Seeds: Obama can now add another first to his list. Not only is he the first black President of the United States, and the first sitting president to visit Cuba in 88 years, he is also the first sitting President to visit Hiroshima, Japan. During WWII the USA made the risky decision to drop two atomic bombs on Japan in order to end the war quickly, one in Hiroshima and the other in Nagasaki on August 6th, 1945.
Core: The purpose of Obama’s emotional visit was not only to encourage the ongoing healing process of Japan and the US in the post WWII era, but also to encourage the elimination of nuclear weapons. In the speech he gave at the site of the Hiroshima Memorial, Obama reminded us that a future without nuclear warfare is one “we can choose, a future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not for the dawn of atomic warfare, but as the start of our own moral awakening.” He directly called for an elimination of atomic weapons for the sake of mankind, or for the creation of a world in which atomic weapons are not necessary.
Skin: While Obama was in Hiroshima, he never formally apologized. In the past, Japanese survivor groups have demanded for an apology from the US, stressing that the use of the atomic bomb was inhumane. However, polls show that most Japanese citizens are satisfied with the visit sans an apology, stating that Obama coming to pay his respects was enough.
Leaves: The ethics of dropping two atomic bombs in Japan at the end of WWII has always been debated. Some say that more lives would've been lost if the US didn’t take extreme measures to end WWII, while others argue that nuclear warfare against civilians was inhumane. President Obama’s visit leaves the world wondering if any new global restrictions will be made on the ownership and use of atomic weapons, especially for countries that are suspected of creating them such as North Korea and Iran. As he emphasizes in his speech, "scientific strides must be met by moral progress.”
Food For Thought: Do you think that nuclear warfare is moral? Do you think that we could have wars in the future that are fought with nuclear weapons?