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 Post subject: Debate rages over Obama trip to Hiroshima
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 4:22 pm 
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Debate rages over Obama trip to Hiroshima: Japanese call for nuclear bomb apology as U.S. survivors of WWII 'death march' are adamant they have nothing to atone for



By Corey Charlton for MailOnline

Published: 00:31 EST, 23 May 2016 | Updated: 09:26 EST, 23 May 2016


Debate is raging ahead of President Barack Obama's planned visit to the Hiroshima memorial where he has vowed he will not apologize for the U.S's use of atomic bombs in the Second World War.

His visit to the site later this week marks the first time a sitting U.S. president has visited the memorial, created to remember the 140,000 people killed in the American nuclear strike.

However, his visit has been clouded in controversy amid growing calls for the U.S. to apologize for the use of the weapons of mass destruction.


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Second World War veteran Lester Tenney, 95, holds a bamboo stick that he said Japanese soldiers used to beat him while he was held as a prisoner of war during the notoriously cruel Bataan Death March

President Obama's office has declared it will not be making any apology, sparking fury and debate among Japanese and U.S. survivors of the bloody conflict.

Michiko Kodama saw a flash in the sky from her elementary school classroom on August 6, 1945, before the ceiling fell and shards of glass from blown-out windows slashed her.

Now 78, she has never forgotten the living hell she saw from the back of her father, who dug her out after a U.S. military plane dropped the atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima.

Lester Tenney saw Japanese soldiers killing fellow American captives on the infamous Bataan Death March in the Philippines in 1942.

He said: 'If you didn't walk fast enough, you were killed. If you didn't say the right words you were killed, and if you were killed, you were either shot to death, bayonetted, or decapitated.

The 95-year-old veteran still has the bamboo stick Japanese soldiers used to beat him across the face.

Across the two countries, different experiences, different memories are handed down, spread by the media and taught in school.

Collectively, they shape the differing reactions in the U.S. and Japan to Barack Obama's decision to become the first sitting American president to visit the memorial to atomic bomb victims in Hiroshima later this week.

The U.S. dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki three days after Hiroshima, and Japan surrendered six days later, bringing to an end a bloody conflict that the U.S. was drawn into after Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

Stephen Nagy, an international relations professor at the International Christian University in Tokyo, said Japan identifies mostly as 'a victim rather than a victimizer'.

He added: 'I think that represents Japan's regional role and its regional identity, whereas the United States has a global identity, a global agenda and global presence.

'So when it views the bombing of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, it's in the terms of a global narrative, a global conflict the United States was fighting for freedom or to liberate countries from fascism or imperialism. To make these ends meet is very difficult.'

A poll last year by the Pew Research Center found that 56 percent of Americans believe the use of nuclear weapons was justified, while 34 percent do not.

In Japan, 79 percent said the bombs were unjustified, and only 14 percent said they were.

Terumi Tanaka, an 84-year-old survivor of the Nagasaki bombing, said of Obama: 'I hope he will give an apology to the atomic bomb survivors, not necessarily to the general public.

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Arthur Ishimoto, 93, a Japanese-American and U.S. Army Military Intelligence Service veteran, is interviewed in Honolulu. He was adamant Obama and the U.S. had nothing to apologize for

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Mr Ishimoto, a Japanese-American and U.S. Army Military Intelligence Service veteran, displays archival photographs of himself


'There are many who are still suffering. I would like him to meet them and tell them that he is sorry about the past action, and that he will do the best for them.'

The White House has defiantly ruled out an apology, which would inflame many U.S. veterans and others, and said that Obama would not revisit the decision to drop the bombs.

Arthur Ishimoto, a veteran of the Military Intelligence Service who went behind enemy lines during the war, said: 'A lot of these people are telling us we shouldn't have dropped the bomb - hey, what they talking about?'.

Now 93, he said it's good for Obama to visit Hiroshima to 'bury the hatchet,' but there's nothing to apologize for.

Ishimoto, who was born in Honolulu and rose to be an Army major general and commander of the Hawaii National Guard, believes he would have been killed in an invasion of Japan if it had not surrendered.

'It would have been terrible,' he said. 'There is going to be controversy about apologizing. I don't think there should be any apology.

'We helped that country. We helped them out of the pits all the way back to one of the most economically advanced. There's no apology required.'

