Ninety percent of atomic bomb survivors appreciate President Barack Obama’s visit to Hiroshima and about two-thirds of them do not seek his apology for the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan, according to an Asahi Shimbun survey.

“It is more important to bolster the global momentum to rid the world of nuclear weapons by getting him to realize the horror of an atomic bomb, rather than seek his apology,” said Kunihiko Iida, 73, one of the respondents in the survey.

Obama visited Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on May 27, making him the first sitting U.S. president to do so.

“Death fell from the sky and the world was changed,” U.S. President Barack Obama said, after laying a wreath, closing his eyes and briefly bowing his head before an arched monument in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park that honors those killed on August 6, 1945, when U.S. forces dropped the bomb that ushered in the nuclear age. The bombing, Mr. Obama said, “demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself.”

Mr. Obama did not apologize, instead offering, in a carefully choreographed display, a simple reflection on the horrors of war and his hope the horror of Hiroshima could spark a “moral awakening.” As he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stood near an iconic bombed-out domed building, Mr. Obama acknowledged the devastating toll of war and urged the world to do better.

“We stand here in the middle of this city and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell … we listen to a silent cry.” Mr. Obama said.

A second atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki three days later Hiroshima killed 70,000 more. Mr. Obama also sought to look forward to the day when there was less danger of nuclear war. He received a Nobel Peace Prize early on his presidency for his anti-nuclear agenda but has since seen uneven progress.

 

 

 

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