Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wikileaks: Japan Warned Obama Not To Apologise for Hiroshima

Japanese news sources report a Wikileaks release of a Japanese Foreign Ministry cable to Hillary Clinton in August 2009, warning that Obama should not visit Hiroshima in his visit to Japan during November of that year (the one when Obama bowed deeply in homage to the Emperor of Japan).

Then-Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka said that such a visit would be "premature".  The Japanese government (who had already discerned Obama's need to apologise for America abroad) was focused on Obama's speech in Prague the previous April, where he called for a world free of nuclear weapons, and a visit to Hiroshima, including the possibility of a stated apology in addition to the symbolic one of his visit (as it would undoubtedly be interpreted by often violent left-wing, anti-nuclear groups in Japan), was bluntly turned aside by Yabunaka: "the idea of President Obama visiting Hiroshima to apologize for the atomic bombing during World War II is a 'nonstarter.'"

The Japanese press reports should be read in the light of the stereotypical oriental inscrutability.  While the report does not specify an apology in the offing, the reports nevertheless conclude:
At a news conference during his visit to Japan in November 2009, Obama said he would be honored and it would be significant for him to visit Hiroshima and the other atomic-bombed city of Nagasaki in the future.
So, Obama's obsessive need to proclaim America’s perceived faults could have been even worse, but he still has time in office to embarrass us some more.  What is this need among Democrats, especially Obama, to apologise for America?

This also strikes me as reminiscent of Jimmy Carter’s stubborn insistence on removing US forces from South Korea, due to his dislike of the lack of liberality of the government at that time in Seoul.  This was a campaign promise (struck with much the same attitude as Obama’s need to apologise to the world for the US) and he insisted on carrying it out despite the opposition of practically his whole staff.  A good study on the situation can be found here, but in addition, I have it on good authority that ultimately a major player that finally convinced Carter to reverse the decision was the Chinese, who were willing to accept the presence of the US troops because there was a good chance that the region would become destabilised without them.  Just as “only Nixon could go to China”, then likewise only the Chinese, seemingly working against their best interests, could convince Carter to avoid this egregious blunder.

Update: On a related subject (click to enlarge):

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