OSAKA: Hiroshima’s mayor indicated Thursday he is not seeking an apology for the atomic bombing of the city if US President Barack Obama decides to visit sometime around the Group of Seven summit in Mie Prefecture next month.
“We naturally have feelings to pursue responsibility (for the bombing). But it was 70 years ago, and the next generation has to overcome (the past),” Mayor Kazumi Matsui said on Thursday.
The mayor added he hopes that Obama not only visits the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and lays flowers at the Hiroshima Peace Park monument, but also meets with hibakusha to listen to their experiences.
Discussions between the US and Japan over the possible visit continue. Matsui said he thought momentum is building.
He said he hopes such a visit would take into account attitudes in the United States.
Some World War II veterans in particular have expressed concerns about a possible presidential visit to Hiroshima.
Last week, the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society, a group of former prisoners of war, their families and historians, called on the president to forgo a trip to Hiroshima until he breaks ground for a memorial to the American and Allied POWs in Moji, now part of Kitakyushu, the disembarkation point for many POWs after their capture.