Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, on Saturday criticised US President Barack Obama for visiting Hiroshima while neglecting to mention the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.
“Does Obama ever discuss the sneak attack on Pearl Harbour while he’s in Japan? Thousands of American lives lost,” Trump said on his Twitter.
Obama on Friday became the first incumbent US president to visit Hiroshima since America dropped an atomic bomb on the city in 1945, forcing Japan to end the World War Two (WWII).
Japan surrendered within seven days of the atomic bombings on the city of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and August 9 respectively.
However, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he had no specific plans to visit Pearl Harbour in Hawaii, which was attacked by the Japanese military on December 7, 1941, killing more than 2,400 people and leading to Washington’s entry into WWII.
As many observers and US media have pointed out, with the end of Obama’s last term in office approaching in January 2017, he hopes to cement his legacy as an advocate of nuclear disarmament by claiming the title of the first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima.
On the Japanese side, Tokyo wanted to take Obama to Hiroshima, not because it wants an apology or calls for a nuclear-free world. Instead, Japan is more interested in highlighting the tragedy of Hiroshima while ignoring the sufferings of countries that it brutalised before and during WWII.
Japan is trying to downplay its role as an aggressor and attempting to portray itself as a victim, observers believe.