Opinion

No need for apologies over Hiroshima bombing or visit

President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, later this month, and it’s already creating controversy.

There are those who say the president should use the occasion at the site of the U.S. atomic bomb attack in 1945 as a chance to apologize for the bombing.

On the other side, American vets have asked Obama not to make the trip until the Japanese apologize for the wartime treatment of American prisoners of war.

Sorry. Every trip abroad doesn’t need an apology. Nor should it.

The White House has made clear that Obama is not apologizing for the bombing, which killed about 80,000 Japanese.

Nor should he apologize. The bombing was ordered by President Harry Truman.

And yes, many were killed. But that bombing, and the ensuing bombing of Nagasaki, helped end World War II. Countless thousands were saved because of that.

As for the Japanese, the leaders who badly mistreated American prisoners of war are long gone. We’re talking more than 70 years ago.

Just let Obama go, and talk about his commitment to peace and security in a world without nuclear weapons.

And let the Japanese be good hosts, which they undoubtedly will be.

If there are those who want to politicize the visit, let them. No apologies needed on either side.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Gary Stein is a columnist for the Sun Sentinel. Readers may email him at gstein@sunsentinel.com.

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