national

Nagasaki marks 75th A-bomb anniversary

140 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


140 Comments
Login to comment

A dark day in mankind's history. Can we learn from this?

We still have genocides, from Vietnam to Cambodia to Bosnia to Rwanda to Myanmar.

Never forget.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Least we forget, to all those who suffered and are suffering because of these horrific weapons.

May peace on earth prevail.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Yeah, and I very much agree with the survivors desire to pass on the message to the younger generations. I mean I’m sure that they’ve have at some level or another, but as I heard myself in a war memorial service like 20 years ago in the US, regarding the WWII vets, “keep talking“.

That’s what the survivors should do. Even if they’ve already told a lot of the younger generation about it, because of what’s going on now around the world especially, keep talking.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I am an American and for me the Nagasaki bombing is much more somber and sickening than the Hiroshima bombing. Some will argue the bombing was necessary to stop the war. For the Hiroshima bombing I personally do not know and will at least listen to both sides. However having visited Hiroshima on several occasions I fully understand how terrible this was.

However; the bombing of Nagasaki is disgusting and cannot be rationalized in any way. It came only 2 days after Hiroshima and it is now becoming understood and more accepted that its purpose was nothing more than to test the effectiveness of the alternate weapon technology (Uranium 235 vs. Plutonium 239).

Regardless both days were awful days in the history of the world and should serve as a reminder that this weaponry should never be used again.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. — who experienced the firebombing of Dresden first hand and described it in Slaughterhouse Five – said, “The most racist, nastiest act by this country, after human slavery, was the bombing of Nagasaki.”

On Aug. 17, 1945, David Lawrence, the conservative columnist and editor of US News, put it this way: “Last week we destroyed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Japanese cities with the new atomic bomb. …we shall not soon purge ourselves of the feeling of guilt. …we…did not hesitate to employ the most destructive weapon of all times indiscriminately against men, women and children. … Surely we cannot be proud of what we have done. If we state our inner thoughts honestly, we are ashamed of it.”

Nuking hundreds of thousands civilians saved no one and was simply a cynical live human experiment on a people deemed subhuman by American propaganda. 

According to Harry S Truman:

“I think one man is just as good as another so long as he’s honest and decent and not a N@@@ER. or a Chinaman... THE LORD made a white man from dust, a N@@@ER from mud, and then threw what was left and it came down a Chinaman. He does hate Chinese and J@ps....."

6 ( +11 / -5 )

However, Truman halted dropping any more bombs (they would have two more ready in about one week) after reading the reports of the human toll from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He wrote in his diary that he didn't have the stomach to kill more women and children, the predominant victims, even though some Senators wanted him not to accept any surrender and drop every bomb produced until there were no Japanese left on earth.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

It is very understandable why Japanese hate nukes all over the world. A good thing is no country has dropped such a-bomb at war any more for 75 years.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

When wars escalate and broaden to the point where it is out of control, there is a tendency to use whatever weapons are available, especially weapons more deadlier than conventional artillery warheads and bombs.

The Korean War, Vietnam War, Six-Day War, Yom Kippur War, Gulf War, etc., could have escalated beyond using conventional weaponry, but didn't. No doubt all nation leaders and military generals had Hiroshima and Nagasaki in mind and didn't what their countries to suffer the same fate.

But most people today (including the “hibakushas") forget there was a time when nuclear weapons DID NOT exist, i.e, before 1945.........and World Wars were thinkable and fought with conventional weapons.

If there's one important lesson the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs (as well as postwar hydrogen bombs) have taught the world: NOT to let conflicts escalate to the level of All Out Total War where the use of weapons more destructive than conventional weapons are thinkable and used.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

A dark day in mankind's history. Can we learn from this?

Never forget.

Yes, and let's not forget what set this into motion - the attack on Pearl Harbor and all the atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army.

having visited Hiroshima on several occasions I fully understand how terrible this was.

Do you fully understand how much more terrible the firebombings of Tokyo and Dresden were?

