wartime importance because of its wide-ranging industrial activity, including the production of ordnance, ships, military equipment, and other war materials."

Your claim that no one at Pearl Harbor was a victim is absolutely ridiculous, but then, so are most of your other posts.

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Sarge... just because someone votes for Obama does NOT make them a bleeding heart... some of us actually think about our votes rather than just going with Faux News Network...

I voted for Obama, nevertheless he SHOULD NOT visit Hiroshima or Nagasaki until the J-emperor and the J-PM make a sojourn to Pearl Harbor (Punch Bowl was a decent compromise, but not good enough). The aggressor needs to make amends for the sins of their fathers... long before the victors apologize for whooping their butts.

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I know this is off topic, but stick with me here...

yo YABITS? ever hear of a place called Kofu? It's in Yamanashi. My wifes family is from there. Kofu was smoked off the map 10 days before the war ended. No military to speak of. But, they made sights and targeting equipment for the military. My point is, just cause someplace like Nagasaki or Hiroshima does not have an OBVIOUS or VISIBLE military presence, does not make it a non-military city. As therealmusahi alluded to, get your facts straight.

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obama doesn't need to vist these cities. why should he? what would he do there?

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only if the local govts promise to stop their constant whining

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The counter argument has always been Japan wasn't about to surrender anytime soon.

The counter argument has little basis in fact. The sentiment within Japan that the war was lost had become obvious to everyone. The hardliners who didn't want to surrender were not even moved by the dropping of two atomic bombs. The point is that they no longer mattered.

Did dropping the bombs hasten the inevitable? Yes. But the inevitable would have happened without having to commit the monstrous crimes.

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Your claim that no one at Pearl Harbor was a victim is absolutely ridiculous,

It would be ridiculous if I made that claim. But if you are referring to civilian casualties, then tell me how many women and children were killed in the attack on the bases at Pearl Harbor and the nearby military airfields?

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"The counter argument has little basis in fact. The sentiment within Japan that the war was lost had become obvious to everyone. The hardliners who didn't want to surrender were not even moved by the dropping of two atomic bombs. The point is that they no longer mattered."

I'm not with your logic - if the hardliners hadn't mattered or Japan was ready to surrender why did it take two bombs? One should have been enough to end the war.

Anyway, you can always take a trip down to Kudanshita and visit Yasukuni Jinja and find mementos of the spirit of the times.

As a side question, do you consider 200,000 dead in a nuclear attack worse than 5-10 million killed by a regular attack?

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Kofu was smoked off the map 10 days before the war ended.

I know Kofu well and have visited the wineries there a number of times. (Have a good buddy who lives in Ryu-cho.)

What you seem to be saying is that, rather than target a facility like the one that makes something that could have a military use, you act like a Hitler or Stalin and wipe out a whole city -- and then try to claim that it is a morally justifiable thing to do?

Ten days before the war ended, there wasn't likely to be much of a threat from Kofu or any other Japanese city with a shop making incidental parts for aircraft and ships that no longer existed, and could not be built. Even in war there is a line between killing as an absolute necessity and outright murder. The United States crossed over that line and commmitted murder on a wholesale level.

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I'm not with your logic - if the hardliners hadn't mattered or Japan was ready to surrender why did it take two bombs?

Elements within the government were ready to surrender before the dropping of either bomb. (And those elements were growing in number and power with each passing day.) As I said earlier, the bombs only hastened the inevitable by a matter of no longer than a month or two.

As a side question, do you consider 200,000 dead in a nuclear attack worse than 5-10 million killed by a regular attack?

If you are referring to a hypothetical attack that never took place, and was never likely to, then it is clear that the mass murder of 200,000 innocent people with no losses on the attacking side is far worse from a moral standpoint.

Moderator: Back on topic please.

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bummer deal yabits, so tell me, do you make a big deal about Dresden? I doubt it. Elements in the government did this and elements that, and America was the great provoker. You want to call it murder? Great, good for you. Yep, losers always have to make up some sob story, or those who resent the winners. Here's the final word... 2 wrongs made a right, and the war ended.

Moderator: Back on topic please.

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Obama is a great choice for this ridiculous and corrupt organization.

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Go ahead and visit, I hear the area is very nice. Just don't tag any significance to the trip. Tell the press you're going there to check out a restaurant or something.

the bombs only hastened the inevitable by a matter of no longer than a month or two.

