In our quest for symbolic resolution, we need to be honest (“Obama pays historic visit to Hiroshima” in the May 28 edition). If President Barack Obama’s visit to the atomic-bombed city is an apology of a kind, then a similar apology of a kind is required of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

He needs to come to Hawaii and set foot on the USS Arizona Memorial.

Gestural politics is fine, but sincere, full-throated apologies are even better. Our country needs to offer a clear apology for the madness of nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Similarly, Japan must apologize for its wartime atrocities.

Americans of Japanese ancestry deserve an apology. The Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor overturned the lives of Japanese immigrants (issei) and their American children (nisei).

When the attack occurred, members of both groups, unless they had renounced their Japanese citizenship, were subjects of the Japanese Emperor, with the nisei holding dual citizenship. Because Japan went mad, their loyalty to the United States was called into question.

To establish trust between the people of Japan and Americans of Japanese ancestry, the Emperor — the symbolic head of Japan — should come to Honolulu and offer a heartfelt apology for the suffering endured by the issei and nisei following the Pearl Harbor attack.

Warren Iwasa

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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