entertainment

Japan 'Barbie' distributor regrets reactions to A-bomb-related images

43 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

43 Comments
Login to comment

Many U.S. polls have indicated that some in the country believe the nuclear attacks on Japan were necessary to end the war.

Oppenheimer, himself, felt that way, didn’t he?

“The war had started in ‘39. It’d seen the death of tens of millions. It’d seen brutality and degradation, which had no place in the middle of the 20th century. And the ending of the war by this means, certainly cruel, was not undertaken lightly. But I am not confident, as of today, that a better course was then open.” -- J. Robert Oppenheimer, CBS News interview, 1965, when asked whether dropping the bomb on Japan was necessary

-7 ( +22 / -29 )

So perhaps the newspaper needs to ask some questions to those who make these decisions to find out if Oppenheimer is being censored or not? If so, can we have a clear statement to explain that choice? Surely that is what journalism means, not just repeating content from other second-hand sources. Raise your game, please

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Many U.S. polls have indicated that some in the country believe the nuclear attacks on Japan were necessary to end the war.

Nothing in this world justifies to evaporate 2 cities full of innocent people..

Good old US as always romanticized the biggest war crime in history...

0 ( +36 / -36 )

The Japanese distributor of the U.S. blockbuster movie "Barbie" expressed regret Monday over the film's official promoters cheerfully engaging with social media posts that link the main character to atomic bomb-related imagery inspired by the biopic "Oppenheimer" released at the same time.\

Just check how many Japanese movie about Nanjing, and they never apoligize at all about wrongful depiction of history and glorifying Japanese protagonist, over and over again.

-11 ( +31 / -42 )

Nothing in this world justifies to evaporate 2 cities full of innocent people..

Be careful what you wish for.

The impact of the massive firebombing campaign and atomic bombs was that Japan surrendered in August. If Japan didn’t surrender in August, the Soviets would have invaded. And the Americans would then have invaded too, and Japan would have been carved up — just like Germany and the Korean Peninsula eventually were. And the other thing that would have happened is that millions of Japanese would have starved to death that winter — because surrendering in August gave MacArthur time to come in with his occupation forces and feed Japan.

Yes, nuclear weapons are awful, but most of Japan’s residents would have had a radically different future if those bombs had not been used and the nation had not resultantly surrendered in August.

-9 ( +25 / -34 )

Nothing in this world justifies to evaporate 2 cities full of innocent people..

Good old US as always romanticized the biggest war crime in history...

Tell me you don't know history without telling me you don't know history.

Even in WW2 this statement wouldn't be true by any moral or quantitative metric.

4 ( +25 / -21 )

From the article:

...and the film about Robert Oppenheimer, a physician who led...

Oh my.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

It’s a film. I can’t judge the content of the film because I have been prevented seeing it. Let’s be able to watch the film and have an informed discussion about how it represents the history and the biases and falsehoods it offers.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Many U.S. polls have indicated that some in the country believe the nuclear attacks on Japan were necessary to end the war.

Pointing this out deprives the Japan/Hiroshima victim card being played. Asiaman7 above is spot on. The war dragging on into 1946 would have seen the USSR make landfall. Tell me how that would have been more humane.

-10 ( +20 / -30 )

Oh my.

He’s a doctor of antoms and energy.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Why is this the ‘top story’ of the day?

it’s just movie memes!

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Try to check on Japanese social media about #NoBarbenheimer, no wonder most of Japanese have no idea about Pearl Harbor this day. Shouldn't do Pearl Harbor in the first place.

https://www.nytimes.com/1985/12/07/world/for-most-japanese-pearl-harbor-is-just-a-footnote.html

-13 ( +13 / -26 )

One such image appears to depict the actors who portray Barbie and Oppenheimer posing happily in front of an apocalyptic blast that some in Japan have said resembles the real destruction of the U.S. atomic bombs dropped at the closing stage of World War II.

If only the Japanese electorate had similarly strong reactions to the damage done by their one party LDP government everyday.

They are just worried about the effect on Barbie's Japan BO.

-4 ( +14 / -18 )

“Robert Oppenheimer, a physician who led the project of making atomic bombs.”

A ‘physician’ is a medical doctor. Oppenheimer was a physicist.