Read the manuscript. In 'a month or two' the U.S and Soviet Union were going to engage in a joint strike in the form of Operation Downfall whose casualty projections ranged from 2 to 4 million U.S and the tens of millions for Japan. In preparation for the wounded the U.S government printed out nearly 500,000 Purple Heart medals for survivors. To this day that number hasn't been reached and as of 2003 120,000 of those medals are still in stock.

The alternative to the two bombs (thats two of the 7 bombs available) was an onslaught that would make Stalingrad look like a training exercise and on top of that Japan would have been split between U.S and Soviet forces like Germany. The bombs were merciless but after years of the bloodiest war in human history I'd say we can reasonably assume that the mercy had dried up somewhere along the way.

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With regards to thequestion:

completely agree with

the alternative to the two bombs (thats two of the 7 bombs available) was an onslaught that would make Stalingrad look like a training exercise and on top of that Japan would have been split between U.S and Soviet forces like Germany. The bombs were merciless but after years of the bloodiest war in human history I'd say we can reasonably assume that the mercy had dried up somewhere along the way.

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the mercy had dried up somewhere along the way

President Obama should visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki and pray for mercy on behalf those in the world who are still without it.

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Obama pray? My god what's next? Obama endorsing intelligent design? The horror...

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For those who have suggested that a U.S. president should not visit the two cities until a Japanese head of state visits Pearl Harbor, they should be reminded that Japan, in renouncing war, has taken a far more meaningful step for peace.

The world knows that Japan will never commit another Pearl Harbor; on the other hand, certain elements within the U.S. have always appeared ready and willing to bring mass death on others. President Obama should side with those Americans who love peace, true justice, and mercy, and visit the two cities.

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yabits

...they should be reminded that Japan, in renouncing war, has taken a far more meaningful step for peace.

And the world also knows that Japan's renunciation of war goes only as far as the US' military arm can reach. About as hollow as it is noble.

on the other hand, certain elements within the U.S. have always appeared ready and willing to bring mass death on others.

The US, as a whole, has never done something as unrealistic and impractical as renouncing war as a means for protecting its sovereignty and for pursuing it's goals. As the POTUS, Obama cannot believe without stipulation as you do that the US would never be justified to "bring mass death on others". If he did he would be the wrong man for the job and would have absolutely no business being the Commander in Chief.

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Yes, Obama should visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for the sake of closure and the Nobel Peace Prize.

(Going to the Yasukuni Shrine would be a different story)

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nightvision

(Going to the Yasukuni Shrine would be a different story)

LOL, so I guess the Emperor or PM visiting Arlington National Cemetary is out of the question...

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Should U.S. President Barack Obama visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki when he comes to Japan in November?

Absolutely Not Needed...

And even if he just goes there to grab a hamburger, the JN media and Gov't would love to paint it as some form of acknowledgement...

Here we go again... Jn's feeling sorry for themselves and trying once again to equate Japan as the Victim of WW2...

It seems their memory is so short lived....

Not even going into all the arguments about school kids and old lady's being trained to fight to the last person to defend the homeland, or that Okinawans were literally forced over cliffs to prevent them from surrendering, or that weeks leading up the actual bombings, the U.S. dropped leaflets explicitly tell people to flee these areas where the A-bombs had a possibility of being used... You see Japan, you have more problems with your own White-Washing of history...

Time to stop feeling sorry for yourself and start dealing with your own REAL problems, and here's a hint, 99.99999% of them don't involve foreigners...

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He should go, no harm there. But if he makes a speech then he shouldn't appologize for previous US actions. He should stress how the US is leading the international effort to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

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He should go, no harm there. But if he makes a speech then he shouldn't appologize for previous US actions. He should stress how the US is leading the international effort to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

I agree with just about everything you said here, aside from visiting the actual sites or the memorials... If he visits the cities and makes a couple visits to the Universities or local Better Business Bureau's and makes a couple speeches, I think would be fine...

But nothing more than that...

You see the Japanese of today, really truly do not know what happened 60 years ago, as far as most school kids today know (and have been taught in schools), they believe that Japan was a peace loving nation, and all of a sudden, "The Great Satan" just started dropping bombs...

I've even heard that some people really have no idea which happened first, Perl harbor or Hiroshima.... While I don't necessarily agree that Perl Harbor was 100% Japan's fault (I fault U.S. military leaders at the time for being so unprepared more that anything), nor was it their greatest evil against the U.S. and certainly not Asia or even humanity for that matter.

If he goes to Hiroshima or Nagasaki, he should stay well clear of the Memorials, at least until the JN Gov't incorporates the slave immigrant monuments into the same area, thus giving them at least equal status... They go to such great lengths to lower the status of the non-JN's who died there...

