Grandson of world's biggest terrorist:
Truman's grandson visits Hiroshima
The grandson of former US president Harry Truman, who authorised the atomic bombing of Japan during World War II, visited Hiroshima on Saturday ahead of the 67th anniversary of its devastation.
Clifton Truman Daniel, 55, toured the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and offered a silent prayer for victims of the 1945 wartime nuclear bombing, press reports said.
He is the first Truman relative to attend the anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki three days later.
After visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the former US president's eldest grandson told reporters he was struck most by the "message of peace the entire city is devoted to".
Tens of thousands of people attend services every year to remember the more than 200,000 people estimated to have died in the bombings, either instantly or later from burns and radiation sickness.
Mr Daniel, a former journalist who was invited by an anti-nuclear group, also talked with a handful of survivors and students at a Tokyo University forum on Friday.
"The meeting was great," he told reporters following the two-hour conversation during which he mainly listened to survivors who are now in their 70s and 80s.
"The most impressive thing is that survivors and students and all of us can come together and talk, and they can share their stories.
'The real tragedy'
The survivors who attended the forum generally welcomed Mr Daniel's visit.
"It's good to meet the grandson of Mr Truman as we have not had a chance to meet him before," said Nobuo Miyake, 83, who survived the Hiroshima bombing and now lives in Tokyo.
Kohei Koba, another male survivor, 79, said: "Since he is a grandson, he has no direct responsibility. Rather, I felt as if I met a distant relative."
But Reiko Yamada, a 77-year-old female survivor, said: "I would like him to know that some of those who lost their family members in the bombings will never forgive [the United States] no matter what."
Masashi Ieshima, another survivor in his 70s, said: "I'm not sure we could have sufficient communication in such a limited time. I hope he will learn about the real tragedy when he visits Hiroshima and Nagasaki."
Asked if he plans to publicly express his sympathy to survivors, Mr Daniel said only: "I certainly can feel terrible for what happened to them. It's obviously a difficult subject."
While opinions remain divided over whether atomic bombs were necessary to end the war, Mr Daniel has defended his grandfather, who ordered their use after Japan refused to surrender.
"I can't second-guess my grandfather... (but) there is no right decision in war," he said.
"My grandfather always said that he made that decision to end the war quickly. That's what he believed.
"[He] was horrified by the destruction caused by those weapons and dedicated the rest of his presidency trying to make sure that it didn't happen again.
"I hope that I can do the same, to work to hopefully rid the world of nuclear weapons."
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04-Aug-2012 09:30 PMSingapore: oppresses Muslims, bans athaan, bans hijab in schools, prevents building of madrassahs or muslim schools, puts limit on the percentage of Muslims allowed in each apartment building, and bans Muslims from joining Singapore's elite military forces. Singapore; Israel's best buddy!
05-Aug-2012 10:39 AM
How arrogant! He couldnt even express his sympathy and didnt even say it was wrong. What was the point in going? loser!