The US sent its first delegation to Hiroshima's annual memorial ceremony. Some Japanese would like the US to apologize for nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Sixty-five years after the United States dropped "Little Boy" on Hiroshima, effectively ending World War II and ushering in an era of nuclear dread, the United States sent its first delegation to the annual ceremony to remember the over 100,000 Japanese who lost their lives in the bombing.
While some Japanese hailed the presence of the US and other nuclear powers as a sign of commitment to eventual nuclear disarmament, for others it was too little, too late. Some Japanese still want an apology for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, while others complained about the absence of President Obama.
Some of Hiroshima’s hibakusha – as atomic bomb survivors are known – criticized the US ambassador for failing to meet with them, apologize for the bombing, or even offer a floral tribute. Others however, saw his visit as a sign of progress.
On the streets of Tokyo, there were mixed feelings regarding the US delegation’s attendance. “It’s good they’ve come, but why has it taken 65 years?” asked an office worker who was watching the morning’s ceremony from Hiroshima on public broadcast NHK. “And really, Obama should be here after the speeches he’s made about nuclear weapons."