In other words, it sounds like Obama wanted to include Hiroshima on his 2009 “World Apology Tour” but Japanese authorities didn’t feel it was appropriate.
A senior official of Japan’s Foreign Ministry told the U.S. ambassador in Tokyo it would be premature for U.S. President Barack Obama to visit the atomic-bombed city of Hiroshima during his November 2009 trip to Japan, according to a secret U.S. cable recently released by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.
The cable indicates the Japanese government was then effectively discouraging Obama from visiting Hiroshima despite growing expectations over it following his call for a world free from nuclear weapons in a speech in Prague in April 2009.
The cable, dated Sept. 3, 2009, and sent to U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton, reported Japan’s then Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka telling Ambassador John Roos on Aug. 28 that antinuclear groups would speculate over whether the president would visit Hiroshima in light of his Prague speech on nuclear nonproliferation.
“He underscored, however, that both governments must temper the public’s expectations on such issues, as the idea of President Obama visiting Hiroshima to apologize for the atomic bombing during World War II is a ‘non-starter’,” said the cable.
It also quoted Yabunaka as saying, “While a simple visit to Hiroshima without fanfare is sufficiently symbolic to convey the right message, it is premature to include such program in the November visit.”
From my perspective, that last quote translates to “We don’t want Obama to visit Hiroshima because it’ll be all about him and include the usual pomp and circumstance that an audience with The One typically entails.”
It’s pretty bad that even the Japanese were like, “dude, think it through…”
The end of the US/Japan war saved upwards of a million American lives (the way it started cost thousands of American lives), and the thought of an American President wanting to apologize for it is maddening. Of course, Obama thinks globally, not locally.