President Obama will be going a memorial of the victims of the Hiroshima bomb attack that happened during the World War II at the end of this month. Back in 2009, he expressed on his first trip to Japan that he hoped that someday he could visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the dream came true for Obama.
Back in August 1945, during the terminal phase of the WWII, at least 120,000 people died when the United States army dropped the nuclear bomb called “Little Man” at Hiroshima. Also, they dropped a second bomb named “Fat Boy” to the city of Nagasaki 3 days after they dropped the Hiroshima one.
Little Boy was a uranium-fueled bomb of about 10 feet long and just over two feet across, that held 140 pounds of uranium and weighed nearly 10,000 pounds. Meanwhile, Fat Boy was 14 pounds of plutonium fission bomb that when it detonated about 1,650 feet above Nagasaki, it released 21 kilotons of explosive force.
Fat Boy exploded in a valley, so a huge part of the city was protected from the blast. It was estimated that between 45,000 and 70,000 died immediately, and another 75,000 were injured. However, no data on subsequent cancer deaths attributable to radiation exposure from the bomb is readily available.
The two bombings were reported to kill more than 200,000 people, and also being the only use of nuclear weapons at war.
An apology to Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Obama’s visit will highlight the continued commitment of the United States to pursuing the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. On one side, Japan might be waiting for an apology, but it won’t seem like it’s going to happen, and on the other side the United States is looking for reducing the use of nuclear weapons and lowering the risks of future nuclear attacks.
Ben Rhodes, a White House adviser said in a statement that President Obama will not call out the use the decision of using nuclear weapons, but the visit will mark the desire for nations to not keep developing and creating nuclear weapons.
“The visit will also symbolize how far the United States and Japan have come in building a deep and abiding alliance based on mutual interests, shared values, and an enduring spirit of friendship between our peoples,” said Rhodes.
Obama will be received by Japan Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, on May 27, and the visit is scheduled as part of Obama’s Group of 7 meeting for leaders of industrialized nations.
Source: The Japan Times