Tokyo over-interprets Obama’s Hiroshima trip

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-5-12 0:13:01

The White House announced Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima during a G7 summit in Japan later this month, a visit Japanese people have long been waiting for. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were attacked by atomic bombs at the end of World War II, and Japanese society has to a large extent portrayed itself as a victim of the war in the way it records its history, rather than as an aggressor.

Until fairly recently, high-level US officials had not visited Hiroshima, nor had they attended anniversaries of the atomic bombings in Japan. But the situation started to change in 2010, and this year, John Kerry became the first serving US Secretary of State to visit Hiroshima. Obama will become the first ever sitting US president to do so.

Obama has been pushing hard for his vision of a "nuclear free world." Yet the decision to visit Hiroshima is sensitive and has immediately triggered dissenting voices in the US.

There is barely any country that has responded to his proposal for a world without nuclear weapons, and the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) Obama hosted has also turned out to be not as successful as he expected.

Moreover, the NSS remit has changed from eliminating nuclear weapons worldwide to nuclear power safety. Since the clock is running out on Obama's presidency, the NSS may come to an end. Therefore, a visit to Hiroshima will help him hype up his glorious ideology again.

Japan, on the other hand, cannot help but over-interpret it. Although Japanese officials were too embarrassed to ask, still, Japan's public opinion pretentiously tossed out the question - will Obama apologize for the WWII bombing? The answer they received from the White House is negative.

Japan's right-wing forces have always been trying to whitewash the country's cruel, heartless and reckless role as an invader during WWII. Meanwhile, they have never been willing to deeply reflect why it suffered the only two atomic bombings aimed at civilian targets in human history.

Nuclear weaponry is not some great technology that deserves developing and promoting. More than 70 years ago, the use of the first atomic attack in history cost numerous lives in Hiroshima. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with Obama, president of the world's largest nuclear power, propagating his concept of a world without nuclear weapons there. However, the question that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would very much like to ask, but does not have the nerve, will never be heard by the world.

Posted in: Editorial

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