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A-bomb survivors criticize Abe over Pearl Harbor speech

While giving it some marks for serving as a first step toward a reconciliation over the attack on Pearl Harbor, survivors of the World War II atomic bombings are criticizing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Pearl Harbor speech, both for lacking an apology and for being at odds with the Abe administration's strengthening of national security laws.

Sunao Tsuboi, 91, the chairman of the board of the Hiroshima Prefecture Confederation of Atomic Bomb Sufferers Organizations, shook hands with U.S. President Barack Obama in May this year in front of a cenotaph for A-bomb victims in Hiroshima, and has visited Pearl Harbor in the past. "I commend Abe for laying flowers at the USS Arizona Memorial as a sitting prime minister, but he should have gone sooner," Tsuboi said.

Regarding the part of Abe's speech that suggested that Japan's post-war recovery was due to the open-heartedness of the U.S., he said, "For people who were exposed to the A-bomb, we have trouble agreeing with that."

Koichi Kawano, 76, a survivor of the Nagasaki bomb and head of the Japan Congress Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs said of Abe's speech, "Considering that the attack by Japan 75 years ago caused many people to die, an apology should have accompanied this visit of condolence."

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