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Poll in U.S. finds support for World War II atom bombings

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Its all is fair in love and war. As an American citizen, and after living here for so long, and experiencing the terribly hot August days, (unlike this year), I have often had deep feelings of pity/regret/anger concerning the pain and suffering that was experienced in those frightful days following the devastation of the two cities. Instead of 2, they could have at least stopped at one, is how I've often thought about it. People in the neighborhood still talk about it like it was a few years ago, in their recent collective memory. Will it end when they die? On the other hand, it was a time of War, and people's patience were a thing of the past. They wanted it ended and ended today! I've also read that Jpn and German scientists were trying to develop their own technology and would have targeted S.Francisco and elsewhere in a heartbeat, the moment they succeeded in creating the monster. So in retrospect, the victor took decisive action and the rest is up to Monday morning Quarterbacking.

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Also, it should be remembered that despite the two bombings there was still an attempt by the military to stop the Emperors tape delivering the message of surrender to Japan from being aired. They were a terrible thing, but nowhere near as terrible as the devastation that would have occurred during an invasion. And the blockade idea was also impossible and would have slowly starved to death far more people across the entirety of the nation.

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I support the bombings. My father was 18 and serving in the army in Europe in 1945. If Japan had continued the war, he would have been deployed for Operation Coronet, and if he bought it there, me and my entire immediate family and the family line would never have existed. So I say, DROP THE BOMBS!"

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In a few more years, I bet every country will settle in on one day to remember WWII. In Japan, it will no doubt be Aug. 6. The entirety of their decades of pushing other people around will all be "memorialized" by that one day, rendering the whole exercise of "memorializing" effectively meaningless. For the US, it will be Dec. 7, of course. You know that if Ben Affleck is involved, its days of relevance are numbered.

That choice of days will explain so much misunderstanding that people of both nations will feel about the war forever and ever. Every article about how the US feels about the A bombs, and every article about how much FDR might have known about Pearl Harbor will make a little stir. The people who know the whole history will die off as will the people who lived that history. It would be fittig that everyone in Japan should spend August 6 studying about some other day of the war. It would have great benefits. Everyone in the US should study some other day than 12/7 too.

Playing with the WII recently at an electronics store, I said to some nearby children "watch this, I will do a Pearl Harbor" and started to strafe some ships and a town with my plane. I was being naughty and wanted to see what the reaction would be. No reaction was forthcoming. The kids watched me and oohed and aaahed. Finally one of the kids asked me, "What's Pearl Harbor?" "Ask your parents, kid. Maybe they will know." But I doubt they will. Just some game that foreigners play, probably.

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As alluded to above, one of the "taboo" topics that you'll never see in the Japanese media is the question of whether Japan would have used the A-bomb if they had developed it first. Given the brutality and "never surrender" bushido outlook of the military, I think most people know the answer to that question.......

Was it a war crime; probably. Did it save countless thousands of lives and save Japan from an even more crushing defeat and possible partition by the Soviets; probably.......

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Poll in China finds support for discovery of gun powder.

Sheezzz, Let's replay history, except by today's moral standards. The fact is the bombs were invented and used. Hopefully they will never be used again. But if Japan was really so adamant about nukes, then why does the country trade with countries that have them today?

The fact is, war sucks and Japan lost. Japan uses the issue to play the victim even though ALL East Asian countries still have great hatred for Japan.

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Japan got off lightly. I'm sure the peoples of Taiwan, Singapore, Korea and other Asian countries would agree. They had to be stopped by whatever means necessary. Japan is lucky it was only two bombs and not ten.

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It's interesting that this is more and more becoming a question as time moves on and the people directly involved in the war or simply alive at the time are growing older and passing away. There will be no shortage of debate on this issue, but what will be shorter is the list of people who witnessed/suffered from it, as will be those who carried them out.

Unfortunately, nationalism seems to be on the rise again, and there's no shortage of books on either side of the debate willing to feed their nation's children ideas of what THEY believe were right.

I'm personally against the atomic bombings 100%. There is more than adequate proof to show that the war of atrition was coming to an end, and people wanted an end to war altogether. Quite simply the atomic bombings were to test weapons that investors were anxious about after years and billions of dollars in development. You want to see the product you paid for in action, right? It was also to deliver a threat to the 'Red Menace', Russia. The argument that the bombings saved MILLIONS of lives is amongst the stupidest I've ever heard because in fact the bombings TOOK hundreds of thousands. The 'millions of lives saved' tally is simply a bedroom story the guilty tell themselves to get to sleep.

I'm hoping that as time goes on the bombings will indeed be seen for the war crimes that they were, and president come forward on that day (or those days) to mark events held for peace, to express remorse, and to vow that it will never happen again.

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I'm actually a bit shocked that only 61% of questioned Americans said that it was the tight thing to do.

The fact is, war sucks and Japan lost. Japan uses the issue to play the >victim even though ALL East Asian countries still have great hatred for >Japan.

No they don't. At least nowhere near as much as many seem to think. Except for perhaps NKorea. Both SKorea and China despite lingering ill feeling are close trading partners of Japan. Taiwan and the Phillipines are in the same situation. Just look at the numbner of people from those countries that vist ort immigrate to Japan. That's not indicative of "great hatred".

But I agree this is a stupid poll asking a pointless question judging history by today's moral standards. It was the right thing to do at the time. Would Japan have used it if they had it? Of course they would. And not only that if the Germans had it they would have been the first to use it. All nations on both sides were fighting an exhausting protracted war and ending it in the quickest way possible was the priority.

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The atomic bombings were sad events in the hostory of Japan and the world, but were inevitable at the time, and saved the lives of countless thousands of Japanese and Allied people. The evil militarists in Japan during that time would have gladly sacrificed all the Japanese people rather than surrendering to the "barbarians" as they saw us. It was sad, but it was necessary to drop those bombs and bring to an end a terrible war. Sadly, there are those in Japan today who try to prevent Japanese young people from knowing the truth about the evil that was the Japanese militarists of that time, and try to hide from them the evil deeds they committed and were continuing to commit that made it necessary to drop those bombs.

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"But I agree this is a stupid poll asking a pointless question judging history by today's moral standards. It was the right thing to do at the time."

That's part of what history is for, my friend, to look back on, judge, and decide whether or not something was indeed right or wrong and vow not to repeat in the case of the latter. Hell, a lot of people thought slavery was good and right way back when, I think most would never utter the words 'White people were tired back then and farming was a lot of work. It was the right thing to do at the time'.

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This poll does nothing for my view of Americans. I sometimes wonder why we fear China and Russia when they did not bomb our cities and kill millions of people like the Americans. They would of dropped extra bombs if they had them. I think the use of such weapons was done by cowards. There is still time to set things right before the last criminals die. They killed civilians to save their troops. I think about the millions of men, women, boys, girls and infants killed and am filled with rage. It did nothing in the end to speed up surrender. Cutting off Japan from war supplies would of done it as well. I view it as racial killing. I do not think Japan would of use such a weapon in the same fashion. It would of been used against military targets and ground burst not air burst to ensure less civilian causalities and more military damage.

