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Hiroshima visit without apology

Saturday morning’s Mainichi ran a column by senior writer Ito on President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima last month, speculating that such a trip might have occurred much earlier if the Japanese side had seriously explored the possibility. By citing alleged U.S. Embassy documents published by WikiLeaks and remarks made by USG officials, the writer asserted that “mainstream” officials at MOFA, commonly known as “American school” diplomats, had been consistently negative about a presidential visit to Hiroshima or Nagasaki up until recently out of concern that a possible reciprocal trip to Pearl Harbor by a Japanese prime minister would be viewed as an apology and enrage rightists at home. Noting that Washington probably decided to go ahead with the visit since the Japanese side did not ask for the U.S. to apologize, the author wondered if Tokyo chose this approach because it wanted to avoid apologizing for Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and wartime misconduct in Asia.         

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