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Was the dropping of the atomic bombs necessary?

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By Eric Koo Peng Kuan

Aug 6 and Aug 9 marked the 65th anniversaries of the dropping of the atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These events not only brought about the surrender of the Japan and an end to World War II, but they also helped shaped the nature of international politics for the next six decades.

Today, despite the fall of the Soviet Union 19 years ago in 1991, the issue of nuclear arms, besides terrorism, remains one of the chief security concerns in the contemporary world. Accordingly, the following issues concerning nuclear arms remained unresolved security concerns.

• The six party talks, aimed at disarming the nuclear arms of North Korea, are making snail’s progress.

• Iran is still actively pursuing its nuclear program, in spite of negotiations and considerable international interference from the West.

• India and Pakistan, two mutually hostile and nuclear armed nations, have yet to come to terms over the Jammu and Kashmir problem, despite improving diplomatic relations.

• The dreaded possibility of terrorists getting their hands on and using nuclear weapons for some diabolical purpose.

With regards to contemporary nuclear issues, one great controversial question of history remains until today – can the use of the atomic bombs on Japan ever be justified? The debate is an old one, in which exponents of the Truman decision to drop the atomic bomb claimed that the total death toll of at least 237,000 civilians was a small price to pay as an alternative to the number of lives lost on both sides had the Pacific War dragged on.

The atomic bomb is the crudest form of a series of powerful nuclear weapons to be eventually developed and come into existence. Both superpowers, the United States of America and the Soviet Union, eventually built massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons during the Cold War. This escalation of nuclear arms possession led to an arms race between both camps. Other nations such as Britain, France, Russia, Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea also eventually developed nuclear weapons.

Had the U.S. maintained monopoly in nuclear arms possession, becoming the only nation to possess nuclear weapons, as it briefly did achieve in the years 1945 to 1949, there would have been no nuclear arms race in the Cold War, no Cuban missile crisis, no present predicament in nuclear negotiations with Iran and North Korea today, and no issue about nuclear arms proliferation as well. The nuclear weapon will be reduced to the status of just another weapon in the state’s military arsenal, albeit a very powerful one.

However, dynamics driving political and international events do not necessarily follow a rational or logical process all of the time. The U.S. decision to drop the atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945 can be argued to have been made on the gamble that the Japan would have reacted the way the U.S. wanted. In essence, the destructive capabilities of the atomic bomb were used to make a point to the Japanese high command carrying on the war would be futile and that there was no alternative but unconditional surrender.

What if?

One speculatively nightmarish question remains - what if the Japanese will to fight did not break after the dropping of the two atomic bombs and the military government decided to fight on until defeated utterly, just as Germany under the Nazis did?

Firstly, Nagasaki and Hiroshima were not major strategic cities that could have made a significant impact on Japanese military power. At the time of the atomic bombing, U.S. troops had not landed on the Japanese mainland yet. Bombing these two cities would not have brought the U.S. any significant military advantage for its troops. Instead, contrary to bringing an abrupt end to the war, the atomic bombings could have been exploited by the Japanese military to exalt the Japanese population to yield even more stubborn armed resistance, no doubt ending in the loss of more human lives for both sides.

Secondly, in such a make-believe scenario of alternate history, even in the event of inevitable victory, the U.S. would have to bear the moral stigma of having used a terrible weapon against humanity for a futile purpose. In that case, the victims’ lives claimed by the atomic bombs would have been futile, since it was force of arms by conventional armies, and not the might of a novel super-weapon, that enabled the victors to prevail.

Nonetheless, history has demonstrated that a global war on the scale of the first two world wars did not take place, in what would have been termed “World War Three” by the historians.

After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the modern world did see another 46 years of relatively uneasy peace between two great opposing groups of nations led by the U.S. and the Soviet Union, barring a number of largely localized conflicts on a much smaller scale, such as the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Soviet-Afghan war. Hence, proponents of the Truman decision enjoy the status of vindication, in that nuclear arms helped to play no small part in preventing the resurrecting of world wars and therefore maintain world peace in general.

It is fitting that the world should remember the momentous event of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The debate over the justifications of dropping of the atomic bomb could not erase the fact that for the first time in the history of mankind, man has achieved the power of taking hundreds of thousands of lives in an instance. Only in a major natural disaster such as the Indian Ocean tsunami wave disaster in December 2004, which claimed more than 280,000 lives, did any world event approach Hiroshima and Nagasaki on a similar scale of massive destruction. In all present and future dealings on any nuclear issues, the morality behind this historical event on the atomic bomb should always be given first consideration and priority before any policy is decided or decision made.

The writer has a M.Sc in Strategic Studies and is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London. He currently writes commentaries and analysis articles on international affairs, security issues and terrorism for newspapers. The views expressed here are his own and he can be reached at erickoopk@yahoo.com

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"Only in a major natural disaster such as the Indian Ocean tsunami wave disaster in December 2004, which claimed more than 280,000 lives, did any world event approach Hiroshima and Nagasaki on a similar scale of massive destruction."

Bah ! More revisionist nonsense ! Had Japan been allowed to continue it's wartime aggressions, as wiki sees it,

"Supporters of the bombings generally assert that they caused the Japanese surrender, preventing massive casualties on both sides in the planned invasion of Japan: Kyūshū was to be invaded in October 1945 and Honshū five months later. Some estimate Allied forces would have suffered 1 million casualties in such a scenario, while Japanese casualties would have been in the millions."

Whazzat ??? Casualties in "the millions" ?

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A casualty is any injury whether fatal or not. Some guy that gets shot in the butt as he's running screaming from the front line is a "casualty".

The commentary posits what would have happened if the Japanese had dug in deeper after the bombings, but he's missing the point: The U.S. was convinced the Japanese had ALREADY resolved to do that very thing. The experience of the military commanders in trying to dislodge the Japanese from the islands they had captured was all the evidence they had. The Battle of Okinawa brought home the point even more. As bad as Okinawa was, the U.S. was convinced Kyuushu would be twice as bad, and the Japanese mainland would be hell on Earth. With that in mind, the option to drop the bombs was a no-brainer. Japan was preparing to fight a war of attrition on the mainland with the idea of making the U.S. pay dearly for every kilometer they advanced. But they had no answer to a single plane taking out a city with one pass. Their hopes for a war of attrition were dashed when they realized the U.S. could attack any city from the air, wreak total devastation, and fly away with no casualties.

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Bombing Japan's cities was absolutely necessary, but sure we could have just kept using regular bombs. BTW those killed way more than the atomic bombs, I guess that's somehow better? Let's not forget all this time the Japanese murdered tens of millions in dozens of countries, and almost nobody in Japan had a problem with that. They secretly still don't.

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Most strategists disagree with the writer. Japan would have surrendered...eventually. Most likely scenario is that they would have held out for as long as possible for better terms of surrender using U.S lives as bargaining chips. The bombs were faster and more effective than an invasion could have ever been.

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The A-bombing of civilains is a war crime and it remains a bloody stain on the history of the USA.

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@bdiego : "Bombing Japan's cities was absolutely necessary, but sure we could have just kept using regular bombs. BTW those killed way more than the atomic bombs, I guess that's somehow better?"

I'm not sure about this. With regular bombs, people are warned and can hide in cellars and stuff like this. With the A-bomb, they have nowhere to go to hide.

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"The A-bombing of civilains is a war crime and it remains a bloody stain on the history of the USA."

Nonsense ! Using civilians as human shields is a war crime ! It is well documented that both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were home to vital military installations- wiki clearly states:

"Hiroshima- A number of military camps were located nearby, including the headquarters of the Fifth Division and Field Marshal Shunroku Hata's 2nd General Army Headquarters, which commanded the defense of all of southern Japan. Hiroshima was a minor supply and logistics base for the Japanese military. The city was a communications center, a storage point, and an assembly area for troops."

Nagasaki, much the same- "had been one of the largest sea ports in southern Japan and was of great wartime importance because of its wide-ranging industrial activity, including the production of ordnance, ships, military equipment, and other war materials."

Both cities were legitimate military targets- end of discussion.

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The A-bombing of civilains is a war crime and it remains a bloody stain on the history of the USA.

I agree with you.

It is well documented that both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were home to vital military installations

LOL!!! Sure, up until 1944 perhaps.

By early 1945, neither city had much in the way of any military importance. Japan was already a thoroughly defeated nation for whom time was running out.

It's funny how people will rationalize the mass killing of innocent women and children. What makes the A-bomb particularly evil is, unlike an invasion where people get killed in the typical ways, the harm of the radiation lasts for many generations after the nation has already capitulated. The bomb, in other words, keeps doing its damage.

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Most of the island hopping over the last six months of the war, and Okinawa in particular, were complete wastes of men and material. By the time we decided to take Okinawa, Japan no longer really had the ability to wage war. It's navy and air forces were gone. These battles merely stalled the inevitable. By June of 1945, we could have sailed into Tokyo Bay, etc. pretty much unmolested and demanded a surrender then and there.

By comparison, the Germans to the end had considerably more material reserves with which to fight the Soviets as they marched on Berlin than the Japanese had on the main islands. It would have been a different story if the Japanese had pulled their garrisons off Okinawa and other far-flung islands in the Pacific.

The Japanese forces on the various Pacific islands were mostly cut-off from re-supply by 1944. They could have been ignored and would have starved to death if they chose not to surrender, which probably would have been the case. We could have monitored these island and retaken them with a minimum of casualties (compared to what happened) after taking the main islands.

It is well-documented that no one knew quite for sure what the A-bombs would do, but they knew that if they worked that they would put the fear in the Chinese communists as well as the Soviets. In both cases, while not as "innocent" as Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were of little military value. Otherwise, they never would have been considered viable "fresh" targets that late into the war and would have lay in ruins like Tokyo-Kawasaki-Yokohama, Osaka-Kobe and Nagoya.

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#Yumimoto at 05:10 AM JST - 10th August I'm not sure about this. With regular bombs, people are warned and can hide in cellars and stuff like this.

Other than subway stations/tunnels and a few large buildings in the big cities, Japanese did not have an extensive system of civilian bunkers and Japanese houses do not have "cellars." In any case, the civil defense warnings had ceased to operate in most cities by the spring of 1945 primarily because all those of military import had been essentially razed.

With the A-bomb, they have nowhere to go to hide.

Actually, if one could be in a subway station/tunnel or other basement area, you are just as well protected from a nuclear blast as a conventional explosion provided you are far enough away from ground zero.

Nuclear bombs are designed for air blast rather than surface detonation in any case. It is the shock wave, the heat and then the fall-out that does the killing. A conventional bomb kills by surface explosion compounded by the flying shrapnel and debris.

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There was complete disruption of communications in Hiroshima after the atomic attack, the initial reports of damage were meager and fragmentary. While the U.S. waited for their reaction, shocked Japanese officials were trying to grasp the extent of the damage. Meanwhile, President Truman issued the following statement: "If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the likes of which has never been seen on this earth." It was known that there had been other diplomatic moves, made previously by Japanese emissaries through neutral nations, which intimated that Japan might surrender under certain terms that were unacceptable to America and its allies. But when nothing definitive was heard in from the Japanese, plans proceeded to drop the second atomic bomb in Nagasaki three days later after Hiroshima.

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I would say it was necessary in a way. If the bomb wasnt dropped, the japanese people would have continued fighting and there would probably have been more casualties. The Japanese people back then were very strong people with a fighting spirit. Today,there are to many Japanese people that are weak and incompetent of carrying out a productive task in todays society and they all dont have the same fighting spirit that Japan had once had.

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Of course it wasn't necessary. The United States could have just continued dropping coventional bombs on Japanese cities whilst carrying out an invasion that would have killed many more thousands if not a million on both sides.

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The short and most accurate answer is of course "No".

But almost nothing is absolutely "necessary".

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By the time we decided to take Okinawa, Japan no longer really had the ability to wage war

Not according to Geroge MacDonald Fraser , who was a solderl in Burma in the summer of 1945. He recounts that the Japanese troops he and his fellow British soldiers encountered were a major pain in the ass, and in absolutely no mood for surrender.

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The question about whether Hiroshima and Nagasaki were military targets is irrelevant and misses the point. The real issue is the decision, made by Curtis LeMay, to give up on trying to hit military targets and simply target civilians by firebombing until Japan surrendered. That was the real moral question, and once that decision was made they didn't really see much difference between dropping an atomic bomb or incendiary bombs. They were planning to destroy the two cities anyways. As somebody pointed out above, the atomic bomb was worse because of the long term effects, but I don't think those were well understood at the time.

Anyways, not saying I think it was necessary, but just that you can't answer the question if you don't ask if the targeting of civilians in the first place was necessary and put things in context, and then also consider all the counter-factuals. Bottom line is the war ended with no invasion of the main four islands, no more firebombing, and no Soviet involvement other than grabbing a few islands. Things could have been much worse. If people want to get emotional about the obvious truth that these things should never be used, then they will, but that doesn't change any of those other points.

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#JeffLee at 08:02 AM JST - 10th August Not according to Geroge MacDonald Fraser , who was a solderl in Burma in the summer of 1945. He recounts that the Japanese troops he and his fellow British soldiers encountered were a major pain in the ass, and in absolutely no mood for surrender.

You didn't really read my post carefully.

No one said soldiers in the field were prepared to surrender. But, just as the last garrisons on the Pacific islands, those in SE and on the Asian mainland were already cut-off and would not last, either eventually starving to death or being militarily defeated. You could have waited them out a few weeks or months and reduced the intensity of battle when it became necessary. But that's not the same as the civilians back in the main island if they had been presented with a large fraction of the Pacific fleet and continual, unchallenged air bombardment. Call it the Black Ships II theory.

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Not necessary, but much preferable to the alternatives. More death, Russians involved, perhaps a Russian negotiated surrender without Japan never admitting defeat. Who knows. Japan would be much, much different today, likely for the worse, IMO, if the two atomic bombs HADN'T been dropped.

And the "hundreds of thousands killed in an instant" is a useless milestone, as humans have been killing humans since the dawn of time.

Which is worse "hundreds of thousands killed in an instant" or "a couple million killed over several weeks"?

As many progresses scientifically, he will learn better and more efficient ways to kill. Human nature.

Just don't be on the losing side, and you've nothing to complain about.

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As horrific as it was, I think that the bomb saved many lives on both sides. With that said, I pray for all those that lost thier lives in Nagsaki and Hiroshima. It was because of those that died under that rage of fire that many more could live. RIP

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I have noticed the zero compassion displayed by some posters. The Americans did something call dehumanization. The turning of Japanese from people to animals. It is easy to kill non humans. The Americans come up with excuses to why the bombs were dropped. It takes away from the horror that was unleashed. It is possible the Americans did not know how close they were to the end of the war. Odd if the situation was reversed these same people would praise the defenders. If America was losing they would fight to the end as well.

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People quickly forget that far more people in Japan were killed by the relentless firebombings that took our nearly every major city in Japan with the exceptions of Kyoto and Nara. 100,000 died in one such bombing alone in Tokyo.

While the two nuclear weapons killed so many, so suddenly, the continuance of the war would have meant more nights like the firebombing of Tokyo. But in ever increasing numbers.

One life is extremely precious, how does one measure one against others? But facts are sadly facts. An invasion of the mainland would have cost the lives of millions, many of those women and children taught to fight tanks with sticks. Add to this firebombings, starvation, disease and it becomes clear that we are talking about the wholesale annihilation of Japan.

I hate nukes after growing up during the cold war fears. But how could any other action have avoided the mass slaughter that invasion promised? Just magnify Okinawa across all of Japan and you can start to see the reasoning of the US leadership at that time.

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"With regular bombs, people are warned and can hide in cellars and stuff like this."

I am sory Yumimoto, but this isn't really correct. While there were warnings of the raids on Tokyo that killed over 100,000 people, the warnings did not help. Countless people died trying to escape the following firestorms. People in shelters died from the loss of air or from smoke. Others went into rivers trying to escape the firestorms only to die from heat and lack of oxygen. Others burned 100% of their bodies and the flames blown out leaving them to die slowly.

History too often focuses on the one or two major nightmares of war. It too often forgets the horrific suffering that has lesser single incident numbers of casualties. Every major city here had firestorms from incidiary bombings. Collectively these killed far more than the two A-bombs combined. And would have slaughtered many, many more.

In the invasion of mainland Japan, there would have been no hiding. Just death for nearly every Japanese person who was too determined, afraid or mislead to surrender.

I hate the A-bomb. But I fear for what a protracted war would have meant for everyone. How many Japanese friends that I love and care for today would not be here had their grandparents or parents fought against an invasion of the mainland and the bombings that would have come with it?

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Interesting points about the A-bombing:

-Most major U.S. military commanders were against it--including Eisenhower.

-The U.S. didn't think it would end the war. They still thought an invasion of Honshu would be necessary.

-Russia's entry into the war against Japan is probably what scared Japan into surrender. Japan's elite was terrified of a social upheaval that might have been encouraged by communist Russia.

-The Japanese got to keep the Emperor in the end--something that would have led to peace a lot earlier.

-The A-bomb cost a ton of money to develop.

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One more thought. We must place blame where it truly belongs.

Japan's leadership. The greatest blame rests here for their decision to go to war, their inability to recognize defeat and the arrogance that led them to needlessly sacrifice the lives of so many Japanese.

All Nations. For their imperialism, their greed and competetion that helped build the motivations for war.

Human Failure: For the people of Japan, of other nations, who failed to demand more of their country. Who forget the big picture in favor of their local lives. We must care about what goes on in the world and hold our leaders accountable. We must demand peace. Thoughout history humanity blindly follows the leaders to war singing songs of patriotism and heroic stories. We fail as a human race to recognize and stop the endless cycle of war, violence and hatred. It was true in WWII and it remains true today.
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Tokyoapple "Russia's entry into the war against Japan is probably what scared Japan into surrender."

Doubtful. Japan must have known Russia would enter the war once Germany was neutralized. And they must have known that a push by Russia to gain territories was equally likely. Likewise the US must have anticipated this.

People too often forget that Japan was already looking for an out well before July of 1945. But holding out for a more equitable end. This was not forthcoming.

While the entry of Russia into the war was certainly an added straw on the back of the camel, it was the bombing campaigns, two nuclear weapons and impending mainland invasion that made Japan's leaders take the final step to surrender.

Don't revise history, the evidence does not support the Russian catalyst position.

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You're made the assumption people knew dropping the bomb would cause the outcome that happened and that other countries were not developing nuclear weapons. The US was in a race to develop the bomb first that is why they had 200,000 people working on it and an unlimited budget. Germany, Russia and Japan all had active nuclear programs using WW2, the US just won the race.

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YuriOtani, "The Americans did something call dehumanization. The turning of Japanese from people to animals."

Selective memory at work here.

And the Japanese did what to the rest of Asia? May I remind you of your treatment of the Chinese, the people of the Philippines, your experimentation on war captives, the enslavement of Korean women for sex toys for your soldiers, the Batan death marches, the wholesale slaughter of prisoners. Is this not dehumanization too?

Japan too often plays the "I am the victim" card because you don't learn real history here. If you studied the real history of the war you would bow your head in shame for what Japan did to Asia. One instance imagine solders spearing Philippine babies on bayonettes. Very humanizing behavior.

Learn your history and learn what monsters your country unleashed on the world. If you can't sympathize with other Asians then remember what your military did to Okinawans. Frightening them into mass suicide, using them as human shields, preventing them from surrendering and killing so many needlessly.

Don't talk to us about dehumanization. War is dehumanization and Japan exelled at it during WWII. And still does for the failure to truly show penance for the war. You could learn a lot from the behavior of Germany and how they have owned up to all responsibility for their role in WWII. Japan pretends to be the victim and fails to teach her citizens the reality of that time. Pathetic!

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"I have noticed the zero compassion displayed by some posters. The Americans did something call dehumanization. The turning of Japanese from people to animals. It is easy to kill non humans."