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From The Nobility of Failure by Ivan Morris

[Kamikaze] suicide tactics, instead of overawing the Americans as had been confidently expected, produced indignation and rage out of all proportion to their practical importance and had much the same psychological effect as did the V-1 and V-2 rockets in England, which were similarly regarded as "unfair" weapons. This probably helped remove such qualms as President Harry Truman and his close associates may have felt about dropping atomic bombs on huge population centers at a time when Japan was already on the verge of surrender and busy with peace feelers. Furthermore the ferocity of kamikaze tactics seemed a logical culmination of Japan's wartime "fanaticism" and no doubt served to warn the Americans of the immense casualties they could expect if they proceeded with their plans to invade the home islands in the autumn of 1945. It is possible that Japan, faced with the dual threat of atomic attack and the full participation of Russia in the grand alliance, might have capitulated without any invasion at all, and that the obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was therefore not only immoral but gratuitous. This we shall never know.

The connection between kamikaze and nuclear bombs is of course a hypothesis and one that can never be proved. Yet there is no question about the incongruity of their juxtaposition at the end of the Pacific war, when one side resorted to suicide tactics, whose psychological origins lay in the country's remote past, and was defeated by the most modern and impersonal of all weapons, the weapon that ushered in the atomic age.

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The further we look back the further we can look ahead.

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First a poll says we support torture, now that we support using nuclear weapons on civilians. Can we take polls as serious indications of the decline of morality in our society?

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Beelzebub,a good point but like the Americans at pearl harbor the Americans killed were military at their assigned duty stations. They had a chance to fire back and defend themselves. The Japanese civilians were defenseless against the Americans. The kamikaze pilots were defending their homes against the ruthless Americans. It was hopeless but they were trying to stop the bombing of their homes and cities. The criminal Trueman and his henge-man did not care about the millions of Japanese. Their flawed thinking is the killing of fewer than 3500 men in honorable combat at pearl harbor (it would of been the same outcome on December 8) justifies the killing of millions of Japanese civilians. About the buzbombs and V2 rockets they were pissed they did not have the same weapon. The allies killed millions of Germans in the conflict. Again might makes right.

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The poll doesn't surprise me, nor should it be.

For those who have actual memories of the war, the alternative laid before them weren't so obvious, nor conveniently varied as it is today.

Since WWII, atomic weapons have gained a stigma, and additional consequences, for the generations born after WWII.

By today's standards, atomic weapons mean an end to civilisation and the destruction of the world. No longer an option for the wars we now see today, considering the advance of more "precise" weaponry.

However, polls and questions can be deceptive, leaning towards ulterior motives for the self interest of those who wish to redefine our history into their hands.

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I do not think Japan would of use such a weapon in the same fashion. It would of been used against military targets and ground burst not air burst to ensure less civilian causalities and more military damage

After what Japan did in Nanking and other parts of Asian during WW2, I have to disagree with your statement - Japan would've targetted areas with maximum population density because they showed a clear disregard for human life and human rights (take UNIT 731, 731 部隊, for example - human testing!)

HOWEVER, I still also believe that America didn't need to drop these bombs - Japan was already defeated and the bombs were used as a show of strength to the Russians who were preparing their own invasion of Japan at the time

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Sometimes 2 wrongs do make a right.

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Come on YuriOtani, you are surely not suggesting that Japanese forces only killed enemy soldiers and never laid a finger on foreign civilians? Why not take a trip to Changi beach in Singapore and see the monument to Singaporean citizens killed by the Japanese (with text in Japanese to avoid "confusion").

What about Japanese actions in China and Korea? Were no civilians harmed in those countries by Japanese troops?

The Japanese forces even killed Japanese citizens. Take a trip to the Himeyuri exhibit in Okinawa to find out how the Japanese army illegally forced citizens, schoolchildren in this case, to assist them. Note how the Japanese army forced Okinawans to commit "suicide".

The military government in Japan at the time was a brutal, vicious, unyielding regime that deserved everything it got. Don't blame the Americans for what happened, blame the Japanese forces and the coward Hirohito for not standing up to them. Remember this the next time you see the fascists parading around the streets, spreading their lies.

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Given time passed not surprised at the results, and its clear to me Jpn wud have thrown its own under the buses so to speak if the allies invaded & many wud have staved if Jpn was cut off. As nasty as the bombs were they ended it quick & put Jpn on the road to better lives down the road.

I wud love to see a similar survey on Jpn something like.

"" Do you think Japan was right or wrong to have killed 20-30million people in the FAr East & SE Asia in the 1930-40s?""

Yes

No

Undecided

But like that will ever happen

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Facts show that Japan's military would not have surrendered without a strong show of what they were up against. To the poster YuriOtani: Who is responsible for the masses of civilians who jumped off cliffs because the Japanese military told them they would raped and killed by Americans? Who is responsible for all the dead Chinese civilians in places like Nanking? Your argument is weak. Japan is no innocent victim.

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Of course American's love anything American, the entire country is painted red white and blue why would any American feel sorry for this.

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Some things to consider.

Fire bombings in Japan killed as many people as both bombs combined, yet we rarely hear about these. This policy impacted nearly every major city in Japan. And were intended to demoralize civilians and to wipe Japanese wooden cities off the map. It worked and it killed over 100,000 in Tokyo alone.

Japan would likely have fought on for another few years. While it is hard to say what this would have meant for both sides, Okinawa gives us a clear idea of what the carnage on both sides could have been. If you look at simple numeric comparisons of invasion vs the bomb, it is very likely that the bomb saved lives on both sides. Whether this justifies its use is up to you. I find this a hard thing to consider rationally on either side of the argument.

I firmly believe that the bombs were dropped not only to end the war with Japan, but to prevent Soviet expansionism and objectives. The message was very clear, we have the power to devastate your country and the willingness to do so if provoked. The message was heard loud and clear by the Soviets and their policies in Asia and Europe were restrained. This may have prevented an outright war with the Soviets that all sides considered a possiblity at this time. It most certainly set the stage for the cold war and sent the message that these weapons existed and would be devastating to anyone foolish enough to provoke their use.

In the end I think the bombs were horrific. While ending the war could have rationalized the use of one, I cannot find any remote justification for dropping two. And in my heart I still believe that peace may have been possible through isolation rather than invasion. But the human cost of that level of starvation and denial may have been far greater.

Let's hope we never have such decisions to make again.

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I sometimes wonder why we fear China and Russia

the 'we' is unnecessary. you and a few of your black van loons maybe, most Japanese don't think about it at all

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Just a couple of arguments on totally different levels: Firstly, what goes around comes around!!! Japan (Hirohito on his white horse, and his cabal of generals) were all in favor of the war (and Japan's wanton slaughter of non-combatants in places such a Thailand, China, the Phillipines) until the tide of battle shifted against them as the allies overwhelmed them through pure force of arms. With regard to the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan needs to just suck it up and not view these events as isolated incidents. If you are going to play with fire, then you will get burnt.

On another level, many people seem to forget a number of issues. Firstly, the cost in human life of any invasion of Kyushu/Honshu would have been horrific on both sides. In the closing days of the war, the propaganda broadcasts on NHK (things have not changed much) were talking about the "mass suicide of 100 million" as a means by which to resist allied landings. Out at Enoshima in Kanagawa, suicide squads were practicing how to blow up landing craft. Now, everyone in Japan might not have committed suicide, but given the events in Okinawa (where the Imperial Japanese Army "assisted" many locals with their suicides), you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that any invasion of the home islands would have resulted in a bloodbath on an unprecedented scale.