However; the bombing of Nagasaki is disgusting and cannot be rationalized in any way. It came only 2 days after Hiroshima

It was three days, and yeah, maybe they should have been given a few more days to not surrender. It took Nagasaki to make them realize it wasn't a fluke and it could be done again and again.

With all the nukes in the world now, especially with countries like China, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea in possession of them, it's amazing they haven't been used on a city since Nagasaki. The Russians have the most nuclear warheads now.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Yes, and let's not forget what set this into motion - the attack on Pearl Harbor and all the atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army.

having visited Hiroshima on several occasions I fully understand how terrible this was.

Do you fully understand how much more terrible the firebombings of Tokyo and Dresden were?

However; the bombing of Nagasaki is disgusting and cannot be rationalized in any way. It came only 2 days after Hiroshima

It was three days, and yeah, maybe they should have been given a few more days to not surrender. It took Nagasaki to make them realize it wasn't a fluke and it could be done again and again. 

With all the nukes in the world now, especially with countries like China, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea in possession of them, it's amazing they haven't been used on a city since Nagasaki. The Russians have the most nuclear warheads now.

I completely agree, so true.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

A sad fact is most people know about Hiroshima, but don’t know about Nagasaki.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Having visited the port city's of Yokohama,Nagoya and Tokyo was fascinated of the Japanese economic miracle post World War -2 nlear annhilation.Hope the World never again experiences another " NAGASAKI" or " HIROSHIMA" in the future history of mankind although since 1945 wars across the Globe has been causing misery to mankind as well as nature.LONG LIVE PEACE AND THE DOVE. Ahoy .

3 ( +3 / -0 )

its purpose was nothing more than to test the effectiveness of the alternate weapon technology (Uranium 235 vs. Plutonium 239).

Probably it is true. Little boy (Uranium) to Hiroshima and Fat man (Plutonium) to Nagasaki. Whatever it is, Japan started the war and the US ended it.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

There are those who live in fear of karma, which hasn’t taken place yet, for these two bombs dropped.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

@kwatt

Soviet entry into the war against Japan ended WWII.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/05/30/the-bomb-didnt-beat-japan-stalin-did/

The atomic bombings were nothing more that cynical live human experiments on people deemed subhuman by American propaganda.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

@Serrano

Do you fully understand how much more terrible the firebombings of Tokyo and Dresden were?

All were heinous war crimes. However the death toll from Hiroshima was by far the highest.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

There was absolutely no reason to drop either bomb on Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Any line of reasoning to the contrary is a justification and intended to give shelter to the guilty. It was a war crime.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

*With all the nukes in the world now, especially with countries like China, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea in possession of them, it's amazing they haven't been used on a city since Nagasaki. The Russians have the most nuclear warheads now.*

My point exactly!

India and Pakistans are enemies and both have nuclear weapons. Why don't they use it against each other and settle their differences once and for all.

When the Yom Kippur War was going badly for the Israelis, they could have used the atomic bombs they secretly possessed, but didn't. Why not?

https://www.timesofisrael.com/dayan-pushed-pm-meir-to-consider-using-nuclear-weapons-in-1973/

All Middle East counties knows Israel possesses nuclear weapons and that's why *nobody dares launches a full-scale attack on Israel.*

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The United States said the bombings hastened Japan's surrender and prevented the need for a U.S. invasion of Japan.

And to flex its muscles to the Soviets. It was two powers fighting over Japan which would have ended up like the Korean Peninsula.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Yes, a lot of innocents died, but it was necessary.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

It was three days, and yeah, maybe they should have been given a few more days to not surrender. It took Nagasaki to make them realize it wasn't a fluke

There is a line that Japan was on the verge of unconditional surrender just before Hiroshima, but I find it strange that if that was the case, why they didn't immediately surrender following Hiroshima.

Perhaps they needed a bit longer to name up their minds after discovering that their enemy had an almighty weapon that could instantly destroy cities.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Until ties between heavy industry and governments Are severed war and death will sadly always be a cash cow for the real owners of the world..

