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How come Japan has never demanded an official apology from any U.S. government for the dropping of atomic bombs on two of its cities? In fact, why don't Japanese hate America for dropping the bombs?

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I think the Buddhist cultural influence on Japanese people is a reason that they don't hate America. It's the same with Viet Nam. Buddhism discourages holding a grudge while the Abrahamic religions discourage forgiveness.

Why the government has never demanded an apology is a difficult question. Probably because it's a puppet of the USA.

-32 ( +7 / -37 )

OstapBender, I don't believe it's because the Japanese government is a puppet of the USA. I think that was a specious comment. I'm considered a Japanophile by the Japanese in my Canadian home town, and they've never brought up the subject, in spite of the fact that we interned the people of Japanese heritage and took away all their property. They, like me, say, "War is war. War was war. Let's not let it happen again."

The choice of the US was simple - invade the Japanese islands at tremendous cost of human life on both sides, or drop the bomb and tell them there's more to come if you don't surrender. No apology necessary, let's just get over it, shall we?

23 ( +26 / -5 )

The choice of the US was simple - invade the Japanese islands at tremendous cost of human life on both sides, or drop the bomb and tell them there's more to come if you don't surrender. No apology necessary, let's just get over it, shall we?

Exactly, pretty much sums it up.

16 ( +23 / -8 )

While most people seem to have the idea, that during peace time rules apply between nations, no one will pretend that silly idea in a war. In a war, only winning counts. If the americans have any foults is not the point. If japanese history is anything like what we are being told from 1905 on, then it is Japan that has to take responsibility for its actions and the nuclear bomb consequences. Of course lets not have any illusions, this is certainly not the reason why the japanese have not demanded an excuse. To demand human behaviour from others is only possible if you yourself behave in an acceptable way.

7 ( +8 / -2 )

This always confused me too.

History really isn't black and white, but I'm happy that America and Japan can get along most of the time. Sure, we have disagreements - I think that is healthy, but we need each other.

Embarrassing another government seldom leads to peaceful coexistence.

Most of the people in the USA would think - they started it, we ended it. No apology. Similarly, I don't think an apology for Pearl Harbour today would be useful either. Let it go, but never forget.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Maybe because Hiroshima and Nagasaki are in the hinterlands?

Look at the example of 9-11. Most of USA has no strong ties to Manhattan, maybe the majority of population has never even visited the area. Except for the months of media coverage immediately after the event, how strongly should the population feel it? Eventually even huge events die from the public consciousness.

Web media news-on-demand wasn't even around when the atomic bombs were dropped. Only newspaper articles and a bit of TV/radio broadcasts.

There's also the view that US occupation kept the Russians out of Japan. If US had stopped at Okinawa, Honshu could have been the Eastern equivalent of East Germany all this time, but without the Berlin wall to break down. I think Japan got a pretty good deal.

Especially as they firebombed Chongqing way earlier than 1945, how can they complain about such tactics after that?

Also, the Japanese government itself is against the idea. Hillary and Obama offered and they rejected! Just google "wikileaks obama hiroshima". If the government's against it, why should the citizens care? They elected the government and likely large numbers of them will be of the same opinion, maybe even the majority.

http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/5229/Wikileaks-Japan-refused-Obama-Hiroshima-Apology.aspx

... A heretofore secret cable dated Sept. 3, 2009, was recently released by WikiLeaks. Sent to Secretary of State Clinton, it reported Japan's Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka telling U.S. Ambassador John Roos that "the idea of President Obama visiting Hiroshima to apologize for the atomic bombing during World War II is a 'nonstarter.'"

The Japanese feared the apology would be exploited by anti-nuclear groups and those opposed to the defensive alliance between Japan and the U.S.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Maybe because it would be political and economic suicide. The primary reason for the Japanese Miracle was because the U.S. basically opened its market to Japanese products, (The argument being that a peaceful and prosperous Japan was better for the U.S. citizens than the alternative.) and, as a result, Japanese companies have made bilions and billions of dollares in profit, and have now invested huge amounts of money in the states. You saw what happened in China the last year or when citizens turned sour on Japanese products. Can you imagine what would happen if Japan demanded an aplology from the U.S.? (I'm sure Hyundai, Kia, Samsung, etc. would love it.) Rightly, or wrongly, the average U.S. citizen believes Pearl Harbor was a sneak attack, and the dropping of the bombs was necessary to save thousands of U.S. lives. You don't want to poke that hornets nest. Not to mention the fact that the U.S. taxpayer pays a large share of Japan's collective defense.

0 ( +10 / -11 )

Mainly, because Japanese government / heads of state got off lightly. The emperor wasn't punished as a war criminal and the 'democratic' government (which is still made up of descendants of war criminals) was put in place. Japan made a pact with the devil, to keep out the 'red menace' .... the atomic bombs were not the end of the second world war, simply the beginning of the cold one.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

I'm Japanese with one American parent and lived half my life abroad. I notice that the recollection of history differs greatly when you travel. for example the average Japanese person's idea of what happened in WW1 is quite different than say, someone educated in the USA. Most Japanese of my era and generation are a happy-go-lucky pro peace people who don't seem to know much about the times of Emperial Japan and the brutal wars they fought in Asia. The most common sentiment is shock and sorrow at the use of such a horrible powerful weapon. I would venture to say that Japan's nationalists and government have been spewing a lot more about China and Korea (the latter being Japan's ancient historical rival) than the USA, who actually Japan now depends on and will probably ally with militarily in the future.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

For starters America hasn't repeatedly denied it ever happened in teh first place.

23 ( +29 / -7 )

Japan has never demanded an official apology because the U.S. has never tried to deny that the nuclear attacks took place, nor has it claimed that numbers of victims reported by Japan were exaggerated. Also, the history of the nuclear bombings is well taught in schools and overall not swept under the rug.

Along those lines, the Japanese government would have every right to demand an apology from the U.S. if a top U.S. government official were ever to deny that the nuclear bombings took place, or say that Japan's nuclear bomb victim claims were exaggerated — particularly if that statement were not denounced by higher-up officials and/or failed to generate outrage among the media and a large number of American citizens.

Likewise, the U.S. government has never demanded an official apology for Pearl Harbor (for instance) because Japan has never tried to deny that the attack took place, nor claimed that numbers of victims reported by the U.S. were exaggerated. Also, the history of the Pearl Harbor attack is well taught in Japanese schools and overall not swept under the rug. Sad fact of history, but no apology needed.

18 ( +23 / -6 )

Because it was deserved? Even with two a-bombs the military was still resisting surrender because of their fanaticism. AFAIAC, the war ended a lot sooner and with a lot less damage because of the a-bombs.

9 ( +15 / -7 )

Well said jerseyboy. In addition how could it be logical to demand an apology from the US when Japan fired the first shots.

As for the other issue. I think there are many Japanese, who do in fact, hate the US for dropping atomic bombs. Japan was already clearly defeated by august 1945. The significance of the bombings were to intimidate Stalin, as well as ending the war quickly.

Back then, the joint chiefs wanted to target major cities; Kyoto, Osaka or Tokyo. . . . So could be why they dont hate us as much?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Because it was too tragic.

