The State Department won’t do it:
Not all Japanese survivors of the bombing want an apology, of course — but some do, including the secretary-general of a victims’ association. Quote: “We welcome the visit. But without an apology, it is difficult for us. We aren’t asking for reparations. We simply want the U.S. to apologize and get rid of its nuclear arsenal.”
Because, after all, nothing says I’m sorry like unilateral disarmament. I confess the purpose escapes me of an official apology for the atom bombing of Japan. “We’re sorry we didn’t follow through with plans for a massively bloody and protracted invasion of Japan, accompanied, as no doubt it would be, by conventional carpet bombings and city-wide firestorms.” Hmm. “We’re sorry that you proved so unwilling to surrender Iwo Jima and Okinawa that we thought twice about how to win the war of aggression that you started against us.” Could enlist the support of our customer service industry? “We’re sorry that you feel that way.” Atomic warfare is obviously horrific, and we should all be very pleased that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the last of it. But apologies mean the guilty party should’ve done something else, because that something else would have been better for everyone. The absurdity of turning the end of the Second World War into a situation that demands an apology is only underscored by the aggrieved gentleman’s own belief that an apology is useless to him without nuclear disarmament.
No, rather than getting ensnared in the politics of apology theater, we’re better off pondering this remarkable episode of This Is Your Life.