How exactly did they do that? With a magic wand? And what would you call what the Japanese did in Nanking then?

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yurotani the japanese had dehumanized non-japanese. Whats your point?

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Curious question. Was it necessary for the Japanese leadership to bring about the situation where the nukes were dropped?

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YuriOtani; The bombing of Japan was necessary. Sure, it killed a lot of people, but it did so quickly for most of it's victims. Compare this to the drawn out and brutal cruelty of the Japanese army in Asia...

You can moan as much as you like about it, but the fact is, it happened, and Japan got owned. Back luck.

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I find these types of questions absurd. Of course it wasn't necessary. War isn't necessary.

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It is an endless debate that will never be solved. The important thing is how do we prevent this from happening in the future.

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YuriOtani: "I have noticed the zero compassion displayed by some posters. The Americans did something call dehumanization. The turning of Japanese from people to animals. It is easy to kill non humans. The Americans come up with excuses to why the bombs were dropped...."

Bizarre.

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It's interesting that there was a suggestion about whether to bomb an uninhabited island first as a warning, and another suggestion to warn the residents of target areas before dropping the bomb so that they could evacuate. People, even those in the military, were concerned about the humanitarian reputation of the United States being potentially lost.

http://www.nuclearfiles.org/menu/library/correspondence/stimson-henry/corr_stimson_1945-05-29.htm

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Absolutely necessary. The US had to show Japan that resistance was futile.

Only with the prospect of totally eliminating the Japanese race was Hirohito and Co. prepared to raise the white flag. Had the Japanese continued resisting, Japan would have been nuked and firebombed further. Truman did not care about the genocide, and Japan had blood on it's hands. The world at that point, especially Asia, could care less that Japan become one big crator.

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discussion is moot and academic no longer relevant

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Now every armchair general/diplomat has 65 yrs of information and data at their fingertips, we are omniscient relative to the Allied leaders at the time. We can only conjecture about what would've happened if we hadn't used the Bomb or if the Soviets had invaded Japan from the North as we invaded from Kyushu - would Tohoku have been like East Germany? Post-war strategic concerns and the continued kamikaze attacks and dearth of Japanese troops surrendering encouraged the use of the A-bombs and the subsequent massive B-29 missions on August 14th with over 800 aircraft.

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noone can answer this question.

What if? One speculatively nightmarish question remains

a waste of time

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Dropping of the atomic bombs was absolutely necessary.

Millions of American lives were saved.

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Absolutely necessary, as millions of American lives were saved along with Japanese.

Japan is now a civilized nation due to the atomic bombings.

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Absolutely necessary. Millions of Japanese lives were also saved due to the ending of this vicious war.

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Is this really a question? Are there really people alive today who think an atomic bomb was and is necessary? In all honesty, It was Histories most atricious hate crime. the USA could have used atomic warfare in Europe but it was pretty much unthinkable....Japan wasnt for the simple despicable reason that the USA saw it as a "Mongrel" race. Think about it. Segregation was in full swing during the forties in the US. Racial superiority was a huge part of the US mentality. We had already broken their codes. We already had a surrender offer on the table if the Emperor could keep his throne. We needed to test atomic power. We were racial bigots. Its not even a question. There is a special circle in Dantes Infernon for the men responsible for Nagasaki and Hiroshma.

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Kaptainkichigai.

More Japan apologies. I am sorry but this thinking just ignores everything about history. Someone once said that those who fail to learn from history are destined to relive it. If you study history you can clearly see that this lesson is as absolute as gravity.

Was there racism in the world of 1945. Yes. But not only in America. In Japan and how Japanese viewed and treated the rest of Asia. The brutal treatment of POWs and those captured in the process of war. And even the fear mongering that led to the suicide of so many soldiers taught that the western soldiers were all monsters.

War makes monsters of us all. Something we should learn. But in war there are decisions that must balance the best of two evil choices. In this case the weapons were clearly an alternative to a long and devastating invasion.

But where is the burden of choice for the Japanese leadership? Your leaders could have decided to stop the war. They could have recognized defeat as early as 1943 and put and end to the war. But they did not. They choose to butcher their own citizens in a way they knew was unwinnable at that time. And for what? Pride! Samurai heratage and their own personal ego mania.

So if you want to blame people, look to the leaders who started the war, who conducted it with such brutality and who failed to put it to an end when it was clearly over.

As for dropping bombs on Germany. It was not necessary. The Red Army was unstoppable. And German generals had the good sense to surrender their forces in the hundreds of thousands. Only a few maniacs fought on. Nothing at all like Okinawa.

You should also note that the Axis powers were after nukes as well. Had Japan or Germany developed them, what do you think would have happened?

Read your history! Dante filled hell with all the people his family disliked. Hell is convenient that way, you can put whoever you hate there since it does not exist and such statements can never be proven.

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was the bombing of Pearl Harbor necessary?

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mushroomcloud; It is not going to be popular among the apologists, but you are right. The nukings were the only thing that was going to kick start westernisation in this neck of the woods. If the Japanese are so butt-hurt about the whole thing, how about we take back all the gifts of westernisation; the car, blue jeans, music with a 4/4 rhythm, TV, the train, etc etc etc. This place would be NOTHING without the west, and the only reason they whine about the bombings so much is deep down, they know this to be the truth, and are just fulfilling their nation of 12 year olds job description.

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Debucho; no, not necessary, but not a bad move by the Japanese.

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tkoind2- I understand your opinion. But History tells many tales and has many sides/opinions. A Peoples History of the United States- Zinn tells a slightly different account than say a Short History of the World-Roberts. Opinions vary on history as well as the "need" to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. It was racially motivated. You can blame Japan for its atrocities as well, but no other country did so much damage in such a short period of time and without mercy. It was on SUCH a larger scale than anything the World had ever seen before. It was without conscience. Rationalize the deed all that you like, even the devil can quote from scripture to serve his own needs.

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The atomic bombs were not necessary because no one knew the ramification of dropping the atomic bombs would be. If the U.S. government knew the ramification of the atomic bombs then that would reflect badly on the U.S.

People need to differentiated the differences between the Japanese government/emperor and the Japanese people. The Japanese government acted on their own that would best serve their interest and not the interest of the people. The government didn't care to better the lives of their people instead the government went and tried to conquer Japan's neighbors. There were Japanese people who did not want to go war.

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"I am convinced that if you, as President,will make a shortwave broadcast to the people of Japan-trll them they can have their Emperor if they surrender, that it will not mean unconditional surrender except for the militarists- youll get peace in Japan-youll have both wars over.." "The Japanese were prepared to negotiate all the way from February 1945..up to and before the times the atomic bombs were dropped...if such leads had been followed up, there would have been no occasion to drop the bombs.." "The use of the atomic bomb, with its INDISCRIMINATE KILLING OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN, revolts my soul." -Herbert Hoover

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Tokyoapple - Russia's entry into the war against Japan is probably what scared Japan into surrender. Japan's elite was terrified of a social upheaval that might have been encouraged by communist Russia.

Stalin was well aware that the US had developed an atomic bomb. Stalin didn't chose to invade Japan until AFTER the first bomb had been dropped. He wasn't going to rush into another war until he was sure that the war would be over quickly. He assumed, correctly, that the Imperial military would finally see the futility of continuing the war and wanted to gain territory before the war ended.

Defending against 1 invading army would have been difficult. Defending against 2 invading armies would have been impossible. Add in the fact that 1 bomb could now destroy 1 city or an entire military division and unconditional surrender became acceptable.

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Didn´t the firebombing of Tokyo kill more people than the nuke bombing of Hiroshima? Where is the anti-firebomb hoopla here?

Instead they have fireworks on Sumida river...

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"During his recitation of the relevant facts,I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on my basis of 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 was my belief that Japan was, at that vry moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'.." -Dwight Eisenhower

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the US would not have even joined the war if Pearl Harbor had not been bombed for no reason

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Were the same people disgusted by the firebombing of Dresden and Tokyo? The Russians flattening Berlin? Those also indiscriminately killed civilians...

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Debucho, some Historians believe that, because we had already broken the Japanese codes, we knew Peral Harbor was going to be bombed. We needed a huge reason to test atomic power and the Japanese gave it to us. It rallied the fury and support of Americans. Quite similar to the fervor of 9 11 that allowed us to get swindled into invading Iraq. Pearl Harbor was a military base, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not. (many opinions differ on the last statement.)

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Debucho.

Pls, provide proof that there was NO reason for the attack on Pearl Harbour.

History books(worldwide) show plenty of proof/provocation(granted might not be US history books).

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Well I suppose economic provocation can justify a military strike???

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Debucho- According to Churchill's memoirs, Roosevelt offered aid to Britain before the Nazis even teamed up with Stalin. He was turned down.

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Why do all discussions about the atomic bomb begin and end with Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Harry Truman didn't give the green light to those horrible events because he wanted to incinerate civilians. Bataan, Thailand, Manchuria, Okinawa.. all of this and much, much more played a role in the decision process.

I would not have wanted to be Harry Truman on those days.

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"The target of Hiroshima was a city of considerable military importance, containing Japan's Second Army Headquarters, as well as being a communications center and storage depot."

I also suggest that those who are whining about the civilians and women and children and "war crimes" google "Japanese war crimes." You can find a lovely photograph of a pit of dead babies in China, courtesy of the Japanese army. Japan's war crimes in WWII are rivaled only by Nazi Germany. America, on the other hand, dropped some bombs.

You want to talk about dehumanization and racism? Japan was light years ahead of the US. I'd argue that they still are.

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Don't go poking a sleepy bear and complain when he bites you...once, twice or even three times.

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Monkeyz, if you make a quote, you should add its source. There are many many contrary accounts to that random statement.It is HUGELY argueable that Hiroshima was a "communicatons center and storage depot". There are many Japanese texts and opinions that counter that information. One thing that is certain...it was NOT a military base. It was a civillian city. Pearl Harbor was not. Also, why do you consider peoples opinions of the slaughter of innocent women and children as "whining"? Do you think insulting human decency and conscience gives credibility to your opinion? Insulting others opinions doesnt invalidate them and it makes others less likely to lend credit to your own.

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mushroomcloud: Absolutely necessary, as millions of American lives were saved along with Japanese. Japan is now a civilized nation due to the atomic bombings.

By your justification it's okay to nuke civilians and a high density population to end a war. Innocent lives are expandable in war. That's called war crimes when innocent civilians die to an atrocity that was committed.

There was no justification to using the atomic bombs with the exception it was a new weapon that needs to be tested and war is where new weapons are used for testing.

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but not a bad move by the Japanese.

They couldn't have anticipated the response time of the American war machine. All we had in the pacific outside of Hawaii were a few four stacker destroyers and old cruisers, they tried hard but were hopelessly outclassed (RIP Uncle Ray, USS Houston 1942). The speed with which the Pacific fleet was reconstructed was phenomenal.

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Was the dropping of the atomic bombs necessary?

History gives a clear statement: the war is over and Japan lost. Hence the bombs did what they had been intended to do, kill as many people, destroy as much as possible and scare the shit out of the enemy.

Would there have been another way? Sure, but why take the small hammer if you have a big one?

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Bottom lines. The facts still remain that a conventional war going on even for a short time longer would have resulted in greater loss of life in total. This fact is inescapable as we can see from the example of Okinawa. Just how long Japan would have persisted is anyone's guess.

Hindsight is always better. Had Japan the insight it has now, the war would never have started. But that insight did not exist or was unrealized. The same applies to the use of these weapons. At the time many believed this was the only way the war could be ended without massive loss of life.

KaptainKichigai. You are clearly apologetic for Japan and to some degree anti-American. I am American but hardly nationalistic. Quite the contrary, I am very left wing American with a strong background in history that is not all favorable to us. But I have to strongly disagree with your findings. Too much of the reality of Okinawa and other sites during the war suggest that the final battle to end Japan's war would have cost countless lives. The bombs ended this war before the wholesale insanity on both sides brought all of Japan to ruin.

As for destruction. Germany, Italy and Japan started that war. The blood is on their hands. My country did not start that war. We did not massacre prisoners or kill hundreds of thousands for sport or because of their faith. We fought a war to win against and enemy that repeatedly proved its capacity for murderous occupation and repression. And I will not apologize for that. The people of that time faced a threat we cannot imagine. One they put an end to at enormous cost to an entire generation.

Japan brought the desctruction upon herself. You should focus your anger upon her foolish an dillusional leaders who were so willing to set the world on fire for their own gain.

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tkoind2-I am apologetic TO Japan. I am anti American dropping an atomic bomb on civilians. I am not focusing anger at all. The "greater loss of life in total" should have been military, not civilian. You have written thousands upon thousands of words on this particular message board over and over. We have all read your opinion. How about stepping down and letting History speak for itself as well as others and their opinions? No disrespect, but History is somewhat subjective as your and anyone elses "strong" bakground in it. OUR country committed a horrible wartime atrocity and nothing you can rationalize changes it or the fact that many of America's leaders at that time agree that it was unnecessary.

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Branded said: Nonsense ! Using civilians as human shields is a war crime ! It is well documented that both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were home to vital military installations- wiki clearly states:

It never ceases to amaze what utter crap people will come up with to shutter themselves from clear and obvious facts. Look, you can bomb military installations that have churches and houses next door and still leave the church and houses standing. Believe it or not, during WWII, we actually had bombs small enough to accomplish this. In fact, bombs as big as A-bombs were somewhat RARE, so the human sheild charge is bizarre in the extreme. Were they supposed to relocate to uninhabited mountains dozens of kilometers away?

Oh, and by the way, by that definition Americans are using Japanese civilians as human shields RIGHT NOW. You can' have it both ways except in Denial Land, and that is where you and many others seem to insist on being.

The A-bombs, which intentionally targeted civilian populations, were war crimes, in both written conventions and natural law. And you can't target civilians just because the Japanese military did. It was not the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that targeted other civilians, was it? You don't punch a man's wife because he punched yours. Dang. Even a child can understand this stuff.

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"In making the most important decision of his life in the early morning of August 10 that Japan should surrender, there is no evidence whatsoever that he mentioned Soviet intervention—not just the official records or the accounts of the principles that might well be deemed suspect as subject to manipulation, but nowhere in the myriad secondary and tertiary sources such as diaries of lesser officials where such admissions would have been documented. In the emperor’s broadcast on August 15, he refers to atomic bombs, but made no reference to Soviet intervention.

In his proclamation to the armed forces on August 17, the emperor makes no reference to atomic bombs, but does refer to Soviet entry into the war. Does this signify that Soviet entry, not atomic bombs, was the real reason for surrender? The answer rests in understanding that ending the war required two steps. At the same time the emperor ordered the proclamation of August 15 prepared, he also ordered drafting of the proclamation to the armed forces that was issued on August 17. As the diary of the Vice Chief of Staff of the Imperial Army indicates, both he and other senior officers doubted compliance with a surrender order even from the emperor. Their doubts were soon confirmed, as we have seen. Once the circumstance and timing of the August 17 proclamation is understood, the reason for highlighting Soviet intervention over the atomic bombs is obvious: Soviet intervention directly threatened and was understandable to recalcitrant overseas commanders; atomic bombs were not understood and posed no similar threat to overseas commands."

Check it out at the foreign policy research institute. There really is a lot more to read in this well-researched article.

http://www.fpri.org/footnotes/1404.200904.frank.trumanbomb.html

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tkoind2, putting aside the question of "were the bombs necessary?" for a second, if you knew that killing am innocent baby and her mother would save the lives of ten soldiers, would you kill the baby and mother? I can tell you that I would not. The reason is that soldiers have a choice. My grandfather never confessed, but it looks like he got himself out of the draft. I respect that, because if enough people refused to fight, there could be no war. But the point is, he could make a choice, and it looks like he said "No way."

Now, even if you would do it and even if you could prove those ten soldiers would be saved, its STILL a war crime to make such a sacrifice. Its the soldier's JOB to fight the wars at the risk of death. Those are the rules. I don't like those rules or a lot of rules, but that does not impart the right to subvert them, does it? Taking the war to the civilians intentionally is cowardly and completely against the rules. It MIGHT end wars early. It MIGHT save lives in one particular war. But its still a war crime. If you justify it in one war, you justify it for others and other people too.

The Japanese attacked a military base at Pearl Harbor. They at least obeyed the rules in that instance. If you defend attacks on civilians, don't be surprised if the next time we get attacked its Honolulu, or New York again, because you are justifying it and so will others. You reap what you sow.

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Oh, it might look like I am two-faced above, but I support my grandfather subverting the rules because his action preserved more important rules, such as not killing people and not making people fight against their will. And as I have often said, I would shoot a commander in the head if he gave me an order to kill civilians. Doing right is more important that rules, because and A-hole can make a bad rule.

Anyway, to the question, no, the bombs were not even necessary. Japan was so on the ropes it was not funny. It was a matter of time, and while more soldiers would have died in the inter-rim just waiting, that is war. Looking at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and saying "that is war" is wrong in umpteen ways and dangerous for the future.

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Enough already.

By 1944, EVERYONE who could read a map KNEW that Japan was going to lose. Island by island, the Japanese Imperial Army/Navy was losing ground, manpower, momentum. Despite this FACT, no one in Japan could say "NO" and the war of attrition continued. ONE person could have stopped the war, but he chose not to speak...

The situation?

Germany was defeated, Russia declared war on Japan, and began moving troops into position to attack Japan from the north (Hokkaido). The U.S. saw what Russia was doing in Europe (commie bastards!), and became determined to defeat Japan BEFORE Russia could get a toe hold in Japan... The only problem was, as June 1945 turned to July, and then August, the Japanese military and populace were not cooperating!!! Even starving to death, THEY KEPT FIGHTING!!! They started this damn war, and told everyone that there were no rules, and no 'innocent civilians'. In Germany, Hitler had the good sense to kill himself. But in Japan, allied peace making attempts made through Switzerland were stuck at the same point: Japanese negotiators DEMANDED that the Emperor must not be killed. (LOTS of Australians, Kiwis, and Chinese, among others, wanted the Emperor's head on a stick!!! -Meanwhile, as the allies advanced, they noticed the Imperial Japanese Army had a tendency to kill P.O.W.'s before retreating...this was a huge problem. So, what to do?

*By the way, Germany AND Japan had also been working for years to develop nuclear weapons. IF they had succeeded in producing even one bomb, do any of you think they would have hesitated? HELL NO!!! Japan waged TOTAL WAR!!! There were NO CIVILIANS. Remember the American contractors Japan captured in numerous battles? They were not treated like civilians, they were beaten, tortured, enslaved and often killed - FOR BEING AMERICAN!

-So, to put ourselves in the mindset of the allies, here is a recap;

Russia (then the Soviet Union) is advancing, and will divide Japan like Germany, IF given the chance. Kamikaze pilots are wreaking havoc. Allied P.O.W.'s are dying daily. Japanese civilians are committing suicide/starving to death OR attacking allied forces as human bombs everywhere the allies land. Repeated peace overtures via the Swiss have reached an impasse: unconditional surrender is not possible, because Japanese negotiators insist the emperor MUST be protected. Allied Military planners, using data from the attack on Okinawa, run scenarios estimating the number of allied & Japanese deaths that would result from a full on invasion of Japan from Kyushu on to Tokyo. The estimated dead are in the millions. This time line forecasts the war ending in 1946... EVERYONE ON OUR SIDE is tired of the war, and looking for a quick way to end it. You know that AFTER the war is over, you are going to need a strong Japan to counter Russia in east Asia...

So, the U.S. dropped one bomb, and sent a telegraph saying that Japan MUST surrender UNCONDITIONALLY. 3 days passed, and still Hirohito could not be bothered to make a phone call .... so they dropped ANOTHER city-killer!!! Finally Japan surrendered.

So who was to blame??? A) The people of Japan who let themselves be used, just like the people of Germany. 2)The emperor... If he had just said "stop the war" the war would have ended earlier. But we will never know. Because it took TWO ATOM BOMBS to convince the war-mongering Hirohito to STOP CAUSING HIS PEOPLE, AND THE PEOPLE OF THE NATIONS OCCUPIED BY JAPAN, TO DIE!!!