-11 ( +7 / -17 )

Sensato Feb. 19, 2015 - 08:51AM JST Along those lines, the Japanese government would have every right to demand an apology from the U.S. if a top U.S. government official were ever to deny that the nuclear bombings took place

However, I would also say that this does not mean the U.S. was necessarily wrong in their decision. Nor is it our place to second-guess those who made that difficult choice. It's also true that larger number of Japanese civilians who died as horribly in the non-nuclear bombings of 1944-45. Whether the bombings increased or decreased the total suffering from the war depends entirely on judgement of how quickly Japan would have surrendered otherwise. Similarly, the actions of Japan as an aggressor are in the past. But it seems to me that most calls for apologies and reparations happening between nations are an attempt to turn historical grievances into diplomatic advantage or a sense of obligation and moral superiority.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

When I was younger and much less informed, I often wondered the same thing. Ive since learned it has nothing to do with Buddhism; its more in line with Bushido. in the old days, when one samurai army defeated the other, the defeated clan gave up their loyality to the old shogun and transistioned easily to the new victors rules, its what Ive read. Japan can be a very difficult concept for outsiders to understand. The Japanese respect those who are victors, or are above them and look down on those who wont fight back or cannot offer anything that is useful for them. Its why the whole coprosperity greater east asian scheme was not sincere. Also, after defeat, their Emperor gave the OK from above and instructed the masses to do as the occupation asked. Since Japan is a top down society, this greatly helped in the transistion. Its sort of a group acceptance of it; if the group as a whole accepts defeat and the new victor, then there is no need for any bitter feelings. You have to answer the question with another question; why did the japanese people allow themselves to be so utterly controlled by a few and fly kamakaze missions etc? This question is much more difficult to answer, therefore I think the Japanese, on a personal level, were sick of the war also, but had no internal mechanism to stop it; it requred an outside force to intervene.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I am sure there were a lot of Japanese in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki areas who hated the USA after the atomic bombs killed tens of thousands but that is now ancient history for anyone 50 or younger. You can dig into that story but why open old wounds just to make a news story like the Korean comfort women story.

My wife's father's family lost their home and all possessions, everything but the clothes on their backs in the fire bombing of Tokyo but he was a 10 year old kid who probably did not understand the immense loss. They rebuilt and persevered. It's not healthy to spend time on sad events but good news rarely makes the story because deep down most people want to read about how bad others have it so as to feel that they have it better.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The fire bombings of Tokyo killed more people and were just as horrific. No memorial or slight mention of those events.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

That's what most civilized countries do.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

I think Japan should be grateful to the US because it could of been allot worse. If the US had imperialist intentions as so many neo facist claim, Japan would of become a US state or territory. Instead, not only was the Emperor allowed to remain as a head of state of sorts and Japan a soverign nation, but as Jersey said, the US opened its markets and helped rebuild Japan. Its another reason why many Japanese dont hate the US. Those that do only want to bring back the status quo and chase their tail with dreams of facism and dominaion of those deemed inferior (all non japanese).

7 ( +12 / -5 )

I think there are probably a great many reasons why both the Japanese government, and the Japanese people, haven’t demanded some form of apology or “mea-culpa” from the US government for the atomic bombings – it interested me when I was younger so I sought out a few folks who were old enough to experience both the war and its aftermath and asked them the question, the results were quite eye opening. The gave essentially three reasons;

During the war, Japanese government propaganda had painted the US and allies as vicious monsters who rape, kill and plunder (I’m assuming they based that assessment on what the Imperial Japanese Army was doing in the rest of Asia) – and so when the occupation stared at the end of the war, the Japanese public expected the worst. Yet what occurred was an amazingly benevolent transition – there were no mass crimes by marauding soldiers, etc., the occupation force under MacArthur treated the Japanese public with great compassion; not as the enemy, but as victims of their government’s deceitful actions.

During 1946/47, Japan was on the brink of famine – millions could have perished due to lack of food. The US conducted a large scale relief effort and brought in sufficient food to feed everyone – that a victor in war would undertake such a major effort for a defeated enemy shocked most Japanese.

But the major reason provided by this generation of Japanese was the following – at the end of the war, when the Russians were set to invade and occupy Hokkaido and set up a communist government, President Harry Truman told Stalin that if he did that, the US may have to send some of its nuclear capable B-29s up to Vladivostok, and the Russians stood down. The fact that the US helped prevent the defeated Japanese nation from being fragmented and partitioned like Korea, made a deep, endearing impression on the Japanese – they told me they would be forever indebted and grateful.

I’m sure there are many other reasons, but I found these three to be quite compelling…….

17 ( +22 / -6 )

I think there are at least two responses to this question. On the political level, Japan has been and still is very much dependent on the United States for its defense. As such, although not know for their intellect, Japan's politicians realize that they shouldn't bite the hand that feeds (or protects it).

On a everyday level, over the 25+ years I've been in Japan, I've actually been surprised by the undercurrent of belief that feels that the US (and the bombings, etc.), actually saved Japan from itself.

2 ( +5 / -4 )

Rather than ex pats here trying to figure out why, the same questions are asked to Japanese respondents in various sites like "chiebukuro' and 'gekiyaku'. There answers are quite simple.

It was war.

It's settled in the Peace Treaty.

Apology would be meaningless since it's not coming from the party that's responsible.

why stoop to be like xxxxxx (hint: neighbor)
-4 ( +9 / -12 )

I think all of you have overlooked the most obvious. The real reason Japan can never ask the US for an apology is that the Imperial military had its own atomic bomb program during the war and had hoped to sail suicide submarines into west coast ports of the US. It has even been claimed that the Japanese successfully tested a crude uranium device on an island off the coast of North Korea.

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iE-0tRGjy8

And in another regard, most of the scientists who developed the atomic bombs used on Japan were not American, and crucial portions of the physics used had been discovered by Japanese scientists. The allies were well aware that the Nazis had an atomic bomb program and were assisting the Japanese. It was feared that inviting the Japanese to witness the Trinity test would only encourage them to continue in their own pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

@Hongo

"I've actually been surprised by the undercurrent of belief that feels that the US (and the bombings, etc.), actually saved Japan from itself"

Yes, and those who experience Japan usually reach that conclusion or take away. You can process all the rest of it but reach that point where you cant find an explanation.

"And in another regard, most of the scientists who developed the atomic bombs used on Japan were not American, and crucial portions of the physics used had been discovered by Japanese scientists."

Sorry, you got that one all backwards, but nice spin on it. The japanese got all their technology from Germany and made a poor attempt at the bomb; telling us that they were ahead or that the US got their technology from the Japanese is quite the stretch...but Ive heard worse.

-1 ( +6 / -8 )

Seeing some disturbingly foolish comments here today. The idea that because some country started a war, they should not complain about anything that happens to it is astonishing and immensely subhuman. Does that mean Jews deserved 6 million genocidal murders because 1 of them may have burnt down the Reichstag?

People complain about politicians all the time, but I'm incredibly glad that governments mostly act rationally and that the vast mob of people will never have positions of power.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

For the exact same reason I have not demanded an official apology to my Dad for smacking my ass when I was misbehaving as a child.

-3 ( +6 / -11 )

Considering Japan started it all with Pearl Harbor, why the hell should the U.S. apologize?

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

I'd say another reason is because the Japanese (much like their Asian neighbours, but more) have always admired and looked up to white men. Maybe some sort of inferior complex. They're always looking for approval from the white men, always trying to make themselves the best Asians in the eyes of white men.

nigelboy:

Great to see you're continuing with the PR on behalf of Japan. Yeah, why stoop to xxxxxx? Are you talking about island disputes too?

-4 ( +4 / -9 )

Some good interesting posts above!

Also I think a factor is that if Japan pushed for an apology then it would open up the topic some & then the masses here would have to digest what actually happened prior & led up to Hiroshima & Nagasaki & the locals don't really want to go there & learn about that

7 ( +9 / -3 )

IMO, it's for the same reason that Americans don't demand an apology from the Japanese for the surprise attack (sneak attack if you're from the WWII generation) on Pearl Harbor. It's war and as William T. Sherman said, "War is hell". You might as well throw the rulebook away when talking about how a proper war is to be conducted.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

dcog9065, I see your point and while I certainly wouldn't say Japan had it coming, I think being on the losing side of a war in which you were the aggressor really does affect your perspective on things. I think even the Japanese realize that they're in a tough position to demand apologies. More than that, both countries have been able to form a friendly relationship since the US occupation, and the US, for its part, has acknowledged the horrific nature of the bombs and has never dared to downplay it.

That said, I don't really agree with those that say the bombs were necessary. Like some mentioned, the Tokyo bombings were almost equally devastating to the country, and word of the true power of the atomic bombs didn't even reach the capitol very quickly. What Japan feared most was a Russian land invasion, and with the European side of the war over, Russia was already at their doorstep. I think Japan would've surrendered without the bombs. A lot has been made of Japanese soldiers fighting to the bitter end, and I think it's probably true in the field. However, the leaders in Tokyo weren't about to lose their entire country to a land invasion. The US had other motives for dropping the bombs, mainly as show for the Russians. Which then led to the Cold War...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

War itself is evil.