You also have to remember that Japan had its own nuclear weapons program (there was at least one Japanese submarine sunk in the Atlantic while carrying fissionable material obtained from Germany). Moreover, Japan at that time was a nation that would go to any means (just look at the fun and games Unit 731 had). As such, the country was a legitimate target for any and all weapons that the allies possessed. Moreover, if they want to get an apology, Japan first have to come clean about their own actions during the war. They also have to know that for all their burying of the past, there are people in other countries who are just as determined to dig up the truth.

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YuriOtani

Again might makes right.

Isn't a shame when you pick a fight and it doesn't end the way you expected?

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Does the poll provide any historical info before the question? That the American people of the day were never asked? My grandma remembered no such support. In fact the 1st test she said they weren't sure it wouldnt just unravel the universe. Only one way to find out! Push the button!

The responsability should never be possible in the hands of so few. Who cares what the sentiment is today?? Few Americans have any concept of the principles our grandparents did. About half are a bunch of vaccuous little marxist loons. I care about inordinate power being devoid of the consent and gov restraint safeguarded by the Constitution. Conventional war detracts rightly from that consent, but NOT unnatural acts. We're ALL letting advanced power get away from us and doing nothing. We have the NET now! There should be a Democratic revolution and rennaisance by now! Distributed responsability. Localized control. Heightened Liberty. Sane power. Instead we have Heir his majesty excellency Obama and the biggest most rogue, unrestrained pinnacle of power in history ramming unwanted bills down American throats. pffft... Good luck kids!

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with regards to the russians-- one should mention the Kuril Islands Dispute--

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I cannot find any remote justification for dropping two.

Here's a few of "justifications":

1)Japan continued to ignore the Potsdam Declaration following Hiroshima

2)The U.S. wanted to show that the 1st bomb wasn't a one-off, and that more cities would come under threat.

3) The U.S. "Majic" code-breaking operation showed that Japan's Cabinet was still in support of continuing the war in Hiroshima's aftermath.

Not so "remote" now, eh?

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I know the Japanese forces did many wrongs in the war. Having family in Okinawa I hold both sides responsible for the killing of Okinawa civilians. My family was not the ones responsible for starting this conflict, annexing Korea and Manchuria. The "people" of Japan did not want this war and perhaps it was paranoia installed by the allies for leading Japan on the path to many things. I am just a single person who believes the Americans were not as "innocent" as they believe. It does not help my temper when I read such inflated death tolls of a mainland invasion. Perhaps the true joker in the deck is Russia who knew Japan wanted to surrender but wanted to have a land grab first. Remember this just because one side is wrong it does not make the other right. I get sick when thinking about all of the killing of civilians that the Americans did and then they want a thank you, fat chance!

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Remember this just because one side is wrong it does not make the other right

To be honest, I think Japan just wants America to apologise.... much the same as most of Asia wants Japan to apologise.

Why doesn't Japan simply lead by example instead of sitting on their high horse? My guess is that it's because all the 'leaders' have been reading the revised history books and believe Japan were welcomed into Asia ;-)

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YuiOtani: noone wants a thank-you, we just want a... "しょうがない" (if thats spelled right)

"The "people" of Japan did not want this war and perhaps it was paranoia installed by the allies for leading Japan on the path to many things."

thats just silly ;-) as an american ive never thought as my country as innocent one way or another, but i am fairly certain that my liberal schooling's history classes were less whitewashed than the history texts here--

its a big "しょうがない" (if thats spelled right, again)

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Whenever this topic is raised the knee jerk response often is that the atomic bombs ended the war and/or saved lives.

There is no evidence of that at all and shows a clear American bias. It shows a clear lack of perspective. Admittedly though, seeing things from your enemy's viewpoint is difficult.

The American view of the war is early defeats followed by a long slog across the Pacific to eventual victory. The Japanese view is very different. The battles against the US were largely a side show and didn't really matter much until perhaps the Philippines or Okinawa and the aerial bombing.

Over 80% of Japanese causalities were in China, the Japanese army bled to death there. The single biggest Japanese defeat was the Russian invasion of Manchuria with forces that so massive that it dwarfs anything the Allies ever did in Pacific and Indo China in WWII, Russia had 1.5 million men and was moving armies and army groups around and even more on the way from Europe. The Japanese had been trying to get Russia to broker a peace deal and their entry to the war on such a massive scale meant the end of that possibility.

I'm certainly not denying the importance of the US or the atomic bombs themselves, but these are just parts of bigger picture. The US naval dominance meant that the army in China was about to be cut off, and the Russian advance meant it was going to be destroyed.

Focusing on two bombings really is very superficial.

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I think Americans need a REAL history lesson, not just the usual victor's propaganda.

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YuriOtani:

The "people" of Japan did not want this war.

So where was the anti-war movement? The resistance movement? The "Banzai"-shouting population was firmly behind the expansion in Asia. Meanwhile, Hitler had several assassination attempts against him. 2,000 Germans were implicated in one attempt.

Japan's military was a conscript force, drawn from the civilian population, and it proved itself to be highly motivated and fanatical.

The Japanese military murdered 10 million people in Asia, far more than Japanese who died. How Yuri Otani and others can portray the Japanese as the victims is obscene.

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"The Japanese military murdered 10 million people in Asia, far more than Japanese who died. How Yuri Otani and others can portray the Japanese as the victims is obscene."

im pretty sure that those 10 million people purposefully stepped infront of the bullets being fired at military personal ;-)

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The "Banzai"-shouting population was firmly behind the expansion in Asia.

Untrue. Read a little about the Kenpeitai and how people who voiced anti-war opinion disappeared.

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Sabiwabi:

"I think Americans need a REAL history lesson, not just the usual victor's propaganda."

thats fair enough, and i agree with you, but i wouldnt consider japan's "victim propaganda" any better.

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Was the right thing to do to bring the lunatic Japanese "government" ro their senses.

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It was absolutely the right thing to do.

the Japanese military were dirty agressive fighters. Their tactics were merciless and cruel. Anyone who knows the culture and the way J ppl think would understand that easily.

Just imagine all the moronic loyalty they have now to their jobs/companies: That used to be applied to their love of country.

It still was a terrible thing and innocent people did suffer as is always the case in war. The sooner it ended the better for ALL involved.

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SmithinJapan I would like to see that evidence that suggests wars of attrition were coming to an end by the time operation downfall was to be launched considering that is exactly the defense strategy Japan was using to defend japan in order to avoid a total defeat along with the fact that the US used that strategy in vietnam. There is no adequete proof that wars/strategy of attrition were coming to an end by the time the atomic bombs were being dropped. In fact the strategy of attrition is still used today.

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Tokyochris you are correct that japan was pretty much defeated by the time the atomic bombs were dropped but that doesn't mean japan wasn't still holding out. Why doesn't a team in the final minutes of a game with no chancing of winning or tieing the game just quit right then and there? Why don't the police after they have surrounded a criminal just leave instead of arresting the criminal, I mean the criminal already knows they lost? Because it isn't over until its over. Japan may have been defeated in that its defeat was inevitable but they were still holding out not to mention that if you were to land a single american soldier on japan that defeated japan would have shot and killed that american soldier.