Who were the Japanese of 1945? See this link from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_warfare#World_War_II NOT NICE PEOPLE!

*** here is an excerpt: According to historians Yoshiaki Yoshimi and Seiya Matsuno, the chemical weapons were authorized by specific orders given by Emperor Showa himself, transmitted by the chief of staff of the army. For example, the Emperor authorized the use of toxic gas on 375 separate occasions during the battle of Wuhan from August to October 1938.

So, you want to blame someone? BLAME the emperor!!!! He caused the deaths of MILLIONS OF CIVILIANS, and did not even have the decency to die by his own code. All those Japanese soldiers tortured, killed, raped and even died invoking his name, living by the bushido "code", and he could not do the 'right' thing and shoot himself. And the Americans were co-conspirators in the post-war cover-up.

I am really sick of this revisionist crap. If you attack the U.S. A., WE WILL NUKE YOU!!! message? DO NOT ATTACK US!!! 2nd message? stop apologizing for saving millions of people on both sides, and keeping Japan as one undivided nation. Note - Russia took 4 islands north of Hokkaido as bounty, and they were only in the war against Japan for a short time...

When someone asks why the U.S. dropped TWO nukes on Japan, tell them the truth: Hirohito was biding his time, negotiating better surrender terms for himself - and THAT is why it took TWO nukes to end the war...

PS: Where were the Japanese anti-war protesters in 1945? Oh yeah, THERE WERE NONE!!! Unlike the Vietnam war, where American civilians stopped a war started by the military, the Japanese people were very silent...

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@KevininHawaii

Hate to say this but Emperor Hirohito had no power whatsoever and pointing blames on him is pointing blames on a rubber stamp. He probably had been assassinated if he didn't sign and the Imperial constitution required his seal of approval so each and all important Imperial government document ever issued had one.

As for hind site here is a big IF but IF the European colonial nations had played nice and provided FAIR trade with Japan without a big fat Tariff then Japan would not have gone to war in the first place. Since Japan back in those days as it is today was an export based nation with little natural resources so Japan needed to trade in order to maintain import of much needed natural resources like oil, iron, rubber, nickel and so on. Look at SE Asian in the beginning of the 20th century, there was no Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar etc. there was only France, Dutch and Great Britain. The reason why US entered the Pacific theater was because US wanted ROC and only ROC as ruler of mainland China placing the US as the sole trading partner.

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Don't revise history, the evidence does not support the Russian catalyst position.

Actually, there is evidence to support it. History is all about revision--there are very few completely objective accounts of any historical event. I sure hope you aren't so naive to believe any one version of history.

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@KevininHawaii

I wonder why some people keep bringing Unit 731 to the disscusion about if droping A-bombs on civilians was right ot wrong. Because...

After Imperial Japan surrendered to the Allies in 1945, Douglas MacArthur became the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, rebuilding Japan during the Allied occupation. MacArthur secretly granted immunity to the physicians of Unit 731 in exchange for providing America with their research on biological warfare.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731

If it was so unforgibable that killing innocent babies with nukes was ok, why in place of hang people that practiced experiments on humans the US made a deal and allowed them live free?

@SamuraiBlue

That is what the gobernaments of J and US wanted us to think. The trut is that the accounts from members of the gobernamente prove that the Emperor was quite involved in the war.

What we have is that many innocent civilians died, few of the people responsible was hanged and many of them ended working for the US, the Emperor the Unit 731, and a bunch of conservatives politicans in the LDP.

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@jeffrey

Your explanation makes the bombing even more horrible. The USA dropped bombs over the Japanese cities knowing the people had no cellars or tunnels to hide. At least in Europe, people were warned by alarms and could hide. Blah...

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KevininHawaii : "By 1944, EVERYONE who could read a map KNEW that Japan was going to lose."

So this mean that the A-bomb was not necessary... Japan could be defeated on regular military practices without radiations on women and children

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MistWizard : "putting aside the question of "were the bombs necessary?" for a second, if you knew that killing am innocent baby and her mother would save the lives of ten soldiers, would you kill the baby and mother? I can tell you that I would not. The reason is that soldiers have a choice. My grandfather never confessed, but it looks like he got himself out of the draft. I respect that, because if enough people refused to fight, there could be no war. But the point is, he could make a choice, and it looks like he said "No way."

That's exactly what my gandfather, uncle and father said. Killing civilians is the lowest behaviour for a soldiers or an army. It's a disgrace cause they have no choice and no power. A real soldier fight against others soldiers, men who have been trained and enrolled to die just like them.

With the US in Japan, the rules of war changed cowardly. Suddenly the goal was not to protect innocent civilians (and I mean any kind of civilians) like it used to be in the past but to protect soldiers. It is insane. Killing soldiers became more unacceptable than killing non-combattants... And still today, you have people who find this perfectly normal.

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There are two basic arguments for the dropping of the atomic bomb:

i. Saving lives - Basically on the "saving lives" argument it's a complete moral no-brainer. You don't kill people to people you don't know to save people you do. Follow the argument leads to a world where it's okay to kill off the kid across the street because your Mom needs a new liver. By that logic Hitler was justified in killing the Jews because it's okay to sacrifice a few people to achieve your objectives. I don't buy that and neither should any sane person. Apparently the U.S. military still buys this facist logic since they've killed more than 350 innocent civilians in 2010 alone in Afghanistan... in order to kill about 200 Taliban this year (figures on Taliban casualties vary widely, depending on which sources you believe, but it's between 150'ish and 300, so best case scenario they aren't even breaking even).

ii. Russian aggression - Here we get to the real reason for the nuking in Japan. Russian was expanding rapidly and aggresively and the Allied forces had been seriously weakened by WW2 and the Russians looked like they were just getting started. Stalin was a complete and utter nutter and looked like he was keen on grabbing Germany, Japan and large chunks of China to add to Russia. The Allies needed to show that not only did they have a weapon capable of Russian, but also the will to use it. This was fundamentally the start of the cold war.

So they succeeded in putting the Russians off the idea of world conquest and we're all not speaking Russian now. Does that make it right? I don't know. I really don't. A war with Russia immediately post-WW2 would have resulted in a very different world than the one we live in right now.

My problem with the atomic bombings in Japan was that they set a precedent that the U.S. has defended with a host of spurious arguments, like the number of U.S. casualties had the war continued, and those in the U.S. military have bought into those arguments and continue to kill civilians and view them as "acceptable losses". The threat of Russia is gone. It's time for a major rethink of U.S. strategy, one that doesn't include acceptable civilian casualties, and it's time for the U.S. to tell Japan, "Look, we're sorry, but at least I'm not giving this speech in Russian, ne?".

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Hello, it was a war and the A-bomb was a weapon. It ended the war, problem solved. No need to apologise for things that happened in the 40's. Japan wasnt a victim and the US is not the bad guy for using the bomb. Just 2 countries bumping horns for different beliefs.

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I have written about this many time over the past few days only to be insulted and accused of fabrications.

So here is my strait forward opinion why don't you all get off your butts and go down to whatever archives exist in your country (forget Japan these documents are closed to the general public) and look up the actual documents containing the minutes of the Japanese ruling counsel, and stop all this BS speculation and revisionist garbage.

And for the WIKI freaks, try to remember WIKI is not done by scholars but by general public contributions and a lot of personal feelings end up there as facts.

Here is one fact even after the bombing of Hiroshima the ruling counsel was not convinced the USA had any more like that bomb and even after the Nagasaki bombing the counsel was still split 3 to 3 on whether to surrender and even after the Emperor broke the tie in favor of surrender they still continued to debate the subject. And these 2 FACTS are even available on WIKI.

I work in the information business and I was recently posed the question, After all these year why would anyone want to pay for info that almost everything has already been written.

That is simple most of our countries have many documents that were sealed for "security" reasons that generally have a 70 year limit as to protect some people's reputations that limit has just started to be reached for some of the worst part of the war and in this more gore the better society we are now living in people will pay for this, sad but true!

AS for Japan it got off lightly 2 A-bombs and a total of 650,000 civilian deaths a short an very limited war crimes trial and it was over.

in comparison Germany had conservatively twice the civilian casualties and war crime trials that are still going on to this day.

Welcome to reality!

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AS for Japan it got off lightly 2 A-bombs and a total of 650,000 civilian deaths a short an very limited war crimes trial and it was over.

When are you going to figure out that "Japan" is a category too great to apply to this. Please don't kill me and say "America" got off easy. Bump that! I am not America. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are not Japan. I am not a legit target and neither were the civilians of Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Women and children are not the place you can hit if you are at war with a country. Naming the country is a shorthand for the government and or military of the country. You are taking it to mean war against any citizen. Please stop this.

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Psyops: Hello, it was a war and the A-bomb was a weapon. It ended the war, problem solved. No need to apologise for things that happened in the 40's. Japan wasnt a victim and the US is not the bad guy for using the bomb. Just 2 countries bumping horns for different beliefs.

Remember that when your country get nuked. ;)

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Yumimoto; I'm guessing your are Japanese if not then I'm sorry for what I am about to write!

In more than 19 years in Japan it is amazing how every-single Japanese (including my ex-wife's family) I have ever met has told me how their father, grandfather, uncles and whoever somehow avoided the draft! Not even one person has ever admitted that a family member went to war!

As opposed to when I lived in Germany just about everyone admitted to having some family member in the military in some way of form during WW2.

Maybe the bombs were not necessary maybe the whole war was just imaginary seeing that in Japan no ones Father, grandfather or any male in their family was ever in the war so the war must has just been a figment of everyone's imagination.

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Killing civilians is a crime. As simple as that.

If they wanted to probe their military supremacy, why don't they used the atomics bombs for blowing up some unhabitated place? Like, I don't know, Mt Fuji?

The message would have been as clear as destroying Hiroshima & Nagasaki.

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MistWizard; I think we had this little discussion before and I will be less polite then last time.

Reality sucks big time and despite peoples nitpicking, in war civilians have always been the ones who pay for the governments stupidity and the elites excesses.

Deliberately targeting and killing civilians has been part of war since war has existed from the destruction of the Canaanites through the Romans, the vikings, the crusaders right up to the Serbians and the Greeks in WW1 all the way into WW2 and beyond.

I don't like it and I don't agree with it but wake up and leave your fantasy world.

It was war and those are the facts of war.

How many time must people like a good impartial historian say "you cannot apply today's logic and standards to the past"

So maybe it is you who should absorb the above.

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lrodriguezsosa; I guess you didn't read the part about how even after Hiroshima the wartime leaders didn't believe the USA had another bomb like it! (see comments made by Soemu Toyoda after Hiroshima)

So even I who have also said I wish they had tried it first someplace with the possibility of less casualties, I know that Historically the second one would have still been dropped and on perhaps a much larger target.

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Whatever the reason, justification of the use of these weapons justifies their use in the future. Truman and his staff were only concerned with the present. Revenge had blinded them from seeing this possibility. They did not consider the impact this would have on future events. Americas utter lack of compassion is going to catch up with them one day, Her enemies are plotting to do this right now. They will say to themselves that if it is alright for the Americans to do it, it is correct for us. After all our cause is right and just in the eyes of God. Using these weapons will save people. "5 But, behold, the judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished;"

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YuriOtani: 'Whatever the reason, justification of the use of these weapons justifies their use in the future. Truman and his staff were only concerned with the present. Revenge had blinded them from seeing this possibility. "

Now I know better then to try and reason with you on the second part of your comment.

But if you look back at History there have been several cases where certain weapons were used and then judged to be to horrible to be acceptable in war (as if war is acceptable) and countries agreed to ban their use and for the most part, most of the banned weapon have not "formally" been used since.

So Yuri do not be so sure about the future, perhaps one day governments will decide that enough is enough and ban Nukes to.

But that day is not here yet and in reality they would have been used at some point even if it was not on Japan or by the USA.

It's just that sad but true!

They were all working on the A-bomb at the time. And I do mean all USA, USSR, Germany, Japan, it was only a mater of time before one got it right (or wrong in my view).

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@ mareo2

Sorry but I don't believe that story since if you follow the timeline of the military upheaval with notes of Emperor's statements it clearly shows that he wanted to emulate the role of the British royalty, The King reigns, but does not govern but was caught up in a rock and a hard spot since the Imperial constitution dictates that the emperor was the supreme commander and chief of the military. The military in 1930 used this point so they didn't have to downsize during the depression against the will of the government. The emperor at this point told the prime minister to solve amongst the two parties since he believe that he should not intervene based on the fundamental policy of not to govern. If there was any fault to the Emperor, it was his impotence which ultimately provided the military a cadre blanc resulting to a brutal military regime that the public did not trust but was unable to do anything about since most of them were not elected officials.

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At that time Japan was a guinea-pig for the US who just have successfully achieved the Nuclear power. Japan already lost the war and didn't not have enough power to attack. The A-bombing gave ensured the US force saving their forces avoiding head to head battle. Air bombing would be enough to destroy imperial army, but the supreme commander might think of saving energy and why not do the acid test of this new invention. I also want to make responsible the arrogant Hirohito who was so late to surrender while Germany already surrendered. Even the A-bomb would not be dropped, farther air bombing would cause equal causalities. The myth I can't understand why General Mac Arthur was so generous towards the emperor Hirohito. For the JT posters I would like to suggest the series video clips of WW2 in youtube, though I think it's somehow fabricated.

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justification of the use of these weapons justifies their use in the future

6 out of 10 Japanese surveyed said they'd like to see North Korea bombed into the stone age. maybe.

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6 out of 10 Japanese surveyed said they'd like to see North Korea bombed into the stone age

Bombed forward into the stone age.

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No disrespect, but History is somewhat subjective as your and anyone elses "strong" bakground in it. OUR country committed a horrible wartime atrocity and nothing you can rationalize changes it or the fact that many of America's leaders at that time agree that it was unnecessary.

History is not subjective, only our recollection. You're opinion is that it was an atrocity, many feel that it was not. The American leaders that were hesitant to use the weapon were so because of the variables surrounding them. Many didn't know the exact nature or science behind the weapons and couldn't fully comprehend what they would do. MacArthur was actually in favor of using them as tactical weapons to augment the land invasion.

if you knew that killing am innocent baby and her mother would save the lives of ten soldiers, would you kill the baby and mother?

If a baby and mother are in a position to threaten the lives of 10 soldiers I doubt this is a very normal situation. All things depend on circumstance, in some I may very well kill them, in some I may not. If you'd add some detail to this bizarre scenario perhaps I could create a more complete hypothesis of what I would or would not do.

If you are attempting to draw a parallel to the dropping of the bombs allow me to create the scenario. I’ve been fighting in horrid conditions for years, I’ve probably contracted scrub typhus at some point but been forced to fight anyway, I’ve seen my fellow soldiers killed by Japanese that seem to go insane at the idea of capture and charge with whatever weapon at their disposal with no regard for their own lives, I’ve either seen or heard of Japanese women and children throwing themselves off of cliffs at the idea of surrender, and now it’s likely that I’ll be sent to take the mainland which will make all other events look like a cakewalk as men, women, and children throw themselves at our lines with reckless abandon for reason I couldn’t hope to comprehend. Then you tell me that killing a few civilians will stop it all right here and now, and you don’t think I’d do it?

We get the luxury of looking at the situation decades down the road with information from both sides of the conflict and advanced communication technology. All they had back then were two bombs and the prospect of a bloody land campaign that could have dragged on for months while the Japanese hold out for better terms of surrender. No fast communication was available and even if there was, a mere explanation of what the bombs could do would have never carried the same gravity of an actual demonstration, a demonstration not just of the weapon itself but of our determination to end this war no matter what.

My grandfather never confessed, but it looks like he got himself out of the draft. I respect that, because if enough people refused to fight, there could be no war.

After they destroyed our harbor and while the Germans were destroying allies in Europe and butchering ethnic minorities. That is sad. Say what you want about the bombings but if there was any regime that needed to be destroyed it was the one in Germany. The things done over there and by the Japanese in Asia are the closest things to evil I've ever known. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor the Japanese navy went to work on the Dutch Indies. ABDA, though outclassed and outnumbered, fought viciously from outdated ships making valiant last stands like those made by the HMAS Perth, the USS Houston, HMS Electra, and the Pope. Men who died doing what was right, fighting for their fallen and for their country.

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." - John Stuart Mill.

On my father's side of the family every man, save myself, has served in the military. (Due to my height they rejected my own attempts so I went into federal law enforcement for a time instead. Sad, considering a man of my height and weight would have made a very scary soldier) All of them realize that being willing to die for what you believe in is all well and good, but you can't win for dying, if the cause is important enough you should be willing to fight, die, and kill for it.

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The Americans did something call dehumanization. The turning of Japanese from people to animals. It is easy to kill non humans.

You're not actually going to use this as a logical argument are you? If you were a POW, would you rather be subjected to an American camp or a Japanese camp?

Dehumanization is something the Japanese used to a greater degree. No question.

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Whatever the reason, justification of the use of these weapons justifies their use in the future.

Depends on the circumstances. WWII was an incredibly complex series of events that culminated in not one, but two bombs being dropped.

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There are some good points on both sides of this issue. For an objective view of the issues people should read the following...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate_over_the_atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki

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Why have such shortsightedness? Let's ask,"Wash the crucifixion of J.C necessary?" Maybe the intruder should have been put in prison for life, but the leaders on both sides decided to end the threat quickly. Right or wrong, history is a teacher, and a lesson has been learned.

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medievaltimes, The Americans did the same extent. The Japanese were not considered people by the Americans. My examples is how callus they were to those of Japanese ancestry during and after the war. The loss of property and freedom for the only reason of their birth. Then there were all of the battles in which the Americans reinforced the propaganda the Japanese used to reinforce the no surrender. Thus my argument is they did not consider them to be humans when dropping the bombs. Need I remind you how racist the United States was at that time with their Jim Crow laws and lynching of African Americans? The Americans wanted to test these bombs on live targets and they used their entire stockpile. There is debate if it shortened the war, I maintain they were not needed and the Americans waited until after their use to accept the terms offered before the bombs were dropped. The thing we have to remember is this was done in the past. People change, the United States and Japan are no longer the countries they use to be. The only hope we have is that people learn from the mistakes of our ancestors, if not we are bound to repeat them.

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I'm not gonna make a long comment this time. Instead I'll make it really simple so that anyone in this sled would not be stultified. My answer is "NO."

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With the benefit of hindsight and all that we now know, I believe that IT WAS NOT necessary for the purpose of bringing Japan to a surrender. However, for the purpose of achieving a quick surrender, with no internal chaos and ensuring that no opportunity was given for the Soviets to step in, it was necessary.

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YuriOtani - Im not trying to have a go at you...but your logic is flawed on this one. You are starting to compare apples and pizza.

I'll ask again. If you were a POW/civilian would you want to be subjected to Japanese treatment or American treatment?

Now, does that mean all Americans treated civilians and POW's with dignity...no, of course not. That would be naive. But it was not secret how Japan treated its enemies.

But then again, it would also be naive to think there are no shades of gray inbetween black and white.

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Can anyone fact check me on this?

After the second bomb was dropped didn't the government take a vote as to decide whether to surrender or not and it was split even down the middle? It was only then that the Emperor made the unprecidented move of stepping in and giving the surrender?

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medievaltimes, you make me laugh. The Americans held their own citizens as captives. They were in compounds with armed guards threatening to shoot them. Committing a wrong gently does not make it right. Anyhow the American government did apologize and pay them some money. Wrongs were done by both sides, remember the Japanese class A criminals were hung. About the vote, think you are right. It is easy for me to be critical of people in hindsight. Remember this was in 1945 and they did not have the level of communications we do now. It is easy for misunderstandings to devolve and when you look at what evidence they had to make a decision it is not so easy. They did not know the full effects of the bomb and their intelligence was limited. The bomb was seen as a tool to end the war. We do not know and never know what the decision did to the American President. I am sure he did not like giving the orders but it was his decision to make. He made his decision with the best information available at the time. If you look at it from his point of view the decision is not at all easy. Use the bomb killing an unknown about of people or continue to watch the casualties pour back to America understanding an invasion of the home islands would be worse. Maybe he did not want to do such but thought it was the only way to quickly end the war. So when we take everything in account, his decision can be understood. I can not condemn him for his action and he was ahead of his time. Did he not force integration of African Americans in the armed forces?