Beyond the deaths - the atomic bombs killed 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 73,000 in Nagasaki by the end of 1945 - the effects of radiation have lingered with survivors, both physically and mentally.

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Earl Wineck, 88, scanned the skies over Alaska for Japanese warplanes during the Second World War. He said he supported Obama's visit to the Hiroshima memorial


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Mr Wineck displays his Aleutian Campaign certificate and his discharge papers at the Alaska Veterans Museum in Anchorage

Kodama, the Hiroshima schoolgirl, faced discrimination in employment and marriage. After her first love failed because her boyfriend's family said they didn't want 'radiated people's blood in their family,' she married into a more understanding one.

The younger of her two daughters died of cancer in 2011. Some say she shouldn't have given birth, even though multi-generational radiation effects have not been proven.

Obama doesn't have to apologize, Kodama said, but he should take concrete actions to keep his promise to seek a nuclear-free world.

'For me, the war is not over until the day I see a world without nuclear weapons.' she said. 'Mr Obama's Hiroshima visit is only a step in the process.'

Nagasaki survivor Tanaka views the atomic bombings as a crime against humanity. A promise by Obama to survivors to do all he can for nuclear disarmament 'would mean an apology to us,' he said.

He added that his own government also should take some of the blame for the suffering of atomic bomb victims.

'It was the Japanese government that started the war to begin with, and delayed the surrender,' he said, adding that Japan has not fully faced up to its role in the war.

Japan did issue apologies in various forms in the 1980s and 1990s, but some conservative politicians in recent years have raised questions about them, said Sven Saaler, a historian at Sophia University in Tokyo.

'In particular right now when Japan has a government that is... backpedaling in terms of apologizing for the war, if now the U.S. apologized, that also would be, I think, a weird signal in this current situation,' he said.

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Michiko Kodama, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, said Obama shouldn't need to apologize, but believes he must take concrete steps to make the world nuclear weapon-free

Tenney, one of only three remaining POWs from the Bataan Death March, wants Obama in Hiroshima to remember all those who suffered in the war, not just the atomic bomb victims.

'From my point of view, the fact that the war ended when it did and the way it did, it saved my life and it saved the life of those Americans and other allied POWs that were in Japan at the time.

'I was in Japan, shoveling coal in a coal mine. No one ever apologized for that.

'I end up with black lung disease because they didn't take care of me in the coal mine, and yet there is no apology, no words of wisdom, no nothing.'

Obama's visit is firmly supported by Earl Wineck, who scanned the skies over Alaska for Japanese warplanes during the Second World War.

'He's not going there like some of them might, and keep reminding them of all their transgressions,' the 88-year-old veteran of the Alaska Territorial Guard said.

'That should have ended after the war, and I think a lot of it did, but of course, there's always people who feel resentment.'

Japan occupied two Alaskan islands during the war. The battle to retake one of them, Attu Island, cost about 3,000 lives on both sides.

'We hated them,' Wineck said. 'But things change, people change, and I think people in the world should be closer together.'

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Terumi Tanaka, Secretary General of Japan Confederation of A & H Bombs Sufferers Organizations, said he hoped Obama would give an apology to atomic bomb survivors


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3604220/Hiroshima-trip-Obama-stirs-differing-views-Pacific.html

We are sorry we had to nuke you twice because you were so fanatic you wouldnt surrender.
We are sorry we had to nuke you instead of killing 10x as many of you if we had invaded instead.
We are particularly sorry that we didnt hold a full scale Nuremburg style trials to properly deal with the scumbags who felt that death marches, torture and medical experimentation were acceptable acts.
Now fuck off.

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 Post subject: Re: Debate rages over Obama trip to Hiroshima
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 12:15 am 
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"We are sorry we had to nuke you twice because you were so fanatic you wouldnt surrender.
We are sorry we had to nuke you instead of killing 10x as many of you if we had invaded instead.
We are particularly sorry that we didnt hold a full scale Nuremburg style trials to properly deal with the scumbags who felt that death marches, torture and medical experimentation were acceptable acts.
Now fuck off."

This.

I was there last summer. The Japanese today at the museum and memorial were actually quite sensible about the ethics of the whole thing. If Obama does apologize he's doing it to pander to his white upper middle class intellectual fanboys. The Japanese today aren't screaming for apologies. They're hardly in a position to consider what they did to the Koreans.

