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Commentary: Blaming Japan for Pearl Harbor attack counterproductive

By Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of former U.S. President Harry Truman, who made the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan


It is wonderful that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to visit Pearl Harbor. He does not need to apologize for Japan’s Pearl Harbor attack. When I visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I was questioned about making an apology for the atomic bombings. Masahiro Sasaki, the elder brother of Sadako Sasaki, who was in Hiroshima when the A-bomb was dropped and later died at the age of 12, told me, “If we demanded an apology for the atomic bombings, the U.S. would tell us, ‘Remember Pearl Harbor.’” I believe that blaming each other for what our two countries did in the past is counterproductive.


If Abe conveys a message expressing respect for the victims and hope for friendship like President Obama did when he visited Hiroshima, his visit will have served its purpose. When an origami crane made by Sadako was donated to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, the U.S. welcomed the idea as a symbol of reconciliation between the two countries.

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