When I think about the atomic bombs used I see it as the only time in history where we can clearly see that fighting fire with fire can work.

What was it that we were trying to destroy? I don't believe America was set on destroying the other man but more so the bloodlust or I could call it the fuel for war.

I think America:s approach was to have the fire of war snuffed out quickly. Water (human lives) was never going to put it out.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

MrBum: My point was mainly that some peoples' comments here suggesting that any sort of reprisal is justified as long as the other starts it is a severely impaired outlook and points to a very disturbing personality disorder. Such astonishing ignorance is likely the cause of billions of innocent deaths throughout human history.

On the issue in the actual article, TBH I don't really have a position. In the long term outlook, the benefits could probably be justified as outweighing the bad

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Because

1 Japan started the war by bombing Pearl Harbour, killing thousands of American navy people during that surprise attack. So it would be foolish to ask for an apology when you know you were the one who started the conflict. 2 The US never denied that they bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nor did they say those innocent Japanese who died in the bombs were worthless people who were prostitutes. 3 The US teaches in their classrooms, the truth that America bombed Japan because it was the only way to end the war when fanatical Japanese were waiting for Americans land in Japan, so that they can fight to the death. The bombing saved tens of thousands of American lives.
1 ( +9 / -9 )

I think the Buddhist cultural influence on Japanese people is a reason that they don't hate America.

@the first comment, i dont think Japanese are very religious or even Vietnamese as you stated.

this is beyond religion as the war itself was not religious (or a holy war) but more of politically motivated, for expanding spheres of interests.

i could not agree more to some other comments that human values brought by the US forces to societies defeated after the war is one that is stronger and still respected till these days.

1 ( +1 / -1 )

Either the lack of knowledge regarding the event or having aptitude to let bygones be bygones.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I also don't think an apology is needed but probably not for the same reasons as most people here. IMO there arent absolute morals or an authoritative body that govern/enforce international relations (as opposed to individual states where there is a social contract, laws, and authorities to enforce them), so when push comes to shove, countries should do what they want against another.

It naturally follows that I disagree with people who say it was "the right thing to do" for reasons X, Y, Z (like saving American lives, or that Japanese people deserved it). People who feel like they have to justify the bombings are people who have an inclination that the act was something that needs to be defended (morally speaking)

By all means, when any country starts a war, they should avoid fighting enemy combatants and nuke every last "enemy" civilian populace where ever they can if it will yield better cost benefits.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Because Japan was an aggressor. They instigated an attack against them when they attacked pearl harbor. When you align yourself with fascist states such as Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Nazi Germany, you're asking for trouble. I think the Japanese recognizes that they were at the wrong side of the war, so asking for an apology would seem that they did no wrong. It was a wake up call. Also, Japan has excellent relations with the United States today, so asking for an apology would not contribute to anything positive, so there's no reason to rock the boat.

You don't see Germany going around asking for apologizes, even after the fact that they lost two world wars.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Yeah, the U.S. did't get an apology for Pearl Harbor.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japanese government or most of the Japanese do not demand an apology.

Yet, they think the nuclear bombings were wrong and disagree to any argument to justify the bombings.

They do not demand an apology because they are not direct victims and are in no position to accept an apology, and because it was war, where killing was accepted if not justified. In addition, an apology does not make any difference.

I see a lot of comments here that Japanese think nuclear bombings are justified, which are all wrong. They just do not think that way.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Face reality, Japan is an "occupied country", the US troops are in Japan NOT just to keep an eye on nearby Russia and China, but ALSO to ensure Japan stays within US's sphere of influence. This is similar to the presence of Russian troops in East Germany. The West German government very skillfully persuaded the Russian government to remove the troops using different incentives. Previous Japanese government have requested an apology from the US in the past but have received no reply. This situation is similar to the South Koreans requesting an apology from Japan for the "comfort women". The best option is to leave things as they are. Let the wounds from World War II heal and be forgotten, just like Germany has done. This is what PM Abe should be doing, instead of "revising previous apologies" and angering the Asian neighbors.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

First of all the United States has never denied it ever happened, secondly the US will not ever and I mean ever back down to sneak attacks of any kind, yes sneaky because way before Pearl Harbor in Misawa AB the Japanese military was secretly planning to bomb Pearl Harbor, it's true that even the land mass around the lakes near there were cut out to emulate the targets and used by the pilots to train. In regards to the bombings themselves that was war and a condition of having been attacked in order to end war. The Emperor has never formally or officially apologized to the world for his descendants or allowing them to happen in the first place is the questions on everyone's mind. Why hasn't the Emperor of Japan officially and formally apologized for the wrongdoings of the past, and why doesn't the current Diet allow it? That would really make a huge difference coming from him and not the PM.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

The same reason why Americans don't hold any hard feelings to Japan for Pearl Harbor

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think it has a lot to do with the extremely bad behavior of the Japanese military during the war and the relatively good treatment of the Japanese during the American occupation after the war.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

God you Americans really have a hang up over Pearl Harbour don't you?

Why don't the Japanese hate Americans? Who knows, just be happy that they don't. We in Europe like the Americans less than the Japanese do, and some of our countries were on the same side!

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

We in Europe like the Americans less than the Japanese do

I didn't know "we" had reached consensus on the subject.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Okay.... SOME Europeans (including SOME British) like the Americans less than SOME of the Japanese do. Happy now? (Slaps wrist for generalising)

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Thunderbird2, It's spelled Pearl Harbor. Murica, f*** yeah.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

American won the war, Japan surrendered unconditionally. Prior to the end of the war, the military government told the Japanese people that if the country surrendered, the Americans would rape and kill every Japanese they found. This propaganda led many Japanese in Okinawa and other places to commit suicide rather than be capture by the American soldiers.

But the occupation was peaceful, Japan and the Japanese were more or less left alone to do what they pleased. Much of the land and industry was redistributed to the common people, farmers who had lived on and farmed a plot of land for generations as tenants suddenly became land owners. The new peace allowed the Japanese to focus on work and industry instead of conquest, and the country prospered.

Why would Japan demand an apology from it's conquerers after losing a war which Japan started? Why would they want an apology for dropping atomic bombs, when they know full well that if their country had developed such weapons during the war, they would have used them without hesitation? Japan lost the war, and they lost well. America won, and America won well, and a peaceful mutual respect has existed ever since.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Winning or losing does not matter. The United States lost in Vietnam and I am still waiting for my apology for invading Vietnam.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Clearly there are lots of reasons why Japan doesn't ask for an apology, also we shud keep in mind the fact that Japan LOST WWII was the BEST to happen to Japan, its postwar prosperity was because they LOST

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's spelled Pearl Harbor

If you're American perhaps. XD

Oh and can people please stop saying "America won the war"? The ALLIES won the war - you lot didn't turn up for the fight until you got a kick up the bum towards the end of 1941. The Americans, by dropping those disgusting weapons shortened the war in the PACIFIC.

However the question of why don't the Japanese demand an apology... well, there have been ongoing debates about whether the British government should apologise for bombing Dresden for decades. On the one hand, it was a time of war, and since the Germans had blitzed the UK for years it was felt right that the Nazis get a taste of their own medicine. That was then. The people of Dresden DO want an apology - so if the ancestors of the WW2 war machine of the Third Reich want an apology, why not the ancestors of Imperial Japan? That they don't appear to want one shows that they either don't care, or they accept it was an act of war in which their country was the aggressor.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

So many comments on why Americans think the bombings were justified, rather than why Japanese do not demand an apology.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Probably because when you're the aggressor and proceed to lose you don't get to demand anything. That's how war works.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So many comments on why Americans think the bombings were justified, rather than why Japanese do not demand an apology.

Because they're Americans - nuff said.

