5 Years On: Slow, Steady Shift in U.S. Opinion on Nukes


Washington, May 26 (Jiji Press)--As Thursday marks five years since former U.S. President Barack Obama visited the atomic-bombed Japanese city of Hiroshima, two Pulitzer Prize-winning historians see a slow but steady change in U.S. public opinion on nuclear weapons.

Obama's trip to Hiroshima, hit by an atomic bomb in August 1945, was deeply significant in that it was the first time for a sitting president to visit the western Japan city, said Kai Bird, co-author of the Pulitzer-winning book "American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer."

Obama, a public policy intellectual, "knew exactly what he was doing and how symbolic this visit would be," Bird said.

"It's an indication of a change that has happened in America," the other co-author, Martin Sherwin, added. The two were interviewed together online.

"The important thing to acknowledge is the change in generations and the passing of the World War II generation which believed deeply that the bombings saved" the United States, Sherwin also said.

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