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And to flex its muscles to the Soviets. It was two powers fighting over Japan which would have ended up like the Korean Peninsula.

That was a secondary reason the atomic bombs were used: First, hasten the Japanese surrender BEFORE the Soviet could invade Hokkaido; and secondly to keep the Soviets out of Japan to prevent it from becoming like postwar Germany and the Korean Peninsula.

So....for those who say the U.S. shouldn't have used the atomic bombs, is the alternative homeland invasion with millions of military and civilian casualties (See Operation Ketsu-Go), the war prolonged and a divided postwar Japan with North Japan being ruled by a DPRK-like government the PREFERABLE ending?

The revisionists fail to consider or deliberately ignore that alternative postwar alternative scenario in their debates.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

why they didn't immediately surrender following Hiroshima.

Because the leadership were merely scared for themselves and perhaps Hirohito. They did not give two figs about Japanese civilians and it was nearly only civilians that died in all the firebombings months previous and in Okinawa before that.

This is why I get annoyed with people who insist that the Japanese were refusing to surrender so the bombs were necessary to end the war. All the A bombs accomplished was the same general death toll as the firebombs months earlier so obviously its a totally contradictory stance. If mass killing won't make them surrender then a bit more won't either. What ended the war was the leadership, especially Hirohito, fearing capture, torture and slow execution by the Soviets as they entered the war. The leadership knew it could stall no longer. If they did not surrender to the U.S. immediately they would lose their chance for an actual trial and possible exoneration, jail term or swift hanging. All the leadership wanted was to run from the Soviets.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Until ties between heavy industry and governments Are severed war and death will sadly always be a cash cow for the real owners of the world..

No, heavy industry is not the cause of war. The seeds of war are everywhere and rooted in conflicts of interest, i.e., political ideology, religion, economic, racial, etc. and the failure to resolve the disagreements or reach a peaceful coexistence.

When you can eliminate the conflicts of interest, then there is hope for peace.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

August 9, 1945. The other day that ACTUALLY live in infamy, after August 6. I think FDR rolled in his grave both days and probably wanted to withdraw his Pearl Harbor speech. Truman was a VP choice of mere political convenience after all and Roosevelt hardly had anything to do with him. If only he had known what an evil man would be president not much later.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Yes, and let's not forget what set this into motion - the attack on Pearl Harbor and all the atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army.

This too, was terrible. I've visited Pearl Harbour, I recommend people visit these testaments to man's inhumanity to man.

But.

This is about the attack on Nagasaki.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

As other posters here said, dropping the bombs was necessary.

How else could they find out how atomic bombs work in real people?

And they have to drop the second one too because it was of different make.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

@Vanessa Carlisle

What ended the war was the leadership, especially Hirohito, fearing capture, torture and slow execution by the Soviets as they entered the war........If they did not surrender to the U.S. immediately they would lose their chance for an actual trial and possible exoneration, jail term or swift hanging. All the leadership wanted was to run from the Soviets.

Exactly. The apologists for mass murdering civilians with nukes conveniently ignore this fact.

Truman was well aware that Soviet entry would end WWII as his diary entries prior to the Hiroshima strike clearly show.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Most probably, the atomic bombings hastened the surrender of Japan. This is to say it provided a solid reason for surrender. If you read Hirohito's surrender speech he indirectly mentions the atomic bombs as one major reason to give up.

This was a blessing to American G.I.s who were dying as Japan dragged its feet after Potsdam. it was also a blessing to POWs: According to "Time" :

The treatment of American and allied prisoners by the Japanese is one of the abiding horrors of World War II. Prisoners were routinely beaten, starved and abused and forced to work in mines and war-related factories in clear violation of the Geneva Conventions. Of the 27,000 Americans taken prisoner by the Japanese, a shocking 40 percent died in captivity, according to the U.S. Congressional Research Service. That compares with just one percent of American prisoners who died in German POW camps.