Here's a lie I heard constantly about Hiroshima growing up. Paul Tibbets pilot of the Enola Gay, had horrible PTSD and nightmares about it the rest of his life.

Which was totally untrue and he never claimed that. He was happy he did it.

Disclosure: I love Japan today.

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 Post subject: Re: Debate rages over Obama trip to Hiroshima
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 1:05 am 
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Fortunately Hussein Obama wasn't calling the shots during WWII.

World would be much different place.

On a side note, the fighting in the Pacific was some of the most brutal in the history of warfare IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: Debate rages over Obama trip to Hiroshima
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 1:47 am 
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Okinawa was unreal both in terms of enlisted and civilian casualties. Okinawa alone justified the bomb.

Truman saved millions of Japanese lives, something the moral Monday morning QBs don't like to talk about.

The firebombings of Dresden and Tokyo actually killed more than the two bombs.

The Atomic Bomb dome is amazing because it was right below the blast. The framework probably survived because the force was down, not horizontal which took out everything else nearby.

Here's another Hiroshima fact...by 1957 it returned to its July 1945 population.

If you go there today it looks kind of like Long Beach, CA or parts of San Diego.

Japan should be on Americans places to visit right up there with Italy, France and England.

Can't wait to try snowboarding in Hokkaido. And I definitely want to see Okinawa and the south.

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 Post subject: Re: Debate rages over Obama trip to Hiroshima
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 11:48 am 
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Obama ought to apologize for his own political party being responsible for American citizens of Japanese descent being interned in camps during the war. Reagan already did that on behalf of the country in 1988.

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 Post subject: Re: Debate rages over Obama trip to Hiroshima
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 1:03 pm 
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No need to jump Obama's shit. Sounds like he made a quick and decisive decision that there would be no apology good for him.

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 Post subject: Re: Debate rages over Obama trip to Hiroshima
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 7:54 pm 
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If the US did not use the bomb a great deal more of 'The Greatest Generation' would not have come home.

I lived in Tokyo in 1970 as a young child. Hated just about every second of it. The Japanese people were still bitter and took it out on civilians. When the old man was around(Army Colonel) it was another story.
I lived in Taiwan and Korea for three years prior to that and it couldn't have been a more different story. The people of Taiwan and Korea were real gems-honestly nice people as a whole.

Attitudes change over the years and I will return to Japan again and expect to have a great time.

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 Post subject: Re: Debate rages over Obama trip to Hiroshima
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 8:18 pm 
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Japan has gone from being violently expansionist to depressingly asexual.

There won't be a crowding problem or need to expand unless they start getting busy soon.

Which is particularly bizarre because...these are Japanese women that men are not getting busy with.

Maybe Hi5 needs to go over there on an emergency mission.

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 Post subject: Re: Debate rages over Obama trip to Hiroshima
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 8:38 am 
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fractalsteel wrote:
If the US did not use the bomb a great deal more of 'The Greatest Generation' would not have come home.

I lived in Tokyo in 1970 as a young child. Hated just about every second of it. The Japanese people were still bitter and took it out on civilians. When the old man was around(Army Colonel) it was another story.
I lived in Taiwan and Korea for three years prior to that and it couldn't have been a more different story. The people of Taiwan and Korea were real gems-honestly nice people as a whole.

Attitudes change over the years and I will return to Japan again and expect to have a great time.


Interesting to say the least. Thanks for sharing.
Dan Smith--BYU wrote:
Japan has gone from being violently expansionist to depressingly asexual.

There won't be a crowding problem or need to expand unless they start getting busy soon.

Which is particularly bizarre because...these are Japanese women that men are not getting busy with.

Maybe Hi5 needs to go over there on an emergency mission.
:lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Debate rages over Obama trip to Hiroshima
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 8:56 am 
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Dan Smith--BYU wrote:
Japan has gone from being violently expansionist to depressingly asexual.

There won't be a crowding problem or need to expand unless they start getting busy soon.

Which is particularly bizarre because...these are Japanese women that men are not getting busy with.

Maybe Hi5 needs to go over there on an emergency mission.


True dat. He can multipurpose and pick up another rice rocket at the same time.

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