-8 ( +5 / -12 )

It would take the GREATEST OF CHUTZPAH for Japan to demand an apology for America dropping the atomic bombs to end the war Japan started. The Japanese were responsible for the deaths of Tens of Millions of Asians and Allied Soldiers... which is why No One has ever thought about asking America to apologize. Apologize? Hah!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Since the US showed Japan mercy after the war. They could had treated 'em like the Japanese would.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Neither reason or apology in defense of the truth against kindness can demolish the wall of hatred when built........

President Truman: 'If they [sic} do not now accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the like of which has never been seen on Earth. Behind this air attack will follow by sea and land forces in such number and power as they have not yet seen, but with fighting skill of which they are already aware'.....

Churchill's statement: 'We must indeed pray that these awful agencies will be made to conduce peace among the nations and that instead of wreaking measureless havoc upon the entire globe they become a perennial fountain of world prosperity'

My Japanese Great Grandma Mother could incite ignominy with a single farcical expression. Hiroshima Heiwa Kinen Kōen through definition provokes emotional response caused by the consciousness of regretful behavior.......

Finally to further quote Harry S Truman: 'Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything'......

tinawatanabe 'Because it was too tragic' is a undeniable truth.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

CH3CHOFeb. 19, 2015 - 06:18PM JST

So many comments on why Americans think the bombings were justified, rather than why Japanese do not demand an apology.

Or why Americans think Japan should not demand an apology. Is it such an emotional topic as to unconsciously change the question? Relax.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Hirohito noted to the Japanese people in his broadcast that "the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage". He continued: "Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives", adding in conclusion that "However, it is according to the dictates of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is unsufferable."

Having led the Japanese people to a cruel war of aggression (sorry, Abe), the Showa Emperor led his nation in the opposite direction, a decision that ultimately earned the praise of the world and genuinely brought prosperity, freedom, and honor.

Can we not attribute the lack of a demand for apology to the Showa Emperor's statement? (We should also recall that even then right wing zealots, in the name of honor, sought to thwart the broadcast.) Maybe Abe should listen again to the words of a real leader, willing to admit his and Japan's responsibility.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Last night I asked my elderly friend - a doctor - whose pacificist father was a doctor dragooned into the war and rotted to death in New Guinea - this question after reading it yesterday.

His answer was "Guilt".

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I'd say the intent in using the bomb was to end the war quick and save lives. Not to mess with the Japanese. Just to end the war sooner. Japan on the other hand, with the things they did during the war, had the intent to mess with people.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I shudder to think about what would have happened if the Japan Imperial Army had succeeded in producing and using atomic and/or biological weapons on U.S. cities like they wanted to do.

The fire bombings of Tokyo and other Japanese cities and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were terrible, killing, maiming and sickening hundreds of thousands, including women and children, but what was the alternative? I dare say the alternative would have been far worse.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I think that it lies in the reality of victory and the shame of defeat after such a brutal and destructive campaign through Asia. Japan was put on trial literally and figuratively after the war and the Atomic bombings were swallowed up in the discourse of post war self justification by the Allies. The metanarrative surrounding the atomic bombings is this:

The choice of the US was simple - invade the Japanese islands at tremendous cost of human life on both sides, or drop the bomb and tell them there's more to come if you don't surrender. No apology necessary, let's just get over it, shall we?

As expoused by Trevorpeace1. But Robert McNamara said in 'The Fog of War' that members of the American forces, including himself, would have been put on trial for war crimes had the US lost the war for the firebombing of Japanese cities and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

But, to the victors go the spoils as well as the right to determine the narrative of the war.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Where were the delivery systems? Japan never had aircraft with the range to reach America... why do think the mainland was never attacked - other than by weird balloon thingies and the odd sub that managed to get close enough to shell a couple of places.

While Japan could have developed an atomic weapon they would have to designed a long range bomber capable of crossing the Pacific. Germany was also on the verge of developing The Bomb, but were thwarted by the SOE and commandos (Hurrah!). Germany would have used their New York rocket... had it ever got off the drawing board.

So basically, even if they had produced a bomb there was no way they could have dropped it on US mainland cities.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Because Japanese relationships revolve around hierarchies. Japan lost the War, so they adopted the "loser" role. Losers take what's given them, without complaint, and remain loyal to the "winner". This thinking about the U.S. continues to this day.

But the Americans did not claim their full rights (in Japanese minds) as Winners and were very lenient and helpful in rebuilding.

The U.S. has never tried to deny or diminish the tragedy of the atomic bombs or leave them out of textbooks.
6 ( +7 / -1 )

the European theater brought into play the idea of total war- that civilians were just as culpable and just as much as a target as the military in modern warfare.

they would look at a map and say- well that factory/training ground/rail yard makes it strategic- the people should not be living there anyway- all their fault

Japan was already beaten by the time the nukes were dropped, the country was starving, the two cities were spared firebombing so they would be pristine for the Nuclear blast. Afterwards - US Medical Docs watched and took notes- no care given- they took notes- as it was all an experiment.

I cannot talk for the people who were bombed as to why no one officially asked for an apology- but i believe individually they cried out why?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

" think Japan should be grateful to the US because it could of been allot worse. If the US had imperialist intentions as so many neo facist claim, Japan would of become a US state or territory. Instead, not only was the Emperor allowed to remain as a head of state of sorts and Japan a soverign nation"

Your are not correct on this one.

Japan did surrender but Japan was not conquered via military force.

Yes the surrender was "unconditional" yet even then "unconditional" was qualified by many other provisos, such that Japan was to remain intact and keep their Emperor.

American was never in any position to do absolutely ANYTHING they wanted to Japan as they were not the only ones who fought the Japanese.

There was something called the Allied Powers, remember?

Your may say that the US led the war but that's open to interpretation.

To sum up, you're reading far too much into the concept of "unconditional surrender".

The Potsdam declaration had surrender terms on it, with which the Japanese complied, it was never a "carte blanche" for America to do as they pleased.

Do you think that if the Japanese know that by surrendering they would be at America's total mercy they would have simply surrendered?

Again, remember that the US did not capture the Imperial Palace, just like the Soviets did to the Reichstag.

Your view smacks more of Americans patting themselves in the back because they're so great and merciful.

-6 ( +5 / -10 )

A lot of people has no recollection of how history played out itself before and during the war and are all jumping to conclusions. Any debate on the Hull note?What about Potsdam declaration? How about Showa emperor's radio broadcast stating ”However, it is according to the dictates of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by  enduring the unendurable and suffering what is unsufferable .”

Lastly Japan does sternly ask that there should not be another Hiroshima or Nagasaki to occur in exchange of an apology since apologies does not bring back the dead.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Provocative question. How many events, in the course of WW2, demand apology? The only apology worth giving is the failure of the aggressors who prompted the script of their disaster. No one is exempt from regret. The failure lies with those who could have stopped the destruction of Japan's cities.

"We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique which they are using to prolong this useless war."

The warnings were clear:

"What the CIA article reveals is that the leafleting of August 1 was the culmination of a months’-long campaign by the U.S. Office of War Information to give the Japanese people true information on the status of the war (which they were not getting from their own government) and to persuade them to surrender."

reference: http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/008604.html

Japan has not sought an apology perhaps because the history and culpability lies in the complex failures of Japan's darkest history. Again, there is nothing but regret and there is nothing but recognition of America's role in rebuilding the failed State of Japan in 1945.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

people get so up in arms over the two hydrogen bombs, yet the real destruction came from the American firebombing campaign that preceded it.

More people died in Tokyo than in Hiroshima/Nagasaki combined.

There is not one peep of uproar over those deaths, so the commenter who tried comparing the New York attack is simply wrong.

No apologies are needed, that is why both Japan and US are such close friends. Japan saw America forgive it, first hand, through occupation. There was no mass revenge killing in the years between 1945-1950, even though there was an entire conquering army on Japanese soil.

This is the main reason why Japan doesn't harbor resentment in the way the Palestinians do over Israel. We did not restrict Japanese movement, commerce or life the way the Israelis do. There was and still is a dangerous segment of Japanese population who are violently Anti-American, but the handling of these people did NOT interfere with ordinary Japanese citizens lives, like it does in Palestine. America offered a hand up, not a shove down.