I must remind you that after Hirohito's surrender speech the fanatics of the Navy and Army attempted a coup--and almost succeeded. They preferred to have Japan "shatter like a jewel" rather than surrender.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

No mention of Korean victims at Nagasaki by Japanese in the peace parks and the Japanese media. Ethnocentric history education has brainwashed young Japanese to believe that Japan was closer to a victim rather than an aggressor. They and even do not know how and why many Koreans were dead by the atomic bombs. This kind of omission, obfuscation and distortion of history has been consistent, failing to evoke any sympathy from the world.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14672715.1991.10413161

1 ( +6 / -5 )

All were heinous war crimes. However the death toll from Hiroshima was by far the highest.

The non-atomic bombings of Tokyo and other Japanese cities killed around 333,000, wounded around 473,000 and made millions homeless.

Still no surrender. Sure, the U.S. could have refrained from A-bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki and instead launched a full-scale ground invasion of Honshu which would have killed who knows how many U.S. troops and Japanese troops and civilians.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

@Serrano,

The non-atomic bombings of Tokyo and other Japanese cities killed around 333,000, wounded around 473,000 and made millions homeless.

The American military obliterated over 60 Japanese cities with napalm and white phosphorous. All of these over 60 events were arguably war crimes.

No invasion or nukes were ever needed to end WWII. Soviet entry ended it and convinced the Japanese to surrender to the US to save their emperor.

Here is a starting point for your research:

https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/05/30/the-bomb-didnt-beat-japan-stalin-did/

1 ( +7 / -6 )

. If you read Hirohito's surrender speech he indirectly mentions the atomic bombs as one major reason to give up.

And you did not quote him because he also mentioned the Soviets in the same breath. He only mentioned the Atomic bombs as a way of brown-nosing America, not wanting to make them feel left out or just the lesser evil. The leadership were already having discussions of surrender when the news of Nagasaki came. They basically grunted and carried on talking about the Soviets. It was all about the Soviets. Only belief in American mythology and foolish pride prevents people seeing this simple truth.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

This is why I get annoyed with people who insist that the Japanese were refusing to surrender so the bombs were necessary to end the war. All the A bombs accomplished was the same general death toll as the firebombs months earlier so obviously its a totally contradictory stance. 

It isn’t. One difference is that the elites you are talking about could and did shelter from conventional bombing. There were still unknowns about the full potential of nuclear weapons and the safety of these elites even in shelters couldn’t be guaranteed. The resulting radioactivity was another factor. As you said, the elites weren’t too concerned with the plebs getting wiped out, but this could hit too close to home.

There was a difference between using conventional and nuclear weapons.

The creation of nuclear weapons was as sick a use of human ingenuity as we have ever seen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@jeancolmar,

 If you read Hirohito's surrender speech he indirectly mentions the atomic bombs as one major reason to give up.

Incorrect.  Emperor Hitohito's imperial rescript surrender speech to the Japanese troops made no acknowledgement of the bombs:

https://apjjf.org/-tsuyoshi-hasegawa/2501/article.html

In his speech to the soldiers and sailors, especially die-hard officers who might still wish to continue fighting, the emperor did not mention the atomic bomb. Rather, it was Soviet participation in the war that provided a more powerful justification to persuade the troops to lay down their arms.

The emperor did refer to bombs in his imperial rescript announcement to the general Japanese population. However he also stated in the same speech:

"We declared war...out of Our sincere desire to secure...stabilization of East Asia, it being far from Our thought wither to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations or to embark upon territorial aggrandisement."

LOL. I suppose you fervently believe this as well?

In reality, what motivated Hirohito to surrender to the U.S. was neither a pious wish to bring peace to humanity nor a sincere desire to save the people and the nation from destruction, as his speech to civilians stated and as the myth of the emperor’s “sacred decision” would have Americans eager to justify nuking civilians believe.

More than anything else, it was a sense of personal survival and deep responsibility to maintain the imperial house (which Russian occupation would most certainly have dismantled), which had lasted in unbroken lineage since the Jinmu emperor.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Seems a lot of revisionism still happening with respect to the two bombings. As I said before & many have also mention there was NO ONE REASON for each bombing there were multiple reasons for each.