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yuri please tell me how the numbers of a mainland invasion of japan were inflated on purpose?

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Japan has zero right to claim being the victim of that war. They started it, they pursued it after it was clear it would not go their way and they persisted when a rational leadership would have surrendered. So all this "poor me" nationalism is propaganda and historical denial.

As for the ordinary citizens who died in this war. That is the true tragedy of war. Civilians in all the places impacted by the war died needlessly. And their suffering compounded by the decisions of leaders on all sides. So for an innocent to say "poor me" is the only justified claim to such a sentiment and the one one backed up by history.

As for the US claim of universal savior. This is equally propaganda. We made bad and deadly decisions too.

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heck the soviet union also used war of attrition in their war with nazi germany.

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Why are civilian causalities worse than military causalities?

Solider deserve to be killed? It's OK if soldiers die?

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On July 18, 1945, exactly 19 days before the first atomic bomb was dropped on Japan, in his own handwritten diary, Harry S. Truman wrote: "Discussed Manhattan (it is a success). Decided to tell Stalin about it. Stalin had told P.M. (Churchill) of telegram from Jap emperor asking for peace…"

Walter Brown, assistant to Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, wrote in his diary on August 3, 1945 that the President, Byrnes, and Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to the President:"agrred [sic] Japas [sic] looking for peace. (Leahy had another report from Pacific) President afraid they will sue for peace through Russia instead of some country like Sweden." This is further proof that Truman ordered the atomic bombings of Japan for reasons other than those stated, and parroted by msm and posters.

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It was the bombs or Operation Downfall, pick your poison. The first destroys two cities the second estimates the extermination of roughly 80% of the japanese population and tens of millions of allied soldiers. And even if Japan did surrender after the first year or two fighing on the main island it would have been divided like germany.

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sabi its further proof that truman ordered the atomic bombings of japan for reasons that were stated and those that were unstated.

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it's the best way to end the war without having more casualties ..

Japan have devastated more than enough .. meriting the A-bombing quits for the victim countries

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"Solider deserve to be killed? It's OK if soldiers die?"

Ofcourse not, especially since soldiers on ALL sides were conscripts!

You can change your schoolbooks all you want, but Japan still got what it deserved, and you will NEVER reseave an apology! Now finally move on and stop goin on about a war that endet over 60-years ago!

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Everything went well in those days, but I still feel Hirohito should have gone to the gallows with his fellow criminals.

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"Everything went well in those days, but I still feel Hirohito should have gone to the gallows with his fellow criminals."

thank General MacArthur for that one--

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Patick Smash. I have considered that thought as well. But I firmly believe that the US wanted to demonstrate a willingness to use it on population centers.

Why? I believe to disuade the Russians and to send the clear message of US military superiority and the willingness to use it in their defence or in pursuit of their policies.

Sad reality, there were other options to resolve the war, but clearly other reasons that the administration chose to pursue instead.

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its kind of silly discussing hypotheticals-- but thats the problem with discussing the past-

if we are going into hypotheticals, the ultimate question, if the atomic bombs were never dropped, the present would be incredibly different, and most of us would likely not be alive. knowing this, would you- given the chance prevented the bombings.

i wouldnt (hypothetically).

on a simpler side of the coin, boil it down to sheer loss of life, not what was done, or not done by the different sides. do you think that less lives (american or otherwise) would have been lost we didnt drop the bombs-? I'm sure more.

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Kokura, Hiroshima...all civilians working in military run plants, and there men and boys and COSCRIPTS! Dont see any "civilians" Just people MADE by there govbernment to fight a war! No "civilians" tatgets there just all military!

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Another side about this is if the Pacific theater war had continued and many more Allied soldiers died (American, Canadian, European, etc) and then later those dead soldiers' mothers and fathers found out that the USA and Truman could've stopped the war sooner rather than later, what would the consequences had been? How would anyone explain it to those parents that their sons and daughters died to protect Japanese civilians brainwashed to battle Allied soldiers to the death? Would they crucify the USA and Truman for that? Especially Europeans who were tired of war that happened right on their own lands?

Just an intriguing thought. The weapon was available - can't put the genie back in the bottle. How would the Allied public have handled that situation when they found out? Vote the officials out of office?

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"It was not a clear cut choice between losing many more lives through a ground war or taking out Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That seems to be what Americans are taught to believe, and it's simply untrue."

Patrick Smash: you are absolutely right about this, but the decision makers back then were playing the numbers game- given the same choice I think most people would play the numbers game as well.

the past happened how it happened-- no changing that, or wishing that a better strategy had been the course of action. when internet commenting about past wars, an argument could just as easily be made that bombing a military target for demonstration would have had the same effect as a strongly worded letter form the UN to the DPRK.

this is over 60 years ago, when it comes to supporting past decisions, to a large extent all we have are numbers. whats important is making an honest effort in understanding where the numbers come from and treating all wars as blemishes of the past that we cannot overlook (something i admit many of my fellow americans, as well as many japanese wont take the time to do).

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I firmly believe that the US wanted to demonstrate a willingness to use it on population centers. Why? I believe to disuade the Russians and to send the clear message of US military superiority and the willingness to use it in their defence or in pursuit of their policies.

Indeed, Truman, without a shadow of doubt, by his own admission, and those of his closest advisers, was guilty of pre-meditated mass murder in the first degree. So many civilians paid the ultimate price,just so that America could show the Russians how strong and merciless they were.

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yeah yeah, atomic bombings were pre-meditated, nanking was pre-meditated, whats the point of playing the innocence game with the past--?

winning internet ego battles-

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Heh, time does blur people's views of the past. Many of the "Greats" commanders of the past are still called "the Great" even when they murdered a lot of civilians, like Alexander the Great, Peter the Great, etc.

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The Manhattan Project cost a lot of money. ($2 billion at the time) Also the fact that Truman was a serious freemason should not be discounted in all of this. ("Brother and President Truman was made a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°, and Honorary Member, Supreme Council on October 19,1945") I don't think there was ever a possibility of Russia invading Japan. The deal was already done. We'll have Japan, you (Russians) can have Eastern Europe. It has to be said that when you see what the Russians did in East Germany at the end of the war the Japanese got off quite lightly.

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lostrune2: yeah man, frankly everyday i wake up amazed that my human ancestors managed to live on the right side of the barrel (or spear for that matter) for the last 200,000 years.

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I agree with Patrick that there was a choice. But again the clear agenda by the government of the time was not to demonstrate the power of the weapon as much as their desire to demonstrate willingness to use it on population centers. And I think much of that motivation came from fears surrounding the growing Soviet power.

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People were struggling in that war. Extreme acts were commonplace on both sides in WWII.

Regarding the bombings, it was just what the doctor ordered. It exploded the myth of Japanese superiority and got them thinking about the future again, rather than just dying. It ended things quickly and sharply. The result has been good. I think that the war could not have ended better because it just wiped that slate clean. It stopped the Soviets cold, too which was also a good thing.

