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Why Obama Shouldn't Apologize for Hiroshima - 2016/05/24
It seems that Obama is going to visit Hiroshima「広島市」, one of the two cities that the U.S. bombed during the Second World War. However, what most people are angry about is that he will not be apologizing for the actions of bombing the two cities to end the war, even though this visit is supposed to help improve U.S.-Japan relations (even though the relationship between the U.S. and Japan is doing just fine thanks to the Chinese economic threat to the both of them) and to talk about nuclear weapons and condemn their use (even though the U.S. is the only country to have used, not one, but two nuclear weapons to kill people, killing over 120,000 people).

However, despite the atrocities of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki「長崎市」 bombings, I believe that Obama does not have the obligation to apologize. In fact, even if he were to apologize it would be worth nothing.

Of course, those who know me and how much I love Japanese culture might be wondering why I would have such an opinion, wouldn't I side with Japan? And those who know that I am an American citizen figure "Of course he would side with the U.S., he's an American!". Well unlike some people I have this wonderful tool called reason. The fact is that Obama did not bomb Hiroshima nor Nagasaki, and therefore has no obligation to apologize for it. It would be as if my father were to kill someone, I have no obligation to apologize to that person's family for what my father had done.

However, what must be admitted is the atrocities of the bombings, but more importantly (and this is what the White House means when they say they aren't going to apologize) recognize that the bombings were unnecessary and were only used to stop the Soviet invasion of Japan since the U.S. and the other allies had already failed to do so in Europe (seeing that the Soviets beat them to Hitler, something that a lot of Americans don't like to recognize). This is something that the U.S. will hang on to until the day the country disappears, it is the one justification they have for the bombings, "We wanted to end the war!", "We wanted to reduce casualties!". Reducing casualties is extremely debatable, considering that at least 20% (if not more) of the civilian deaths suffered by Japan in the Second World War were from the two bombings, and in terms of total percentage (including military deaths) it could range anywhere from 4% to 10% of all Japanese deaths during that war. Comparing that to what Americans think is an atrocity, such as the 9/11 attacks where only 3,000 people died or even Pearl Harbour where it was merely 2,400 people. Given, all those were terrible events, except you can't say that you have it bad for a few thousand people dying when you defend the military decision that was taken to end over 120,000 lives. I know its a big number, and Americans don't usually score that high in math, but it's pretty big, imagine about 40 9/11 attacks all at once.

So, should Obama apologize? No. However, he should admit that the bombings were unnecessary, that it was only used to prevent more Soviet expansion, and that similar actions should not be taken in the future to avoid another situation similar to that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


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