Many atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima say they hope U.S. President Barack Obama's historic visit next week will help them heal, with or without an apology. Jillian Kitchener reports.
Atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima are remembering the past, but looking toward the future... specifically, next week's historic visit of U.S. President Barack Obama. They are aware that Obama is not coming to apologize for the American bomb that decimated the city on August 6, 1945. But survivor Chisako Takeoka says an apology isn't necessary. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 88-YEAR-OLD SURVIVOR OF ATOMIC ATTACK, CHISAKO TAKEOKA, SAYING: "If he comes here and sees what a horrible thing the atomic bomb is, I think that's enough." Thousands of people in Hiroshima were killed instantly when the bomb struck. Another 140,000 within the next five months. Some Japanese paying their respects at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park say, Obama's decision to come at all is greatly appreciated. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 35-YEAR-OLD ARCHITECTURE FROM OSAKA, DAISUKE MITANI, SAYING: "The memory of Hiroshima is fading away even from the minds of the Japanese people, so his visit is very meaningful for Hiroshima. I hope he will see what really happened here and send out the message of peace to the world." Many Americans say the bombing of Hiroshima -- and another that hit Nagasaki -- were necessary to end World War 2. Most Japanese say they were unjustified. But officials in both countries say they don't want to dwell on the past. They say, it's most important to show a strong alliance NOW and move closer towards global denuclearisation.