Life magazine was publishing pictures of Japanese skull souvenirs sent to girlfriends. There was quite a bit of sickness in America in relation the Japanese. I think that the a bombings were a fitting end to all of that, too. Does it make up for all of the Japanese atrocities in Asia to have two cities obliterated? Who is to say in the final scheme of things, but if that is what it takes to balance accounts in some people's minds, then there it is.

People have got to get beyond this stuff. The war was over 65 odd years ago, after all. This is like the people flying the Enola Gay debating Custer's Last Stand. I have seen the same stuff year after year. Truly meaningless debates and lots of revisionism. People made decisions all the time based on very little information, so I have trouble believing that there is some smoking gun that explains it all.

The fact remains that Japanese now are very peaceful people. Their record since the war has been astoundingly one of peace, and that is really the only thing that matters to me.

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but I still feel Hirohito should have gone to the gallows with his fellow criminals.

It was thought (and I think it's correct) that executing the Emperor would have enraged the Japanese, not broken them.

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on behalf of America, i hereby vote YES.

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Good read.

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

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Bushido (never surrender, fight to the end) is a great way to win a war...if you win. If you lose, a lot of people needlessly die.

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Reminds me of the line from Patton, No man has ever won a war by dying for their country, they won because they made the other man die for his.

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Nuking any nation is plain wrong.

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Just imagine how the world would look today if the USA hadn't dropped teh bombs....a lot more frightening....

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There is never right and wrong in War. Just gray areas and sadness.

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War is hell.

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bcbrownboy

You said a mouthful, and as we can see, the sadness does not stop when the fighting ends. It gets passed on from generation to generation. I believe that nations that commit entirely to peace are doing a greater service to humankind than that of all aid programs, space programs, etc. put together.

The US STILL spends more than any other country on defense, and it is not bordered by any aggressor nation. The cost-benefit calculations of a permanent war footing are getting worse and Japan is ahead of the pack. It has learned its lesson and moved on.

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The older population, age 55 and over, shows 73 percent approval. These people had more personal experience with war, lost friends and family. Before the dropping of A-bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaski, U.S. military lost over 14,000 troops in Okinawa and probably five time more Okinawans and Japanese military were killed. This was brutal. U.S. sees from different angle for reason compared to Japanese people, but the meaning is same. Respect both side of view because this war was ugly. Now, Japan and U.S. are respectful allies.

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Yuri Otani You have a very strange view of Japanese and world history, particularly in relation to the Second World War. No doubt this is due in large part to your education in Japanese schools, where you were force-fed Japanese Rightist propaganda in the shameful history textbooks which deny the atrocities of the Imperial Japanese Army and paint the Americans and their Allies as the villains. Perhaps one day you will come to know the truth, which shall indeed set you free. For your information, the people killed in Hawaii by the infamous attack on Pearl Harbour were not all servicemen and women. Also for your information, the kamikaze pilots were not "trying to defend their homes from attacks by ruthless Americans." Those poor brainwashed young men were acting in obedience to their evil taskmasters in the Imperial Japanese Army. They were consumed by hatred of foreign people, and driven by the evil State Shintoism of the day, and were no different from the modern-day Islamist extremist terrorist suicide bombers who have carried out such diabolical acts of butchery in recent times.

No matter what you say or think, the vast majority of Americans, British, Australian, New Zealanders, Canadian and many other nationalities still think that the atomics bombings which brought the Japanese to surrender in 1945 were a necessary evil, and completely justified in order to save countless thousands of Japanese and foreign lives. They worked.

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There is never right and wrong in War. Just gray areas and sadness.

So I guess the holocaust was not wrong then, just a sad gray area.

No matter what you say or think, the vast majority of Americans, British, Australian, New Zealanders, Canadian and many other nationalities still think that the atomics bombings which brought the Japanese to surrender in 1945 were a necessary evil, and completely justified in order to save countless thousands of Japanese and foreign lives.

That's because they continue to ignore Truman's own words (and those of his closest advisers) demonstrating with a doubt that the bombs were dropped for other reasons.

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The pertinent question is 'where's the money?' Who profited from the 'Manhatten Project' and all the nuclear devices made since? And I'm sure Harry S got a nice payoff.

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But the problem sabiwabi is that you believe that it was for only those other reasons.

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Kelin2 said: "I believe that nations that commit entirely to peace are doing a greater service...."

Please, name some of those nations for us. In my (admittedly limited) knowledge of history, I seem to notice nations which do not defend themselves (or their allies) do not remain their own nations for very long. (Or exist only because they are protected by other nations for one reason or another - even if self-serving to the country rendering the protection.)

Are you suggesting - instead of the bombings - that an invasion of mainland Japan to end the aggression would have resulted in fewer casualties? Or should the United States simply ignored the Japanese aggression and said "We commit ourselves to peace and refuse to defend ourselves or other victims."

Contrary to your assertion, Japan has lived and prospered under U.S. protection without paying its fair share of the burden. How long would Japan survive if the U.S. committed itself entirely to peace and left the area completely?

As mentioned in this thread, some people see history in black and white, while others see shades of grey. Apparently some view it through rose-colored glasses. Pease does not mean pacificsm.

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The Quinnipiac University poll found 61% of the more than 2,400 American voters questioned believe the U.S. did the right thing. Twenty-two percent called it wrong and 16% were undecided.

This is just one of those random samplings. I don't believe this poll clearly reflects the public opinion in the US mainland. The sample is way too small...,if you consider the US has just over 300 million people in its entire national soil.

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Sabiwabi. Hitler used Jews to justify war. The US bombed Dresden, Hamburg, etc. to ash and rubble. The Russians raped and pillaged. You do know the drill, right? So what is your point? The Holocaust was bad, and justified all efforts to stop it? No. The war should not have started in the first place. Once it did, people became animals. If you think that US soldiers did not take Japanese soldiers' skulls home to give to their girlfriends, Life Magazine would beg to differ with you. That is the gray area. Finding Jewish skulls in concentration camps shocks us, but having your boyfriend mailing you a Japanese skull is ok. That to me, shows how messed up war is in general.

STC. Yeah. I see your point. Switzerland has only been a nation after renouncing war since...oh... what.. the 1400s or so? But it has no aggressor nations nearby, so I guess that explains it. Oh no wait, it has such a large military that no other nation would dare attack them. Or maybe it is their nukes and massive defense spending and technological advantage. I had totally forgotten about Switzerland, which makes your point so well. Oh, and Costa Rica, which has never had neighbors involved in civil war. And it also has a huge military to thank for its independence all these years. I am glad that you admit that your knowledge of history is limited. If you are going to read a book though, start in the P section of the dictionary. Pacifism comes before Peace, which comes before POWNED, just to help you along there. You know, MOST nations of the world do just fine without US protection. They just don't get featured on FOX, so you probably do not know much about them.

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YuriOtani at 09:30 AM JST - 5th August

"This poll does nothing for my view of Americans. I sometimes wonder why we fear China and Russia when they did not bomb our cities and kill millions of people like the Americans. They would of dropped extra bombs if they had them. I think the use of such weapons was done by cowards. There is still time to set things right before the last criminals die. They killed civilians to save their troops. I think about the millions of men, women, boys, girls and infants killed and am filled with rage. It did nothing in the end to speed up surrender. Cutting off Japan from war supplies would of done it as well. I view it as racial killing. I do not think Japan would of use such a weapon in the same fashion. It would of been used against military targets and ground burst not air burst to ensure less civilian causalities and more military damage."