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"Committing a wrong gently does not make it right"

So why not commit it as brutally as possible then eh?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre

Not quite the same as your textbook said eh?

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@medievaltimes:

The following is an excerpt I selected from an essay by historian Richard B. Frank, someone who actually read the transcripts and dug through the archives to uncover the decision-making process that led to the end of the war. In the following, "The Big Six" refers to the Japanese leaders: Prime Minister Suzuki, Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo, Army Minister General Korechika Anami, Navy Minister Admiral Mitsumasa Yonai, Chief of the Army General Staff General Yoshijiro Umezu, and Chief of the Navy General Staff Admiral Soemu Toyoda. These six men, along with the emperor and his principle advisor, Marquis Koichi Kido, comprised the top decision makers in Japan just prior to the end of the war:

"The Big Six finally met for the first time to contemplate ending the war in the morning of August 9. According to Admiral Toyoda, the meeting started with what he characterized as a 'bullish' attitude to continue the war. During the meeting came word of the Nagasaki bombing, news that struck at the arguments to downplay the significance of the atomic bombs. By the end of the marathon session, the Big Six split. Three, perhaps four members held out for 'four conditions' for surrender: continuance of the imperial institution, Japanese self disarmament, Japan to conduct 'so-called' war crimes trials and no occupation. Two or possibly three members were prepared to surrender on only the first term."

As to the argument that it would have been better to let the Soviets invade:

"On August 15, 1945, the emperor’s broadcast announced his decision to the Japanese people and the world. But the war had not ended. Soviet combat operations continued through Manchuria and then embarked on an amphibious assault on the Kuril Islands—which thanks to other new revelations we now know was in preparation for a landing by Soviet forces on Hokkaido, the northern most Home Island. Of the perhaps 2.7 million Japanese nationals who fell into Soviet hands, between about 375,000 and 400,000 perished, not counting combat deaths. This included an estimated 179,000 civilians and 66,000 military personnel who died in Soviet captivity in the winter of 1945-46 in Manchuria alone—numbers exceeding losses from the atomic bombs. Only fierce Japanese resistance on Sakhalin Island and President Truman’s insistence on meticulous adherence to prior agreements saved Hokkaido from Soviet invasion and probable occupation."

Seems this isn't the only time large numbers of non-Soviet civilians died at the hands of the Soviets. The casualty estimate for German civilians killed in forced labor camps in the Soviet Union is 270,000.

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YuriOtani. "The Americans held their own citizens as captives." But unlike Japan, they received food, health care and protections against violence. Let's talk about the treatment of civilian prisoners of war in Singapore and China shall we? I am sure you can easily see photos of the emaciated people, including children.

And you selectively forget that your own country killed and imprisoned anyone here who disagreed with the nationalist policies of the time. The media was repressed, people were killed or forced into military service.

Japan also used the people of Okinawa as fodder during the battle there.

You are right in thinking that both sides did horrible things. But history is pretty clear. The Japanese Imperial view of non-Japanese during the war resulted in greater dehumanization and suffering than at the hands of anyone other than the Germans and their treatment of Jews, Gypsies and Slavs.

Like it or not, Japan's attitude towards other Asians was as brutal and murderous as the German attitude towards people they defined as less than human. The only difference here is the scale. Japan had less time and freedom to kill than Germany did. But I shudder to think what Japan would have done had the war dragged on, or had they been more successful.

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You can read the full essay here:

http://www.fpri.org/footnotes/1404.200904.frank.trumanbomb.html

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@ tkoind2 No side is on the moral high ground. Have you ever heard of the phrase "Take No Prisoner?" That is exactly what the US military yelled and did in the Pacific theater of WW2 documented in books like Fog of War and Charles Lindbergh war time journal. Try a comparative research on how many POW camps there were on both camps. Japan was littered with them during the war. How many were there in the US?

You'll also need to contemplate the Philippine–American War killing and torturing millions if you want to compare atrocities committed by both camps.

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SamuraiBlue.

If you read my posts you can see that I am anti-war. But the fact remains that Japan initiated that war. Not my country. My history studies did not come only from US sources. I have read much of the work done by authors who do not support a US point of view on that time period. Still the facts remain. The brutality of the Japanese initiated war was on par with the brutality of the German invasion of Russia. The wholesale slaughter of civilians, long term interment of non-combatant citizens and the brutal and frequently fatal conditions that prisoners were kept in, both soldiers and civilians.

What I want Japan and the Japanese to do is the same as I expect from any country who initiates a war. I want you to accept full responsibility, to understand what that means and to teach your people the truth about that war. Japan has failed to do these things as Germany has shown what the right approach is.

Sure I also expect the US to talk about her past transgressions. The Philippine war is a wonderful example. But the fact of the US war in the Philippines in no way at all diminishes or excuses the actions of Japan. You and your country still need to come to terms with your war time behavior. You can ONLY do so when you stop hiding behind the shell of victimization and acknowledge it all. Admit to the horrific treatment of prisoners, to the systematic testing done on prisoners, to the starvation and deprivation against interred civilians, to the brutal sacrifice of Okinawan people, to the suicidal nature of continuing the war as long as it went on. And most of all stop playing victim over the nuclear weapons. Acknowledge that true blame there rests with Japanese leaders who refused to face reality and surrender.

Furhter, if you want countries like N.Korea and even the US to take full responsibility for their actions, you should lead by example Japan and the people of Japan. You are in a most unique position to do so. But you don't, you fail to open up about the war and create a strong moral high ground for Japan to teach others about the folly of nationalism and war. Japan could be the beacon for peace because of the weapons if you only really took responsibility for the war.

So why don't you instead of pointing fingers at other nations. Put your own house in order first, then reach out to help others.

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@tkoind2

Stop trying to be a saint, both side did what and I don't really think you have read what led Japan to war as I have posted earlier. It was a classic push become to shove scenario where Japan was cornered during the depression and onwards. The US didn't help the situation by trying to dominate a lucrative deal with ROC and the protectionism policy in the pre war era.

As for prisoner treatment as I have posted earlier try a comparative research on the amount of POW camps, the US only had a hand full and most of them were on the East coast. In other words there were virtually NO Japanese POWs to compare the living standards to begin with. As for food rations, if the general population was starving, do you think rations would be provided to the POWs? (In the Geneva convention it's dictated that the POWs receive same amount of ration as the general population, well they did. )

One thing for sure WW2 did bring some good because with all the European colonial nations deprived of military force, all who were victim of slavery and racism including the minority population of the United States gained independence and civil equality that would have not been possible if pre-war status quo remained. In other words the war yanked down the western supremacist hierarchy liberating the rest of the world.

If you're going to talk about history you'll need to do a more holistic approach then to focus on 5~10 years of the actual event.

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Potsdam made it clear, but it fell on deaf ears. First Hiroshima, and they were still suffering from hearing problems. Then Nagasaki and they were STILL deaf, dumb and blind to the obvious.Then the Soviet Union declared war and still they didn't surrender until a week or so after that. Most Japanese get swept away by the victim mentality, but the truth is that the war ending like that did Japan a huge favour in terms of a historical perspective as had the war gone on and on, the Japan we enjoy today would not be the same place had it been carved up, German style, by the USSR., the US. and GB.

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And as to the arguments regarding why unconditional surrender, was the only choice the allies would accept. Think back to post WWI and the mistakes made in allowing Germany to rebuild its war machine. The Western allies along with the Soviets didn't want another war with an armed Japan at any point in the future.

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Mistwizard:

" The A-bombs, which intentionally targeted civilian populations, were war crimes, in both written conventions and natural law. "

I hate stepping into this ritual repetition of talking point that is repeated every year, but this particular slogan should not be allowed to stand.

ALL sides in WW2 targeted civilian populations ROUTINELY, starting with the German carpet bombing of Rotterdam, via the Japanese bombing of Manila, the US firebombing of Tokyo and the unspeakable horrors of the firebombing of Dresden and Hamburg. ALL of wich took more lives than the nuclear bombings.

So please, can you at least strike this particular line from the usual sermon?

No back to the regular programming...

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The Americans held their own citizens as captives.

Yes, yes...I know this. I guess I will ask for a third time. Would you rather be taken prisoner by Japanese or Americans?

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Committing a wrong gently does not make it right.

This is where your logic fails. Like most people, they want to view things as black and white issues. You want to make it a case of either a country did "good" or a country did "wrong". That is simply not a realistic way of viewing the world. There are many shades of gray inbetween black and white.

The reason I mention this (again), is because this black and white view was the cornerstone of your logic. It simply is not valid.

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Thanks for the info Jamal2609.

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maybe,the US realized occupying Japan wud not be as easy as coccupying germany.

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What I want Japan and the Japanese to do is the same as I expect from any country who initiates a war. I want you to accept full responsibility, to understand what that means and to teach your people the truth about that war. Japan has failed to do these things as Germany has shown what the right approach is.

100% Correct. I have lived in both Japan and Germany, and the way the countries have dealt with WWII is strikingly different.

When you start to ask the question why Germany doesnt seem to have as many problems with WWII as Japan does, thats when the real coversations begin.

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The differences between Germany and Japan way of accepting responsibility and blame for WWII lies within each ones culture and set of values.

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"Your opinion is that it was an atrocity. Many feel that it was not.." -I think the surest sign of intelligent life in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us- Calvin and Hobbes. Truer words could not be more applicable to that statement.

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I hope everyone remembers Calvin was a child....

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WilliB said: ALL sides in WW2 targeted civilian populations ROUTINELY

Correct. But only certain people on certain sides got punished for it. The rest got either over-looked or justified, both being a huge moral problem and woefully inconsistant. Its so bad that it justifies those who were hung for the crimes, meaning that for some of them, it was murder. This is why I hate hypocrites so much. They make the future that much more uncertain.

By the justifications presented for the atoms bombs, if the Taliban set off a nuke in Columbus, OH, then another in Albequerque NM, and that had any effect on ending the war in Afghanistan, it would be considered totally legit. No freaking way. They are both illegitimate and there is no legitimizing them.

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Mistwizard:

" WilliB said: ALL sides in WW2 targeted civilian populations ROUTINELY Correct. But only certain people on certain sides got punished for it. "

If you mean that there were no war crimes trial conducted by the losers of WW2 against the winners, that is correct, and that is the way history has always been. That said, never in history have there been trials held by the victors that were as fair. So there. I was only pointing out that that your claim that bombing civilian populations in WW2 was unusual is plain wrong, period.

" By the justifications presented for the atoms bombs, if the Taliban set off a nuke in Columbus, OH, then another in Albequerque NM, and that had any effect on ending the war in Afghanistan, it would be considered totally legit. "

Oh come on. That is so bizarre, I won´t even try to parse it.

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Oh come on. That is so bizarre, I won´t even try to parse it.

The only difference is not one of fact, but one you make up in your own mind. Its less like you won't parse it, and more like you won't confront it because you have nothing to confront it with. I can easily condemn such an attack because my position is totally clear and sound. Intentionally attacking civilians is evil cowardice with no excuse every single time with no exceptions. You allow just one and your journey down the slippery slope begins.

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Pointless to argue with dogmatics.

I can only repeat the obvious, which gets studiously ignored by some: Mass destruction of cities was done routinely during WW2 (in fact, there is is hardly any large city in Germany that was not flattened), and it killed many times more people than the nukes.

The only thing that distinguishes the nukes is that that they clearly ended the war and thus arguably saved millions of lifes.

Some might not like the fact, but fact it is.

Over and out... til same time next year.

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Intentionally attacking civilians is evil cowardice with no excuse every single time with no exceptions. You allow just one and your journey down the slippery slope begins.

Can I ask why attacking civilians is evil cowardice? I'm interested in the specific logic...

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We must remember that the standards of war have changed. Looking at the bombing from the standards of 1945 is different from the standards of 2010. Using the standards of 1945 and all of the unknowns makes it a hard question. When I say the bombing were wrong it is using the standards of 2010 with the full knowledge of 65 years. President Truman made the decision using 1945 standards and with a very incomplete knowledge. While I am sure he read the reports the bomb test was sanitized. There were no dead bodies, no suffering, etc. Would he approve of it if he knew? Who knows it is a silly question since he did not and could not have known. Remember he carried around the knowledge of his orders for the rest of his life. Back to the main question, there is no easy answer and it depends on who you ask and when. We must remember the deed is done. The nations of the world have to remember the outcome of using these devices against cities. Also a note these were small bombs by today's standards. If Hiroshima and Nagasaki help prevent a new atomic war then they did not die in vain.

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I sincerely hope that there are no more wars, and that no more bombs, nuclear or otherwise, will be dropped from aircraft or delivered by missiles, or explode on roadsides or anywhere else.

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@ Junnama

If you simplify the equation, it boils down to armed people killing defenseless people.

In essence it the same as soldiers massacring an entire village to hunt guerrillas. The villagers hid the guerrillas within the village for any various reasons such as being coerced told they would face retribution if they did not cooperate. The same scenario is possible in a war state nation therefore the citizens had no choice but to cooperate and the result is being killed not by bullets and/or machete but by bombs. There is no justice in that.

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If you simplify the equation, it boils down to armed people killing defenseless people.

In the examples you name that would seem quite understandable.

I'm not sure they are similar to the situation in Japan at the end of WW2, though...

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The nations of the world have to remember the outcome of using these devices against cities.

The nations of the world also have to remember the events that led to the using of these devices against cities.

Japan likes to focus on the bombs being dropped as if it was some kind of isolated incident. They tend to ignore the important events that came before that led to the bombs being dropped.

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Junnama said: I'm not sure they are similar to the situation in Japan at the end of WW2, though...

Are women and children to blame for war, or anything at all? What logic is there in killing women and children because they live in a city easy to hit with a bomb from the air? Is that goodly courage to you?? Well its not to me, and the only logic I can find is the evil kind. Honestly, how can you not be able to see these things? Even an armed civilian might just be deer hunting. A person becomes a combatant when they attack you and yours. Civilians in a city generally are not even armed. They cannot stare an airplane out of the sky you know.

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The Japanese are going to be whinging about this forever, and will never admit what they did themselves. It is never going to change, so instead of getting annoyed at them, we should take a step back and laugh at them for what a bunch of children they constantly prove themselves to be. YuriOtani is a perfect example of the Japanese inability to accept facts.

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1, Wrong or right why did the guy who dropped the A-bomb commit suicide?

2, Was the A-bomb a form of genocide,(the Jews were also exterminated, but not instantaneously)

3, Was the second A-bomb warranted after the first in such a sort time without more negotiation or even some sort of cease fire ( excuse to test one more)

Apologise are only excepted, only by forgiveness.

Politics can not except either, therefore family values have no place in today's world, but only individualism, which is Fascism (control)over any people and genocide is against individualism, because it manifests freedom.
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DuraAce, please reread my last message. It must of been awful to bear so much responsibility. I will note that they have not been used since these attacks. They could of been used against the Chinese and a response from the Russians was not likely. The people who made the decisions are all dead. Thus is it not really possible to discover the answer to this question? My last remark is leaders make the best possible decisions with the information on hand. President Truman made his decision and now 65 years later people question his decision. Try putting yourself in his position, what would you do and why?

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It was certainly necessary so that Americans and its allies did not have to lose more lives. It also showed the sobering reality of what war can become. It also highlighted what can become of a country that wants to do the next Nazi, Nanking, or any other mass torture and murder.

The "instantaneous" method was far, far more merciful, except for the relative few who were either fortunate or unfortunate enough to survive the explosion.

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Icewind007, actually more than a few did not die instantaneously. They suffered intense burns. The bomb made a new type of burn. People suffered for days and weeks. Radiation poisoning takes time to kill, days up to weeks of pure agony. http://www.atomicarchive.com/Docs/MED/med_chp10.shtml However please remember the President did not have this information until later, much later.

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C'mon people!!!

My only regret is that they did not nuke the imperial palace and mount fuji - that would have sent a powerful message.

They had it coming! ALL of Japan was involved in the war effort. Japan was getting rich off the stolen resources and slave labor from Asia. Was there a whole Japanese city without military personnel? I think not.

Apologist say that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were NOT military targets...let's see: Medium sized port cities, roads, rail lines, infrastructure.... nah - what would the military want with a place like THAT??? If Hirohito had shown some courage and surrendered BEFORE the bombs were dropped, MAYBE those people would not have died....and the Americans would have had no war to use as an excuse for testing their bombs... but don't blame the Allies for expeditiously finishing a war started by warmongering Hirohito. BLAME Hirohito!!!

Sorry people everywhere had to die so Japan could flex its muscles, make colonies overseas, steal materials and rape and kill the locals... but again - BLAME HIROHITO.

In Europe, everyone know who the aggressor was - HITLER! There is no debate. He started the war, and it finished him. However, in Japan, thanks largely to the U.S. cover-up after the war, we now see young ignorant Japanese thinking the U.S. dropped 2 nukes for no reason!

Japan started the war, and if they had had their way, maps of Asia would look very different today. But they lost, got their ass kicked, and it took not ONE but TWO nukes to motivate Hirohito to make that very important phone call (where he surrendered).

So, whatever the issue involving nukes or anything to do with WW2 in Asia - BLAME HIROHITO!!!

Think about it.

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MW, I wonder if you understand that to end the war there were going to be civilian deaths? The question was only how many....

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YuriOtani;

I would have done the same thing the Americans did. The Japanese were totally out of control.

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karmaisnotkarma said: They had it coming! ALL of Japan was involved in the war effort.

Yeah, ten year old kids know exactly what will happen with the scrap metal they are ordered to collect. May as well hang the ten year old son of murderer for providing material support: chopping wood to keep him warm in the wintertime. He had it coming! What utter tripe.

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linro

2, Was the A-bomb a form of genocide,(the Jews were also exterminated, but not instantaneously)

No.

3, Was the second A-bomb warranted after the first in such a sort time without more negotiation or even some sort of cease fire ( excuse to test one more)

Yes, it was. Japan had rejected "unconditional surrender". They were planning to fight until the end.

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Is that goodly courage to you??

Depends on you're view of courage.

The bombs should have been dropped on the people responsible for those events. Dropping them on the women and children of Nagasaki and Hiroshima was the same thing as the Japanese did to Nanking.

I doubt that the women and children were all sitting on one big target or that the bombs somehow targeted them individually. The point of the bombings was to destroy an entire city with one weapon to display the lengths we were willing to go. The difference between the bombings and something like Nanking was the intent, when the Japanese fell upon Nanking they were motivated by bloodlust, they killed and raped and burned for the sake of it. The bombings were cold and rational, horrifying in their own way, but they made complete and total sense.

A does wrong you go after A. You don't go after B who did nothing. You go after A. Going after A is right. Killing B even to get to A is evil, unfair, and totally wrong.

When A is not a single person but an entity this train of logic is futile. If the U.S were to go after A they would have dropped the bombs on Tokyo and I assure you the death toll would have made the other two bombings look small by comparison. Additionally there would be virtually nobody to negotiate a surrender with so fighting may well have continued anyway.

I however take a broader look at the events of the time and have come to the conclusion that Truman took the correct course of action. Not moral, not right, and not just but correct.

Try putting yourself in his position, what would you do and why?

The war on the Western front is finished. The Soviets have entered under false negotiations and are preparing to attack as per the talks at Yalta. Based on what we saw in Okinawa and the Soloman Islands we are going to need all the help we can get. Secretary of War William Shockley projects that upwards of 4 million casualties of that about 800,000 will be killed either on the ground or by the kamikaze attacks that have become the norm since the destruction of the Japanese navy. Conservative estimates indicate that they could hold the mainland for another year at least at excessive cost, they will make us bleed for every inch, in anticipation we have produced half of a million purple hearts although that may not be enough.