The biggest reason though was to end the war which they FINALLY DID. Japan admitted defeat & the country & its people were FREED from its oppressive military & govt!!

Defeat of Japan in 1945 is was led to its current state, can you try to imagine a world after 1945 if Germany and\or Japan had WON.............THINK about that for a few seconds & would any of you want to live with THAT result!!

Also some math for perspective, of course those that died should be mourned & WE ALL need to learn from the two bombings as a matter of course.

Japan killed between 20-30million people, using 20million that means 74,000 people died VERY MONTH for 22.5years NON-STOP!!!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

So....for those who say the U.S. shouldn't have used the atomic bombs, is the alternative homeland invasion with millions of military and civilian casualties (See Operation Ketsu-Go), the war prolonged and a divided postwar Japan with North Japan being ruled by a DPRK-like government the PREFERABLE ending?

Did you mean to say the Japanese should be grateful for the two atomic bombs otherwise it would have been worse?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

May their souls rest in peace.

Ignore those who would trivialize the deaths of these civilians as well as in Hiroshima, with irrelevant topics designed to divert attention away.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

No invasion or nukes were ever needed to end WWII. Soviet entry ended it and convinced the Japanese to surrender to the US 

Except that the Soviets had not one soldier in Japan. Most people are pretty sure the A-bombings had a lot to do with Hirohito announcing the surrender.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The bombs were justified. Terrible, but justified. There is no difference in the deaths of the women and children of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the sailors in Pearl Harbor.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@Serrano - Yes I do fully understand the U.S. firebombing of Tokyo under the direction of Curtis Lemay. And yes it was brutal, especially the attack of Shitamachi in Tokyo where incendiary devices with napalm were used. Many were burned alive or tried to seek refuge in the Sumida river or the connecting tributaries only to be boiled alive.

War is especially brutal and to be avoided at all costs.

Yes; Japan did some very awful things leading up to and in WW2. I still stand by my statement and thoughts regarding the bombing of Nagasaki.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The USA must apologize to Japan for their barbaric nuking of the harmless women, innocent children, helpless elderly and men who were all civilians.

There was no military reason whatsoever to drop the atomic bomb in Nagasaki.

Japan was already on the verge of surrendering even before Hiroshima and was already on its knees when the bully Americans fried Nagasaki anyways.

Yet the USA instead of apologizing instead pins the blame on Japan and therefore by extension to the innocent civilian victims of Nagasaki.

If Japan can sincerely apologize not once but a hundred times then why can't the nuke- happy USA ?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

If Hirohito and his Generals had been quicker to surrender after Hiroshima then 200,000 Japanese in Nagasaki would still be alive. Moreover, if they hadn't sanctioned the bombing of Pearl Harbor or the rape and plundering of south east Asia then they would still be alive! When nations think that they are Gods chosen children then their superiority complex becomes their downfall.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Have you visited Harbin? I suggest you research all the atrocities carried out there and other places in Asia before condemning these bombs

However having visited Hiroshima on several occasions I fully understand how terrible this was.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The bombs were justified. Terrible, but justified. There is no difference in the deaths of the women and children of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the sailors in Pearl Harbor.

So you're saying Pearl Harbour was terrible but justified, too?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Ignore those who would trivialize the deaths of these civilians as well as in Hiroshima, with irrelevant topics designed to divert attention away.

They try this every year and every article concerning these atrocities.

They cannot process the sheer evil of the attacks and are in constant denial, seeking to blame the Japanese people, rather than take responsibility.

This is not about Pearl Harbour, nor Japanese Imperialist atrocities.

It's about remembering the people of Nagasaki.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Japan was already on the verge of surrendering even before Hiroshima and was already on its knees when the bully Americans fried Nagasaki anyways.

If Japan has surrendered after Hiroshima, there wouldn’t have been a second bomb.

This has to be the most overlooked aspect of WW2 I’ve come across when discussing the topic with Japanese people.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

@Serrano

Most people are pretty sure the A-bombings had a lot to do with Hirohito announcing the surrender.