I had to pluck this quote from the masses of interesting posts by our Japanese friends. It clearly shows that this individual is product of the Japanese Educational system. Sadly, generations of Japanese who were not alive during WWII have no true reference for the facts of that war since this JGOV has seen to it that they never learn the truth. So I will be gentle in my rebuke as your ancestors 2-3 generations ago misunderstood Honor and bushido.

Yuri you should fear China and Korea, because your grandfather/or Great Grand fathers generation, tried to obliterate the Chinese and Korean cultures. As Yuri has stated the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is all the innocent women and children that died in a flash. But you missed the decade of slow, methodical torture, rape, theft and pillaging that IJA committed in China and Korea. Japan should fear them, because they have not forgotten. When you speak of cowards, I think of all the Japanese men over 80 I see on TV and out in the city going about their lives as if, they never chopped heads off in China, beat and tortured Allied prisoners of war, as if they have no conscience for the things they did in the name of their Emperor. And of course so many more killed themselves rather than face the tribunal of world judgment for their crimes against the innocent. Japan rebukes Tojo for not committing suicide, but he was the bravest of all for standing up for the decisions his Emporer made right or wrong. You state that dropping the bombs did nothing to speed up the end. When upon viewing the destruction of the city of Hiroshima, and learning that the Soviets had declared war on Japan, Hirohito began publically stating to his cabinet that "We must end this war". Sorry my friend, the Emperor ended it, not anyone else. Not the people of Japan only he ended it when he spoke via radio declaring and end to all. Up until then, he held out for a negotiated peace that would have allowed the IJA and JGOV of 1945 to escape any responsibilty for the millions of deaths, rapes and tortures committed in all the years since 1933. Yuri you state that the bombings were racially motivated when you are the product of one of the most xenophobic cultures to ever rise from this earth. But then all countries have their racial issues to bear. And finally, your last sentence, tell the reader that you feel that the men of Japan in the 1940's were a civilized, humanitarian like group of people when in fact its acts of violence against her neighbors is only exceeded by the Germans and the Nazi party. This poll does nothing for my view of Japanese. I don't blame the current generation and their parents for the actions of the grandparents. But I feel sorry for this generation for not getting the opportunity to learn truth of their countries actions in the past, they can learn from them. All they seemed to have learned is Nuclear bombs are bad.. True, so are swords, guns, cannons, and men with racial hatred in their hearts. Who fill their heads with falsehoods about Japanese superiority over all other Asians and man-kind in general.

Think I am wrong as you read this? Think Americans are evil? I leave you with the thought of a benevolent 7 year occupation, and a 64 year peaceful association between our 2 countries.

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STC:

How long would Japan survive if the U.S. committed itself entirely to peace and left the area completely

As long or longer than it did before there ever was a US.

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It has been and always will be government rhetoric getting the people to believe what they want for their own ends..

The same always has and will hold true as observer in 1948 by George Orwell:

And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.

1984 Book 1, Chapter 3

It's not just Japan that practices this but every country/government in the world. Some are just better at hiding it than others.

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Voxman:

No offense intended but regarding a point you made

But I feel sorry for this generation for not getting the opportunity to learn truth of their countries actions in the past

Do you or anyone else in any other country really know the truth of all their governments do? How many people truly die as a result of actions taken in the name of national security or covertly?

Most people now are not stupid enough to believe or only know that one country is ever completely innocent, otherwise why would they even be involved in a war. Someone mentioned Swiss but never mention how much money they take from jews trying to keep their things protected then KEPT when those people were killed by nazi and not returned to family.

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VoXman,

No, sir. The first reply of Aug. 10 by the Japanese leadership to Potsdam even though it was something reached after the cabinet was deadlocked at their tether's end and the Emperor was asked to decide on their behalf was that Japan would accept it with the condition of assurance of the emperor's position.

And to it, the Allied response on Aug. 12 was: From the moment of surrender the authority of the Emperor and the Japanese government to rule the state shall be subject to the Supreme Commander of the Allied powers who will take such steps as he deems proper to effectuate the surrender terms.

And then again the Japanese leadership came to a standstill over the interpretation of "be subject to the Supreme Commander of the Allied powers". They split by 3 to 3 on whether or not to accept the Allied reply. And again the Emperor was requested to decide (聖断). When did the Emperor or anyone else held out in any tangible and explicit way to the Allied side for a negotiated peace that would have allowed the IJA and JGOV of 1945 to escape any responsibility?

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When did the Emperor or anyone else held out in any tangible and explicit way to the Allied side for a negotiated peace that would have allowed the IJA and JGOV of 1945 to escape any responsibility?

The possible reason why the Supreme Allied Powers decided to restore the Emperor System- which is to retain the name of Hirohito and his imperial family in JP Constitution, is that they didn't have enough time for deliberations on the issue. Although the Allied Powers knew that the Emperor had an utmost authority in wartime, their knowledge about Hirohito's role as well as his power in relation to the military sect was not thorough enough. Some studies suggest the Hirohito's role as a commander in chief, particularly during the period of Japan's invasion of China and other Asian countries, although his power and its dynamics in military decisions are arbitrary.

I reckon that there had been a power struggle between Hirohito and the several senior officers of the military sect. The feud between the two was likely to get steamed-off, especially when the odds were against Japan in the Midway, and it eventually led to the break-up when Japanese soil was under heavy attack in 1945. Hirohito apparently had an aversion to the senior officers who were labeled as Class A war criminal; he didn't want their names to be honored on the Yasukuni Shrine after the war.

I'm skeptical that the Allied Powers were able to comprehend the imperial rhetoric of Japan's war in Asia/Pacific in a short period of time. It was not until 1945 when they set foot on mainland Japan. At the time when Japan was finally surrendered in August, they see Hirohito as the victim of the dictatorship- rather than a commander-in-chief in directing military operations that involved the ruthless acts of torture and killings of many innocent civilians and the POWs.

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The possible reason why the Supreme Allied Powers decided to restore the Emperor System- which is to retain the name of Hirohito and his imperial family in JP Constitution, is that they didn't have enough time for deliberations on the issue.

Let me add, "to regard his power and role in directing military operations that are critical in exercising his possible involvement in Japan's legal responsibility for war crimes."

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In 1940, Imperial Japan was an allies and true friend of Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler, and later, Mussolini of Italy. Especially with Japan and Germany, they brutally massacured almost entire Europe, Russia, North Africa, China, Korea, Phillipines, Southeast Asia. They even attacked U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor without declaration of war. Japan wanted war and they got exactly what they deserved. Why sacrifice anymore U.S. lives when they had the bomb.

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VoXman

I think the use of such weapons was done by cowards

I think the attack of Pearl Harbor by Japan was done by cowards.

Japan attacked first. The United States only ended it. Maybe a 30 year war would have made things better for... (fill in the space.)

Japan attacked the United States and after pointing swords and guns at the United States, Japan drew back a nub. Maybe they should have thought about this before they acted.

Of course the United States was wrong, just listen to Japan's explanations.

New question. We go over this year after year. Tired question. < :-)

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sfip330

Japan wanted war and they got exactly what they deserved.