I have in my possession two weapons that may end this war before the end of the month, and more can be produced if necessary. With all this in mind I believe Truman says it better than I could, "I knew what I was doing when I stopped the war... I have no regrets and, under the same circumstances, I would do it again."

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2020hindsight said: Yes, it was. Japan had rejected "unconditional surrender". They were planning to fight until the end.

You have that backwards. It was the allies planning on fighting til the end since it was them demanding unconditional surrender. If a conditional surrender had been offered and the Japanese said "no", THEN you could say they were planning on fighting to the end. You can't blame the Japanese for balking at unconditional surrender. So many would rather sacrifice others than die on a gallows, and Japan's leaders knew full well unconditional surrender meant dying on a gallows for many of them. And so, sacrifice they did, hoping to gain a conditional surrender and save their lives. What the A-bombs did is push others to decide to sacrifice those who would be hung. It all could have been over sooner and many lives saved on both sides if surrender terms had been made earlier. The A-bombings would not have even happened.

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Surrender terms... You mean like 1918? Those didn't go so well...

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Because you're disputing the need for unconditional surrender. The reason why the allies wanted it is well known...why not address that reason?

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Junnama said: The reason why the allies wanted it is well known...why not address that reason?

I know of no reason so good it was worth soldiers or civilian lives to get it. The key condition the Japanese wanted was preservation of the Emperor, and though its not in the terms of surrender, they did get that. So what was the point of demanding unconditional surrender? An excuse to drop the A-bombs?? Is that the famous reason you are referring to?

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Indeed, they WANTED to drop the bomb.

Exactly 19 days before the first atomic bomb was dropped on Japan, Truman wrote in his own handwritten diary:

"Discussed Manhattan (it is a success). Decided to tell Stalin about it. Stalin had told P.M. (Churchill) of telegram from Jap emperor asking for peace…"

Also, Walter Brown, assistant to Secretary of State Byrnes, wrote in his diary that the President, Byrnes, and Admiral Leahy, Chief of Staff to the President "agrred [sic] Japas [sic] looking for peace. (Leahy had another report from Pacific) President afraid they will sue for peace through Russia instead of some country like Sweden."

Also, Manhattan Project scientist Leo Szilard met Byrnes (Truman’s most trusted advisor) on May 28, 1945. Szilard recalled what Byrnes "was concerned about Russia's postwar behavior. Russian troops had moved into Hungary and Rumania, and Byrnes thought it would be very difficult to persuade Russia to withdraw her troops from these countries, that Russia might be more manageable if impressed by American military might, and that a demonstration of the bomb might impress Russia." – (Leo Szilard: His Version of the Facts, pg. 184).

If you combine these quotes with the fact that months before the bombs were dropped, the Japanese were trying to surrender under conditions very similar to what the Americans finally accepted after the bombs were dropped.

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Confirms what I was taught in school.

Also Churchill was pushing heavily for the bombs as he wanted them used on Germany, Roosevelt was more reluctant to use them.

I was also taught that the excuse for the "Millions of lifes saved from the bombs" was only released in 1947 no mention before that in goverment documents.

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Unconditional surrender was intended to avoid a repeat of ww1: armed defeated enemy with a vendetta. Logic being all the lives saved in 1918 by not fighting to final conclusion ended up just being lost in ww2. I thought this was pretty basic stuff...

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I once met a Japanese girl whose grandfather was a Japanese kamakaze pilot. He was due to fly on the day the atomic bomb was dropped but because it was dropped he didn't have to fly that day. Unfortunately his best friend was also a kamakaze pilot but had said he won't fly the day before so the commanding officer cut out his eyes. If he agreed to do it he wouldn't have lost his sight. SHe then told me that when her grandfather died 50 years later a blind man came to the funeral...his old kamakaze friend. She said her grandfather loved America for dropping the bomb and was so glad he could live.

I wonder how many other Japanese are secretly glad the bomb was dropped and the war ended. Who knows.

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It is interesting to note that the number of casualties for Hiroshima and Nagasaki keep rising!

It is the only place I have ever heard of that add the manes of people to the "victims" list when they die just for being even remotely affected by the bombings.

Last year several more names were added and the amazing thing was that they were all well into their 70's, 80's and even a 93 year old when they died.

That would be like my college's 81 year old mother who passed away last year due to heart problems being added to the list of victims who died in Singapore during the Japanese occupation because she suffered malnutrition as one of the westerner internees.

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“All is fair in Love and War.” as the saying suggests, and if the recent global financial crisis is any indication of “what is fair”, any thinking person must come to a general conclusion—the winner always creates the historical narrative—the loser must accept it, period. And, as we all know no one alive is a saint, and so we are quibbling over tiny differences of who is more “right” or more “wrong”. This does not advance the understanding of ourselves and of each other, we are no better situated than when the decision was made to drop the bomb; both sides defending and screaming their arguments till their ugly inhuman true selves are revealed.

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@ apple407

That is probably the main reason the slogan is "NO MORE HIROSHIMA" and not "REMEMBER HIROSHIMA". The message is and always has been a message for the future and not a curse from the past.

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This is a silly question, the bombs were dropped. As in so many things there is nothing we can do about it. We can only affect current events and remember past events to not do them in the future. Nobody expects an apology from people who had nothing to do with the deed. It will not bring back the dead or comfort the living.

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Junnama said: Unconditional surrender was intended to avoid a repeat of ww1: armed defeated enemy with a vendetta. Logic being all the lives saved in 1918 by not fighting to final conclusion ended up just being lost in ww2. I thought this was pretty basic stuff...

You are as confused as you are off topic. Disarmament can be part of a conditional surrender.

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Japan was throwing away lives anyway forcing boys to fly planes into ships in suicide missions. So they set the precedent that using up Japanese lives meant nothing to them. So the bombings while harsh was warranted due to the willingness of Japan to expend more and more lives. They chose their destiny.

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the winner always creates the historical narrative—the loser must accept it, period.

As a member of the winning side, I vote for the A-bombs being classified as unnecessary and inexcusable war crimes. Hows that?

This does not advance the understanding of ourselves and of each other

Yes it does. This is what it takes to break brainwashing that I myself was once a victim of.

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Disarmament can be part of a conditional surrender.

Seems pretty "on topic" if the subject is "Was the dropping of the atomic bombs necessary".

Oh and they tried disarmement in 1918 and it didn't work then. You know what were the three conditions Japan was pressing for that the allies rejected right? They kept the emporer obviously....

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Oh and they tried disarmement in 1918 and it didn't work then.

It worked until Hitler rearmed when no one was paying attention. The core problem was NOT paying attention. The other problem was letting Germany slip into depression through reparations, making them resentful. That lesson was learned and both Germany and Japan were rebuilt after WWII.

Occupation can also be a part of a conditional surrender. In FACT, damn near anything can be part of conditional surrender! The key is to NEGOTIATE, and it seems the allies did not consider any one's life worth negotiating to save, not civilians and not its own soldiers either.

Last, Japan is NOT Germany. Both countries do things differently. It is nuts to say that Germany did something therefore, Japan will do the same. You might anticipate it, but to the point that you don't even negotiate surrender terms?? Your priority train has majorly jumped the track!

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One thing about unconditional surrender, it does not only mean that the losing side places condition for surrendering but also means that the winning side does not need to reveal to the losing side what will be in stowed after surrendering so technically the winning side can keep on bombing after the losing side surrenders and the losing side cannot say or do anything about it.

Conditions are always stated by both sides before actual cease fire is achieved.

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Zenny11 - I was also taught that the excuse for the "Millions of lifes saved from the bombs" was only released in 1947 no mention before that in goverment documents.

That's not possible. The beach landings on Japan, Operation Olympic and Coronet, were already being planned in 1944 and were being assembled during 1944/1945, before the "A" bombs were used. Estimates of casualties and deaths, both civilian and military, would have been included in that planning. How many medics, nurses and doctors would be needed? How many tons of plasma, bandages and morphine? How many hospital ships and shore facilities would be required?

Millions of lives on both sides were saved BECAUSE the invasion of Japan, Operation Downfall, never had to be initiated.

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Much of what you're saying just doesn't jive with the facts. Dialogue was ongoing through all of 1945 and the terms Japan offered and the strategies it was pursuing were not those of the defeated nation. Fortunately, all of this has been lovingly maintained for future study by the Japanses themselves...you might want to go check it out...

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Last, Japan is NOT Germany. Both countries do things differently.

Correct. After WWII, Germany has in large part acknowledged and taken responsibility for its actions, thus being able to move forward. Japan has used denial, shame and saving face to continue to stunt thier growth.

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Junnama, you are wrong about your facts. Japan was on the side of the allies in WWI. Thus it is a not an excuse for using the bombs.

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Both are true the US military did draw up a plan for invading Japan and dialog for peace had been relayed to the allies from mid 1945. But the battle plans drawn up for invasion was based on figures of early 40's and not the actual situation of mid 1945. I believe MacArthur said by simply placing a blockade, Japan will wither by the end of the year based on aerial photos showing productivity of the entire nation came to a stretching halt through intensive carpet bombing.

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Japan was on the side of the allies in WWI.

I never said Japan was a Central Power, only that the lessons learned from the surrender of Central Powers in WW1 very much influenced the thinking of the Allies at the end of WW2.

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MistWizard - You have that backwards. It was the allies planning on fighting til the end since it was them demanding unconditional surrender. If a conditional surrender had been offered and the Japanese said "no", THEN you could say they were planning on fighting to the end.

The ruling Imperial military chose to IGNORE the demand for UNconditional surrender. That was the offer, take it or leave it. Both sides realized that the Allies were winning and would eventually win the war. The only remaining question was how many people would have to die before the Imperial leadership finally conceeded defeat.

A REQUEST to discuss possible surrender terms was/is NOT an actual surrender.

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I believe MacArthur said by simply placing a blockade, Japan will wither by the end of the year based on aerial photos showing productivity of the entire nation came to a stretching halt through intensive carpet bombing.

I can only find evidence that said he foresaw three options, blockade being the worst in his opinion.

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Here is how devious some of you must think the USA was and is.

In 1945 the US military in anticipation of an invasion of the main islands and of the high casualties ordered the manufacturing of 500,000 purple hearts.

Seeing no invasion was necessary those medals went unused and to this day every US solider from Korea to Iraq who has received a purple heart has received one made in 1945.

But like I wrote at the start of this many here are just going to say this was all part of the plan and cover up to make the bombs look legitimate.

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"man has achieved the power of taking hundreds of thousands of lives in an instance." Don't you mean in an 'instant?' It's never about the power, it's a matter of man's moral decision. The outcome of Killing 300,000 in one month vs one minute is the same, 300,000. For 'instance', just look back and examine what transpired during the Nanjing Massacre...

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A little background to set the stage: The U.S., Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada (i.e. mostly caucasian countries) were the only nations not subject to invasion by foreign troops in WW2. Britain got bombed a lot, but no invasion occurred. Most of the troops from these nations did not have to worry about their wives, sisters, mothers being raped, etc. at the hands of the enemy.

If battle hardened, angry Chinese and Russian soldiers had made it to Japan, there would have been an orgy of rape, brutal killing, damn near total destruction.

Japan had defeated Russia 50 years earlier, so saying the Russians had something to prove is an understatement.

Chinese had been subjugated, humiliated, raped, murdered for well over a decade - so they would not have been as nice as the U.S. was.

Was the A-bomb necessary? No. But it was a quick way to get the job done. And it worked. Only a few hundred thousand people died, Allied POW's were saved, Japan was preserved as a whole nation.

Without a doubt, the U.S. was already focusing on Russia as the next big problem. *At the beginning of WW2, Stalin split Poland with Hitler; upon the ending of hostilities, Russia stole Polish territory. Their demands at Potsdam were a sign of things to expect in the future from the Russians. To say the U.S. tested the nukes as much as a way to end the war, save lives, and scare the Russians would not be an exaggeration.

SamuraiBlue; Hate to tell you this, but you are repeating BS propoganda spread at the end of the war by the Americans, to protect their new ally in the war against communism. Hirohito ordered the use of gas warfare in specific cities in China. Also, in the early 1990's, when I lived in Japan, the Japan Times published several letters from Hirohito to Stalin. To summarize: you have many of our soldiers, but we cannot feed them, so if using them helps alleviate some of the suffering caused by our actions in WW2, please keep them" this is the emperor of Japan, telling the Russians to keep Japanese POW's and use as slave labor!!!

THE EMPEROR WAS IN CHARGE OF everything that happened!!! He ok'd attack plans, signed off on the use of chemical warfare, and let his generals take the fall for HIM!!! You need to read more, and stop believing the "emperor did not know crap"

YUMIMOTO: other means were POSSIBLE - YES. But remember, the RUSSIANS are coming!!! OUR POW's are dying, and the clock is ticking!!! You want to share a divided Japan with Russia? DON'T USE NUKES! Remember, there were commies in Japan before, during and after WW2 - but their numbers were few. Let Russia get a foothold, brainwash the locals, and the U.S. would have had a bigger problem to deal with.

All bombing raids of Tokyo were instructed NOT to bomb the imperial palace in Tokyo - the U.S. wanted the emperor alive to keep his people in line AFTER the war...
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@ KevininHawaii

Source please since I am reading journals written by entourage of the Emperor before the war and the Imperial constitution not to mention news paper clipping of those days in the original text.

Historically the Emperor only reigned Japan in true context at the beginning of history up until 6th AD. after that it has always been the politicians, aristocrats, and bureaucrat who actually ran the country, he was placed on a pedestal without actual power for the last 1500 years. Do you think he would have regained power after all that time?

I really do not understand why you are so hellbent on trying to crucifying Hirohito and after the war Hirohito writing a letter to Starlin is as absurd not to mention meaningless since his pedestal was placed away from politics so again please show some evidence.

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arrestpaul said: The ruling Imperial military chose to IGNORE the demand for UNconditional surrender. That was the offer, take it or leave it.

They left it. Which is why you offer a CONDITIONAL surrender to keep negotiations going. This is not a video game. Unconditional surrender is an unreasonable thing to demand, and the only way you will get it is when things are going so badly for the enemy that anything becomes acceptable. If you start negotiations with a deal of 100 percent for you and 0 percent for the other side, do you think anyone will talk with you?? That is not negotiation, that is DOMINATION. Its like offereing someone a job with no pay and no benefits, take it or leave it. All anyone making that offer deserves is a kick in the pants. You want something? Well you have to give something. All we offered to give the Japanese was hell, and we delivered. But it did not have to be that way.

What a bizarre world you live in if you cannot understand this.

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MistWizard: I don't know why I am even bothering to write this but I think many here including myself have pointed out WHY CONDITIONAL surrender was not an option, But seeing the WW1 lesson is not enough, lets go back, way back to Rome/Carthage, after defeating the Romans Hannibal decided not to attack and crush Rome it self and his Generals said to him "you may no how to win the battles but you do not know how to win a war" and history proved them right because in the end Rome rebuilt it Armies conquered Carthage and raised it to the ground! (and plenty more just like this)

And your take it or leave it analogy is a little off!

If anything it is more along the lines of the police having cornered an armed mass murderer and giving him the choice of surrender and get a trial or they are going to rush the place and blow the crap out of him. There is no negotiation it's take it or leave it!

You act like this was some sort of business negotiation! It wasn't it was WAR and everyday it continued people died, this was not a negotiation this was not some job interview, this was all out WAR winner take ALL that is how the Japanese started the war, THEY set those rules.

WAR is not a business meeting or business negotiation and if that is what you think then to quote you:

"What a bizarre world you live in if you cannot understand this."

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Why would a nation that had the means to utterly distroy the enemy settle for anything less than unconditional surrender?

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limboinjapan said: But like I wrote at the start of this many here are just going to say this was all part of the plan and cover up to make the bombs look legitimate.

Why not? The Joint Chiefs of Staff came up with that ridiculous number. Fact is, during the war, in BOTH theathers, the U.S. lost about 416,800 men in 3 and a half years of fighting including Normandy. Do you really think an invasion of Japan could equal that in mere months? Despite the fact the Japanese were out of gas and steel and their weapons mostly destroyed??

By contrast, MacArthur estimated 125,000 if it took 120 days, and later settled on 105,000. General Marshall said 70,000 to complete the invasion. Leahy said 268,000 to complete. And most of those would be wounded, not dead. http://operationolympic.com/p1_casualties.php

I would think that even the low figures would be enough to justify the A-bombings using some of the "logic" here, not my logic to be sure. But you guys always jump to the ridiculously high figures. Why? I think its pure CYA for trying to justify what you know darned well was unjustifiable. You are just trying to dazzle us with bullcrap incredible numbers, and probably so were the Joint Chiefs. Trying...way too hard.

Its also entirely possible that some fool in some department heard about the Joint Chiefs number, believed it, and started stamping out purple hearts. Its also possible that somebody saw pure gold in the crazy figure. Ever think how much money there is in stamping out 500,000 purple hearts for the government? A lot more than 105,000, that is for sure! And again, most of those would have been wounded. Bad enough, but better than dead.

Sorry, but there is no way you are going to convince me killing kids was the only or best answer to the problem. It was not even a good answer.

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Yes. There. Now move on.

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techall said: Why would a nation that had the means to utterly distroy the enemy settle for anything less than unconditional surrender?

To avoid killing innocent children.

What is so bad about conditions? I got some in my work contract! Yes, my employer does try to make me feel bad for them sometimes, but I don't!

Conditions could have saved a lot of lives on both sides. Yet, people pooh-pooh conditions but tout how many lives the A-bombs saved in their opinions??? Some of you REALLY need to get yourselves sorted! This "pretzel logic" just does not hold up to scrutiny!

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You seem to forget that during that war, Americans HATED the Japanese - even to the point where they put Japanese/Americans in "relocation" camps. Nobody gave a rip about Japanese civilians as long as it saved American lives. In regard to your employment contract, as limboinjapan said, this was all out war not some business deal.

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limboinjapan said: and history proved them right because in the end Rome rebuilt it Armies conquered Carthage and raised it to the ground! (and plenty more just like this)

So now rebuilding Germany and Japan was a mistake? We better keep looking over our shoulders then! Dude, could you just TRY thinking things through? Historical examples are fine, but if you take one type to justify one thing and another type to justify another, you will NEVER have one solid answer to anything. You will have two ways or more and always have to start from zero. Either you don't have the capacity to think holistically or you just want it your way each time and have no regard for consistency, fairness or principles in general.

There is no negotiation it's take it or leave it!

They will negotiate if he is holed up in a house full of women and children, even if its his wife and kids. I have no qualms about dropping nukes on the heads of enemy soldiers IF they are the only ones to get nuked. But if you will nuke kids, NO FREAKING WAY.

this was all out WAR winner take ALL that is how the Japanese started the war, THEY set those rules.

I was not aware that the IJA set the rules you live by.

No, war is not business, but negotiations have brought about their end. Negotiations and compromise are a good thing dude. Killing children to get the exact end you desire is not.

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WW1 showed that enforcing conditions was dependent on political will. If they fail to follow the conditions...then what?

Oh and in Okinawa there were 100,000 us and 200,000 Japanese casualties. The mainland would have been worse.

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techall- you are wrong...

"Americans HATED the Japanese - even to the point where they put Japanese/Americans in "relocation" camps"

Japanese were put into relocation camps so they could be observed. At the time there was no google earth, mounted cameras, micro chips, homing bracelets, fingerprinting, etc to do the work. Don't be naive- more advanced techniques are being used to watch "you" on a daily basis. I was shocked to see my "very" international office surrounded by Japanese Koan officials(CIA types) within 10 hours of the 9/11 attacks in the US. They knew exactly how many Arab nationals were in the complex and came asking for each by name !