They were forced into slavery from other countries into Japan, against their will, and died as a direct result of Japan's war or aggression, they deserve much better than a tiny little placard / monument hidden behind some toilets, which requires a GPS to even find...

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And the world also knows that Japan's renunciation of war goes only as far as the US' military arm can reach.

There has certainly been no consensus within Japan for a military that could project power beyond that needed to protect its own territory.

The US, as a whole, has never done something as unrealistic and impractical as renouncing war as a means for protecting its sovereignty and for pursuing it's goals.

Yes, it's unrealistic and impractical for the hegemony the U.S. has pursued over the decades. U.S. hypocrisy may be seen at the root of what initally forced another nation to adopt that which is viewed as "unrealistic and impractical" for itself.

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Ridiculous, Nobel prize whatever. Those two cities represent peace in what they are symbol. The prevention of millions of more people dying because of Japanese imperialism. If we didn't drops those bombs we'd divided up Japan just like Korea and in the 50's the US would've fought the Chinese and Russians in Japan and now it would be North Japan and South Japan. See other threads about the northern islands Japan wants back from Russia. Japan wouldn't be a shadow of what it is today had we not dropped the bombs.

Obama should visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki when Hatoyama is in Nanking on his knees begging for forgiveness.

I love Japan but this victim card needs to be burned along with the shrine to the fallen war criminals.

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yabits

U.S. hypocrisy may be seen at the root of what initally forced another nation to adopt that which is viewed as "unrealistic and impractical" for itself.

If by 'another nation' we're talking about Japan then again this oh-so-noble rejection of war is only possible because of its strongest ally's pursuit of hegemony. Can't have one without the other.

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I have no problems with Obama apologizing to yet another nation, it's clear now that the act of doing so is all about him.

Go to Hiroshima and Nagasaki - and then to Kyoto, to tell the world and ignorant American libs that this is the city where Japan's Manhattan Project was established.

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If by 'another nation' we're talking about Japan then again this oh-so-noble rejection of war is only possible because of its strongest ally's pursuit of hegemony. Can't have one without the other.

Completely false.

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USN: I agree with what you say. Japan and S. Korea have the full backing of the US military. Without it you might have seen both sides be a lot more agressive over the last 60 years. Its a great deal for Japan considering they don't have to "waste" billions of dollars on their military like the US does. All that money can go back into infrastructure or lower taxes

To use an analogy you don't have to fight on the playground if your bigger brother does your fighting for you.

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Of course he can visit, and state that America would do exactly the same (use overwhelming military power) again if Japan EVER needs reminding that its arrogant, cruel & brutal expansion will never be tolerated by a free world.

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Obama will go to Hiroshima and deliver a speech about himself.

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Only if he wants to.

But if he wants to show the world (or just Japan) what he'd do to Japan if it got

arrogant, cruel and brutal

then he can always demonstrate his determination on anthony39. I'm sure he'd be glad to help. After all, he's obviously a concerned citizen.

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I was going to choose "yes" - Obama should visit. But then today some Japanese politicians visited the shrine. Then I was instantly reminded about WW2 and what Japan did to human beings. I selected "no" - Obama should not visit those places.

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The US should not feel any guilt about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as much as the Japanese should over how the rape of Nanking served as an effective population control in China.

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Oh god, japan with it's poor victim us again. Nauseating, is there no end to it? Let the emperor go to Nanking first to atone for japan's bloodthirsty savagery first.

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To dammit...

not particularly a concerned citizen, just one flabbergasted and appalled at the victim card been waved by anyone expecting an apology over the atomic bombing of japan.

Japan needed telling, and 2 atomic bombs on civilian populations were the only way to make Japan listen. Tragic, but necessary to make an arrogant people kowtow.

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I wouldn't apologize for those A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In fact, they'd better not get too uppity or it'll happen again.

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Obama should go there and say, "We did what we did to save you from yourselves. It's too bad that people had to die, but blame lies with the former leadership of your country. Get over it. Grow up."

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Visit, yes; apologize for the bombs, no (but he probably will)...

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I don't think he should go anywhere near either city. When was the last time a Japanese Prime Minister went to Pearl Harbor?

If he does go I would like to see him give a real speech stating how the Japanese got what was coming to them and they were lucky to get off so lightly. If they hadn't surrendered when they did they would all be speaking Russian by now.
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Disillusioned at 9:48 PM - That's not going to happen. Heck, if Bush Sr. didn't give that speech, Barack Obama surely isn't going to.

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