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Apology from Physicians for Social Responsibility

Physicians for Social Responsibility wrote this apology to the people of Japan for the US atomic bombings in 1945.
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Note: Ann Suellentrop delivered this letter March 6 in Kyoto, Japan, on behalf of PSR.

To the People of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,

Although the United States government has never apologized to you for the atomic attacks on your cities in August 1945, Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) would like to take this opportunity to do so. Our membership includes tens of thousands of doctors, nurses, public health professionals, and other allies from across the United States. We are united in our mission to protect human life from the gravest threats to health and survival, especially the threats of nuclear weapons and climate change. We are grateful our board member Ann Suellentrop can visit with you to bear witness, to listen and learn from you, and to share this message.

The Second World War was a time of horrors. Among those, several nations decided to bomb the cities of their opponents, despite rules of war that prohibit indiscriminate harm to civilians. Ultimately, the United States government used atomic bombs as part of this unconscionable strategy. As an American organization, Physicians for Social Responsibility apologizes to you for the many devastating harms you have endured as a result of this appalling form of warfare.

Brian Campbell of Physicians for Social Responsibility—Photo courtesy of PSR

PSR advocates total abolition of nuclear weapons everywhere, in solidarity with the Hibakusha, with many Japanese organizations and millions of Japanese petition-signers, and with our international affiliates International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. We welcome the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and encourage all nations to sign and ratify it.

 Hiroshima, Nagasaki, never again! Each year, in the United States, PSR sponsors and encourages civil society commemorations of the anniversaries of the atomic bombings. These events provide an opportunity for sober reflection and recommitment to global nuclear disarmament. Last year, we tracked 75 such events around the United States.

We are committed to support the rights of people impacted by nuclear weapons, including the Hibakusha and all those harmed by development, testing, and production of these bombs. In solidarity with you, we will continue this work until the people of the world can live free from the threat of nuclear weapons.


Brian Campbell, Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility

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