• Tokyo


support the view expressed by Naoshi Koriyama in his May 17 letter, “Real effects of an atomic bomb” (which was a response to my May 10 letter, “Obama should not visit Hiroshima“). Koriyama suggested a summit of U.S., Russian and other world leaders in Hiroshima to establish an international consensus on banning nuclear weapons completely to save the Earth.

I should elaborate on my May 10 letter. I worked through my high school and university years in California in the 1950s. Though I never tried to let friends know that I was from Hiroshima and was an A-bomb victim, they soon found out and literally everyone stepped forward to apologize to me for what the United States, their home country, had done to my hometown.

Learning that average U.S. citizens were fully aware of the crime that their government had committed against the peace-loving people of Hiroshima was much more heartwarming than if I’d been given official words of apology from former President Harry Truman and other leaders. American people were sorry their country had to fight against Japan. American people were sorry their country was the first to drop A-bombs. That was enough for me then, and it is today.

On Aug. 6 every year a special ceremony is held in Hiroshima to pay respects to the dead and to pledge to the dead that there will be no more Hiroshimas. Dignitaries attend, declaring that the world must ban nuclear weapons. Others, “agitators,” also gather there from inside and outside Japan to seriously talk about peace on Earth, but more often than not to merely publicize their existence to gain a bigger say in regional, national and international politics.

When U.S. President Barack Obama visits Hiroshima in the future, I am absolutely sure he will be welcomed and thanked for visiting as an ordinary American citizen.

masanobu saito

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