In short, there was forgiveness on both sides because there was a genuine attempt by both sides to move past and grow successful together.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Japanese stand by the Articles of Surrender and the subsequent Status of Forces Agreement, which holds the Japanese as the vanquished to be responsible for the destruction wrought upon their lands and peoples. As such, the victors are not libel, nor are their descendants. The Japanese HONOUR what they signed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Great to see you're continuing with the PR on behalf of Japan. Yeah, why stoop to xxxxxx? Are you talking about island disputes too?

Pukey.

Nice of you to chime in. Island disputes are just that. It's a dispute that's not covered by the treaty so it's an ongoing issue. In addition, I don't see the Japanese government demanding an apology for this.

Through centuries of war with states taking over territories and its people, the concept of demanding an apology is an exception, and not the norm.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

OK this is a very serious topic. I am a Japanese and I dare to be real honest here.

I never ask for apology from US regarding Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I do not demand it.

It was a great war. Both fought so hard. Did everything to fight. On US side, carpet bombing and Nuke bombs, on Japan side Kamikaze and Gyokusai.

As the result, Japan got Potsdam Declaration that allowed Japan to avoid homeland ground battle. It was exceptional, among all major countries, US, UK and Japan were the only countries that avoided homeland ground battle in WW2. USSR, China, France, Germany, Italy... They suffered a lot more than Hiroshima. Germany didn't have an opportunity to surrender.

In 1945, A-bombs were the only way to let a country who never surrender to surrender.

I can only say, in a way, fighting to the end could really save a county, and how lucky we are that today we have an outstanding US-Japan national security band.

I'm sorry for the loss of both sides, but it was not in vain.

and I'm sorry for the loss of those losses in involved countries in the war.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan 'surrendered' unconditionally. That instrument of 'surrender' was a written agreement that formalized the 'surrender' of an Empire, but not the essence that embodies the wisdom of subsistence or its inherent 'soul'. Few questioned President Truman’s decision to drop two atomic bombs. Significantly the element that drives the 'apologist' can be from a Japanese perspective the timing of events. August 9th 1945 the Supreme Council met, crucially for the first time in the war for the sole purpose to contemplate unconditional surrender. The Supreme Council consisted of six top members of the government, effectively a inner circle of cabinet, the ruling elite of the time who categorically were unwilling to 'surrender' or sacrifice traditions, beliefs, there imperial sense of identity.

The nuclear bombardment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki made unconditional 'surrender' inevitable. The prospect of the spectacle of the divine emperor on trial was unthinkable. Negotiation and the overwhelming desire to salvage the very quintessence of Japanese culture from total capitulation drove the agenda. And humbly fashioned a future reticence to either acknowledgement offence or failure or demand emotional recompense.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The US could have had its way with Japan, of that there should be no doubt. All of the other Allied powers were too small, too distant, or too battered to control the war in the pacific and control the peace, which Douglas MacArthur did. The fact is the US was quite merciful, maybe to keep the Reds at bay, but then that is proving a worthy goal even today.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

"The US could have had its way with Japan"

Not without breaching the terms of surrender subscribed by the US itself, they couldn't.

If the US were to try to break up Japan or turn it into another US "province"(as being suggested by some here), they would have hada revolt on their hands with catastrophic results.

The stated goal was to disarm Japan, promote democracy and demilitarise the country; following that Japanese independence and sovereignty had to be restored.

That was presented to the Japanese as the "unconditional" surrender, itself containing conditions to appease the Japanese and finalise the war.

And what do you think the USSR would do, if the US even thought about doing as they pleased?

The US was powerless to stop Germany's division, wasn't it?

Or are you suggesting that the USSR was too small, too weak and too tired to do anything about it?

It's really nice for national egos to think in terms of American benevolence only!

America did as per the instrument of Japan's surrender terms, and good on them for having stuck by the agreements with both the Japanese and the rest of the world.

They were certainly not at liberty to do as they pleased, although is comforting to think they could have and nobody was in a position to do anything about it.

America couldn't even tame Iraq or Afghanistan, let alone a Japanese revolt on account of America's desire to act arbitrarily, beyond what had been agreed beforehand.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The US doesn't deny the a-bombs nor do they claim that they civilized Japan and then say they already apologized for the very things they deny. Asking why Japan doesn't demand apology is the wrong question.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Japan can not ask for an apology because it continues to be a nation under US occupation.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

The Japanese usually do not know how to demand the rights. Sometimes they don't even know what their rights are. They tend to think that the problems are their own but not others and tend to blame themselves.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

There's a good chance I'm alive today because of the bombs.

In late spring 1945, my father was in Europe in the army. Next assignment would have been Malaya. It seems now that was in preparation for the land invasion of Japan. Lots and lots and lots of allied soldiers like him would have been killed.

Thank god he didn't have go. The bombs were dropped and he went home and raised a family. No apology. Never.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Ostap Bender

"...the Abrahamic religions discourage forgiveness."

Ah, that is why Jesus said "love your enemies", is it?

Perhaps you would like to try to distinguish between the fact of certain professing Christians failing to live their religion, and the religion itself.

The idea that Christianity "discourages forgiveness" is one of the most brazen lies I have ever read. Clearly you have zero knowledge of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

How come US doesnt deny dropping the bombs and attempt to whitewash textbooks?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

How come US doesnt deny dropping the bombs and attempt to whitewash textbooks?

Because "it ended a brutal war", "stopped the land invasion" and "it was justified". Do you not follow your ex pats comments.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Yes, it is all very strange. Maybe the various Governments since then were/are simply being diplomatic. As for the average person I see no reason why they do not demand an apology. One cannot just blindly forgive because it suits you or suits the circumstance because the perpetrator of the evil act will never learn their lesson and will go right on and do it again.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

One cannot just blindly forgive because it suits you or suits the circumstance because the perpetrator of the evil act will never learn their lesson and will go right on and do it again.

So SK and China are right to keep bringing up WW2 until the end of time, then? From the US' perspective, dropping the bombs was and remains justified based on Japan's warlike behavior. And I agree: there is no need to be tolerant of the intolerant.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Sure they targeted the industrial heartland of Japan, Kitakyushu but in the end just dropped their bombs wherever killing thousands of innocent people. Disgusting and unforgivable. Its was murder not war. Thankfully it set a precedent and there is zero chance in our lifetime nuclear weapons will ever be used again, although the Americans do go on experimenting with new weapons and invading countless countries so obviously have not learnt their lesson. While Japan certainly has.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Oh and can people please stop saying "America won the war"? The ALLIES won the war - you lot didn't turn up for the fight until you got a kick up the bum towards the end of 1941. The Americans, by dropping those disgusting weapons shortened the war in the PACIFIC.

Sorry, but America won the war in the pacific, not the allies. Not one single plane which bombed Japan belonged to the allies, not one single ship or landing craft which carried soldiers to conquer the various islands belonged to the allies. During the occupation it was General MacArthur and the US Army which ruled Japan, not the allies.

As for the war in Europe, yes, the Americans won there as well. Most of Europe had already fallen by 1941, and those parts which hadn't were using Enfield rifles and .303 bullets made in America. Look at the alliies' battle in the pacific. The British general staff at Ft Canning never ordered their troops to stand and fight the Japanese. Almost every order issued was to pull back. Fighting occurred when the Japanes were finally able to advance more quickly than the orders for the British, Australian, or New Zealand soldiers to retreat could be issued. The allies' battle in the pacific ended when Singapore was surrendered.

America was hesitant to enter a war which came about much due to the negligence of the European powers, who did little-to-nothing to stop Hitler's rise to power. It was not America which allowed fascim to rise in Europe, but America did sent it's sons, in the hundreds of thousands, not to mention untold weapons and vehicles to fight an enemy which never set foot upon American soil.

Some of my own American ancestors are buried in France and England, my grandfather's brothers. Had you lot not waffled, vaccillated, procrastinated, and allowed war to become inevitable, our lot wouldn't have had to shed our blood to save your sorry skins. My grandfather's brothers might have had a chance to live their lives, and have families of their own.

