I grew up in Hiroshima, one of the two cities where Americans dropped the A-bombs.

Throughout my childhood in the 80s and 90s, I heard a lot of stories about the bombing.

Many people who had survived the bombing were still alive, and they would come to our school to share their first-hand experiences.

I don't recall any single person who expressed hatred towards Americans. They would say "War is bad" but they never said "Americans are bad."

My impression is that Japanese people have the feeling that it was something we all would have done if we had had such a powerful weapon at our disposal. We already feel guilty about starting the war, and we are aware that we've done a lot of things we are not proud of during the war. We certainly don't appreciate the A-bombing but we wouldn't go so far to hold a grudge after more than half a century.

From what I heard, we were already quite fond of American people right after the war. I think Japanese people simply saw the benefits of going hand in hand with Americans. Up until now, Japanese people seem to share favourable views of American contributions to rebuild Japan.

I wrote about my experience in Hiroshima more extensively here: Growing Up in Post-war Hiroshima

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