A Letter to the President of the United States of America
Re: The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Dear President Obama:
I take the liberty to write you a letter in the hope that I may have my request met by you.
I recently read an article stating that you are considering a visit to Hiroshima in November. You have a plan to apologize to the Japanese public regarding the two incidents one which occurred at this site at the end of the Pacific War.
Should you apologize or not depends on your courage. If I were the President of the United States of America, I would take this opportunity to apologize to the Japanese for the atomic bombing and put an end to the subject once and for all.
Let’s talk about the consequence of an apology. You may lose support from American nationalists for your presidential re-election, on the other hand such an apology would have a tremendous impact on Japan, a vital friend and ally to America. Madam Pelosi visited Hiroshima and presented the mayor a bouquet and bowed to the monument deeply from her waist. This had no effect on US and Japan relations. On the contrary she was perceived as a hypocrite because she was the king ping in passing "the Comfort Women Resolution" in July of the same year.
A visit without any apology what would happen?
I believe our two countries America and Japan will never become true and trusted friends and allies, even though the US has been the protector of Japan since 1961. That means Japanese and American soldiers will never fight shoulder to shoulder in any future events of war with the Chinese Blue Water Navy in any disputed area.
Asking Japan to join American forces if no apology is made is a cruel thing for the Japanese. You may get some help but not 100% commitment. The Japanese government may decide to go along, however, the Japanese will forever feel they are being forced against their will. Okinawa is a good example. When my wife and I visited Kadena US Air Force Base last year and interviewed the officer from the Department of Public Relations, he expressed their frustration toward the on going anti-American attitude on Okinawa.
In American eyes the war ended 65 years ago, but Okinawans say they have never heard an apology from an American president. I suppose the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki share the same sentiment, because no matter how Americans justify the bombings, there will be no change in the fact that 220,000 unarmed citizens mainly the old and children were killed without mercy that day by the American bombs.
President Obama, will an apology to Japan be a historical mistake?
I don't think so. Give a thought to the fact that the two nations are economic power houses. Combined GNP surpasses 20 trillion US dollars a year. This is 3.3 times larger than Hu Jintao's China, 18 times larger than Putin's Russia.
Mr. President don't you want the Japanese to rewrite their current Pacifist Constitution? All Asian countries are nervously watching the two great nations whether they can be united 100% or just 50% or less. It is well documented that China's military growth poses a threat to the Asian Pacific Region. United States of America and Japan must become strong and united allies in order to protect the entire Pacific Region.
President Obama, we all know that war is a human failure, there are no winners in war. America as victor of the Pacific War does not posses the right to continue a sixty year old war of words such as Japan attacked first. That war consumed three million three hundred thousand Japanese lives, hundreds of thousands wounded and killed on both sides. In Hiroshima and Nagasaki the atomic bombing took innocent women and children’s lives like never before and not since in the history of human warfare. History is best not to be forgotten and not to be repeated.
I have lived in the US for over 44 years and have a unique view of issues concerning the US and Japan. I was Supervisor for the construction of the Toyota automotive plants in America. Later, I was Public Relations for the Toyota group until I retired. We have created a half million jobs for Americans. Whether you agree or not, today, our national security means that we Japanese and Americans must be vital allies against the Chinese military buildup and Islamic terrorism.
Thank you for listening to me.
Nobuyoshi Ozaki / Christine Aragon Mandeville Louisiana
"A boy in Nagasaki" photographed by Joe O'donnell August 1945
"I entered from the naval port of Sasebo to the city of Nagaski. I was 23 year old US navy photpgrapher. My task was to record the afermath of atomic bombing. I was viewing the downtown from the hill. I sighted the men wearing white masks. They were working by the hole which was 3 feet deep or so. They were unloading the bodies from the carts and throwing in to the coal fire. I sighted a bare footed boy seems to be 10 year old walking toward the hole. He was carrying a little boy on his back. He stopped at the line and waiting for his 2 year old brother to be crimated. His expression on his face was stern, his mouth closed tight and looking straight forward. I wanted to hug him. I just could not control tears."
Joseph (Joe) Roger O'Donnell (May 7, 1922 – August 9, 2007) was an American documentarian, photojournalist and a photographer for the United States Information Agency. Born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, his most famous work was documenting photographically the immediate aftermath of the atomic bomb explosions at Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945 and 1946 as a Marine photographer. He died in Nashville, Tennessee.