Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting Pearl Harbor at the end of this month, making this the first time that a Japanese political leader has traveled there since the end of World War II. This visit coincides with President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima earlier this year.
President Obama delivered a speech at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. He called for an end to nuclear weapons. He said that the nuclear powers “…must have the courage to escape the logic of fear, and pursue a world without them.” Incisively, Obama added, “We must change our mindset about war itself.”
Unfortunately, President Obama announced no new steps to achieve nuclear disarmament during his speech, and he disappointingly stated, “We may not realize this goal in my lifetime.”
Veterans For Peace is heartened to see the steps made towards friendly diplomacy and the focus on nuclear disarmament. As military veterans who have trained for and/or fought in wars, we know that any step, even small ones, make a difference in efforts to reduce violence and death. However, we continue to be dismayed at the lack of accountability that the U.S. has taken towards unleashing the most devastating attack the world has ever seen. The U.S. remains the only country in the world that has used nuclear weapons, of which the side effects are still being felt today.
So while we commend the steps President Obama has taken thus far to foment a friendship with Japan, we know that the foundation for any true friendship is one of trust and accountability. Veterans For Peace calls on President Obama to publicly apologize for the usage of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to take responsibility for the horrific outcomes those bombs had on Japan.
We ask that veterans join us by sending this letter to President Obama and to stand with us for a nuclear free world.
Veterans For Peace issued this apology earlier this year in May, after President Obama visited Hiroshima. It was the first visit by a sitting U.S. president. VFP members continue to carry this message of apology to the people of Japan.
Veterans For Peace Apologizes to Japanese People and the World
May 30, 2016
Veterans For Peace expresses our deepest condolences to all those who were killed and maimed, and to their families. We apologize to the Hibakusha, the survivors of the nuclear bombings, and we thank them for their courageous, continuing witness.
We apologize to all the Japanese people and to all the people of the world. This hugely atrocious crime against humanity should never have happened. As military veterans who have come to see the tragic futility of war, we promise that we will continue working for peace and disarmament. We want to see nuclear disarmament in our lifetime.