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  • Writer's pictureTaher Tarraf

Biden's visit to Hiroshima does not include an apology for the nuclear bombing.

Updated: Aug 20, 2023

During his visit to Hiroshima as part of the G7 industrial summit, US President Joe Biden wrote a message in the visitors' book of the Hiroshima Peace Museum. The museum serves as a memorial for the victims of the atomic bombing that took place on August 6, 1945. In his message, President Biden called for the preservation of hope in building a world without nuclear weapons.

President Biden's visit followed the footsteps of his predecessor, Barack Obama, who became the first US president to visit Hiroshima in 2016. Like Obama, President Biden did not issue an apology for the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which occurred at the end of World War II. These bombings resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and are widely considered as the first use of nuclear weapons in history.

Critics argue that the absence of an apology from President Biden, or any US president, for these bombings is seen as an act of terrorism, criminality, and American arrogance. They question how a head of state can visit the site of such a heinous crime committed by their own country without extending an apology to the victims, the Japanese people, and humanity as a whole.

Ironically, President Biden's call for a world free of nuclear weapons is juxtaposed with the fact that the United States possesses thousands of nuclear warheads. Additionally, the US displays these weapons to nations without nuclear capabilities, using them as leverage in foreign affairs and resource exploitation. The US maintains strategic bombers, nuclear-armed submarines, and missile bases worldwide.

As the only country to have used nuclear weapons, and with a continued threat to employ them against opponents challenging its dominance, the United States has taken on the role of defender of peoples while accusing its adversaries of committing crimes against humanity. This policy has led to the imposition of blockades, resulting in the suffering and subjugation of millions of people under the pretext of suspected weapons of mass destruction.

While some argue that requesting an apology from the United States for the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki may not be sufficient to address such grave crimes, they emphasize the importance of holding those responsible accountable as war criminals. Their aim is to ensure that humanity never witnesses such atrocities again and to work towards a future where such events are unimaginable.

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