A group of Japanese survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack are demanding President Obama apologize when he visits the site next week.
Although Jimmy Carter visited the city after his presidency, and Richard Nixon visited before he became president, Obama will be the first sitting president to make the trip.
Tens of thousands were killed by the bomb, and tens of thousand more died from the after effects.
A second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki days later killing tens of thousands more.
“I urge him to apologize to those who died, bereaved families and parents who lost their children,” Terumi Tanaka, a Nagasaki survivor and secretary general of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations said, according to Yahoo News.
“Many atomic bomb victims think it’s not all right if (Obama) doesn’t apologize,” said Toshiki Fujimori, Hiroshima survivor and assistant secretary general of the group Toshiki Fujimori, said.
“Atomic bomb victims are demanding that it be made clear that the dropping of atomic bombs was inhumane and breaches international law, and that will be confirmed by his apology,” he added.
Japan has asked world leaders to visit the city for years and have asked that efforts be made to eradicate all nuclear weapons, according to Yahoo News.
But revisionist history aside, it is important to note that Japan was the aggressor during World War II and its bombing of Pearly Harbor was the event that led to U.S. involvement.
The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff believed that an invasion of the island would have led to the deaths of 267,000 Americans, Forbes reported.
Moreover, a study by physicist William Shockley for the staff of Secretary of War Henry Stimson predicted 400,000 – 800,000 U.S. troop fatalities.
It is also believed that many of the civilians that were killed would have participated in fighting the allies if an invasion took place, according to Shockley’s analysis.
While Obama himself has called for the elimination of nuclear weapons in the past, U.S. officials have said no apology would be made.
But Obama does have a history of apologizing for America.
In France in 2009, as an example, the president said America “has shown arrogance” and failed “to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world.”
He has also repeatedly called for the closing of Guantanamo bay and accused America of participating in torture.
The president will also be visiting Vietnam on this trip and his administration is considering removing restrictions on selling arms to the island nation, according to the Wall Street Journal.
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