SAN ANTONIO, May 20, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society (ADBC-MS)/ -- A leading voice for Pacific War veterans calls on President Barack Obama to change his approach to his upcoming historic visit to Hiroshima, the site of the first atomic bombing. Hiroshima is first and foremost about World War II, a brutal war started by fanatical militarists that killed and brutalized more civilians than combatants.
"He got it all wrong," says Jan Thompson, the group's senior representative. White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes says the primary goal of the visit is to highlight the President's "personal commitment to pursue the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." Thompson responds "To focus on an aspirational world without nuclear weapons ignores why the Pacific War was fought and lifts responsibility from the perpetrators. It is not the weapons of war, but the causes, conduct, and lessons of that war that matter most."
WHAT: Press conference with eleven former POWs of Japan to release their letter to the President objecting to the focus of his May 27th visit to Hiroshima
WHEN: Saturday May 21 from 1:00-2:00pm
WHERE: La Quinta Inns and Suites Riverwalk, 303 Blum, San Antonio, Texas (210-222-9181).
The press conference is part of the annual convention held May 19 through May 21 by the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society. The organization's members are survivors of wartime Japan's death camps and slave labor, their descendants, and scholars.
Over 26,000 Americans were POWs of Imperial Japan. Nearly 11,000 died in POW camps, aboard "hell ships," or as slave laborers to Japanese companies. Only an estimated 15,000 returned home.
Major General Anthony Taguba, USA (retired) will give the keynote address at the convention banquet that evening at 7:00pm in the La Quinta's Fiesta Ballroom. He will commemorate the estimated 300,000 Filipinos who fought to defend and then reclaim the Philippines from Imperial Japan. General Taguba's father was with the 45th Infantry, Philippines Scouts and a survivor of the Bataan Death March.
ADBC-MS President Jan Thompson's banquet speech will highlight how the American POWs of Japan will feel abandoned if the President does not note the full context of the War the Pacific.
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SOURCE American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society