"In the atomic bombings, we find everything that is wrong with the United States: the lying, the official denial, the censorship."
U.S. filmmaker Oliver Stone, speaking at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo on Aug. 12, called on both the U.S. and Japan to admit unsavory aspects of their own history rather than avoid painful truths -- and also urged Japan to be more vocal toward the United States.
Stone, whose movies are known for their hard-hitting critiques of his country's foreign policies, had just returned from visiting Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where he attended atomic bombing remembrance ceremonies and met with hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors). He is presently touring Japan together with U.S. history professor Peter Kuznick, his co-collaborator for the 2012 television documentary "The Untold History of the United States" -- presently airing on NHK -- which undertakes a critical historical review of recent U.S. aggression and invasions.
Predominant understandings in the U.S., he said -- which have held that the bombs were necessary in order to end WWII and save lives, and which viewed the Japanese as fanatics who would have otherwise resisted surrendering -- are "all lies."