Moderator: Thanks for pointing that out. It has been corrected.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

Asiaman7Today 07:08 am JST

The impact of the massive firebombing campaign and atomic bombs was that Japan surrendered in August. If Japan didn’t surrender in August, the Soviets would have invaded. And the Americans would then have invaded too, and Japan would have been carved up — just like Germany and the Korean Peninsula eventually were. And the other thing that would have happened is that millions of Japanese would have starved to death that winter — because surrendering in August gave MacArthur time to come in with his occupation forces and feed Japan.

Careful, people don't want to hear the truth. They think their lives would be just the same... except those in the NK-style dictatorship in the north I guess.

-6 ( +21 / -27 )

Japan can’t expect the rest of the world to pander to their biased perception of historical facts. Similar approach to the reaction of the CCP to uncomfortable facts.

Yes Japan suffered bombardment by a number of weapon systems, some more powerful than others, not that the difference between being blown up by shells, bombs or killed in a firestorm howsoever caused would matter to those killed. But it needs to be recognised, accepted and taught that the responsibility and root cause lies with Japan launching a brutal, unjustified and unlimited war on its neighbours. Had Japan not done so none of them would have died.

-4 ( +23 / -27 )

If Japan didn’t surrender in August, the Soviets would have invaded. And the Americans would then have invaded too, and Japan would have been carved up — just like Germany and the Korean Peninsula eventually were. 

You’re only looking at this from the dropping of the atomic bombs. Roosevelt and Churchill discussed with Stalin the conditions under which the Soviet Union would enter the war against Japan and all three agreed that, in exchange for potentially crucial Soviet participation in the Pacific theater, the Soviets would be granted a sphere of influence. Russia would take the Kurils and yes they were ready to come down on Hokkaido.

That said, you make it sound as if the Japanese should thank the U.S. for dropping the bombs when the U.S. was an aggressor as well. No condoning this, but in that era it was perfectly acceptable to trade countries like baseball cards. The UK and USA also offered China the French colonies in IndoChina, as if they were theirs to give away.

This type of thinking is incomprehensible to us today, the notion of “Sovereign Nations” having entered the public consciousness.

After WWII ended, there were plans to share the spoils of Japan. The Allies decided to divide Japan into separate occupation zones, just as they had done with Germany, the other major Axis power.

The Soviets would get Hokkaido and Tohoku. China Shikoku. US Honshu. The UK Kyushu and Chugoku. The Potsdam Conference partially refutes this argument crediting the bombs for an undivided Japan.

So why was this not carried out? That’s the answer to why Japan remains undivided East and West today and not so much the atomic bombs that we are supposed to be thankful for.

4 ( +15 / -11 )

It comes from a country claiming to be Japan’s friend.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

quercetumToday 08:06 am JST

The Soviets would get Hokkaido and Tohoku. China Shikoku. US Honshu. The UK Kyushu and Chugoku. The Potsdam Conference partially refutes this argument crediting the bombs for an undivided Japan.

So why was this not carried out? That’s the answer to why Japan remains undivided East and West today and not so much the atomic bombs that we are supposed to be thankful for.

Nope still the atomic bombs. The US was only able to correct the evils of the Potsdam and Cairo Declarations because it was in a position to keep the Soviets OUT. Yes, it would have been better to not have made the declarations in the first place but clearly mistakes were made in the rush to defeat fascism.

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

Many U.S. polls have indicated that some in the country believe the nuclear attacks on Japan were necessary to end the war.

Because that's what American education tells them to think.

The defeat of Japan was inevitable. The decision to drop the atomic bombs has a lot more to do with post war strategy and the U.S.'s rivalry with Russia. The U.S. wanted to show it had the most powerful weapons ever created in human history and they wanted to test them on humans whilst they still had the chance. If you look into historic documents about how the U.S. selected Hiroshima and Nagasaki it has a lot more to do with population density and topography than it does strategic military benefit. They wanted ideal conditions for their science experiment.

You could argue all day about what may have happened if the bombs hadn't have been dropped and the war allowed to drag on. Maybe more innocent people would have died in the long run but you'd think perpetrating the single greatest loss of human life in human history might warrant a little more humility, self-reflection and soul searching. It's a complex issue that's of tremendous importance to every living person on this planet.

4 ( +19 / -15 )

Asiaman7Today  06:40 am JST

Many U.S. polls have indicated that some in the country believe the nuclear attacks on Japan were necessary to end the war.

