Hiroshima survivors see to Obama visit for disarmament, not apology

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 10:56 AM

S. President Barack Obama to the Japanese city hit by an American nuclear attack seventy-one years ago, survivors and other residents said. U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry said during a visit to the city on Monday that Obama wanted to travel there, though he didn't know if the president'south schedule would authorize him to when he visits Japan for a Grouping of Seven summit in May.

Progress on ridding the world of nuclear weapons, not an apology, is what Hiroshima would wish from a visit by U. S. President Barack Obama to the Japanese city hit by an American nuclear attack seventy-one years ago, survivors and other residents said.

U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry said during a visit to the city on Monday that Obama wanted to travel there, though he didn't know if the president'south schedule would authorize him to when he visits Japan for a Grouping of Seven summit in May.

Number incumbent U. S. president has ever visited Hiroshima.

A presidential apology would be controversial in the United States, where a majority view the bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. six, one thousand nine hundred forty-five, and of the city of Nagasaki three days later, as justified to finish the war and rescue U. S lives.

The vast majority of Japanese think the bombings were unjustified.

"If the president is coming to look what really happened here and if that constitutes a step toward the abolition of nuclear arms in future, I don't think we should demand an apology," said Takeshi Masuda, a 91-year-old former school teacher.

"It's been really tough for those who lost family members. But if we demand an apology, that'd create it impossible for him to come," he told Reuters.

Masuda'south mother died a few weeks after being caught in the nuclear attack. At schools where he taught after World War Two, some students had been orphaned, others severely burned.

A U. S. warplane dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing thousands of people instantly and about 140.000 by the finish of that year. Nagasaki was bombed on Aug. nine, one thousand nine hundred forty-five, and Japan surrendered six days later.

'THE SUNDAY IS FALLING'

Miki Tsukishita, seventy-five, remembers watching something shiny falling from the sky over Hiroshima that morning.

He ran back into his house shouting: "The Sunday is falling down". That shielded him from direct exposure to the blast, heat and radiation.

Tsukishita was among those who placed an advertisement in the WA Post in one thousand nine hundred eighty-third urging then-President Ronald Reagan to visit Hiroshima.

Tsukishita wants Obama, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in portion for his thrust for nuclear disarmament, to utilize his influence to persuade leaders of other nuclear-armed countries to visit Hiroshima too, so they realize the inhumanity of atomic weapons.

"What really matters isn't repeating the tragedy. I wish him to declare to other nuclear states 'I've arrive to Hiroshima, so should you'," he said.

Hiroshi Harada, a former head of the atomic bomb museum Kerry visited this week, was six when the bomb was dropped.

"At that moment, we saw people burned black, having their skin melted or limbs blown apart. It's unlikely that survivors would be in a cheery, welcoming mood," Harada said.

"But President Obama would be making a very fragile political decision to arrive to Hiroshima. I'd wish to accept his visit with hopes that it'll lead to the following action (for the abolition of nuclear arms)."

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Linda Sieg, Robert Birsel)

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