That is your opinion. I place greater trust in the six of the seven US WWII five star officers who concluded that the nuking of H&N was unnecessary.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

So you're saying Pearl Harbour was terrible but justified, too?

No. I’m saying what I wrote.

Pearl Harbor was indeed terrible. It was an unprovoked attack on a non-combatant nation.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Did you mean to say the Japanese should be grateful for the two atomic bombs otherwise it would have been worse?

Again, you don't understand the alternative result had the U.S. opted not to use the atomic bomb.

Read up on the Japanese "Operation Ketsu-Go" and see what the Japanese military was preparing and the losses they were willing to accept.

Postwar Japan came to realize that Hiroshima and Nagasaki losses were a "lesser of two evils", when you consider the alternative of an invasion, hundred million civilian casualties and a divided postwar Japan.

Would YOU prefer that outcome?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Precisely why no one should start a war... no matter how utterly selfless their desire... to die (on their own) for the Emperor, The Flag, The Country or that futile and senseless Bushido code.

Now that the outcome was loop sided, the pain and suffering will only linger endlessly... from generation to generation... until another Hitler comes along and try to avenge or erase the turmoil ranging in their hearts.

If you start a fire, you could get burned too....even more.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The bombs were justified. Terrible, but justified. There is no difference in the deaths of the women and children of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the sailors in Pearl Harbor.

Pearl harbor military was the biggest threat to Japan at that time.

Those a-bombed were civilians, women and children. At a time when the Japanese military was already broken and helpless.

Embargo would have done the work if the Soviets didn't come, just a matter of waiting.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This is not about Pearl Harbour, nor Japanese Imperialist atrocities.

for the people that want to pass blame then it most definitely is ,

for those who just want to remember the dead and hope that its never is repeated then there is no blame to pass. I agree Nagasaki would have been totally unnecessary if the IJA had followed the unconditional surrender demanded by the allies, unfortunately they didn't listen unlike after the fact and they surrendered unconditionally

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the B-29 Enola Gay, has said that many retired Japanese servicemen told him he did the right thing. Those include Mitsuo Fuchida, the man who led the attack on Pearl Harbor. He and Tibbets met at a gathering of military veterans several years after the war.

“We talked for 30 to 40 minutes, and he said, ‘You did exactly the right thing because Japan would’ve resisted an invasion using every man, woman and child, using sticks and stones if necessary.’ That would have been an awful slaughter.”

4 ( +7 / -3 )

They cannot process the sheer evil of the attacks and are in constant denial, seeking to blame the Japanese people, rather than take responsibility.

This is not about Pearl Harbour, nor Japanese Imperialist atrocities.

It's about remembering the people of Nagasaki.

If I had been killed in Nagasaki, I hope people would view my death as instructive in the following ways:

Never allow yourself to be part of politically apathetic population to the point where the government can get away with anything.

Root out authoritarianism wherever you see it - from the left or the right.

Do not make excuses for attacking civilian targets.

In my opinion, anger and action are far more useful reactions to atrocities rather than the ‘how dare you?’, one-dimensional, America is bad, let’s all stand in silence people on here.

There is plenty to learn from Nagasaki. Let’s learn all of it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There was absolutely no reason to drop either bomb on Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Any line of reasoning to the contrary is a justification and intended to give shelter to the guilty. It was a war crime.

There was absolutely no reason for pearl harbour, even less reason for senseless murders of Koreans and Chinese civilians and children, Japanese are recognizing genocide of Jews as a war crime but showed no remorse for the genocide they committed in China and Korea.

They should commemorate the Bombings, but as a reminder of something they brought upon themselves and use it as a lesson to their young, never start a war and never commit a war crimes.

Japan is such a beautiful country, populated by world's most civilized people, it only misses the truth of its near history to be taken out of the closet.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Richard gallagher you'd think that they would have surrendered in MARCH when 100,000 people died in Tokyo! But no. Not even after HIroshima did they quit. Japanese are relentless. You can see what it took to get them to quit the war.

