Before a Visit, Views Diverge on Hiroshima
WASHINGTON--For decades, visitors to the ghostly dome in Hiroshima that stands like a sole survivor from the dropping of the atomic bomb there more than 70 years ago entered a world that mixed unspeakable tragedy with historical amnesia.
The site, which President Barack Obama will visit this month, reflected an almost universal Japanese view that the city was a victim of unnecessary brutality--parents and children incinerated, thousands killed and a generation poisoned by radiation.
Yet museum exhibits nearby were largely silent on what led to that horror, a Japanese war machine that tore through Asia for a decade before the morning that changed the history of the 20th century.
For Americans of the World War II generation, and many of their children, Hiroshima is at the center of a very different narrative. They believe President Harry S. Truman’s decision to drop the bomb saved tens of thousands of American lives that would have been lost in an invasion of Honshu, Japan’s main island.
Ask the few surviving veterans of that generation--those who fought their way from Iwo Jima to Okinawa and knew what was coming next--and there is no looking back at Truman’s decision, no moral equivalence between a Japanese campaign that killed more than 20 million in Asia and the horror of the bomb that ended it all.
With his decision to speak beneath that famous dome, Obama is taking a step 11 of his predecessors avoided. Merely by showing up in Hiroshima, he will have no choice but to navigate a minefield of conflicting historical memory, in Japan and in the United States.
過去に起こったことを繰り返す＝記憶がない と表現するのが面白いと思いました。(flying bird)