President Obama’s Hiroshima Visit Open for Discussion

The White House has clearly 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.

“A lot of these people are telling us we shouldn’t have dropped the bomb — hey, what they talking about?” said Arthur Ishimoto, a veteran of the Military Intelligence Service, a U.S. Army unit made up of mostly Japanese-Americans who interrogated prisoners, translated intercepted messages and went behind enemy lines to gather intelligence.

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 Japan 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.”

John Bond
Ewa Historian

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