Would that be every man woman and child of Japan who wanted war or the the Emperor/govt.? Punishing unborn and school children and very old people seems utterly unjust unless those people wanted war. The civilians paid the price in the bombings...plain and simple. Very little evidence to the contrary exists. What makes you think U.S. lives (as you allude to) are more important than Japanese? Perhaps you were swayed by all the anti-Japanese war posters that made all of us look like primates??

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Would that be every man woman and child of Japan who wanted war or the the Emperor/govt.? Punishing unborn and school children and very old people seems utterly unjust unless those people wanted war. The civilians paid the price in the bombings...plain and simple. Very little evidence to the contrary exists. What makes you think U.S. lives (as you allude to) are more important than Japanese? Perhaps you were swayed by all the anti-Japanese war posters that made all of us look like primates??

KyotoChris;

Ask the same questions to survivors of Nanking, Korea, Manila, etc, how nice Japanese Military was to their their children. If you say nice, then I agree with you.

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Perhaps you were swayed by all the anti-Japanese war posters that made all of us look like primates??

eh? you reckon he was alive then? eh? you reckon you are Japanese?

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If you are interested in a perspective from someone who was 14 at the time and whose personal history was deeply interwoven with issues around nuclear weapons, I recommend this article:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090805 hiroshima day america has been asleep at the wheel for 64 years/

(Note: I had to add spaces after every underline so that they would show up instead of making the text italic - take them out in your browser, or else go to http://www.truthdig.com/report/ and find the "Hiroshima Day" link.)

On the second page, he describes in detail the psychology around the dropping of the atomic bomb, how it was presented to the American public, what they knew of it beforehand (i.e., nothing), and how his perspective came to be unique but why he felt unable to express it at the time.

Anyway, I don't personally have a major axe to grind, but I thought it could lead to more of an understanding of the American culture at the time.

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War really is hell. Japan showed little to no mercy towards her enemies and showed no signs of giving up. To the US leadership and to anybody confronted with the reality of possibly invading Japan the bomb would have appeared very attractive because it would mean fewer allied casualties. As to those who argued the question, "what would make the lives of Allied soldiers more valuable than the lives of the Japanese?" My response is as follows... the lives of the Japanese were in universal terms no less valuable than any other, but when at war each side disregarded the value of their enemies' lives. If Japan had possession of the bomb before the Americans I am sure that the Emperor would have been more than happy to use it against his enemies.

The most haunting legacy of the bomb for future generations of the world is not so much the loss of life in the ill-fated cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; but the ever-looming prospect of nuclear war and global proliferation. Once the first atomic bomb had been created and tested for the first time in the deserts of the American South-West there was no turning back. For Stalin it was not as important to him that he knew how the bomb could be made but that he simply knew that the bomb worked when news confirmed just how effective the bomb was at simply making entire cities disappear in mere seconds. The fact that it did work means that global nuclear proliferation can't be stopped but only curtailed.

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First of all, this happened well before most of us commenting on this page was born, so shut up. If it didn't happen to you, no reason to be upset, right? Second of all, if the Japanese want to stay mad, look at Pearl Harbor. Your such proud people right? Answer this, take a shot to the face. Are you going to just sit there and take it? Are you going to fight back yourself? Or are you going to the cops? My thought is you will just take it, or run off to the cops because the majority are to afraid to fight back. That is why the USA is still in your country protecting it! Ask Koreans about Japanese. They are pissed off for what happened back in the day. Why don't you all apologize for what your grandfathers and great grandfathers did. You all need to grow up. I would like to see what all the Japanese and Koreans would say once the military pulls out of the pacific and Kim Jong Il decides he wants to play some games. Everyone would be crying for us to come back and help. Makes me sick.

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It does seem incredible in retrospect that the Japanese did not surrend immediately after Hiroshima. The US were very very close to doing Kyoto as well so I guess we just have to be grateful that that never happened and that in the past 64 years no one else either has ever used this terrible weapon.I am quite worried by the results of the poll

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What about Japanese actions in China and Korea? Were no civilians harmed >in those countries by Japanese troops?

Korea was part of the Japanese Empire since 1910 and durng WWII. 240,000 Koreans served in the Japanese military. Don't confuse Korea with what the Imperial Japanese Army did in China.

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scooter28 who are you talking to? i dont think who you think you are addressing will even know of this website.

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If the bomb was delayed another few months, most likely, Russians would've invaded and control Hokkaido, and even today, they would control the island and Japan cannot do anyting about it. U.S. saved Hokkaido from becoming a Russian occupied island.

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USA - the greatest country in the world, or the evil empire?

The only country to have used a nuclear weapon in war is the United States

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I would like everyone to please contrast the actions of the US upon conquering Japan, and that of Japan in China. The US spent enormous amounts of money and resources to rebuild Japan; it Instituted reforms that gave the people more power, and continued to protect them from aggressors who would have liked to get revenge. Can you honestly say that you think Japan would have done the same thing if the tables had been turned? Not only that but it sent large amounts of grain and food to stave off starvation from the wrecked Japanese economy. The hiding of the truth in Japanese schools makes me sick. My wife did not even know about the rape of Nanking. I learned all about the great injustices done by my country in history class. It would seem the old farts in charge here still bastards with no regard for life and care only about saving face. Or they are possibly trying to create a population that is easily manipulated by turning everyone into a bunch of mindless sheeple. I would just like to hear KyotoChris to admit for everyone here to see, and to apologize for Japans actions in and before WW2. They were the aggressors. They attacked other nations unprovoked, and raped, burned and murdered people who had already surrender in a way that defies humanity. Even going so far as to use babies as bayonet practice because the "liked the noises they made when they were killed". Voxman you have no right to talk about cowardice. As far as I am concerned the US has no reason to apologizing for the bombs. We were not the aggressors, and Japan was offered the chance of surrender. Why should the US have to risk more of its people’s lives for a war that JAPAN started?

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SF, how 'bout the Brits fire-bombin' of Euro cities in DubyaDubya 2? More folks died more horrifyin' deaths durin' that bidness.

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Scooter 28,

First of all, this happened well before most of us commenting on this page was born, so shut up.

Try taking your own advice.

because the majority are to afraid to fight back

This is why the US rhetoric and rationale for using the bombs said that the Japanese would fight to the last person and never surrender??

The rest of your comment sounds like the reply of a child crying "he picked on me so blaaa." It's doubtful NK would do anything with just Korea and Japan in the political arena. Japan could shoot down whatever they launched at it and NK knows it's isolated enough. (unless you count on your good buddy china) YOU should grow up

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I'm curious about those who write so negatively about Japan. If you have this feelings, why even care to read a website with news about Japan in the first place?

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I would like everyone to please contrast the actions of the US upon >conquering Japan, and that of Japan in China. The US spent enormous amounts of money and resources to rebuild Japan; >it Instituted reforms that gave the people more power, and continued to >protect them from aggressors who would have liked to get revenge. Can >you honestly say that you think Japan would have done the same thing if >the tables had been turned? Not only that but it sent large amounts of >grain and food to stave off starvation from the wrecked Japanese economy.