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MistWizard; First please don't call me Dude! It shows your age!

Second; I have thought things through many time, so lets see you think these things through!

As of the start of August 1945 Japan had 4 point for Surrender they were.

1- the continuation of the Imperial system.

2-Leave disarmament and demobilization to Imperial General Headquarters

3- No occupation of the Japanese Home Islands, Korea, or Formosa

4- Delegation to the Japanese government of the punishment of war criminals

Now taking these into account and the fact that this war was not just going on in Japan (a fact you seem very willing to overlook)

Seeing that the Korean people and other occupied areas had already started to rise up and that you SO Love to point out that women and children died in the bombings.

If Japan was given these conditions then that would have meant an influx of Japanese troops to Korea and Formosa and what do you think they would have don't to this rebellious group? Do you think they would have spared the women and children or would that not mater seeing it would have been an internal Japanese thing and after all they were just Koreans.

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I am not wrong, simply google some of the posters displayed during the war. The relocation camps, one of which is near my home in the U.S. were not only to keep an eye on Japanese Americans but to protect them from the general public. You will note that this step was not taken against German Americans.

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German Americans make up something like 20% of the us population. Such measures would have been impossible...

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If Japan was given these conditions

Okay, so now you give us more reason to believe you don't know what negotiations are. No reason they had to get all their conditions. Please look up the word "negotiate". And lest you backtrack, demanding unconditional surrender is the same as NOT negotiating. In fact it is death to negotiation.

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techall; It was taken against Germans and Italians but to a MUCH lesser degree in most Allied countries, the Japanese just stuck out more to the point that Chinese were being attacked by mistake.

Many German and Italian businesses were attacked, vandalized and non-citizens were routinely locked up.

This was a sad period in Allied countries and the funny thing is they all apologized for it and even compensated those affected (years later but better late then never) and the wording for these apologies were simple and clear "WE ARE SORRY WE WERE WRONG" I wonder if Japan will ever just say it that strait!

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Japan in the end got 1 and 4 (well part of 4, the trials were very limited). 2 and 3 would never have worked.

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techall said: but to protect them from the general public.

They were not given a choice to relocate. Protection without choice is not protection. Its a mafia racket.

Second, since their property was so often forfeit,uh,..again, mafia racket.

What you are saying is the same as saying segregation of schools was for black folks "own protection".

In short the protection angle is thinly applied bullcrap. You might understand one day if you and your family are rounded up one fine day "for your own protection" while you protest that you want to take the risk of being free.

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MistWizard: I never said it was voluntary, in fact I agree with you whole heartedly. The point is, back to the subject, the American psyche at the time saw the Japanese as less than human, monsters, barbarians and therefore little thought was given to saving Japanese lives versus saving even one American GI. Again I ask you to look at the period posters, you will be shocked.

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Was the dropping of the atomic bombs necessary?

Yes, it was. It ended the war. Gave the Japanese emperor an excuse to surrender. Move on. Nothing more to see here.

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MistWizard; I do understand the meaning of the word "negotiation" I even know the root of the word and if you look it up you will find that it is based on a Latin word meaning "to do business" or "to carry out Business" and would have never been used in a WAR situation!

I would suggest you look up the meaning of the word "WAR" you might find it interesting as it has nothing to do with business!

Also do have a look at the period of 1930~1950 you may also find it enlightening that back then your Utopian view of the world may not have existed! (just a thought)

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techall- you are wrong... providing propoganda posters as proof of your position is nonsense. If I claim that all Japanese hated the Americans because Tokyo Rose said so- would that be ample proof- I doubt it. Spare us the broad sweeping anti-American rants, please.

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Anti-American? I am American, I'm trying to get you to see the mindset at the time of the bombings, or the decision making time. That being that one american GI's life was worth a million Japanese.

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Okay, let's get back to the question. Suppose it's 1945, Truman decides NOT to use the bomb and the war drags on for months. You have a son, brother, cousin, whatever serving in the army. He is alive on August 9th but dies during an invasion along with thousands of other american boys. Now you have been looking at these government sponsored posters for three years. Then you find out that your son didn't have to die because Truman had the means of stopping the war agains these animals months ago but decided to save Japanese lives. Should he have used the bomb?

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techall is simply hard to follow-

"That being that one american GI's life was worth a million Japanese."

You do realize that millions of Japanese lives were essentially saved when the war ended in Japan on August 14th 1945... and not August 14th of 1950 !!!

And FYI- the total number of people killed- civilians, combatants, the whole ball of wax is estimated to upwards of 70 million !!! My what a wrath of destruction the axis nations and Japan unleashed on the world. It should also be noted that the vast majority of the axis nations joined in 1941. Japan had already been at war since 1937 ! Hell even the Germans didn't invade Poland till 1939 ! Were the dropping of the atomic bombs necessary ??? Seriously now.

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You know what this is about the Bombings and War and yes at that time (and this is the point so many can't seem to get) each countries goal was to KILL the other and WIN! THIS WAS NOT SOME GAME OR BUSINESS DEAL!

YES they hated each other Australia interned mostly Italians, Canada Did it to just about anyone it viewed as a danger Germans, Italians, Japanese, even the Major of Montreal because he opposed the draft, USA did it to all 36% of all internees were German decent yes Japanese were the largest.

In japan proper they did the same but of course NO IMMIGRATION so few but in the places Japan conquered that was different!

I think if I had the choice between the Allied internment camps and the Japanese I would jump at at the Allied ones.

All this to bring us back to the point THEY WERE ALL AT WAR!

I wish people would stop and think before saying stupidities like " well they could have offered them this way out or that way out" or "did they have to do it like this or like that? maybe they could have....."

Would have, should have, could have! These are all great siting at home in the year 2010 with no one shooting at you or your family and friends, and why can you spend your time making up these would, could, should crap?

Because others died in the 1930's~1940's to give you that right! Do you honestly think Japan would be like it is today with out occupation?

Be honest and drop the Japanophile rose coloured glasses!

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Sorry that should read MAYOR of Montreal and not Major

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techall:

"Okay, let's get back to the question. Suppose it's 1945..."

Techall, if you are going to cherry pick through history- why not start at the beginning... the invasion of Manchuria by the Japanese in 1931 ! Without this incident.. well... you have no atomic bombing ! 'Nough said.

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Techall and Branded.

The technical answer is that no it wasn't necessary, in that there were alternatives. But I agree with you both in that if more young people understand the conditions in 1945, and yes, knew what had happened between 1931 and then, they may at least have an idea of what went in to the decision. Too many just see the civilian suffering, read that the Japanese were negotiating surrender terms and then attack the US decision.

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MistWizard at 02:43 PM JST - 13th August; "By contrast, MacArthur estimated 125,000 if it took 120 days, and later settled on 105,000. General Marshall said 70,000 to complete the invasion. Leahy said 268,000 to complete. And most of those would be wounded, not dead."

I noticed that you picked the lowest number of the chart on the link you posted. And taking what MacArthur said or came up with??!

You should find a better person to quote or take numbers from because just about every battle estimate and for that mater every battle he ever came up with was wrong wrong, wrong they all took way longer then he said and cost way more casualties.

And Marshal he was barely involved in the Pacific theater!

Pick and choose and this is what you get distortion of the facts!

Why not quote some of the others on the link you posted those that go as high as 1 million!

And don't forget the 5 to 10 Million Japanese!

Pick and choose anything to make your point.

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Limbo. Yes, indeed. Anyone who knows what happened in Okinawa is aware of the cost not only to the US, but to Japanese soldiers AND even more civilians.

The difference in predicted casualties comes from whether you mean US soldiers or Japanese. Ask old folk in Japan, and they will tell you that the schoolchildren were being trained to fight to the death.

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limboinjapan said: I noticed that you picked the lowest number of the chart on the link you posted.

I posted figures from three different sources to your ONE. I also posted a link to more sources. And you are COMPLAINING? If your goal was to undermine any shred of cred you had, mission accomplished.

And ends to wars have been negotiated successfully. Your semantics don't amount to a hill of beans. Again, all your cred is gone. Lingering won't help.

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Was the dropping of te atomic bombs necessary? Yes and No. Yes, because it took that to get the pig-headed Imperial Administration of the time to finally surrender or be wiped off the face of the Earth. No, because if th militarists led by Hirohito had care at all about their people, they would have surrendered and prevented it.

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What you might be forgetting is that after years of war that the American public didn't ask for, and so many people losing loved ones, and others coming back maimed, 70,000 casualties is not something anyone wanted. Let alone hundreds of thousands.

And with a conventional invasion, there was no telling how many suicides or how long continuing guerilla warfare would have continued. Study up on Okinawa if you want to have an idea of what Japan as a battlefield would have looked like.

With two cities devastated and the emperor co-operating with the Allied Forces in a non-conditional surrender situation, remarkable peace was achieved.

Nobody wanted a conditional surrender with a possible resurgence later. Nobody knows how much more suffering there would have been with a conventional invasion and Japanese were willing to fight to the last man, woman and child.

"And ends to wars have been negotiated successfully."

Wartime Japan may have been a different case. How much do you know about Japan in WW2?

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The war has been over for 65 years, I find these threads not very useful. Our ancestors of 65 years ago would be shocked at the changes. What is most important is that Japan and the United States remain friends. There is disagreement among friends and not agreeing with each other is going to happen. This leads us to the question was it necessary to drop the bombs? I do not think there will be an answer that all can agree upon. The past is over, we must look forward to the undiscovered country or the future.

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wow Yuri! Never expected, for some weird reason, this from you but I certainly agree.

What is most important is that Japan and the United States remain friends.

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How much do you know about Japan in WW2?

How much could anyone know? How things would work out if different solutions were applied, the possibilities are endless. In fact, they do not even end at the possibilies that would occur with invasion or A-bombs, which seems to be the only two choices A-bomb supporters have enough imagination or brain capacity to consider at one time.

In fact, its even possible to use the A-bombs in a way that kill no kids.

Fact is no one person knows enough about any of this to say with certainty what would have ended the war at what time with how much loss of life. But even loss of life is not necessarily the ultimate point. Its also important how people die and who dies. People dying of starvation because their gov won't surrender? I am good with that. Children getting shot for picking up weapons? I am good with that. Killing children doing nothing more than playing? That is just RIGHT OUT. And if you find excuses for it now, don't be suprised if you hear excuses for it in the future, ON YOUR OWN KIDS. And according to your morality, fair enough. If the Taliban detonated a nuke in N.Y. right now, there is not a thing you A-bomb supporters could say against it.

People justifying the A-bombs don't deserve anything to happen to their kids though. They deserve it to happen only to them.

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Both America and Japanese governments sent 16 year old "children" into battle. I just watched the World at War Pacific documentary. They interviewed a marine who said he went into battle with Japanese at 16 years old!! Neither governments had any qualms about sending children to their deaths. So why would it come into the equation when they went to drop the nukes? The Americans had already firebombed numerous Japanese cities beforehand and had already killed countless innocent women and children. From the first day Americans dropped bombs on Tokyo they had established the fact that they were going to kill innocent Japanese civilians. Just watch the documentary about MacNamara called The Fog of War to see how many bombs they dropped on Japanese cities. The Japanese high command understood the stakes but still did not surrender. The people understood the stakes but kept fighting. They clearly did not care about the lives of their civilians. The blood was and always will be on their hands. To argue otherwise is ridiculous. They always had that choice and chose not to surrender in the face of oblivion. To argue that America was bad after Japan willingly chose not to surrender when an ultimatum was delivered is absurd. Ultimately the people of Japan got what was coming to them. Whether it was one life or 100,000 makes no difference.

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The movie "The Unthinkable" perfectly illustrates the moral dilemma in killing innocent people in order to save more lives. Tough call.

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"Both America and Japanese governments sent 16 year old "children" into battle"

Nonsense ! The American's never knowingly "sent" any children into combat during WWII ! There were some cases of young American's lying about their age so they could sign up and go to battle... nothing unique to America or war in general there.

"From the first day Americans dropped bombs on Tokyo they had established the fact that they were going to kill innocent Japanese civilians"

Oh, and the Japanese were "above" killing anyone outside of military combatants ??? Don't tell that to the thousands of chinese slaughtered at the hands of Japanese bayonets... pregnant women included !

Not sure where you're going with these posts space monkey... maybe a little more time reading up on Asian history, say from about 1930 ought to be a good start.

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The blood was and always will be on their hands.

This is similar to the bad guy we see in movies who holds a gun to a guy's wife's head and says "If you don't tell me where the secret weapon is, your wife's blood is on your hands." Ummm...no. They forced me to kill innocent people is still not cutting it.

To argue that America was bad after Japan willingly chose not to surrender when an ultimatum was delivered is absurd.

Ultimatum? Unconditional surrender could mean a fate worse than death. The Japanese had no way of knowing what exactly it would mean to surrender unconditionally. Offering terms is not necessarily sweetening the deal you know. Its letting people know what is in store. You want surrender, you allieviate doubt. You want to keep fighting you make them afraid to surrender. The American leadership seems to have wanted to keep fighting long enough to drop the A-bombs on innocent women and children.

space_monkey said: The movie "The Unthinkable" perfectly illustrates the moral dilemma in killing innocent people in order to save more lives.

You cannot predict the future. Therefore, killing innocents today only proves you killed innocents. You don't know if you saved more lives or not. Therefore, you don't kill innocents. If other people do it or let it happen, the blood is on their hands. You can't beat them to killing innocents and then say the blood is on their hands!

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I'll provide the food for thoughts for all of those who engage in the discussion on the topic:

"...if killing millions (or many thousands) of men and women was militarily necessary for their conquest and overthrow, then it was morally necessary-- in order not to kill those people-- to settle for something less.... If people have a right not to be forced to fight, they also have a right not to be forced to continue fighting beyond the point when the war might justly be concluded. Beyond that point there can be no supreme emergencies, no arguments about military necessity, no cost-accounting in human lives. To press the war further than that is to re-commit the crime of aggression. In the summer of 1945, the victorious Americans owed Japanese people an experiment in negotiation. To use the atomic bomb, to kill and terrorize civilians, without even attempting such an experiment, was a double crime."

-- Michael Walzer, "Just and Unjust Wars" (p. 268)

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As many people above have pointed out this is a really tough moral question to answer. You can find reasons for and against the dropping of the bombs. The problem is although today it is very easy to critisize the US for dropping the bombs as many people have posted, Today we all know that Nuclear Weapons are not an option. The problem with these questions is that we are trying to justify or incriminate based off of what we know today and we do not look at things in the perspective of 1945. The President couldn't google and find out what the Japanese where thinking, For those that think he could have negotiated peace through his eyes I would assume since I am not him that once before the Japanese were preaching peace right before Pearl Harbor. President Truman Also knew that the American people would not accept another Okinawa with the cost of lives. Everyone here can talk big and say they would and would not do something but until you are the leader of a country that has been at war for years seeing horrifing casualty numbers I don't think that any of us could truly say what we would do under that same stress.

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Necessary? No.

Why did Japan attack the USA in 1941? Was that attack moral?

Did using "The Bomb" save USA and other allied lives? Yes.

I will always prefer to have as few of my countrymen die over almost any consideration for the people in an attacking country.

In my simplistic mind, whoever pulls any trigger first has lost the moral high ground. It isn't necessarily just between countries anymore.

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theFu said: Why did Japan attack the USA in 1941? Was that attack moral?

Attacking a military base was one hell of a lot more moral than intentionally murdering non-combatant women and children when Japan was essentially already defeated.

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MistWizard,

if that were the true intent, Kyoto would have been nuked, as it was on the list.

But instead Hiroshima was chosen, because it at least was a military port and supplier.

so you're going to have to lose the murdering of women and children as an American motive.

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More information regarding why those targets were even selected. http://tinyurl.com/2wvtwtv

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sf2k: You are wasting your time in posting anything that might remotely or concertedly prove the validity of the bombings.

MistWizard has a single argument and that is the Allies should not have bombed a target with "innocent" women and children and even if the entire Japanese war counsel and the late Emperor showed up here today to say they were going to fight till the last man, woman and child people like him will still say the USA (or Allies) should have been better and taken some sort of Utopian high ground!

Never mind that Millions of innocent civilians had died due to a war started by Japan and that the Japanese were all to happy to go along with as long as they were winning.

Never mind the fate of Hundreds of thousands who were still suffering and dying in all the Japanese occupied territories.

Never mind the facts that Japan knew just what was meant by Unconditional surrender because they already had seen the results in Germany!

It would not mater to people like these that you could prove 10, 20, 30 or even 40 million more innocent non-Japanese would have died as long as the Allied had kept to their Utopian high ground that would have been acceptable because they will find some way of blaming the Allies end the end for those death also.

I have come to this conclusion because on every occasion were someone has pointed out the deaths caused by this war and the fact that Japan was the instigator and all the civilians who died in Japanese occupied zone, Mistwizard has either ignored the subject, dismissed it as not the same or some how blamed it on the Allies but then again we were talking about non-Japanese and therefore I can only conclude that their lives had some lesser value points then those of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or of Japan in general.

I do not like saying or talking about this but Mistwizard, I have seen war up close I have seen women and children raped mutilated and killed for no reason other then to terrorize.

I was not and have never been in any military but I was a member of a Humanitarian medical aid group many years ago that went to war torn countries in central America and Africa.

Once you have seen a woman raped and then cut open with a machete and left to slowly die then you can tell me that one life instantly killed is worse than that because I can't after more than 20 years I still can't get the images or the smells out of my head.

It's time to grow up and face the facts the world is not Utopian and war is not a game or a negotiation it is just hell for all those involved!

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The problem that I have with the bombing and with such questions as "was it necessary" is that there was another very GOOD option. Place the bomb out into the harbor a few miles and have the civilians and military people watch the show. Then decide. OR...give the civilians 24 hours to get the hell out of the city, if that didn't work, and then bomb the remaining lunatics and die-hards that were still there. Actually, if you get into the history of the A-bomb, the people behind the project were shocked that it was actually going to be used on a city, a civilian target. A colonel, not a general, (I guess he shouted the most) mostly changed opinions. In any case, there is no excuse whatsoever for killing women and children and unarmed civilians. Just because the Japanese did it, doesn't make it right. Otherwise, there is no moral superiority.

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theRat:

I also wish that could have been the case but if you look at the response by the ruling counsel Admiral Soemu Toyoda even after Hiroshima refused to surrender and even claimed that he and his Atomic experts doubted the USA had any more like it!

So with a response like that one could safely conclude that at least a second bomb on a live target would have been necessary.

And your 24 hour notice thing, get real the government would have evacuated all military personnel and leaders and left the civilians, understand the times civilians were expendable, that is why the Japanese government refused to let them evacuate from the cities (not even just the children) in to the more relatively safer country side like the Germans and the British did.

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limboinjapan

yes I was just making the point, which had to be made, that the main reason was not murder of women and children for the bombs which was a ridiculous point by MistWizard, and that a 5 sec Google search puts such comment to shame where it belongs.

The rhetorical question posted by JT is quite pointless because the US answered the question in the affirmative and hence bombed Japan as a result. So questioning it now is equally ridiculous. Historical discussion begins with looking at the core reasons why such a decision was even taken. From there wisdom can even begin.

Sadly, it's very important in Japan to never learn why, only to blame. I find this temptation it be disheartening and as the years pass with (still?!) no change in mentality I too grow weary.

Unfortunately this does not bode well for the future of Japan if it was to earn any benefit from its internationalization efforts. I still think time will improve, but even an optimist can have limits.

Let me shoo away the shadows for another day then

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I also wish that could have been the case but if you look at the response by the ruling counsel Admiral Soemu Toyoda

Who was Toyoda's superior and what was his position?