Oppenheimer, himself, felt that way, didn’t he?

You are telling only part of the story. Oppenheimer was an advocate of the A-bombs use up to Hiroshima. He went so far as to block a petition signed by 30 US scientists associated with the A-Bomb development asking the POTUS to not use it. But after the results of Hiroshima were known, and the second one was dropped on Nagasaki Oppenheimer completely reversed his position and became vocal against the use of A-bombs. He protested to the POTUS that the second A-Bomb was unecessary.

20 ( +25 / -5 )

Time to drop a truth bomb. We all (should) know history is written by the winners - so some of you may want to research a bit more before you try to justify a war crime and the mass murder of children with the atomic bombings.

Japan was on its knees and wanted to surrender, but they needed a diplomatic way for it to happen so the Emperor (at the time regarded as a deity-like figure could save face). Japan reached out several times on diplomatic channels to try and arrange an acceptable surrender, but... that didn't fit with the US govenrem,tns plans and needs. The US governemnt had spent millions upon millions of tax payer money on the atomic project and were getting criticised for it, so needed to justify it, provide a bing bang for the buck - plus they needed to flex in front of Russia (who they saw as the next threat,) and take control of Japan before they did.

Make no mistake that the mass murder (of innocent women, children, babies, men) and war crimes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were economically driven and more about fear of Russia than Japan (who were pretty much on the canvasss ready to tap out).

Why not drop the first bomb on a non populous area adn then give the option to surrender? No, they needed somethig big to scare off the Russians and ascend the world throne as the new bully in town. Bullies don't threaten, they punch.

But I understand, Americans are culturally very proud and being nationalsitic is a big part of their identity so it must be hard to accept their fore-fathers' war crimes.

Now, before the torrent of "what abouttery" I'm British, and I accept the multiple war crimes and attrocities my country has committed. Britain invented concentration camps, Tony Blair (and arguably Churchill) are war criminals. We enslaved two thirds or the world at one point. That is also pretty evil and wrong.

Innocent children should never be deliberately targetted - only criminals and psychopaths would do this or try to advocate or justify it. End.

8 ( +23 / -15 )

Just in case TLDR...

Innocent children should never be deliberately targetted - only criminals and psychopaths would do this or try to advocate or justify it. End.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

Cucked KYODO with no chill. The last sentence of this article is 10 times more offensive than Barbie Twitter.

Instead of using polls from an American public that has been systematically dumbed down into being unable to see further than their nose, KYODO should be referencing primary sources.

Adm. William Leahy, Truman’s chief of staff - “the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender. In being the first to use it, we adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.”

Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz, commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet - “the atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military standpoint, in the defeat of Japan.”

Adm. William Halsey Jr., commander of the US Third Fleet - “the first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment. It was a mistake to ever drop it. [The scientists] had this toy, and they wanted to try it out, so they dropped it.”

Gen. Dwight Eisenhower “voiced my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives." "It wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.” 

Maj. Gen. Curtis LeMay - “the atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all.”

The CFR needed the atomic bomb for their NSC-68 plans to pit the Americans against the Russians in the cold war. Both sides they controlled.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Asiaman7Today  07:08 am JST

If Japan didn’t surrender in August, the Soviets would have invaded.

The Summary Report (Pacific War) of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, published in 1946 concluded that Japan would have surrendered before November 1 without the atomic bombs and without the Soviet entry into the war.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

You are telling only part of the story. Oppenheimer was an advocate of the A-bombs use up to Hiroshima. But after the results of Hiroshima were known, and the second one was dropped on Nagasaki Oppenheimer completely reversed his position and became vocal against the use of A-bombs. 

“But I am not confident, as of today, that a better course was then open.”

Did you see the date of the CBS News interview with Oppenheimer? 1965. That’s 20 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Time to drop a truth bomb. Japan was on its knees and wanted to surrender, 

After the Hiroshima attack, the majority of Japan’s supreme war council refused to accept the Potsdam Declaration, i.e., the terms for unconditional surrender.

After the Nagasaki bombing and just hours before Emperor Hirohito’s noontime radio broadcast announcing the Japanese surrender, a military coup was attempted, during which the rebels seized control of the Imperial Palace and burned Prime Minister Suzuki’s residence.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Many U.S. polls have indicated that some in the country believe the nuclear attacks on Japan were necessary to end the war.