You are completely speculating for the purpose of comparison. The US did rebild Japan, as it did Germany and Europe after WWII not only for those countries but to expand our sphere of influence in the face of the Soviet Red Menace. At the end of WWII the United States was the most powerful nation on earth. You are trying to compare what Japan "would have done" when in fact they couldn't even complete their conquest plans for China and their economy was weakening as they continued to be defeated in the Pacific.

The hiding of the truth in Japanese schools makes me sick. My wife did >not even know about the rape of Nanking. I learned all about the great >injustices done by my country in history class. It would seem the old >farts in charge here still bastards with no regard for life and care >only about saving face. Or they are possibly trying to create a >population that is easily manipulated by turning everyone into a bunch >of mindless sheeple.

There is little to no "hiding" of any truth. Japanese school textbooks, which incidentally are chosen by the schools (unlike China) clearly state that Japan's aggression was wrong. What upsets you is that they don't recite your version and your figures, much of which is still debated by historians. As for "mindless sheeple", anyone in Japan can look up Nanking on the web and read arguments by both sides. Can a person in China do the same for Tianamem Square?

I would just like to hear KyotoChris to admit for everyone here to see, >and to apologize for Japans actions in and before WW2.

I was unaware that Kytochris was alive during WWII much less a War Crimminal or in any way connected to WWII.

They were the aggressors. They attacked other nations unprovoked, Yes and the Tokyo War Crimes Trials were held, they were charged, prosecuted and sentenced. And the old government was taken apart and replaced.

and >raped, burned and murdered people who had already surrender in a >way >that defies humanity. Even going so far as to use babies as bayonet >practice because the "liked the noises they made when they were killed". >Voxman you have no right to talk about cowardice.

Bayonetting babies is a bit of an urban legend created by the anti-jp chinese crowd which to date has not been substantiated in any credible form.

As far as I am concerned the US has no reason to apologizing for the >bombs. We were not the aggressors, and Japan was offered the chance of >surrender. Why should the US have to risk more of its people’s lives for >a war that JAPAN started?

Because the A-bombs represent much more than just tit-for-tat. The sheer destruction and human suffering connected to the A-bombs is what has kept the the peace through a cold war for 50 years after WWII. By the way, if you think that dropping A-bombs on 2 Japanese cities was perfectly fine, you ought to know that the United States considered dropping A-bombs on 4 yes, 4 Major Chinese cities during the Korean War. And lest you get the wrong idea, I happen to support the use of the A-bombs 100% in WWII as a necessary evil but I'm not childish enough to pretend that it wasn't wrong in retrospect.

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A lot to deal with, so I will take too posts:

There is no need to speculate at what the Japanese would do to an occupied nation: We have evidence of this from China, and Korea. Not only dominate the nations economically, and use their resources in a Mercantilist fashion, Japan treated the people as inferior beings and disposable trash. Please look up unit 731 to learn more on that. They used people as science experiments. Spread the plague on villages and cut up live prisoners. This is not urban legend, and it was not spread by anti-Japanese sentiment from China. There are Japanese doctors and soldiers who have come out of the closet and admitted to this.

In addition, it is hard to make a claim that Japan does not hide the facts in its textbooks considering the incredible controversy these actions have sparked around the world. While they still state the war as bad, it is done in such a way that omits the cruelty and war crimes committed by the Japanese military regime. While textbooks are chosen by individual schools, the textbooks themselves must first pass scrutiny by MEXT and all books must be chosen from an approved list. There have been three major attempts to white wash Japanese education. While the others are interesting, I will skip to the last one, which is propagated by the “Japanese Society of History Textbook Reform”

Here are two excerpts. The first is from a Junior high textbook in 1983, the second from a high school textbook in 2005:

"The Japanese army occupied the Northern China, then invaded Nanjing, and killed and destroyed the lives of many Chinese people across. Footnote: The Japanese army that occupied Nanjing killed many Chinese people inside and outside the urban district within several weeks. The number of deaths was around 7-80,000 counting only civilians such as women and children. Including the deserted soldiers the number is estimated to be over 200,000. China estimates the number of the victims to be well over 300,000 including war deaths. Japan was condemned by other nations for this incident known as Nanjing Massacre; however, the Japanese people then were not notified of the fact." (p. 277)

"日本軍は華北を占領し、さらにナンキン(南京)へ侵攻して、各地で多くの中国民衆の生命を奪い、その生活を破壊して大きな損害をあたえた。脚注:ナンキンを占領した日本軍は、数週間のあいだに、市街地の内外で多くの中国人を殺害した。その死者の数は、婦女子・子どもをふくむ一般市民だけで7〜8万、武器を捨てた兵士をふくめると、20万以上ともいわれる。また、中国では、この殺害によるぎせい者を、戦死者をふくめ、30万以上とみている。この事件は、ナンキン大虐殺として、諸外国から非難をあびたが、日本の一般国民は、その事実を知らされなかった。"

This is the new one from 2005, covering the same incident:

Nanjing Massacre: "In August 1937, two Japanese soldiers, one an officer, were shot to death in Shanghai (the hub of foreign interests). After this incident, the hostilities between Japan and China escalated. Japanese military officials thought Chiang Kai-shek would surrender if they captured Nanking, the Nationalist capital; they occupied that city in December. But Chiang Kai-shek had moved his capital to the remote city of Chongqing. The conflict continued. Note *At this time, many Chinese soldiers and civilians were killed or wounded by Japanese troops (the Nanking Incident). Documentary evidence has raised doubts about the actual number of victims claimed by the incident. The debate continues even today" (p. 49).

The language and the tone, has clearly changed and the last two sentences are designed to cast doubt on whether anything happened at all. They took out Japan’s use of Koreans as “comfort Woman” they omitted Japanese soldiers “helping” Okinawans to commit suicide. These are just a few cases, but I hope this makes the point.

I am not comparing China with Japan’s (or Koreas for that matter) education system. No one would believe they are more open. However, this argument is a straw man. The point is, the truth is being covered up. It does not help to point at another country and say “we are better than they are”. The problem is, the books play down Japan’s responsibility for the war and make it sound like America, out of the blue, bombed Japan.

As far as Kyotochris goes, I was actually responding to a point he made, but you are right it was done in bad taste and I take it back. Bayoneting babies was not an urban legend, there were eyewitnesses, and it is a corroborated fact from eyewitnesses: those who did the killings, western missionaries and survivors of the massacre.

For your last point, I actually agree with you. Notice, I did not say what the US did was good. What I said was they do not have to apologize to Japan for it. It was war, not of the US’s choosing, and of course there were other reasons for dropping the bombs. (Russia, the obvious big one) It was tragic, and we can only hope that something similar will never happen again.

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Sorry for the long post. This is for KyotoChris.

We do not hate Japan. (well at least I don't) If you hated a nation based on the sins of its fathers, there would not be anywhere in the world where you could live. no country is innocent. What is important, is that we learn from our mistakes, and attempt to not repeat them. Whith Japan covering up its own responsibilities, it becomes hard to do that. Looking for the truth is not the same as "hate".

If your friend was doing something wrong would you tell him? Or let him continue to do that thing thats wrong? Some one who truly loves his friend will say something. I complain about what the Japanese government is doing because I like Japan, not because I hate it. If you want to just burry your head in the sand then I could make the argument that you hate it.

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