Sac State Professor Applauds Obama Visit to Hiroshima

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SACRAMENTO -- Japanese language professor Kazue Masuyama was a bit emotional when she visited the Hiroshima bombing museum as a middle school student. She says the first visit to the site by an American president will have an effect as well.

Masuyama says a visit to the burned clothing and other relics of the attack that initially killed 140,000 people was different from reading about it in a book.

She said it wasn't just destruction on the day of the bombing, but the lives that were affected afterward, through slow deaths and the discrimination against survivors.

"They had to hide their identities because once exposed to the atomic bomb, they could not get married and they faced discrimination ... it's not the instant effect, but it affects many, many more years after the event," said Masuyama.

Masuyama actually led a student group to Hiroshima in January. Her students were affected by the trip to the bombing museum as well.

"It made me really emotional, I was shaking and crying a little bit," said Michaela Erwin.

And engineering student Kenny Mercado has a new perspective too.

"The ugly side of science made me realize...that in the future when I make something it should not be used for weapons," said Mercado.

Masuyama says the president's visit is an act of reconciliation and should serve to bring attention to the dangers of nuclear war.

"I think he will bring great awareness about what would happen if someone were to drop the bomb any place," said Masuyama.