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I don't think MistWizard's point is ridiculous at all. When a country decides to use bombs against another, it accepts that civilians, including women, children, the handicapped and the elderly, are now targets. I believe this is defined as a war crime. As I've stated elsewhere, all sides did it in WW2; it still doesn't make it right. There are people in Coventry rightfully bitter about the German bombing of their city; and citizens of Dresden just as rightfully bitter about the allied destruction of theirs. Limboinjapan makes the point of having seen an innocent victim of war but doesn't draw the conclusion that all innocents deserve protection, which was one of the purposes behind the Geneva Convention. To say that the Japanese started the war (long before Pearl Harbor!) doesn't make the civilian population (of a military state terrorised by a secret police force) culpable. Why did so many commit suicide on Okinawa? Fanatical women and children or a populace terrified by propoganda into believing the horrors they would face when the Americans arrived? Ultimately, it's in the past and there is nothing we can change. However, those of us with a voice in our own democratic nations can learn from the past and say that taking war to civilians is unacceptable.

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nigelboy: Not sure if you are truly asking or if you are setting up another blame the Emperor but if you must know he was one of the 6 ruling counsel members and one of the most vocal against surrender and was finally overruled be the Emperor on August 10th 1945 and ironically got off without being charged with any war crimes!

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And your 24 hour notice thing, get real the government would have evacuated all military personnel and leaders and left the civilians, understand the times civilians were expendable, that is why the Japanese government refused to let them evacuate from the cities (not even just the children) in to the more relatively safer country side like the Germans and the British did.

"Refused to let them evacuate"? What the hell does that mean?

You do realize that Tokyo was bombed 104 times from November of 1944 right?

Nagoya: Bombed 63 times since December of 1944. Osaka: Bombed 33 times since January of 1945 Kobe: Bombed 123 times since January of 1945 Kyoto: Bombed over 20 times since January of 1945

Other notable bombings:

April 1945: Tamano, Kawasaki, Kagoshima May 1945: Tokuyama, Yokohama

Then it picks up.

June 1945: Amazaki,Hitachi, Chiba, Kagoshima (again), Hammatsu, Yokkaichi, Fukuoka, Shizuoka, Toyohashi, Himeji, Kurashiki, Kakamigahara,Kure, Sasebo, Okayama

July 1945: Kumamoto, Kure, Shimonoseki,Himeji, Takamatsu, Tokushima, Kochi, Chiba, Kofu, Wakayama, Sakai, Gifu, Sendai, Utsunomiya, Tsuruga, Hokkaido, Oita, Hiratsuka, Numazu, Kuwana, Hitachi, Fukui, Choshi, Hodojima, Matsuyama, Aormori

August 1945 (prior to Hiroshima) : Mito ,Hachioji, Nagaoka, Tomiyama, Maebashi.

Then Hiroshima

Post Hiroshima/Pre Nagasaki: Fukuyama, Yahata

Then Nagasaki

Post Nagasaki: Oominato, Hanamaki, Kurume, Nagano, Kumagaya, Hikari, Odawara, Tsuchizaki

More than 430 city/village were attacked.

Where are they supposed to evacuate? A village where there were no underground evacuation chambers to service those who left the city/towns?? Based on the above aerial bombings, where do you think the U.S. would target knowing that there was an evacuation?

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I went to the Hiroshima Atomic bomb museum. In English on the war it clearly states: "With the bombing of pearl harbor Japan was flung into the war." implying that they were "flung" into a war against their will.

This is what is being taught in Japan. It doesn't say that Japan was responsible for the deaths of 20-25 million people so their enemies felt the need to drop an atomic bomb on them because that was the only way to stop their psychotic suicidal sadistic insanity.

R. J. Rummel estimates the civilian victims of Japanese war crimes at 5,424,000. Detailed by country: China 3,695,000; Indochina 457,000; Korea 378,000; Indonesia 375,000; Malaya-Singapore 283,000; Philippines 119,000, Burma 60,000 and Pacific Islands 57,000.

Werner Gruhl estimates the civilian victims of Japanese war crimes at 20,365,000. Detailed by country: China 12,392,000; Indochina 1,500,000; Korea 500,000; Dutch East Indies 3,000,000; Malaya and Singapore 100,000 ; Philippines 500,000; Burma 170,000; Forced laborers in Southeast Asia 70,000, 30,000 interned non-Asian civilians; Timor 60,000; Thailand and Pacific Islands 60,000.

This is how many civilians Japan had killed before the decision was made to drop the bomb.

I would like to know how many civilians deaths the Japanese government estimates they caused and how many they teach all the children in Japan at schools in their history lessons.

Any discussion about the culpability of America's decision to drop the atomic bomb on the military targets of Hiroshima and Nagasaki requires a thorough discussion about how many people Japan killed before that decision was made.

I have had Japanese people tell me that Americans are murderers for dropping the Atomic bombs so I immediately ask them how many people did the Japanese military kill before the event. I believe that most Japanese cannot answer that question.

In fact I asked one Japanese and she said 1 million people. When I told here that in fact the combination of military and civilian deaths was 20-25 million people she cried and cried and cried. She was shocked.

This topic would never be discussed in this way if everyone in Japan knew the truth about what they did. Unfortunately they don't.

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nigelboy: Not sure if you are truly asking or if you are setting up another blame the Emperor but if you must know he was one of the 6 ruling counsel members and one of the most vocal against surrender and was finally overruled be the Emperor on August 10th 1945 and ironically got off without being charged with any war crimes!

No. I'm just setting you up if you knew what you're talking about.

When you say six counsel members, who are they?

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SamuraiBlue:

I looked for details on the Emperor's letter to the Soviets, telling them to keep pow's - could not find any. I read them in the Japan Times in the early 90's while living in Tokyo. Take my word for it, or don't. In searching, I found quite a few interesting links exposing the emperor's complicity, and many interesting details of WW2. I hope many of the contributors to this thread will learn more about the situation leading up to Pearl Harbor, the 2 atomic bombs, and the post-war cover-up of the emperor's involvement in WW2 - I know I did!

Some good reading for you: http://www.ww2pacific.com/prewar.html starts in 1926 -Japan and the Way of the Japanese, Shumei Okawa, "Japan's divine mission to rule the world." and 1927 July 25. Tanaka Memorial : "in order to conquer the world, we must first conquer China."

http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19360224,00.htmlTime Magazine, Feb. 24, 1936 - under the cover, click the link: "Read the cover story" FASCINATING ARTICLE - you see the situation from 1936 eyes - BEFORE global hostilities erupted. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fb20100704a1.html - DEMYSTIFYING PEARL HARBOR: A New Perspective From Japan, by Iguchi Takeo. I-House Press, 2010, 343 pp., ¥3,000 (hardcover) Reviewed by Stephen Mansfield - a book written by a pre-WW2 diplomats son http://www.ww2pacific.com/whypearl.html - reasons leading up to WW2 http://www.ww2pacific.com/whypearl2.html - " " http://www.chinamarines.com/ver3/pow.htm Japanese abuse of POW's http://www.bookmice.net/darkchilde/japan/unit731.html emperor knew, got away with it. http://www.lrb.co.uk/v25/n22/chalmers-johnson/the-looting-of-asia A MUST READ FOR ANYONE SERIOUSLY INTERESTED IN WW2 HISTORY http://factsanddetails.com/japan.php?itemid=526&catid=16&subcatid=110 So losing the war was GOOD for Japan...

http://www.nancho.net/nancho/otheremp.html the 'emperor' is a fake... http://www.nancho.net/arcmain.html#nanchohistory more on above http://www.nancho.net/nancho/ghqkuma1.html more... http://www.nancho.net/nancho/ghqemps1.html even more... http://www.nancho.net/nancho/ghqemps1.html you guessed, it, MORE...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_prisoners_of_war_in_World_War_II good article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Manchuria - Soviet hostilities against Japan were arranged to begin on August 8, 1945.

http://www.ww2pacific.com/attacks.html the U.S. knew Pearl Harbor was THE target...because they made it the target by moving the pacific fleet there!!! http://www.ww2pacific.com/atrocity.html just a FEW of the bad things done by Japan... http://www.rense.com/general72/jee.htm several letters discussing peace overtures by Japan from 1943 on - and a conspiracy to boot. http://www.ww2pacific.com/downfall.html http://www.ww2pacific.com/surrender.html

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20091124f1.html - 2009: recent nationalistic movements

I hope you read one or more of the linked sites. If you read only one, try this one: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v25/n22/chalmers-johnson/the-looting-of-asia

cheers!

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This is how many civilians Japan had killed before the decision was made to drop the bomb.

This was discussed in another thread.

U.S. wasn't keeping tabs on how many were killed in the Pacific theater which did not involve U.S. military involvment. If that was the case and that they did care about what was going on in China, the first and foremost thing U.S. would of done is fight with Chiang Kai Shek against the IJA in China. Secondly, you cannot put the civilian death toll in SE Asia on the side of Japan simply because they lost. The reason is that some of the SE Asia nations you cite were fighting along side Japan against the Allieds. Also, the civilian death toll in Battle of Manilla was also attributed of indiscriminate bombings by the U.S which resulted in many civilian deaths. Also, the Nationalist Party of China reported approximately 1.3 million deaths two years after the war. If you read any material regarding the Sino-Japan conflict, Chiang Kai Shek would forcibly recruit civilians at gun point while he was running away from city to city. He would chain these recruited civilians in a pillbox or make them fight in the front lines. Many guerilla tacts were also used (soldiers disguised as civlians, burning villages to confuse the opposition). You see, China wasn't united as we see today so not every city or town that Shek went to retreat believed his cause. Also, please bear in mind that there were conflicts between various war lords in China as well as the Civil war fought against the Mao's Communist after Japan's surrender.

Having said that, using the death toll such as yours was irrelevant to the decision by Truman.

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@ KevininHawaii

Auhh, I see you went through you took great time going through the material but from I have seen, it is one sided, and/or biased. First of all the historical analysis on why Japan went to war is very shallow only with a brief narrative concerning the movement of SE Asia colonies without any examination of Japanese domestic political movements. Since one is influenced by the other I think it is a very one sided examination.

Times article written in 1936 is interesting in seeing how the journalist and editors viewed E.Asia but beyond that we understand more since more documents had been revealed giving better light on the subject.

As for the two articles concerning pearl harbor and 731 unit I firmly believe that the Emperor knew in detail and I am sure his seal of approval was on it, but as I have posted before it is written under the Imperial constitution/military code that any high level orders, the supreme commander and chief is required to sit in the briefings and have him sign documents for approval. Unfortunately he really was not in a position to make any decisions nor veto any plans pushed in front of him.

As for Shūmei Ōkawa, although he was convicted as an A-class war criminal reading about him in Wiki, he was not even involved in the military after joining a coup in the early 30's. As for the quote I believe it is out of context since going over the title of his books he was probably quoted from this title. "History of Anglo-American Aggression in East Asia" published in 1941.

Now have you found any documents that points to numbers of POW camps in the US and how many Japanese POWs were kept during WW2?

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SamuraiBlue: One sided argument? I see you DID NOT review many of the links.

-The purpose of including the Time article was to highlight that while we are looking BACK on completed history, the people at that time were looking forward - and often NOT getting it right.

you "..firmly believe that the emperor knew, and his seal was on it..." So you are agreeing with me! He was in a position to stop atrocities, the use of chemical/germ warfare, unwarranted massacres, etc. and he did not. While you say the emperor was a puppet, answer me this: Who could say "no" to the emperor??? Or, put another way, if the emperor said "do X", who would be able to counter his order??? The answer to both is no one.

*** In Japan, honor is said to be very important. In most (if not all) cases, if a Japanese company inadvertently causes death or injury, the CEO will most often resign. EVEN if he did not cause the problem directly. HE IS THE LEADER, so HE MUST RESIGN! The emperor was the leader. Many things were done in his name. Period. He should have resigned, abdicated, and/or suicide.

I have nothing to add regarding Shumei Okawa. I believe the whole issue of class A war criminals is a joke, since they were all following orders, and their leader (Hirohito) was not prosecuted. *** You are aware that Hirohito, who let others take the blame for HIS crimes, STOPPED visiting Yasukuni when the first class A war criminals' remains were moved there? What a hypocrite.

I was not aware that you wanted information on the number of Japanese POW's. But, as most Japanese Imperial soldiers fought to the death, all data agree that there were VERY few Japanese soldiers captured alive - until the end of the war, when THE EMPEROR ORDERED ALL JAPANESE FORCES OVERSEAS TO CEASE HOSTILITIES.

cheers

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Let me simplify how the emperor participated, he sat in his thrown while a ranking official read what is planned how they are going to carry out the plan, forecast of casualties and so on, the Emperor may question some aspects that seemed not clear but after the official hearing a document stating I agree is presented in front of him and he has no choice but to sign and seal. NO he had no authority over the subject nor could he veto any.

Really this is getting tiresome, read source material if you what to understand the actual power played in Japanese politics of those days.

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On and on this debate goes, as it will for decades. In the "real world" however, the events of 2 years ago did conclusively demonstrate something: that the revisionist "Toshio Tamogami" view of modern Japanese history--one that views Japan as an honorable, chivalrous practitioner of "altruistic" colonial rule in Korea/Taiwan and "liberator" of Southeast Asia from Western domination before "innocent" Japan itself was cruelly bombed, destroyed, and defeated by the diabolical Anglo-American-Soviet war machine--will not soon or perhaps ever be recognized as acceptable and legitimate, even by an LDP-led government in Japan.

The actions taken by too many Japanese soldiers against (mainly) their fellow Asians from Korea to China to Singapore to Burma to Manila to Imphal (India) were simply too awful and too well documented to allow the head of the Japan ASDF to publicly espouse such rosy views of Japan's wartime conduct and colonial rule. As for the atomic bombings, they were terrible, but World War II was a hegemonic war, and hegemonic wars being what they are, the sky was the limit as far as use of WMD were concerned. Japan rolled the dice, tried to create its own autarkic sphere of influence over a huge region (under the guise of "liberating their little brown brothers") and suffered terribly.

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Was the dropping of the atomic bombs necessary?

Yes it was.

The craven leadership and figureheads of Japan at the time were not going to surrender unless they received terms that would have effectively shielded them from any accountability for their actions. Even the dopiest kamikaze would see little point in Japan going up in a series of nuclear explosions though.

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yess very necessary,

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nigelboy at 01:47 PM JST - 14th August: "Kyoto: Bombed over 20 times since January of 1945"

Could you please let us know what revisionist history book you got your figures from because according to everyone else including the Japanese government KYOTO was never BOMBED!

But then again in this tread we have been hearing some great fantasies.

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Mist Wizard said "If the Taliban detonated a nuke in N.Y. right now, there is not a thing you A-bomb supporters could say against it."

When people come out with statements like that, you realize there's not much point arguing.

Yuri Otani, great post.

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Who cares?

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@ limboinjapan

He most probably pulled out of Wiki JP, it also records the date of when it was bomb so I assue it is accurate.

京都は1945年1月16日以降、合計20回以上の空襲を受けて死者302人、負傷者561人の被害を出した。 Kyoto after Jan 16, 1945 was bombed a total of 20 times with 302 fatal and 561 wounded.

* 1945年1月16日 死者41人 1945 Jan 16 41 fatal * 3月19日 Mar.19 * 4月16日 Apr.16th * 5月11日 京都御所へ空襲。 May 11 bombing on Kyoto Gosho * 6月26日 死者43人、負傷者66人、被害家屋292戸(全壊71戸、半壊84戸、一部損壊137戸)。被災者850名

Jun 26 43 fatal 66 wounded 292 houses damaged(71 complete, 84 half, 137 part) 850 casualties

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In war, terrible atrosities happen. They happen by good people. War changes everybodys nature. they do things they wouldn't even speak about. this blaming who did what is useless. To truly understand why America did use the atomic bombs, just think about the Japanese Hot heads in the military. If my understanding is right, the military wasn't ready to stop fighting after the 2nd atomic bomb was dropped.

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yasukuni said: When people come out with statements like that, you realize there's not much point arguing.

You would argue if you could, but there is nothing you could say against it and be consistent. It is a fair comparison. You justify one, you justify the other. I am not going to justify either. Of course, I think you only care about consistency enough to try not to get caught being too obviously inconsistent. But if you can point out to me how its different, do go ahead and try. I could use a good laugh.

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limboinjapan said: Could you please let us know what revisionist history book you got your figures from because according to everyone else including the Japanese government KYOTO was never BOMBED!

Maybe you could tell us where you get yours? This is from the wiki on Kyoto:

The city was largely spared from conventional bombing as well, although small-scale air raids did result in casualties.

Small scale raids? Sounds like they might have actually taken the time to target military targets instead of civilians. Imagine that!

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Could you please let us know what revisionist history book you got your figures from because according to everyone else including the Japanese government KYOTO was never BOMBED!But then again in this tread we have been hearing some great fantasies

General info on the main Kyoto bombings

http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~un3k-mn/kusyu-nishijin.htm

Some info on the January 16th bombing

http://www.47news.jp/news/2010/08/post_20100803173916.html

Some info on the June 26 bombing

http://mytown.asahi.com/kyoto/news.php?k_id=27000130808290001

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Mistwizard wrote: "Sounds like they might have actually taken the time to target military targets instead of civilians. Imagine that!" **** Truman is on record, both spoken and in his diary, declaring Hiroshima to be a military base, inspite of the petition, signed by many scientists that made it clear Hiroshima was a city with over 200,000 civilians besides military personnel. From other reports,also, this seems to me to have been a deception on his part. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POPmlHlaOtM

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Limbo:

You claim that you're in an "information" business here in Japan and boasted the fact that you are fluent in 5 languages including Japanese. If that's so, wouldn't a person with some logic do a quick internet search using the phrases "Kyoto aerial bombing" in Japanese? I'm mean that's how I did it to come up with those links.

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ensnaturae2, a lie once born is difficult to kill. Truman, just another b-tard politician and also former suit salesman, adept at manipulation for the sake of both trades, was counting on that. And look, some people still think Hiroshima and Nagasaki were military bases instead of cities! Just incredible how people can have the wool pulled over their eyes and then beg for more wool!

A documentary was made called "The Effects of the Atomic Bombs Against Hiroshima and Nagasaki". In the land of freedom, it was appropriated by the government before it could be shown and classified top secret for 22 years. Zombies with no true understanding of patriotism lap this crap up.

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Does anyone here know that Japanese children in elementary schools were military trained with rifles? not to mention high school kids. I have seen the photos myself. Basically the Japanese government trained their children to kill then cried poor when they were killed. kinda hypocritical when you think about it. Stupidity at the extreme.

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Holy cripes, Kyoto was bombed? Hundreds dead? Including women and children? We should gave stopped this! We should have been at the bargaining table! We should have given the big six whatever they wanted to prevent this war crime!!!

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I am a history major... and...

NO IT WAS NOT NECESSARY AT ALL!!!

Actually Japan surrendered before the 2 bombs dropped. 2 times actually. First they wanted to surrender but negotiate not only with the US but with other countries, like the USSR, as well.... America didn't like that. They just didn't want to give the Russians any power. The second time they wanted to surrender on 1 condition, 'that the imperial family wouldn't be thrown off the throne'. The US didn't even comment on this request... and just bombed them.

Reason= Show the Russians what they can do.

There are many articles about this. Many reliable documents. But in the US... they prefer to teach the people lies, like the fact that it was necessary... (Hmm... atom bombs in Iraq, anyone?)

Just a quick google and the first article about it that shows up. http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Soc/soc.culture.japan/2005-08/msg00120.html

Tbh... I don't even want to try to understand why Americans still believe in their government, and what they are told.

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And eve if it were true that Japan didn't capitalize before the bombs... It was still not the right thing to do. (Even Eisenhower thought it wasn't necessary)

How would the American's feel when the Iraqi people would send bombs and missiles to your country? (although it has proven that they didn't have any) That war was wrong, right? Many innocent deaths... people still die every day because of it... And it is NOT going to end any time soon... So if I listen to the American point of view on the Atom bombs... Bombing America to stop the war would be the correct thing to do, right?

