Ground zero volunteer guide says there is hatred, but not for what everyone expects.

For the most part, Japan and the U.S. have a warm relationship. Aside from their deep economic and political ties, the people of the two nations are enthusiastic about cultural exchange of both the traditional and modern varieties, with large numbers of their citizens crossing the Pacific every year to visit each other’s homelands.

But each August comes with a reminder that Japan and the U.S. haven’t always been partners, or even friends. On August 6, 1945, the U.S. Army Air Forces dropped an atomic bomb, the first ever used in warfare, on the city of Hiroshima. The blast leveled the city’s central district, with some estimates of the death toll being more than 100,000.

With such a dark intersection of Japanese and American history, some might assume that Japan, or at least the people of Hiroshima, still feel a deep hatred towards the U.S. As a matter of fact, every time Hiroshima teenager, English-language volunteer guide, and Japanese Twitter user Yu (@yu_hobbyaccount) takes a group of foreign visitors around Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which is right next to ground zero of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, eventually someone will ask him about that, and every time Yu, and his fellow guides, have the same answer, which he relayed in a tweet on August 5, which quickly received over 162,000 likes.

“Tomorrow marks 74 years since the dropping of the atomic bomb. I’m a volunteer guide/interpreter in Peace Park, and every time foreign visitors ask me the same question.

‘Do Japanese people hate America?’

It’s a very meaningful question. Every time, we guides give the same answer:

‘It’s not America that we hate. What we hate is war.’

The response surprises many visitors, and some are moved to tears, reports Yu. “Informing visitors, so that what happened in Hiroshima never happens again, is our duty as guides,” he adds.

“8:15 a.m. This is a moment in time that we must never forget,” tweets Yu, referring to the time the bomb detonated, along with a photo of ground zero, Hiroshima’s Atomic Bomb Dome. “Please observe a moment of silence and say a prayer for peace in the world.”

It’s worth noting that while Yu volunteers as an English tour guide in order to help others learn about his city, his interests as a whole aren’t insular in nature, as he lists his primary hobbies as traveling and watching movies, with several U.S.-made pictures and a trip to New Zealand among his memories from last year.

As a volunteer, Yu doesn’t have a set-in-stone schedule for his guide/interpreter activities, but as of this week he says he’ll be on call every Monday, as well as the first Friday, second Saturday, and third Sunday of the month.

He’ll be waiting in front of the dome until 3 p.m. on each of those days, sporting the badge seen in the photo above, so stop by and say hi, since he’ll be happy to meet you, no matter where you’re from.

Source: Twitter/@yu_hobbyaccount via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where Hiroshima has always been one of his favorite places in Japan.