Leaked Cable Shows Japan Advised Obama Not To Apologize For WWII Japan Nuke Bombings

Leaked Cable: Japan Advised Obama Not To Apologize For WWII Japan Nuke Bombings

WikiLeaks is in the news again, this time offering a revealing look at how the White House dealt with a sticky foreign relations issue relating to Japan. In the leaked cable from 2009, John Roos, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, tells the White House that, per his conversation with Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka, it would not, as he sees it, be especially prudent for the President to offer Japan an apology for the U.S.’s bombing of Japan during WWII. The cable was sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before Barack Obama‘s planned visit to Japan:

Anti-nuclear groups, in particular, will speculate whether the President would visit Hiroshima in light of his April 5 Prague speech on non-proliferation. He underscored, however, that both governments must temper the public’s expectations on such issues, as the idea of President Obama visiting Hiroshima to apologize for the atomic bombing during World War II is a “non-starter.” While a simple visit to Hiroshima without fanfare is sufficiently symbolic to convey the right message, it is premature to include such program in the November visit.

You can read the full cable here.

NPR is reporting that, according to White House spokesperson Tommy Vietor, “there was never any plan for the president to apologize. The President’s visit speaks for itself.”


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