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Well let's put it this way: if the us was involved in a long bitter war, was utterly beaten and staring down an invasion were millions would die... Bombs forcing the hammerhead govt to surrender might not be such a bad result...

I like that bit about japan surrendering twice. Someone should alert the Japanese themselves because their records of what happened are very different....

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Junnama said: Bombs forcing the hammerhead govt to surrender might not be such a bad result...

In a "better you than me" sort of way, yes. How noble of you to suggest it! I also have no doubt the bombs straightened some warped Japanese right out, and propelled them into peaceful ways of thinking. Children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki died for their sins against their will. Sorry, but no postive effect short of saving all humanity from certain destruction could ever justify their murders. And it makes me sick the people who keep trying. They have no sense of morality.

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Junnama said: Holy cripes, Kyoto was bombed? Hundreds dead? Including women and children? We should gave stopped this! We should have been at the bargaining table! We should have given the big six whatever they wanted to prevent this war crime!!!

Wake up and grow up. Attacking military targets is fine if that was what was done. Nobody here has said one word against bombing military targets, and all I have ever said is that its cowardly to drop bombs from the safety of an airplane while your enemy has no chance to get to you. However, it is legit. If the statement that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nothing but military bases full of soldiers had any merit, I would be all for the A-bombings. But calling them anything less than cities mostly full of civilians is as willfully stupid as it is completely insane.

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Better you than me... That's just pure luck as always... In a hypothetical situation it could be me who dies like those in Hiroshima... Or I could have been one of the much greater number who died in an invasion that was coming. Where is the morality in a government that puts its people through this?

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You miss the point: bombs weren't accurate enough to guarantee you wouldn't hit civilians (and they aren't now either). You could be almost 100% certain you would kill civilians on any bombing raid. The people who ordered the raids knew it and the people conducting the raids knew it. Parse that all you want if it makes you feel these raids were somehow more morally acceptable...

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" But if you can point out to me how its different, do go ahead and try. I could use a good laugh."

Like I said, I decided probably like quite a few others that there isn't any point. I've read all of your comments and like the ones re planting nuclear bombs now in the US - well, like another poster said, where would I start with that?

It's obvious that you don't know enough history to argue. There are some people who can intelligently argue for unqualified condemnation of what the US did, but you are not one of them. Study a bit more and maybe we can discuss this next year.

So, no more argument from me. Just the same wish as Sarge that there are no more wars and no more bombs. Peace!

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Junnama said: You miss the point: bombs weren't accurate enough to guarantee you wouldn't hit civilians (and they aren't now either). You could be almost 100% certain you would kill civilians on any bombing raid.

If you want 100 percent guarantees, your life is going to be impossible. Just because there is a chance you might hit and kill pedestrians in your car is NO excuse to intentionally run them down! If some guy lives next to a munitions factory in war time, I will lament that this kids died, but she no tear for him or his wife that could have gone elsewhere. But its still no reason to aim for his house! We are talking about bombing from B-17s here, NOT WWI Zeppelins. There was accuracy enough.

Are you really this thick or is your obtuseness intentional??

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yasukuni said: where would I start with that?

Its up to you. But if you can't find a way to make it different than bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki besides the names of the players, then they are the same thing. You could just admit instead of pretending you have a leg to stand on. I am not the only one to come up with such an analogy. So did Leo Szilard. He said:

Suppose Germany had developed two bombs before we had any bombs. And suppose Germany had dropped one bomb, say, on Rochester and the other on Buffalo, and then having run out of bombs she would have lost the war. Can anyone doubt that we would then have defined the dropping of atomic bombs on cities as a war crime, and that we would have sentenced the Germans who were guilty of this crime to death at Nuremberg and hanged them?

Leo was a genuius by the way. He had as big a hand in the making those very bombs as anyone. In fact, I don't know of anyone who actually had the brains necessary to do the core work on the A-bombs who supported their use on Japan. There is a word I use for people who disagree with geniuses on basic points like this, but I can't say it here.

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yasukuni said: It's obvious that you don't know enough history to argue.

Now THAT was funny! Any more good jokes?

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Again, you were 100% certain to kill civilians on most bombing raids back in ww2. This actually bothered bomber crews. Some felt it was immoral. Curiously, the high number of civilian dead in Okinawa bothered the soldiers there too. They felt it was immoral. To you intentionally targeting civilians is immoral, to others targeting military but knowing you will kill civilians in the process is immoral. How you can parse the difference between those positions in your head is a mystery.

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Atomic bombs were necessary for the US but other countries would not think that way. If the US thinks a-bombs right decision, it will use a-bombs again to finish other wars and then a-bombs would be dropped on their own backyard someday in the future.

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Junnama said: How you can parse the difference between those positions in your head is a mystery.

Well I will clear it up for you: Doing your best is moral. Failing to be perfect is human. Bombing from the air is cowardly and dishonorable. But morally its acceptable so long as you are making a reasonable effort to destroy the right targets. Nuking or napalming a city is INTENTIONALLY killing civilians. There is NO "oops factor". Again, you want 100 percent guarantees in this. I can only guarantee 100 percent you don't actually live your life that way.

Understand, if I had my way wars would be fought on clear battlefields with medieval weapons, overseen by a third body, with clear conditions for winning and losing and everyone would be honorable enough to accept the outcome, may the best group of sword wielding idiots win.

All told war itself is morally wrong. But there are degrees of what we can expect and what we cannot in the real world. If we find justification for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, odds go up that we can expect to see a smaller degree of moral behavior than what we would see if we condemn them roundly and make our children see the wrongness of it. If we justify them, we increase the odds our children will face such an attack on the same grounds.

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Oh, and I will add that people who live near military targets have the option of moving away before the bombs fall. People stupid enough to live so close to clear military targets in war time are no concern of mine.

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@ MistWizard

That's kind of difficult considering that a 20MT nuclear device will probably kill people that are 15~20Km away.

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I wasn't joking.

Go back and study what what kind of countries Germany and Japan were and what they did. Then argue.

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Understand, if I had my way wars would be fought on clear battlefields with medieval weapons, overseen by a third body, with clear conditions for winning and losing and everyone would be honorable enough to accept the outcome, may the best group of sword wielding idiots win.

ROFL

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SamuraiBlue:

I agree, this is getting tiresome. You seem to only want to make your point, and concede nothing. Japan was the aggressor, committing horrible atrocities, and was also trying to develop nukes to use against the U.S. The U.S. developed a usable bomb first, and we are all alive today because Japan did not prevail.

The head/leader/figurehead of the Japanese 'team' was the emperor. Seen by all Japanese at the time (and still now by many) as the ultimate authority - you know, the 'living god' - who could abject to any direct order from a living god? OR any order with his seal on it???

Allied occupation records show that the emperor attempted to abdicate several times as a way to apologize for all the damage Japan caused - but each time MacCarthur would not meet with him. He was useful in the postwar occupation, because Japanese people would never go against the emperor.

The emperor knew the blood was on his hands. As the leader, knowing (as I say) or not knowing (as you insist), it was his DUTY to step aside. This is Japanese culture 101 - if you do not get it, you must not know much about Japan. He should have done the right thing. Your argument that he was a figurehead is irrelevant.

The lack of even a gesture toward recognition/reconciliation, even after all these years, has angered Japan's neighbors, and kept long-festering wounds open.

For several decades, Japan has had the larger economy, the upper hand. Asians were 'nice' to Japan, because they needed Japanese money. Now, as Prime Minister Kan is aware, the shoe is on the other foot. From now on, more Japanese will be working for rich Asians (overseas and in Japan) than ever before. They will be the targets of spiteful Asians, who still bear a grudge, because Japan NEVER acknowledged it wartime atrocities.

The U.S. helped in the cover up, but it is Japan that will pay the price. Japan should have done the right thing when it had the power. Now, as a declining power with a declining population, Japan is increasingly less important everywhere.

How is it that 65 years after the war, so many Asians are still angry at Japan? Why do Japanese people say "they" (China, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, etc.) hate Japanese people? That so many unique cultures/countries have museums showing the atrocities committed by the Japanese military is no coincidence. Japan has refused to talk about its wartime crimes, so these other nation are doing so. And now, they have the growing economy, growing population - i.e. the power.

Enjoy the ride.

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guisfansubs - I am a history major... and...

NO IT WAS NOT NECESSARY AT ALL!!!

Actually Japan surrendered before the 2 bombs dropped. 2 times actually. First they wanted to surrender but negotiate not only with the US but with other countries, like the USSR, as well....

History major? Really? Why would Japan negotiate a surrender with the Stalin if Japan wasn't even at war with the USSR until after the 1st A bomb was dropped?

Ending WWII as quickly as possible was the priority. Enough people had already died or were dying, wounded, homeless, starving or taken prisoner. There is NO justification for allowing the fighting to continue for 1 more year, month, week or even day. The Allies were winning. The outcome was inevitable. The only choice was to surrender or die fighting.

The A bombs ended the war quickly.

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In hindsight, dropping the A-bombs was wrong. Without the benefit of hindsight... yes, it was correct to drop them.

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@ arrestpaul

Why would Japan negotiate a surrender with the Stalin if Japan wasn't even at war with the USSR until after the 1st A bomb was dropped?

Since Japan was not at war directly with the Soviet Union which was part of the Allies, wouldn't they be the most logical choice to negotiate peace with the Allies?

@ KevininHawaii

You're showing your true colors.I can't understand people born decades after the war be so infatuated with hate.

As I have posted the Emperor did receive full briefing on all major accounts of the war prior to it being initiated however he was not in part of any policy developing nor had he had any real power to veto plans presented before him. In other words he was an over glorified puppet like all of his predecessors who was on the throne for more than a millennium.

As you posted the Emperor did make a request that he should be trialed in exchange for all the other to be freed since at the end it was his sole responsibility not being able to stop Japan from destruction and death Japan had committed. I think the word expressing his action is called noble obligation.

As for Japan being hated well I hear the contrary especially from nations like Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines and so on. Give it a rest Japan played a pivotal role reconstruction of various Asian nations after the war providing not only monetary aid but also human and technological assistance from both government as well as private institutions. There are alot of people from those countries who received Japanese education before and even during the war who themselves after the war utilized those knowledge to build their own nations during it's infancy like Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia and/or Malaysia and even mentioned it like Park Chung-hee of SK.

As a Japanese I am proud that we have been able to take part in help our neighboring nations to achieve such success since unlike colonization of yesteryears where the suzerain nation takes all, I firmly believe that Japan would not have been able to achieve such prosperity without the success of Asia as a whole.

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SamuraiBlue: 1) I don't hate. Whatever gave you that idea? 2) My college professor, Ralph Falconeri, was an officer during the occupation. I learned a lot from his classes. 3) You suggest that I do not have all the facts because I was not there - but neither were you. You seem awfully certain that the emperor just stamped what his handlers told him to... but, I suspect you were not there either. What evidence do you have that the emperor was used? 4) The emperor told his staff WHY he wanted to meet with General MacCarthur, and each time, MacCarthur refused the meeting - thus NOT allowing hirohito to resign to him. He still could have abdicated the throne. 5) How old are you? At the end of WW2, Japan was a basket case - i.e. VERY poor!!! Japan had no money or resources to help anyone but themselves for several decades. Asia is not rich BECAUSE of Japan, it is rich In SPITE OF Japan. 6) The ONLY countries where the locals received a "Japanese education" BEFORE the war were Taiwan and Korea - because they were occupied! The local languages were outlawed, and ONLY Japanese was taught. You cannot seriously think that you can take credit for the accomplishments of other nations BECAUSE your country occupied them? Using that logic, Japan owes all progress since WW2 to the Americans - because we "guided" you.

7) I firmly believe that post-war Japan would not have been able to achieve such prosperity w/o the U.S.'s protection, guidance, and markets. Further, why did the entire Japanese cabinet refuse to go to Yasukuni this year? Could it be with Japan's shrinking economy, suddenly the feelings of your Asian 'friends' has become important? I anticipate seeing many more apologies from Japan - not just to Korea, but to China and others. GET USED TO IT.

JAPAN IS A GREAT NATION. But NOT for the erroneous reasons you mentioned. OPEN YOUR MIND.

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KevininHawaii

You really need to do more study on the subject since you have no idea what you are talking about. First of all MacArthur and emperor Hirohito met and there is a famous picture of the two standing side by side. My source is as I have wrote earlier diaries of Chamberlains who served under Hirohito during the war. Also news reels and clippings of those days. There are also many entries by various senior officers who participating in the :Imperial Conference.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gozen_Kaigi)

As a rule, the emperor listened to discussions, but remained silent through the proceedings. That the emperor would ever disagree, let alone veto, the prearranged decisions presented at the Gozen Kaigi was unthinkable.

Japan invited 205 exchange students from various SE Asian countries during the period of 1943 to 1945, so who unfortunately got caught in the atomic blast in Hiroshima. If your able to read Japanese here is a list that later become figure head in their own countries.

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%8D%97%E6%96%B9%E7%89%B9%E5%88%A5%E7%95%99%E5%AD%A6%E7%94%9F#.E8.91.97.E5.90.8D.E3.81.AA.E3.80.8C.E5.8D.97.E7.89.B9.E3.80.8D.E5.87.BA.E8.BA.AB.E8.80.85

One would be Prime Minister of Brunei Pengiran Mohammad. Yussof.

Finally Japan's finacial aid after the war, Japan paid a total of 364 billion yen in reparation to various SE Asain nation up and till 1959. Be side this a total of 60 billion yen was provided as technical and monetary assistance to SE Asian nation by starting from 1958.

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%97%A5%E6%9C%AC%E3%81%AE%E6%88%A6%E4%BA%89%E8%B3%A0%E5%84%9F%E3%81%A8%E6%88%A6%E5%BE%8C%E8%A3%9C%E5%84%9F#.E3.80.8C.E5.8D.A0.E9.A0.98.E3.81.97.E3.81.9F.E9.80.A3.E5.90.88.E5.9B.BD.E3.81.AB.E5.AF.BE.E3.81.99.E3.82.8B.E8.B3.A0.E5.84.9F.E3.80.8D.E3.81.AB.E6.BA.96.E3.81.98.E3.82.8B.E8.B3.A0.E5.84.9F

Japan's various ODA played a key role in development of various nations and people like Mahathir bin Mohamad openly praised Japan as a becon for prosperity.

Finally age really has nothing to do with it since if you study the subject using various source material in it's original context.

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Japan's various ODA played a key role in development of various nations and people like Mahathir bin Mohamad openly praised Japan as a becon for prosperity

Ha ha! Receiving praise from Mahathir Mohammed is like receiving praise from Adolf Hitler.

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Going to Yasukuni shrine to pay homage is just like visiting Arlington National Cemetery. It's the state shrine that enshrines the soldiers that fought and died for Japan. Even if A-class war criminals are enshrined it does not change that fact. Do you think the president of the US will bat an eye lid placed in the same situation? I think not, even though there are probably many who committed similar atrocities in the field that rest in Arlington. Fight against the American Indians, Philippines, Vietnam, etc.

I really get sick to the stomach when hearing people not really understand what they are talking about.

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Goodness people, learn your history! The Soviet Union certainly WAS officially at war with Japan the day the U.S. declared war against Japan after Pearl Harbor. Allies against the Axis powers whether or not a shot had yet been fired against each other. Also, I believe the Soviets had indeed already occupied some smaller Japanese islands.

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SamuraiB: Did Japan do ANYTHING wrong, in your eyes?

The link you cite "Japan's war reparations and war compensation" page told me a lot. Thank you. The graph "Compensation for the Allies occupied" was very informative.

As for the 29 Billion yen to be paid to Singapore, the following description: "Singapore and the "blood debt" agreement" ... means nothing to you? YOU SEE THIS AS AID? ACCORDING TO JAPAN AND THE OTHER NATIONS THAT SIGNED, this is exactly what it says - BLOOD DEBT/WAR REPARATION. Japan invaded Singapore, stole, raped and killed lots of people, and after the war, agreed to pay BLOOD DEBT. Japans ODA IS WAR REPARATIONS!!! Stop lying!!!

Did you think you could pull this sh** off??? Did you think I would not check your links??? Does your mother know you tell lies like this?

There are NO convicted war criminals at Arlington National Cemetery. Your comparison to Yasukuni is totally wrong. CHECK YOUR FACTS. Ever since the CONVICTED WAR CRIMINALS' (TOJO, and team) remains were moved to Yasukuni, THE EMPEROR STOPPED GOING!!!! The problem is not the Japanese war dead - it is the war criminals.

You get sick when hearing people not understand what they are talking about? So STOP SPREADING lies... YOU ARE MAKING YOURSELF SICK (and me too - you are so wrong, you are not worthy for me to debate with further).

I sent you many links, and you have not bothered to answer any of my questions, OR prove me wrong. I PROVED the emperor is a fake - no answer. Are you afraid to face the truth? I PROVED the emperor set up a special division (with a Prince in charge!) within the army to steal gold, jewels and art from Asian countries, and send this loot back to Japan - no answer.

You do not want to discuss the truth - so spin your fantasies elsewhere.

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Ever since the CONVICTED WAR CRIMINALS' (TOJO, and team) remains were moved to Yasukuni,

"Remains". LOL

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I think not, even though there are probably many who committed similar atrocities in the field that rest in Arlington.

As Curtis Lemay said.

"If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals."

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Ha ha! Receiving praise from Mahathir Mohammed is like receiving praise from Adolf Hitler.

The resident Aussie speaks with his absurd comparisons.

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Nigel - wow, you are on a roll there, boy. As a Pom - with respect, I don't think you know much about the SE Asian region, and likely you have never heard of Mahathir Mohammed. Look him up, you will not find a picture of a man anyone should want to receive praise from.

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Nigel - wow, you are on a roll there, boy. As a Pom - with respect, I don't think you know much about the SE Asian region, and likely you have never heard of Mahathir Mohammed. Look him up, you will not find a picture of a man anyone should want to receive praise from.

Nah. Maybe you can provide me with some example of why he's closer to Hitler as you stated since you apparently know a lot about him.

Moderator: All readers back on topic please. No further references to Mahathir Mohammed or Hitler, please.

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The main reason they dropped the bombs was the fanatical way in which the Japanese had shown they would fight tio the death. With continual kamakaze attacks with sometimes hundreds of planes in one day and so few soldiers or civilians willing to surrender but either killing themselves or attacking in mass suicide waves this waeighed heavily on the American psyche. They could not understand an enemy that could give away their own lives so cheaply and knew that this was going to be a fight to the death. Even the Germans often surrendered entire corps and divisions when they knew the sitaution was hopeless. I do not blame the Americans one second for dropping the bombs and anyone who thinks otherwise has not really looked into the reasons they felt it was necessary. With no doubt whatsoever America did a lot to help heal the wounds after the war and if it wasn't for Stalin and the U.S.S.R imperialistic attitudes we might have an even better world than we do today but I can only dread to think what the world would be like if the Axis powers had won. We wouldn't likely be able to have a conversation like this on the internet without having someone knock on your door to pay you a little visit, just for starters.

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MILLIONS of people were desperate for the war to end...so yes.

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The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were completely unnecessary.

Scaring the 'Soviets' may have become the officially stated position, but while the Japanese were being bombed unnecessarily, the blue-prints for the bomb was being handed over to the Soviets, while the Dulles Brothers State Department, fledgling RIIA-CFR, were working 'hand-over-fist' to help Mao and the Communist Chinese.

The evidence can be seen today as China is about to eclipse the United States as the global hegemon, while the U.S. is being deliberately reduced to 3rd World status. This was the true plan all along: destroying U.S. power, its Constitutional safe-guards as the means of subordinating it to the Satanic New World Order.

So, then, what was the real purpose of the detonation of the atom bomb over Japan: as blood sacrifice directed by the Brotherhood of Death who had taken over the U.S. MIC. Evidence for this is the bombing of Nagasaki, the detonation of the bomb occured directly over the Urakami Cathedral, the largest catholic church, center of Christianity, in the Japan and the orient.

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