And I'm sure Al Q'aeda thought the downing of the twin towers were necessary to end US involvement in the Middle East.

Let's just call terrorism terrorism and war crimes war crimes, regardless of who does it.

Moderator: this is related and analogous.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

The Summary Report (Pacific War) of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, published in 1946 concluded that Japan would have surrendered before November 1 without the atomic bombs and without the Soviet entry into the war.

There’s no question that the massive firebombing campaign was far more destructive than the atomic bombs.

The Summary Report did conclude, as you mention, that “in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war.”

But it also asserts that the atomic bombs sped up the surrender: “By using the urgency brought about through fear of further atomic bombing attacks, the Prime Minister found it possible to bring the Emperor directly into the discussions of the Potsdam terms.”

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

All readers back on topic please. Posts should refer to the story.

who really cares abt this "hollywood culture"?

BigPass here.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were two horrific war crimes among many others, but these led to further crimes against humanity with the development of the many-thousand-fold more destructive Hydrogen Bomb that hangs over the world like the Sword of Damocles. The politicians and military personnel calling themselves "the American Government" dropped the bombs, not Oppenheimer, who had hoped, naively, that by sharing the science of building a fission bomb, his team had found a way to unite humanity in the noble quest to end all wars. That some Japanese put all the blame on "Oppie" while "letting bygones be bygones" in their fawning to Uncle Sam is absurdly hypocritical. The movie should be released in Japan immediately and the bio promoted in Japanese translation because the history-allergic need to get over it and, "Barbie" won't make them any wiser.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

POOR TASTE, POOR JUDGMENT, GREED can bring the worst in you to say the least.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The horrors that were the obliteration of Hiroshima & Nagasaki certainly are stains on our humanity.

Regardless of viewpoints, one reality exists, that in an instance 100,000s of mainly citizens, were vaporized or horrifically burnt, shredded or poisoned to die agonizingly later.

So if one takes the view that it stopped the Russian invasion, then one has to consider was the terrible deaths of so many innocent the best option to do so? The choice to drop on a prominent but more isolated low-population area, ie mountainous, is always fobbed off as implausible. We will never know.

But with all of this, the reaction it seems by some elements here in Japan to a Barbie movie promotion with some background from the Oppenheimer movie, is way way overboard. Can such a level of sensitivity to what amounts to nothing much at all, still control the narrative of some / many?

Cherry-picking what offends is pretty rampant these days, but I hope common sense prevails and the movie Oppenheimer is released sooner rather than later and widely, so all can view it for what it is and then make up their own minds.

Of course never having seen it as yet, I'm pretty sure it's not a "Hollywood War Movie".

8 ( +10 / -2 )

After the Hiroshima attack, the majority of Japan’s supreme war council refused to accept the Potsdam Declaration, i.e., the terms for unconditional surrender.

After the Nagasaki bombing and just hours before Emperor Hirohito’s noontime radio broadcast announcing the Japanese surrender, a military coup was attempted, during which the rebels seized control of the Imperial Palace and burned Prime Minister Suzuki’s residence.

I love how this has many more downvotes than upvotes. How very “JapanToday”

“What? Indisputable historical fact I don’t have a rebuttal or refutation ready for?!? Downvote!”

This is something the historically ignorsnt blatherers can never escape. The simple fact is that even AFTER the second bomb was dropped the war council was STILL deadlocked, it took the personal intervention of the emperor to break the deadlock, and THEN there was a palace coup and assassination attempts to destroy the surrender messages and prolong the war.

But those facts are inconvenient and don’t make the US look like the ultimate bad guy so into the mental black hole they must go…

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

So if one takes the view that it stopped the Russian invasion, then one has to consider was the terrible deaths of so many innocent the best option to do so? The choice to drop on a prominent but more isolated low-population area, ie mountainous, is always fobbed off as implausible. We will never know.

This sort of ahistorical reasoning is always baffling.

Uh…what we do know , again, is that after TWO of the most destructive weapons ever conceived were dropped on the largest population centers in Japan and STILL Japan was deadlocked on surrender…I don’t think it’s a stretch to say …no, dropping an atomic bomb, of which there were only two, on a clump of trees in the middle of nowhere likely wouldn’t have changed the minds of the Japanese war council…if they were largely unmoved watching tens of thousands of people obliterated in their biggest cities.