Show a little gratitude.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

The reason why Japanese don't hate the Americans is: they know deep down inside that their actions during World War II were abominable. There are countless instances of atrocities coming from the Japanese that are indisputable, as the sad fact is that they habitually treated their vanquished foes as less than human.

America, once it took over Japan, can be said to have treated the Japanese vanquished populace like no victor has ever done before them. This in spite of the sneak attack by the Japanese which brought America into the war in the first place. The Japanese received the Peace Constitution it has today, along with women's rights, equal democracy and an open entry into the world's most lucrative market, all from the US. For these reasons and many, many more besides, no, the Japanese do not hate Americans/America. In fact, for 70 years and counting they have relied on the US alone for their security...and there hasn't been a war involving Japan since! Pretty good track record, if you ask me....

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Well, if you take in account all horror that Japan did in World War 2 they were repaid for their wrong.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@3dgcb

Yep. All those tiny babies burnt alive in their beds. And those schoolchildren, on their way to classes.

They all had it coming for their "wrong".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@lucabrasi

What you just stated explains the harsh reality . They paid the price for someone else wrong ( the militants who were running the country ) which is unfair.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Thanks sangetsu03. Far too many people have been trying to rob the US of its rightful place in the 20th century as a major bulwark against tyranny. They do this because they are jealous, I assume. I don't think the US is perfect or maybe even the best country to live in, but we have the most muscle of the free world, like it or not.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I am Canadian. Most of my friends are Japanese and Korean. Japanese culture and People that I have come to know and appreciate are some of the most Special people on this planet. The majority being respectful, caring and so sincere in many ways (The General Population). Past is Past and can not be changed but how we act and govern ourselves now and in the future is what creates a better world through the spirit of forgiveness, cooperation and building together to make our world a better place. Love for one another is the power that mends and heals. Let's move forward with positive thinking and with Love for others putting the past behind and building for a better future. Just my thoughts :)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

First of all, many Japanese (not all) do not hold a grudge. Maybe deep down inside, they know their government started it, and the U.S. finished it, in a big way. Americans are not demanding the Japanese apologize for Pearl, so why should the Japanese expect the same? It's mostly Koreans and the Chinese who are demanding this and that, not the Americans.

Second of all, here's what the U.S. has given Japan: Starbucks, Coca-Cola, KFC, Michael Jackson, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, hip hop, jazz, Hollywood films, jeans, Forever 21, the biggest market for Toyotas and Hondas, Apple, and best and most important of all: American football, a real sport.

In a nutshell, the U.S. is cool, and being cool is enough to make many Japanese forget about that whole bomb thing.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

sangetsu03 -

"Sorry, but America won the war in the pacific, not the allies. ... As for the war in Europe, yes, the Americans won there as well. ...Some of my own American ancestors are buried in France and England, my grandfather's brothers. Had you lot not waffled, vaccillated, procrastinated, and allowed war to become inevitable, our lot wouldn't have had to shed our blood to save your sorry skins. My grandfather's brothers might have had a chance to live their lives, and have families of their own. ...Show a little gratitude."

What exactly are you asking us in Europe to do? Worship America?

Many Americans wonder why so many people around the world despise them. They assume (wrongly) that it's something to do with jealousy (see one of the remarks following your comment). But the truth is that no right-minded person respects those who are arrogant. Thankfully most of the Americans I have met are reasonable people, but the internet attracts the few, who misrepresent their country and give it a bad reputation in the eyes of the world.

As a British citizen I could argue that without my country there would be no United States of America at all. But I am not going to be so arrogant as to demand gratitude from you for the mere fact of your existence. To despise the sacrifice of millions in Europe just so your Hollywood fantasy of American greatness can be perpetuated, is just astonishing conceit. And as for your insinuation about appeasing Hitler: I suggest you start studying history properly. Britain was in no position to go to war to save Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain bought us valuable time to rearm. I know this might come as a bit of shock to you, but the "Chamberlain appeasement" narrative that is equated with cowardice is simply a naive reading of history. And if you want to criticise us for failing to save Czechoslovakia (even though we were unable to do so), then we need to ask: "Where was America?" To give the answer that "Nazi aggression was Europe's problem" reveals such hypocrisy. America has never been slow to meddle in other parts of the world when it is in their interests to do so, hence their recent fomenting of trouble in Ukraine (revealing a total inability to take a fair-minded view of Russia geo-political interests), as well as other parts of the world.

If I am to be grateful to America, then America must wait its turn for my thanks. There are other more worthy nations in front of you in the queue, such as Russia (who paid an appalling price in the fight against Nazism), France and the Commonwealth countries.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Former head of the DPJ, Ozawa Ichiro, said to Premier Abe in his first administration in 2007 that he should demand apology from the US for the atomic bombing. To do so is to overthrow the basis of the Tokyo Trials that denies fairness. Abe with a little baffled poker face politely replied in the negative saying that he would seek abolishment of nuclear arms rather than an apology from the US. Probably he had a premonition that if he did so, he would be framed for a political fund scandal or something and lose his position.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Thunderbird2 has the only opinion you need to read. The Japanese couldn't succeed where we (the USA) could. They wanted to blow us to smithereens, too. That's why they don't demand an apology. Plus they were raping everything in sight. If they started demanding apologies, they knew there they were going to have to do some heavy apologizing themselves for their mass raping of Asian women.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

bass4funk The choice of the US was simple - invade the Japanese islands at tremendous cost of human life on both sides, or drop the bomb and tell them there's more to come if you don't surrender. No apology necessary, let's just get over it, shall we? Exactly, pretty much sums it up.

Ok let's start . In August 1945 war in Europe was 3 months over . Germany was defeated. Italy was defeated long time ago , Romania, Hungary, Finland ( Hitler allies ) was also defeated.

On whole planet Earth - it was no one single friend for little poor Japan.

USA British Empire USSR China were enemies of Japan. So - no escape. British and Russian forces slowly but inexorably moved toward Japan. No escape.

Two A - bombs was dropped 6 and 9 August. And 9 August - the date of massive Soviet attack on Kwantung Army in Manchuria.

In August 1945 Japan has no food no fuel no oil no ammo no Navy at Japanese Islands

Nothing

Only Samurai spirit , so - from military point of view it was useless.

But from political point of view ... To win the war without big Russian or English involvement and show strength for the allies

sangetsu03 Sorry, but America won the war in the pacific, not the allies. Not one single plane which bombed Japan belonged to the allies, not one single ship or landing craft which carried soldiers to conquer the various islands belonged to the allies.

Little info - almost whole Japanese Army during WW II fought against China not against USA. Without China - situation was little bit different for USA.

During the occupation it was General MacArthur and the US Army which ruled Japan, not the allies.

Took the prize one thing - win a war - another.

As for the war in Europe, yes, the Americans won there as well.

To be correct USA won 2 World War in Europe. One against Kaiser and one against Hitler.

Great nation .

Really great.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

"In fact, why don't Japanese hate America for dropping the bombs?"

Because what followed those bombings was kid gloves compared to what occupying Soviet forces inflicted on the areas of Germany they occupied. The rapes and other violent crimes by American servicemen that did occur notwithstanding, the US occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1952 was one of the most benign military occupations of one country by another that ever occurred. Rather than being dragged out of the imperial palace and strung by his heels from a lamppost (as happened to Mussolini in Italy at the hands of leftist Italian partisans), Emperor Hirohito was not only spared his life; he wasn't even forced to abdicate. Japanese people in 1945, knowing full well how swiftly their own leaders had moved to remove the King of Korea from the throne following Tokyo's annexation of the peninsula in 1910, were expecting the worst to happen to the imperial family members and were shocked by how leniently they were treated by MacArthur & Co.

Also, notice that the name of Sapporo today is not New Stalingrad. Residents of Sapporo who elect to start a business do not face summary execution for engaging in capitalist activities. Hokkaido is not a hellish de facto nation-size concentration camp like North Korea. I'd like to think that at least some Japanese fully understand that theirs is a unitary rather than a divided country because of actions that the United States quickly took after dropping two atomic bombs on the country.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Because what followed those bombings was kid gloves compared to what occupying Soviet forces inflicted on the areas of Germany they occupied

You think the ordinary Japanese knows about the above?

Again, how quickly how this thread evolves to "why Japanese do not deserve to hate America" ex pat version.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

The choice of the US was simple - invade the Japanese islands at tremendous cost of human life on both sides, or drop the bomb and tell them there's more to come if you don't surrender. No apology necessary, let's just get over it, shall we?

I just don't understand why this is so hard to understand. This is not 1945. None of us was there. People faced some pretty stark choices. If one looks at it from our modern perspectives, the Japanese militarist faction within the highest echelons of the government at the time -- that being the day after Hiroshima -- can be regarded as quite simply, clinically insane. They were literally babbling about Japan going out like a "chrysanthemum" in a glorious mass suicide of some hundred million people, mostly old men, women and children. The army that was going to defeat the Americans in one big, glorious battle were to be armed with bamboo sticks.

I wish I were making this up, but I'm not. Just look up "Anami Korechika" and you will have your answer to why Nagasaki was pulverized into dust.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have to say I enjoy most of the comments here by our “grumpy Brits”. Having spent some time in the UK, and enjoying it immensely, I did find that there is a small minority there that have yet to accept the fact that the grand ole’ British Empire no longer exists. Two things are especially galling to this group;

The fact that a former colony had to cross the Atlantic and rescue Britain from the Germans, not only once, but twice in the twentieth century.

The fact that so many old British treasures are now owned by either their former enemies or former colonies; Rolls Royce and Bentley owned by the VW/BMW, Jaguar owned by Tata in India

So they continue to puff up with their old world arrogance and pompousness……it’s quite entertaining.

There’s also a career to be made out of it – just look at Jeremy Clarkson……

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Derek Mayberry I just don't understand why this is so hard to understand. This is not 1945. None of us was there. People faced some pretty stark choices.

Sorry to trouble you - what choice they met ? To use A-bombs or to loose the war ? In August 1945 USA stand on the brink and only such weaponry can save it ? What was the choice ?

If one looks at it from our modern perspectives, the Japanese militarist faction within the highest echelons of the government at the time -- that being the day after Hiroshima -- can be regarded as quite simply, clinically insane.

Japanese elite of that time was a little bit strange, totally agree with you.

But in August 1945 they were helpless and useless - Japan was defeated. Japan can't attack . Japan even can't defend itself.

2 A-bombs dropping - It was not military operation - by the way nobody can stop these bombers - nobody attack them

So the question not about moral qualities of Japan government but about moral qualities of American people.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

lincolnman -

"I have to say I enjoy most of the comments here by our "grumpy Brits". Having spent some time in the UK, and enjoying it immensely, I did find that there is a small minority there that have yet to accept the fact that the grand ole' British Empire no longer exists. Two things are especially galling to this group; The fact that a former colony had to cross the Atlantic and rescue Britain from the Germans, not only once, but twice in the twentieth century."

The problem is not "grumpy Brits" but the small minority of very poorly educated nationalistic Americans, who simply refuse to respect the achievements of other nations, and cannot comprehend that their country has both good and bad elements (and therefore cannot claim a position of moral superiority). I certainly acknowledge the role the USA played in the Second World War, but I also respect the vital and necessary role of other nations. America was one 'saviour' among many. No one in their right mind - grumpy or otherwise - respects arrogant people, who make claims about themselves beyond the limit of the evidence.

Why can't people like you just accept reality? How many innocent people around the world have to die often horrible deaths because of American self-righteousness?

The ridiculous and easily refutable exaggerations of a film like 'Unbroken' are simply feeding into the Hollywood driven American myth of moral entitlement. A terrorist organisation that went around murdering innocent people on the streets of my country drew a great deal of its support from the USA. I am talking, of course, about the IRA. And now, all of a sudden, we are supposed to support America in its "War on Terror". There is evidence that even a group like Al-Qaeda is an American creation. And what about American bias towards the KLA in Kosovo? Meddling in Ukraine. The list goes on...

You think that British people critical of American aggrandisement hanker for the days of Empire. Don't project your own arrogance on other people. I certainly do not hanker after any such thing. I would like my nation to live in peace with other nations. You people seem to think that life is one long conflict and you seem unable to cope with reality unless you are dominating others, who when they complain, are accused of being 'jealous'! Jealous of WHAT exactly?!?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The problem is not "grumpy Brits" but the small minority of very poorly educated nationalistic Americans, who simply refuse to respect the achievements of other nations, and cannot comprehend that their country has both good and bad elements (and therefore cannot claim a position of moral superiority). I certainly acknowledge the role the USA played in the Second World War, but I also respect the vital and necessary role of other nations. America was one 'saviour' among many. No one in their right mind - grumpy or otherwise - respects arrogant people, who make claims about themselves beyond the limit of the evidence. Why can't people like you just accept reality? How many innocent people around the world have to die often horrible deaths because of American self-righteousness? The ridiculous and easily refutable exaggerations of a film like 'Unbroken' are simply feeding into the Hollywood driven American myth of moral entitlement. A terrorist organisation that went around murdering innocent people on the streets of my country drew a great deal of its support from the USA. I am talking, of course, about the IRA. And now, all of a sudden, we are supposed to support America in its "War on Terror". There is evidence that even a group like Al-Qaeda is an American creation. And what about American bias towards the KLA in Kosovo? Meddling in Ukraine. The list goes on...You think that British people critical of American aggrandisement hanker for the days of Empire. Don't project your own arrogance on other people. I certainly do not hanker after any such thing. I would like my nation to live in peace with other nations. You people seem to think that life is one long conflict and you seem unable to cope with reality unless you are dominating others, who when they complain, are accused of being 'jealous'! Jealous of WHAT exactly?!?

Thank you Allistair - I wasn't actually looking for an example of a typical "grumpy Brit" pompous rant, but thank you for providing one - as I was saying, they are always entertaining.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Thank you Allistair - I wasn't actually looking for an example of a typical "grumpy Brit" pompous rant, but thank you for providing one - as I was saying, they are always entertaining.

And there we have just what Allistair was describing. So anyone who doesn't subscribe 100% to the 'America is wonderful' arrogance is grumpy and pompous? As Allistair points out higher up the thread, most Americans we come across in real life are quite reasonable, nice people. It seems to be the Internet that brings all the 'the world is ours to rule as we see fit' loonies out in force. They aren't at all entertaining. Colour me as grumpy as you like.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Two bombs.... no American deaths... from an American's point of view it was a success. Japan, Germany and Russia were working on the Atomic bomb too. Should the U.S. apologize for successfully developing and using the bomb first should be the question. And therein asks another question.... had Japan or Germany been successful... would they have used it?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And there we have just what Allistair was describing. So anyone who doesn't subscribe 100% to the 'America is wonderful' arrogance is grumpy and pompous? As Allistair points out higher up the thread, most Americans we come across in real life are quite reasonable, nice people. It seems to be the Internet that brings all the 'the world is ours to rule as we see fit' loonies out in force. They aren't at all entertaining. Colour me as grumpy as you like.

Thank you Cleo - very enjoyable - not quite up to Jeremy Clarkson standards, but keep working on it, you'll get there......

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Cleo The world is ours (by which I mean the US') militarily and since there are no international rules of any consequence, it is ours to rule as we see fit. If you don't like it, you should be trying to get some of the non-US, non-Russia, non-China countries to develop some military hardware of some consequence. I won't hold my breath.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

scipantheist -

It's a relief to know that your provocative rhetoric is not representative of the American people. Furthermore, it doesn't take into account the facts of reality: that no nation, no matter who much it considers itself militarily powerful has the capacity to rule the world, because the result will be mutual annihilation. No intelligent and informed thinker is deluded enough to imagine that the kind of jingoism your comment suggests is the solution to the problems of international terrorism. As I say, your view represents a small minority of hardline ultra-nationalists. It's sad that the internet creates the illusion that such views are more important than they really are.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Wikileaks' copies of embassy cables from Tokyo includes a Daily Summary of Japanese Press that quotes DPJ vs LDP debate on the topic:

https://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09TOKYO13_a.html

... A party-head debate took place in July 2007 between the heads of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan. In the session, DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa asked: "Don't you have a plan to ask the United States for an apology for dropping the atomic bombs?" Prime Minister Shinzo Abe replied: "I don't think it's proper to seek a U.S. apology while our country is relying on its nuclear deterrence."

And this meeting between Japan's Vice Foreign Minister and USA's ambassador to Japan took place in Pres. Obama's first year of office, two days before the Aug. 30, 2009 election which the LDP lost to the DPJ (before the election, but note that polls widely predicted the changeover).

The "premature" apparently means 'too soon after Pres. Obama's non-proliferation speech in Prague', not 'too soon as it's only been 65 years since the bombs dropped'.

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/09/09TOKYO2033.html

SUMMARY ... August 28 meeting with Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka. ... On the President's upcoming visit to Japan in November, he recommended keeping the program relatively simple and centered around the Tokyo metropolitan area, adding that it would be premature to include a visit to Hiroshima. ...

POTUS VISIT TO JAPAN: TOO EARLY FOR HIROSHIMA VISIT

5 (C) VFM Yabunaka pointed out that the Japanese public will have high expectations toward President Obama's visit to Japan in November, as the President enjoys an historic level of popularity among the Japanese people. Anti-nuclear groups, in particular, will speculate whether the President would visit Hiroshima in light of his April 5 Prague speech on non-proliferation. He underscored, however, that both governments must temper the public's expectations on such issues, as the idea of President Obama visiting Hiroshima to apologize for the atomic bombing during World War II is a "non-starter." While a simple visit to Hiroshima without fanfare is sufficiently symbolic to convey the right message, it is premature to include such program in the November visit. Yabunaka recommended that the visit in November center mostly in Tokyo, ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Because at the time, Japan was being kind of a douche, Militaristically speaking. Unit 731 anyone?

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About fourteen years ago, when I lived in Asahikawa, I had a lady in one of the adult classes in which I taught ask me, "What do you think about the Hiroshima bombing?" My reply was, "It didn't have to happen." When she and her classmates asked for an explanation, I told them that, up to and as of December 7th of 1941, 68-69% of Americans wanted war with nobody. We were isolationist after having entered World War One/The Great War on the side of the Allies and, having seen what Trench Warfare was all about firsthand, wanted no more with international dealings. That all changed after the Imperial Japanese Fleet bombed pearl: on December 8th, 99% of Americans wanted war with Japan. This fine lady's and her classmates' reply was, "We never heard that before."

What does this have to do with the Japanese Government asking for an official apology for Hiroshima/Nagasaki being nuked? Not, much, perhaps, but I think if every Japanese person could at least have an inkling into this, they would see that America was not then and is not now the aggressor that she is portrayed to be in Japanese media, especially with regards to productions dealing with World War Two. And just as the USA helped rebuild Germany, so did the States do similarly with Japan in the aftermath. If the USA has to apologize for the bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, should the States also apologize for helping to rebuild Japan and nudge her (at the VERY least) towards the economic growth she experienced later?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Simple, if you know your history and the events preciding and post Atomic bomb then the answer is clear.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

turbotsat: The "premature" apparently means 'too soon after Pres. Obama's non-proliferation speech in Prague', not 'too soon as it's only been 65 years since the bombs dropped'.

Or given that the Vice Foreign Minister at the time is now listed on wikipedia as a 40-year diplomat, it could have been "premature" as in 'we're pretty sure the current administration is going to lose the election in a couple of days, and we're not sure what the incoming administration is going to want to do here.'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The International Committee on War Damage estimated that 59 cities had been completely destroyed by conventional bombing- including the firestorm bombing of Tokyo that burned 150,000 people alive in one night. Not even that could get the God/Emp and his militaristic cabal to back down. Hiroshima and Nagaski were cities 60 and 61, and were no where near as damaged as the above 59, it was the shock of a new weapon that finally convinced the very simple Emp. to surrender. He recorded the speech (which does not contain the word surrender) and the disc was smuggled out of the Palace with the dirty laundry. Shortly after, the military staged a coup and shot most of the Palace Guards to get to the record and destroy it. An hour later, it was played on Radio Tokyo, and then throughout Japan and the soldiers stopped obeying their officers to continue the fight.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How come Japan has never demanded an official apology from any U.S. government for the dropping of atomic bombs on two of its cities?

Because Japan was clearly in the wrong, and the bombing was in direct retaliation to the actions of the Japanese. There is nothing to apologize for. If anything, Japan, should be apologizing to its citizens for acting in a manner that led to it being bombed.

In fact, why don't Japanese hate America for dropping the bombs?

Because the bombing saved Japan from its politicians. They were made to go to a war that the common man didn't believe in. The bombings stopped this.

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Since I am older now and go out for walks every day, I have met seniors much older than me. I have brought up the question (being as careful as I can be when questioning and waiting for the proper timing of such a question) of WWII by asking where that person was at that time and how old were they. In every case so far, not one person failed to tell me 'their' story. Only one time did one man appear to get upset as he retold memories of that time came back to him. I imagine if I lived in Hiroshima or Nagasaki, I might get different answers. Most people I met talked about planes constantly flying over and lack of food. Obviously Japan has turned out to be quite prosperous after the bombing, but many lives were lost. I do remember when I first came here some 41 years ago, that riding on trains or even walking on the streets could at times be hard for me. I just remember the stares I got from the older generation. It was more than just a curiosity stare. I seldom if ever get that kind of stare. Guess I am fitting in well as I gently sit down in the 'Silver' seat!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I read most of these comments and many are interesting and factual but not one I found yet has hit the point. First everyone has to keep in mind that all of this is pure politics so lets place ourselves in the politician's chair. First up on the agenda is China and Korea and what he/she has to deal with that every day. Let alone all the other issues from the past which can drum up untold consequences the biggest fish on the plate is China and for this is the #1 reason followed by Korea as #2 reason to not accept an apology. Once Japan accepts the apology then it will be the turn of China and Korea to get their apologies (again i know but again and again). Japan would be stepping into the China and Korea shoes and doing the same thing that the Japanese are telling the Chinese and Koreans to stop pestering them about the past. There is no right or wrong here --just politics--and most of these comments are from normal citizens who think with normal human emotions which are far removed from the money empire of politics.

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0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Japanese are a tenacious and doggedly proud people even more so during the war. They are guilty of unspeakable atrocities perpetrated on the civilian populations they invaded. As a child I was present when my father made recordings, which I have in my possession, in 1950 of our Filipina housegirl at Clark AB talking about the invasion of the Philippines and how the Filipino people were treated. Beheadings, bayoneting of infants, locking people in churches and burning them alive. The Japanese were silent for 60 years after the war because of their shame, and that is at least one of the reasons. They asked for it, they deserved it, and they got it. After the war, the President of the Philippines whose wife and children were murdered by Japanese soldiers had the heart to to forgive them and so do I. It had been determined then that the war would continue for an indeterminate amount of time... we will never know if that evaluation would have proven true. The only truth is that dropping the bombs ended it, just like this story should end.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What was Japan planning on doing with the atomic bomb they were trying to develop?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

All I know is I visited Hiroshima last year with my best friend from Kobe, the first visit for both of us. I was very emotional, despite believing the act was necessary myself. I really didn't know how to react as I'm standing at the center of where my country dropped the first atomic bomb on the home of my closest friend. As we were walking away from the Atomic Dome, he turned to me and said 'Please don't be upset, it had to happen' and we continued walking.

Frighteningly, he would probably not even exist as his father would have most likely died in the kamikaze submarine that he had been training to pilot if the war had continued. Dropping the bombs was a horrible act, one that I'm sure we all hope is never repeated. But I do, as do my Japanese friends, honestly believe that the cost would have been far greater had our two countries continued fighting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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