Washington, May 23 (RHC)-- U.S. President Barack Obama says he will not apologize to Japan over the 1945 U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, emphasizing that looking forward and not backward will instead be the focus of his upcoming trip to the country.
This coming Friday, Obama will become the first sitting US president to ever tour the site of the world's first nuclear bombing that killed more than 140,000 people in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The attack was followed by another U.S. atomic bombing on the port city of Nagasaki three days later, killing about 73,000 people.
When on Sunday, Japanese national broadcaster NHK asked Obama if an apology would be included in remarks he plans to make in Hiroshima, he said: "No, because I think that it's important to recognize that in the midst of war, leaders make all kinds of decisions."
The U.S. president, who was awarded the 2009 Noble Peace Prize partly for his stance on nuclear non-proliferation, said the two allies needed to concentrate on their current relationship.
Survivors of the atomic bomb attack have a different opinion, with a Tokyo-based nationwide group saying that many of them still want an apology, but have kept silent out of fear that it would be counterproductive. The survey says that survivors want Obama to know that their suffering is not limited to immediate damage and physical scars as many of them have also suffered discrimination at work, in marriage and in other areas of their lives.
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