This seems intuitively obvious.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

quercetumToday  08:06 am JST

If Japan didn’t surrender in August, the Soviets would have invaded. And the Americans would then have invaded too, and Japan would have been carved up — just like Germany and the Korean Peninsula eventually were. 

“You’re only looking at this from the dropping of the atomic bombs. Roosevelt and Churchill discussed with Stalin the conditions under which the Soviet Union would enter the war against Japan and all three agreed that, in exchange for potentially crucial Soviet participation in the Pacific theater, the Soviets would be granted a sphere of influence. Russia would take the Kurils and yes they were ready to come down on Hokkaido.”

Truman wrote in his diary that he dismissed the Japanese surrender proposal to Stalin during Potsdam made through the Russians in April, 1945. Writing further that he expected Japan to surrender unconditionally when Russia declared war.

He wrote, “… wait until they see what’s in store for them…” as he learned that day of the successful Trinity test.

In the end, the surrender terms were identical to the terms proposed through the Russians, since the emperor maintained his position. Truman was convinced by MacArthur that the emperor would be needed during the occupation to communicate to the public and quell uprisings.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I need a facepalm emoji

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Interesting how some media companies are willing to apologize after their readers' horrible interactions on their platform/with their media, while others just ignore it and act as if they have no responsibility over keeping their media spaces free from hate and bigotry. Hm....

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Soudan, my mother lived in Niigata during the war. She was a young girl and the girls there were given cyanide pills because they were told the heathen Americans would rape and pillage them.

But not so, the reasoning was because the Japanese military was raping and pillaging the Chinese and Koreans and Malaysians and every place they went, they grouped together women or raped them with the blessing of the Army and Japan. Often they killed them afterward. It's documented on film and writings.

There are many sides to what happened in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Don't go just being all high on your alter decrying America, saying it was a war crime of murder, as if though you are ignorant to Japan's even more killings and evils in Asia. The lab of vivisection...much more cruel than even the Atomic bomb.

War is terrible, and the bomb was atrocious. But this is not a clear cut case of wrong or right as the Japanese were truly savage and pledged suicide to honor the emperor. US forces absolutely thought the Japanese were insane and any talk of the Japanese were ready to surrender can be countered by knowing the military attempted a coup to keep the war going. It was a crazed Japan and a time of trouble that the world does live in infamy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Even in war there are rules.

The United States, which had signed the Geneva Convention, still used weapons of mass destruction and massacred civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. MacArthur suggested to President Truman that one shot would suffice, but the president went out of his way to use two types, a uranium type and a plutonium type.

For Japan, whose communication networks and other infrastructure had already been completely destroyed, the only reports of the dropping of the atomic bombs were that ''it seems that a large bomb had been dropped''. It wasn't until some time after the war that the scale of human suffering became apparent. Many people think that the dropping of the atomic bombs caused Japan to surrender, but this is clearly wrong.

The direct impetus for surrender was the entry of the Soviet Union into the war against Japan, which had been asked to broker a peace treaty with the United States. In fact, the Soviet Union began to invade Japan, but the landing in Hokkaido was prevented by the counterattack of the Japanese army, which once threw away their weapons. If the Japanese army had not counterattacked here, Hokkaido might still have been Soviet territory.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Agent_NeoToday 03:34 am JST

The direct impetus for surrender was the entry of the Soviet Union into the war against Japan,

Not mentioned in the Emperor's speech. So sad for those that want to claim all victories. Also completely ignores that the atomic bombs were a message to Stalin, too.

In fact, the Soviet Union began to invade Japan, but the landing in Hokkaido was prevented by the counterattack of the Japanese army, which once threw away their weapons. If the Japanese army had not counterattacked here, Hokkaido might still have been Soviet territory.

There was never an actual invasion of Hokkaido:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proposed_Soviet_invasion_of_Hokkaido

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Agent_NeoToday 03:34 am JST

Even in war there are rules.

Like not massacring 10 million across East Asia.

The United States, which had signed the Geneva Convention, still used weapons of mass destruction and massacred civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

But not the Fourth Geneva Convention at the time which would have been what was applicable here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites