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Hiroshima mayor hopes next U.S. president will back ban on nuclear weapons

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Hiroshima's mayor urged the next U.S. president to support a proposed ban on nuclear weapons Wednesday, as Japan marked the 63rd anniversary of the atomic blast that obliterated this city and killed 140,000 people.

At the ceremony, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba also announced the launch of a two-year study to gauge the psychological toll of the Aug. 6, 1945, attack in the closing days of World War II.

Japan submitted a resolution in the U.N. last year calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Akiba said that 170 nations supported it, with the U.S. as one of only three countries opposed.

"We can only hope that the U.S. president elected this November will listen conscientiously to the majority," Akiba told a crowd of 45,000 that included survivors, local residents and dignitaries from around the world.

Akiba addressed the crowd with the bombed-out dome of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial looming in the background, and hundreds of doves were released into the air after he finished his speech.

A moment of silence was observed at 8:15 a.m., which was the time of the blast. An estimated 140,000 people were killed instantly or died within a few months after the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped its deadly payload. Japan's official death toll of nearly 260,000 includes injured who have died in the decades since.

Three days later, on Aug 9, 1945, the U.S. dropped a plutonium bomb on the city of Nagasaki, killing about 80,000 people. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, ending World War II.

Akiba said more needs to be done for the remaining survivors, whose average age is now over 75. There are about 244,000 survivors, according to the health ministry. Many have developed illnesses caused by radiation exposure, including cancer and liver diseases.

Akiba said the two-year study is aimed at creating a complete picture of the damage caused by the bombing, which he said has not yet been revealed even after more than six decades because the effects of the atomic bomb on survivors have for years been underestimated.

"The most severely neglected have been the emotional injuries," Akiba said, in announcing the new two-year psychological study.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda also spoke at the ceremony, emphasizing Japan's continued policy against using nuclear weapons or allowing them onto its territory.

"''I, today, here in Hiroshima, again pledge that our country will firmly maintain the three antinuclear principles and take the lead in international society to realize the abolition of nuclear weapons and lasting peace,'' he said.

Some 45,000 people gathered to attend this year's ceremony in the western Japanese city, including diplomats from 55 countries.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said in a message read by High Representative for Disarmament Sergio de Queiroz Duarte, ''I join you in commemorating the past and affirm my determination to work with you and all people to achieve a peaceful and secure world without nuclear weapons.''

Among nuclear-power nations, China attended the ceremony for the first time, while Russia participated for the ninth consecutive year.

Meanwhile, Akiba said Mayors for Peace, a group of cities which seek to realize a nuclear-free world by 2020, proposed a Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol in April to supplement the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, calling for an immediate halt to all efforts to obtain or deploy nuclear weapons by nuclear-weapon states.

Among the 2,368 cities which have joined Mayors for Peace as of Aug 1, London's new mayor, Boris Johnson, has informed the group that London no longer intends to participate. The Hiroshima city is now consulting with the London mayor to persuade him to remain in the group, a city official said.

Akiba emphasized that citizens cooperating at the city level can solve man-made problems, noting that world citizens and like-minded countries have achieved treaties banning anti-personnel landmines and cluster bombs.

Japan's Constitution is ''an appropriate point of departure for a 'paradigm shift' toward modeling the world on intercity relationships from military and dominance relationships, he said.

The charter's preamble expresses the country's determination ''to preserve its security and existence, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world.''

Akiba said, ''I hereby call on the Japanese government to fiercely defend our Constitution, press all governments to adopt the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol, and play a leading role in the effort to abolish nuclear weapons.''

He also urged the government to expand support measures for aging atomic bomb survivors including those living overseas.

This year's memorial service comes amid a series of rulings against the government, with courts recognizing a number of atomic bomb survivors as suffering from atomic bomb-related illnesses, declaring illegal the government's fixed criteria that has barred many survivors from getting expanded medical benefits.

This year, the names of 5,302 more people recognized as atomic-bomb victims by Hiroshima since Aug 6 last year were added to the cenotaph at the Peace Memorial Park, bringing the total number of the city's victims to 258,310.

A total of 243,692 atomic bomb survivors were living in and outside of Japan as of March 31, with their average age at 75.14.

© Wire reports

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


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And the mayor of hiroshima went on to say that he and the mayor of nagasaki will next week visit Nanking to apologise for the murderous blood thirsty deeds of the emperors' soldiers.

Unfortunately we will never read anything even remotely like this in the news...Why.... Because as far as Japan is concerned, it never happened... and if it did... "The U.S. did it too.....!" This is their favorite come back line....

Nice post

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As always, already first post as I suspected would bring in total non issue of Nanking and other issues. This is solely about Hiroshima, nothing more and nothing less. The people and Mayor of Hiroshima have every right to remember and memorialize this. No one at the ceremony said anything about whitewashing Japanese history, etc. etc. The people who died and suffered at Hiroshima is completely different from other incidents of WW2. They have every right to remember as does other citizens of other nations to commemorate their own.

So please show some respect people.

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This is solely about Hiroshima, nothing more and nothing less

A rather myopic interpretation, wouldn't you say? Every historical event as a context and it is this context which is constantly left out when the Japanese 'memorialize' the events at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A person with a layman's knowledge of the workings of post-1945 Japan might well agree with your point, but even the most basic knowledge of how the Japanese state has manipulated the 'Hiroshima/Nagasaki experience' can see how the specifics of the bombings are pairt of a larger picture to distort Japanese history 1902-1945. I think the first 2 posters intended no disrespect to the victims of the A bombings, but were commenting on this distortion of historical context.

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The people and Mayor of Hiroshima have every right to remember and memorialize this.

Agreed- just as Japanese politicians have every right to visit Yasukuni Shrine.

I would like to note, however, that although neither the people of Hiroshima or Nagasaki "deserved" to be nuked, neither also would Kyushu have deserved a far bloodier invasion (magnifying the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa by at least a factor of ten) or Hokkaido and Tohoku have deserved to be turned into a Japanese version of North Korea.

Japan may have been on its last legs/"defeated" by the spring of 1945 (just as Germany was "defeated" in late 1944), but just as the Allies marched (and fought) all the way to Berlin, we shouldn't expect the Americans (or the Soviets) to have stopped short of Tokyo and an occupation of the entire country.

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Dogdog...Well said. rjd jr...How can you say that what happened in Nanking is a non-issue? The deaths of thousands of innocent Japanese civilians is certainly an unspeakable tragedy, and by no means am I belittling their pain. The issue here is the Japanese government's complete denial of their responsibility leading up to Hiroshima/Nagasaki.

Moderator: Nanjing is not relevant to this discussion.

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"And the mayor of hiroshima went on to say that he and the mayor of nagasaki will next week visit Nanking to apologise for the murderous blood thirsty deeds of the emperors' soldiers"

Comments like this emanate from people who still do9n't quite "get" what Hiroshima is all about. If this were solely to make an issue out of "Japanese victims of WWII" or to express hatred and blame to the United States then hoe can this happen?? "Some 45,000 people gathered to attend this year’s ceremony in the western Japanese city, including diplomats from 55 countries." What are these diplomats from China smd Russia doing there?

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Japan richly deserved to get nuked at the end of 1945 for what they did in WWII. The fact of the matter is that no matter how much anyone pouts, whines, cries or lays on their back kicking and screaming about how cruel it was, the dropping of the bombs saved lives by ending the war then and there. The Japanese would have never surrendered had we not dropped them. And, because of it, the Japanese are the industrious, quiet people we know today.

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Themortalmax- Great post!!!

Remember evryone, these bombings saved millions of innocent lives.

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Hiroshima is an amazing city. To think that 63 years ago it was leveled to nothing is unbelievable. Remembering isn`t a bad thing provided the appropriate action is taken to snuff out the problems in the world that kill thousands each day that nobody blinks an eye to.

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A lot of irrelevant posts. This is a memorial service for a horrible event which cost many people their lives. They are remembering their dead while hoping it will never happen again. Why knock it?

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Hiroshima was the end result of Japans aggresion in Asia. They should be blaming their old government of the time for this. Stop being the victim, Japan was the agressor.

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This year, the names of 5,302 more people recognized as atomic-bomb victims by Hiroshima since Aug 6 last year were added to the cenotaph at the Peace Memorial Park, bringing the total number of the city’s victims to 258,310. A total of 243,692 atomic bomb survivors were living in and outside of Japan as of March 31, with their average age at 75.14.

So in the end Japan will list the number of victims of the atomic bomb somewhere north of 500,000?

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Forty-three years have passed since the end of the war, and I think we have had enough chance to reflect on the nature of the war. From reading various accounts from abroad and having been a soldier myself, involved in military education, I do believe that the emperor bore responsibility for the war... -- Motoshima Hitoshi, Mayor of Nagasaki, 1988

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Forty-three years have passed since the end of the war, and I think we have had enough chance to reflect on the nature of the war. From reading various accounts from abroad and having been a soldier myself, involved in military education, I do believe that the emperor bore responsibility for the war... -- Motoshima Hitoshi, Mayor of Nagasaki, 1988

And he got stabbed by some free thinking right winger who was expressing his democratic rights of 'voicing opposition to this scumball that had put a spanner in the self pityfest that has become August 6th and 9th of every year in Japan. The point of the whole exercise of memorials is not what the disinterested spectators take away from the memorial, but what the participants take away from what is being remembered. In this case the participants are the Japanese nation and the message being taken away is that we were victims - note the exclusion of 'also' - of world war 2, personified in bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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Dogdog

You take the words right out of my mouth.

Which is truly is a shame. Not you taking the words out of my mouth.

The self-obsessed victimization a la the Bomb in the end trivializes it. A true tragedy, for they have nothing, nothing, to offer to make the world a better place.

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Oh, I might add:

Japan did not suffer the War; she prosecuted it.

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A lot of irrelevant posts. This is a memorial service for a horrible event which cost many people their lives. They are remembering their dead while hoping it will never happen again. Why knock it?

mz

Because thats about all Jpn & its people remember, they make it seem like these bombs came outta the blue for no reason, there is precious little reflection on what happened from the 1930s through 1945, Jpn just focuses on the last few days & misses all the messy stuff that went down & led to the bombings, even now Jpn as a country have no concensus what even happened, with the exception of Hiroshima, Nagasaki

Thats why Jpn gets knocked

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Even without the atomic bombing attacks," concluded the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946, "air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion. Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that ... Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."

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The National Archives in Washington contain US government documents that chart Japanese peace overtures as early as 1943. None was pursued. A cable sent on May 5, 1945 by the German ambassador in Tokyo and intercepted by the US dispels any doubt that the Japanese were desperate to sue for peace, including "capitulation even if the terms were hard". Instead, the US secretary of war, Henry Stimson, told President Truman he was "fearful" that the US air force would have Japan so "bombed out" that the new weapon would not be able "to show its strength". He later admitted that "no effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender merely in order not to have to use the bomb". His foreign policy colleagues were eager "to browbeat the Russians with the bomb held rather ostentatiously on our hip". General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project that made the bomb, testified: "There was never any illusion on my part that Russia was our enemy, and that the project was conducted on that basis." The day after Hiroshima was obliterated, President Truman voiced his satisfaction with the "overwhelming success" of "the experiment".

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I am sorry for the misfortune that fell on Japan,and her people.20/20 hindsight gives us all time to find fault somewhere. But in the two years That Japan swept over the pacific /// they were not looking for peace// I am a soldger an have faced my own demise in front line combat.The entire world has only respect for the Japanese as a warrior.Thier resolve and pride and sacrifice need to be respected here,you have already heard this but who bombed pearl Harber and are very proud you did! so! Let,s cherish pease we both paid a price for it!

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Thank you YangYong for your posts. Perhaps they will silence the handful of misguided who use any argument to prove the use of the bomb was justified, but just repeat over and over again the same stupid hate-spewing set of comments.

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Themortalmax that is BS the Japanese populace was very much unaware about what the japanese millitairy did. The japanese right winged millitairy was the culprit, those A-bombs on millitairy targets would also have shown their "effectiveness" and by the way american firebombing caused mored deads then the 2 atom bombs.

The USA goverment has "saved" a lot of people since then

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YangYong is spreading anti US rhetoric

Unfortunately he (or she) is right and Americans themselves, in high places, created it. And let me tell you, this 'wallowing in victim mentality' as you call it, is grossly exaggerated and a stale, repeated argument. In my 40 years in Japan I have known thousands of people, none of whom ever showed they felt victims of their victors.

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Japan got what it deserved = defeat.

US got unconditional surrender = Job well done.

War has casualties, ask Japanese they murdered 32 million in Asia. No sympathy from me.

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Thank you YangYong for your posts. Perhaps they will silence the handful of misguided who use any argument to prove the use of the bomb was justified, but just repeat over and over again the same stupid hate-spewing set of comments.

I hardly call his cut and paste of William Burn's conspiritorial paranoia a valid conclusive argument that the bombs were not needed. I would say that

The ferocious fighting on Okinawa and Iwo Jima, where the US had seen its military body count rise dramatically,proved the Japanese had no intention to surrender. Remember, both battles were fought in 1944-45 when it was even obvious to the Japanese that they had lost the war. 'Surrender' was the priori word of both conflicts, European and Pacific, as far as the allies were concerned. Nobody wanted to see a repeat of Versailles 1919, with a rearmed and more military powerful Japan emerging 20 years later after any negotiated peace. The Japanese might well have been open to negotiations, but in no way were they prepared to negotiate their unconditional surrender. All those military preparations by the japanese for an impending US military invasion of Japan after the fall of Okinawa, including over a million experienced soldiers - many from the Kwantung Army - stationed on Kyushu, were just a negotiation ploy of the Japanese????

Wanna but a bridge?

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I would like to ask those of you who have such a strong feeling against this dropping of the bomb, what should have happened? I wouldn't cheer the bombing, but I would cheer the end of the war which needed to be ended by any means necessary.

As for the possible land invasion, would it really have come to that?

Are you against the bomb because of what you know now or are you against the bomb because it was America who dropped it?

Not sure if it is true, but was told that both Japan and Germany were in the process of making such bombs as well..

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As to the marking of the 63rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Today is not the day for talking about the war or debating the use of the atomic weapon. This day is specifically for observing a moment to pray for the victims of the bombing. I don't think it is bad to debate the issue, I just don't think today is the right day for it.

Peace.

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I think the bombings were the right way to end the war.

The Japanese would not have unconditionally surrended until Tokyo was taken.

Japan terorised the region, they should reflect on that also.

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Yang yong is, well, wrong.

Had the Japanese wanted to surrender, it could have been done easily. The Allied terms were laid out clearly, even up to the Potsdam Declaration in July of 1945. Truman warned the Japanese leadership that failure to surrender would result in destruction that eclipsed even that suffered by Germany. His warning and the chance to surrender were both ignored. So, Japan tragically reaped the whirlwind.

But let's assume, for the sake of argument, that the Japanese government was, at some level, trying to negotiate a surrender. How serious were they? Consider this: AFTER the two atomic weapons were used, the Japanese war cabinet met to discuss the situation and whether or not to surrender. The vote to surrender was a TIE- 3 votes for and 3 votes against. Only the intervention of the Emperor made the surrender happen. If, after the bombings, there was STILL dissention in the War Cabinet, what does that say about the honesty of any attempts at negotiation?

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All mayors of Hiroshima plod forward with this traditional role, which I feel sorry for them to accept without trying to expand the celebration in order to promote open unbiased discussion and review of historic facts. Instead they make it into a litany that serves no purpose, not even (I believe) the one of soothing the pains of the survivors and the relatives of the victims. I think Japan would be well inspired to reflect about a day of meditation for the fate of the 27 million (the figures may differ, these are all estimates) human beings in Asia and in the Pacific whose deaths were the responsibility of Japan over 14 years of warfare (some were killed outright by the Japanese forces, some were immolated by the fault of the Japanese regime and that includes the civilian deaths in Nihon as well as the dead Japanese military, the forced laborers etc, and some were killed by the starvation and epidemics caused by the Japanese abuse, example the 1 million in Vietnam's Tonkin area who were deprived of food because His Majesty's army was confiscating all of the crops). Really, I cannot stand Japan's collective attitude any more, and the mayor of Hiroshima is only increasing my irritation.

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Japan submitted a resolution in the U.N. last year calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Akiba said that 170 nations supported it, with the U.S. as one of only three countries opposed.

I hope that the mayor is directing his comments to other nations as well. The nations opposed to the resolution were the United States, India, and North Korea, and abstaining were China, France, Iran, Israel, Myanmar (Burma), Pakistan, Cuba, Bhutan, and Nicaragua.

Though I am fully aware of the destructive power of nuclear weapons, and I hope that we will not use them, I don't think a ban on them will do any good. Rouge nations and political groups will still use them and the rest of the world will be defenseless. Even during the hottest moments of the Cold War, both the US and USSR knew that if they were to start using these weapons, it would mean total destruction for both sides, and I think that helped in their not being used.

The list of nations that abstained from this ban do have nuclear arsenals, and even though the US has used them in the past, I would imagine that a Pakistan/India conflict is probably more likely to have a nclear exchange than another one being deliverd by the US against somebody.

I understand his feelings, but I wish he would direct them at China also.

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DS. Wrong? The facts, evidence, quotes, letters, notes ad nauseam are there in the The National Archives in Washington US. You obviously did not read the original post or are afraid of the truth and simply paint out the window.

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Freespeech; Great post!!!

Shame others cant see the facts as clearly as you. It is annoying seeing all this victim culture. Japan made millions of victims, but the Japanese public doesnt have sympathy for them. US needs nuclear weapons as a detterent.

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I will refrain from joining the argument about whether the bombings were justified or not, because most of the people I know who attack the US every year know very little about what went on prior to the bombings, and have given little thought to what would have happened without them. It's just the same old US bashing. So here are three questions for the Mayor of Hiroshima and the other nuclear disarmament people.

Let's assume that sometimes this year all the world leaders get together and agree to get rid of all the nukes. They hug, sing, hold a great ceremony, and in all the weapons are gone.

Will you really believe that every country has actually gotten rid of ALL of their weapons? Do you think every country will get rid of the ability to make news ones? Do you really think that you and everyone else in the world will be safer during your lifetime because of it?

Honestly interested in hearing responses. I will be honest and say that yes, it is terrible that so many Japanese civilians died and suffered during the attacks, and its normal for them to remember what happened each August. It would be strange if they didn't. But, given the time, and all that went on, and what was likely to happen, more people would have died if they weren't dropped. And finally, I would love it if no country had nuclear weapons, or any bombs, or even pistols for that matter. But, it isn't going to happen, and until we all love each other etc, I feel safer with the US having the military advantage. So, to me it's just futile, and not even clever to use August to tell the US to get rid of their nukes. Millions of people including Japanese lived ironically enough because of what happened at Hiroshima. And millions have lived in peace in Japan for the last 60 years even though the US still has all those terrible nukes. People need to face reality. Having said all that, I've been to both Hiroshima and Nagasaki - and I've seen hours of Japanese movies and documentaries, so yes, I know what happened and what the Japanese went through.

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toolongheremaybe;

What a great post. Really good observations of the situation. The US must have nukes, that is the way the world is. Japan should recognise that fact.

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Honestly interested in hearing responses. I will be honest and say that yes, it is terrible that so many Japanese civilians died and suffered during the attacks, and its normal for them to remember what happened each August. It would be strange if they didn't. But, given the time, and all that went on, and what was likely to happen, more people would have died if they weren't dropped.

True, but who or which country should it be that decides who should, or shouldn't have nuclear weapons? If one country is allowed to have them, then all should be allowed to have them. And when all are allowed to have them, then others would love to have more of them. And thus, a nuclear arms race is born.

Who can really say, that the U.S. (and really the President of the U.S., in this case, Bush) is the one who should be given that privilege? God? If democracy is to be preached, then it should be practiced. I propose that a world vote be held as to which country, or country's government is allowed that right to monitor the storage and/or use of nuclear weapons. It is only then, that it would be fair.

And millions have lived in peace in Japan for the last 60 years even though the US still has all those terrible nukes.

True, and so the Japanese have proven that it is possible to live in peace without weapons (e.g. guns, nukes), yet countries such as the U.S. continue to insist on having them. Why?

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Yangyong;

A little lesson for you: "peace overtures" do NOT equal "surrender". If the Japanese government had wanted to surrender, there was ample opportunity. A quick trip to the Swiss, or Swedish, or Spanish, embassy in Tokyo, and it would have been done. Message delivered.

What you describe sounds like typical political intrigue and innuendo- all amounting to hot air with no substance.

BTW, you didnt answer my very simple question. IF Japan were so eager to surrender, why did the men in power (the Big Six members of the Cabinet) vote 50% to CONTINUE the war after being nuked?

I eagerly await your explanation.

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TheCode

The US must have weapons, as it is the worlds protector. The evil ones will not give up their weapons. If the US gave up its weapons, a country like Iran would attack us without hesitation.

WE must have a viable deterrent and the only one is nuclear weapons.

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Again… I direct you to the National Archives in Washington DC, USA. The facts are there. Surprisingly ‘’Peace overtures” have been known to lead to peace, it's called process, a peace process. Plus, your understanding is so a-typical of a classic 'Western mind', --most likely American-- no empathy or --in extreme cases-- even understanding of other approaches, thinking, idea of decision, other than that which you are culturally baptized, i.e. the ones of your nation. BTW –just in case you didn’t get it-- that’s the reply to your rather manic ‘BUT they weren’t surrendering’, rant. Anyway, as you've been told, get yourself to the flesh, feel it, touch it smell it at the National Archives. An epilogue: The Atomic bombing of two cities is, in my view, inhumane. The myth of 'We need the bomb' is equally beyond rational minds. You are free to drink the spin but the clock must not be allowed to strike 12.

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I think Japan should change the name of today to "Invading stronger countries is not such a good idea" Day.

It's just a shame that the countries Japan hurt the most had really nothing to do with the bomb, which is where most of the victim mentality comes from. Victim mentality generally arises in people/nations when they don't see a clear cause/effect relationship between their actions and their pain.

If the city of nanjing dropped the bomb, they'd be singing a different tune.

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Bamboohat, maybe a tweak of that day's title from 'invading' to 'attacking' i.e. the US.

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I highly doubt that the next US president will ban nuclear weapons whether he is democrat or republican. As for the war, ask anybody who has lived through it and even without the atomic bomb, they would have invaded Japan because of what they did to the other countries and also the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Philippines, Guam, and Wake Island. Not to mention that the USSR had a score to settle with the Russo-Japanese War, the UK had a score with the taking of Singapore, the French with Indochina, and the Dutch with their islands in the Pacific, and probably a dozen other countries, including China who had a beef with Japan during that time, not to mention the surrogate countries who would have contributed to the invasion of Japan such as South Africa, Brazil, Canada, and the list goes on. Frankly, this is a hypothesis, and could be disputed, but Japan would have been made extinct if they went up against all of those countries and not surrender. However, I am a person who thinks cold-blooded and worst case scenario. I am not a Japan hater and I am glad that of what Japan has become, but really, the only people who we really should ask whether it was right or not and whether it should have been done or not is really from the people who were on the frontlines or have lived through that time. Unconditional surrender was the only way that the war could have ended for Japan, and Germany, and no other way because the US hit on the head ever since the Civil War. There can be no negotiations or diplomatic innuendos until the loser gives up all action completely. That is also the fastest way of bringing back the country into the community of nations because it gets rid of all the bad elements, persecutes war criminals and evildoers. Anybody who thinks otherwise is just fooling themselves and apparently have not learned the lessons of WWI, where hatreds were allowed to simmer and then finally explode again.

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Just the next U.S. president? How about the next Russian president, the next British prime minister, the next French president, the next Chinese president, the next Indian prime minister and the next Pakistani president? They're all in charge of nukes too.

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Sarge, also: The Israeli prime minister. The South African President. The Leader of North korea and soon to be that country next to Iraq.

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YangYong;

Your ESP is as weak as your argument. I am not American. Also, the archives are about 15,000km from where I am now, so it's a little hard for me to take a trip there.

It is up to YOU to provide evidence to back up your claim. If you do not have proof (and saying "go visit the archives" is NOT proof), then do the right thing and withdraw your claim.

As for nuclear weapons being "inhumane", that is your feeling and I respect that. I cannot prove or disprove your feelings, and won't bother trying. To me, a lot of weapons are inhumane, there is nothing uniquely terrible about atomic ones.

Again, and this is the third time I have asked you; why did the Japanese cabinet not surrender, even AFTER being hit with two atomic weapons?

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How you can dimiss the National Archives of the US as 'not proof' of fact is beyond rational discussion. Let's get this straight: As an adult you not only want to be told where the proof is but to be led to it, shown it and fed it? Well, ok, here from the National Archives --drum roll-- online:

"Even without the atomic bombing attacks," concluded the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946, "air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion. Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that ... Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."

You know how Iraq and it's stockpile of WMDs was a lie, well, wait for it, past administrations lied too! But no, you know better! Phff. Enough. Keep on at the self-deception or break on through, your choice.

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Yes, Japan would have surrendered at some time, even if the atomic bombs were not dropped. That is not in dispute. It was inevitable. The Survey was probably right, even though at that time there was a huge battle within the US military for prestige and funding. The air force wanted to make itself look good.

What IS the issue, is the cost to the Allies in lives and in time.

There were three options (aside from nuclear weapons) available to end the war in the summer of 1945.

a/ a continuous campaign of firebombing by B-29s b/ a continuted blockade by the Navy until Japan starved c/ an amphibious invasion and subsequent land battles

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"Even without the atomic bombing attacks," concluded the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946, "air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender.

From William Burns to John Pilger, way to go with those cut and paste quotes from objective sources. I think you miss the real lesson of the last 70 years of air warfare which is that apart from the nuclear bombings of Japan, no country has ever been forced into surrender by aerial bombardment alone Some examples, a little more real than your 'authorative' sources, The Blitz, the war against Germany 1930-45, The Korean war, the US-Vietnam war, the first Gulf war, the second Gulf war etc etc. Yes Japan would have eventually surrendered unconditionally, but not before a ground invasion which would have probably cost the lives of nearly a million Japanese/USA lives and please let's not forget the issue which another poster brought up, but you keep avoiding: that Japanese cabinet vote after the second nuclear bombing.... The Japanese did and do take pride in that spirit of never giving in. Someone should explain to them that the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima was more due to the acts of the their air force (kamikazee pilots), the acts of their army (the looting and mass murder of civilian populations before they evacuated an occuppied area, and the bitter hand to hand fighting on Iwo Jima and Okinawa), the acts of their navy (battleship yamato) and the acts of their civilians (mass suicides, rather than surrender) rather than any burning desire of the USA to test their 'new toy'. However I will give you the point that there was no way that Truman was going to turn down the opportunity that Japan had offered him to test the nuclear bomb in a real military theatre.

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So someone else quotes the National Archives --wow, what a surprise-- and that –in your mind-- discredits the facts and proof? Eh? What. No. The facts stand. So, NO ground invasion needed. NO millions of American troops dead AND if you don’t get it; that Eastern thought is different to Western, i.e. 'No' means 'yes', 'maybe' means 'certainly', then get studying. It’s one of the reasons the West has faired so poorly in Asian theatres of War, they just don’t get it. See?

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Yang-

There is no such thing as "eastern thought". Nice stereotype.

In any case, Japan was losing the war by 1944. Therefore, if Japan wanted to surrender, it was up to JAPAN to make that message crystal clear to the Allies.

Again, you are partly right that Japan may have surrendered without a ground invasion. This is not a "fact", but an opinion presented by one person. Well, let's let that be for a while.

However, you ignored the only two options that left on the table- starvation blockade, or continued firebombing raids. Certainly, those would have been less costly to the Allies in terms of lives lost. But what of the human cost to Japan? Firebombing raids killed more people and destroyed more cities than nuclear weapons. A blockade would have ensured that untold thousands of Japanese civilians would have starved to death, slowly and painfully.

Again, you are ignoring these issues. I suspect I know why, but IMHO it is better to let you keep digging.

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'There is no such thing as Eastern Thought', PAH! Tell that a Buddhist or a follower of Confucius BUT There in lies the rub; the Japanese do not make things 'crystal clear' –as Westerners ‘think’ it--; --if you’re Japanese you’ll get it-- this going back to my point about the West not understanding the East. It's not a stereotype; people in the East react differently to situation, position and age. For example: A South Korean Airline’s 747 crashed in Guam, why? Two atomic bombs were dropped on an Eastern nation, why? If YOU want to question the statements of those that were there, those that were in power, then so be it, dear me.., come on. The only digging I am doing is to re-fill your holes.

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Nuclear weapons is a point of no return when competition and conflict exhists between nations who own them. For it is the ONLY thing that prevents those particular countries going to war with each other. The Cold War could have been World War III without the threat of Mutual Assured Destruction.

For instance North Korea makes a lot more sense to invade if WMD's were an issue as was the case with Iraq. But having Nukes and the ballistic missiles to hit the US and it's allies essentially gave it immunity.

If a ban on Nuclear weapons means getting rid of them, it will never happen. It's your only protection against anyone else's nuclear weapons.

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Nordon: What when a 'rogue' State that has them provides them to a group who couldn't have got them? What then? A big hole in your argument and us. Stop the bomb, it's immoral that we have to live under its shadow.

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Good message and advise from Hiroshima mayor as hiroshima city/nagasaki are only 2 cities hit by nuke attack in 1940s world of politics.

Nuke weapons nations must take measures to ensure peaceful politics for world via constant peace dialogues/peace conference.

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Nordon: as much as i hate nuclear weapons, i do agree with you, i think nuclear weapons is what helps prevent nuclear powers from going to war with each other.

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What an interesting discussion ! A majority of the posts is of great value for reflection ; I am just sad thinking that this will only benefit the brains of the participants to this forum, and that JapanToday journalists will not be able to exploit (and even less to make known) the substance we have here, not to speak of other Japanese media. In other words, it is very unlikely that a politician or some kind of opinion leader will ever become aware of the ideas exposed here (or rather of their authenticity and strength). Intervening in the debate between ChimpsAhead and TheCode, I want to prod TheCode's brains by retorting to his "... the Japanese have proven that it is possible..." that if it is possible for the Japanese to leave peacefully and without fear in a country deprived of nukes, it might well be that they enjoy the so-called "umbrella" extended to them by the US, and that this treaty of assistance would have very little credibility if it was not resting on the might and "force of dissuasion" (as we say in France) of a nuclear power.

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Take the time to read this extremely well thought out article on the official narrative of the Aug 6 & 9 bombings here: http://www.counterpunch.org/young08062008.html and some alternative ideas. I love the last line: "Contemporary solutions depend to a large degree on an honest accounting of the past, which offers plenty of lessons for those willing to listen."

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YangYong; you are avoiding the simple reality that, even if it is true that some Japanese politicians were examining surrender options, it doesnt really matter. The big men in charge of the government were NOT about to surrender.

But, let's assume that the Allies, like you, felt that using atomic weapons was too terrible. What other option would you choose? Imagine that YOU, Yangyong, are the leader of the Allied powers. How will you end the war with minimal cost to your own side?

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'There is no such thing as Eastern Thought', PAH! Tell that a Buddhist

YangYong, do Indian Buddhists also possess the Eastern Thought you espouse? Which countries constitute the East? Which countries constitute the West? A compass also has south and north but I suppose that's irrelevant. I have one more question that is also, perhaps, irrelevant: Are you 炎黃子孫?

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Libertas;

Thank you for the interesting article. I read the book review at the link you provided, regarding Hasegawa's book "Racing the Enemy". Unfortunately, the grad student who wrote the review is a little behind the curve. Hasegawa's work has been ripped apart by other, more learned, scholars.

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A few points.

A world ban on nuclear weapons would be wonderful...but its naive and not realistic.

I think there is something to be said for nuclear weapons as a deterrent. After all, today Japan constantly voices opposition to nuclear weapons and calls for world peace. I dont think they would have that stance today unless two nuclear bombs were dropped on them.

Doesnt Japan possess nuclear weapons now? The U.S. militarily protects Japan. A nuclear capable U.S. military ship/sub can be off Japans coast by 50 miles. Sure its not in Japan, but come on. Who do they think they are fooling?

If I were Japanese, I would be bitter towards the U.S. However, I would also be angry with the Japanese government for waiting so long to surrender. Was it really necessary for TWO bombs to be dropped before surrender?

Japan took to conscripting civilians into military service, even school children. Wouldnt that make civilians legitimate targets?

The bombs saved not only U.S. lives but also Japanese lives. A mainland invasion would have killed more Japanese people than the bombs did.

The bushido code of no surrender and civilians taking up arms is a great way to win a war...IF you win. If you lose, you lose big time.

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What a non-sense!

Nuclear weapon was used to collapse and ban the Japanese militarism!

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TheNoSpinZone:

The US must have weapons, as it is the worlds protector. The evil ones will not give up their weapons. If the US gave up its weapons, a country like Iran would attack us without hesitation.

Thanks for your post. I have just a couple of questions: Who made the U.S., the world's protector? And by "evil ones", who do you mean, and who is to judge are the "evil ones"? Yes, George Bush declared Iran, Iraq, and North Korea a part of the axis of evil, but why did he only decide to claim that Iraq owned weapons of mass destruction (and thus invaded it), but not Iran and North Korea? It just doesn't seem rational thinking, when fewer than 13 percent of Americans can locate Iraq on a map, and less can do so with Afghanistan.

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What a non-sense! Nuclear weapon was used to collapse and ban the Japanese militarism!

Uhhh...It was a nuclear experiment with live, civilian targets whose outcome served multiple purposes which pleased militarism on the other side of the ocean.

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DS; Do you actaully do any thnking for yourself, can't you figure out a game plan? Jeez louise! OK, I'll feed you one:

A-san: Hey, what's that? B-san: It's a leaflet from the American planes, says, 'Watch Fuji-san on August 6th' for a demonstration of some new kind of weapon...

See where it's going?

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asking the us to give up nuclear weapons is the same thing as asking them to bring back the dead from hiro and naga. isn't going to happen.

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get over banning nukes, countries will hide the nukes to use for "defenses" if not then the extremists will have their hands on it. sigh....hiroshima and nakashima just the beginning. when the next nukes goes off, just duck under the tables.

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any country that 'bans' nuclear weapons will just keep them hidden, its the way it is.

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rajakumar at 01:55 AM JST - 7th August Nuke weapons nations must take measures to ensure peaceful politics for world via constant peace dialogues/peace conference.

To quote Albert Einstein, "One cannot simultaneously prepare for war and peace."

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no US president would want to ban nukes. They deter rogue states such as Iran from launching attacks.

Saddam, may have attacked the US, if there was not a threat of nuclear defence from the US. We live in a highly militirised world, nuclear weapns are the bes t way to maintain peace.

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Saddam, may have attacked the US, if there was not a threat of nuclear defence from the US

Using what? Those balsawood-and-duct tape drones he was developing?

nuclear weapns are the bes t way to maintain peace

Which is why little countries that feel (or imagine they feel) the eagle's breath on their necks want to have them. Iraq didn't have them; they got attacked. NK does have them; they got the softly-softly-let's-talk-about-it approach.

It's a simple lesson.

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Iraq had many secret military programmes. These have not been revealed to the public, due to thir top secret nature. Saddam was capable of alunching a huge attack on the US mainland. Iran is able now to lauch a massive offensive. The reason it does not, is the knowledge that they will be nuked.

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DS; Do you actaully do any thnking for yourself, can't you figure out a game plan? Jeez louise! OK, I'll feed you one:

A-san: Hey, what's that? B-san: It's a leaflet from the American planes, says, 'Watch Fuji-san on August 6th' for a demonstration of some new kind of weapon...

See where it's going?

YY;

You forgot the part where B-san says, "Yes, I saw the leaflet. So did the commander of the Japanese Air Force. I'm sure they will give the Yankee devils a WARM Fuji-style welcome when they come on the 6th"....

The "demonstration bomb" theory is one of the weakest around. You forget that the U S had only 2 atomic weapons available. It would have been stupid to waste one on a demonstration that may not even be seen by anyone, and which may not show the actual power of the weapon.

Any more bright ideas on how the war could have been won?

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You forget no one in Japan knew they had two weapons, dear.

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Wait a minute... so daft was what you wrote 'Japanese Air-force' that it didn't register, LOL, but YOU did write tha'? Err, son, WHAT Japanese Air-Force? Anyway, the US Govt's archives from first hand witness testament and such-like do it for me.

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