By the way, in Korea do you know what holiday Aug 15 is? Independence day.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

A day brought on Japan by corporate greed on both sides, neither side listening to it's leaders but rather the profit from war. Follow the money and see who profited most on both sides during and after the war. It definitely was not the long deceased and those maimed for life from the war, the unsung hero's from both sides. Let this tragedy remind the people that they have a voice and must use that voice before they lose it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The are some Americans here who seem to have never read anything beyond their Jr. High School American history books. The same alt-right wingers who think a tax dodging, draft dodging president is their hero.

Not sure which is worse - that, or narrowly thinking that every issue in the world somehow relates to Trump. It is exactly this very narrow way of thinking that led to the decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two acts of terror. It was clearly not a military decision, but a political one - made by a war criminal named Truman. Many of the top ranking military leaders of the time were appalled by the bombings.

It's understandable that most believe the official story that the bomb "saved lives," as often as it has been repeated. Open your eyes before you attempt to educate others. The focus on right and left among bickering Americans is the kind of thinking that brings death to the world.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

That war was between two archrival antagonists each seething with deep hatred against the other. Dropping atomic bombs on your enemy, if you had acquired them first, was therefore felt nothing wrong and remorseful. If Japan had developed nuclear weapons first, it must have used them on Americans, no doubt.

 Hatred against the U.S. and Great Britain was so deep among the Japanese at the time that they called them "American and British devils and beasts" every time they referred to these two countries.

Now, the epitaph at Hiroshima Memorial Park reads: "Rest in peace, souls. We'll never repeat the same mistake." I hope this sublime vow is also shared by Americans and will keep lasting forever.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It is not enough to destroy a man's means to fight; one must also destroy his will to fight - something the atomic bombings demonstrate perfectly.

The only crime in war is starting it in the first place.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

There was absolutely no reason to drop either bomb on Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Any line of reasoning to the contrary is a justification and intended to give shelter to the guilty. It was a war crime.

The pacifists here ignores the fact that there was a WAR going on and during any war civilian casualties are inevitable and unavoidable. This is fact.

You also ignore the fact that during wartime, nations will use whatever weapons are available to defeat the enemy.  During wartime, the end results justifies the means.  That's the reality of war.

Another fact is is people will do things in war that they would never do in peacetime. How do you reconcile the Japanese soldiers' brutal criminal actions during World War II, yet during postwar peacetime, these same people as civilians after the war became the greatest peace advocates on Earth?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

This too, was terrible. I've visited Pearl Harbour, I recommend people visit these testaments to man's inhumanity to man.

But.

This is about the attack on Nagasaki.

Pearl Harbor is relevant because it was how American joined the war which ultimately led up to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The events are related.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If Japan had developed nuclear weapons first, it must have used them on Americans, no doubt

@voice, I'm glad you acknowledged that fact.

Now, the epitaph at Hiroshima Memorial Park reads: "Rest in peace, souls. We'll never repeat the same mistake." I hope this sublime vow is also shared by Americans and will keep lasting forever.

The fact that the U.S. have NEVER used nuclear weapons during the past 75 years indicates they are committed to that goal.

Why didn't you include Russia, China and North Korea in your last sentence? Do you not hope they too will share in keeping lasting peace? Or are they exempt?

FYI: it was Russia (formerly Soviet Union) who invented and detonated the largest thermonuclear bomb ever: The TSAR Bomba, a 58 megatonne hydrogen bomb that surpassed anything the U.S. ever developed.

I imagine this was a demonstration of "peaceful intentions"?

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

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They tested atomic bombs on women and children. It was totally unavoidable, not even necessary.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Okay V.C. here is how the surrender speak (that did not used the word for surrender) begins:

TO OUR GOOD AND LOYAL SUBJECTS,

After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining in our empire today, we have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure.

We have ordered our government to communicate to the governments of the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union that our empire accepts the provisions of their joint declaration.[8]

Note that the Soviet Union is listed with the other Yalta allies. There was hope that the Soviet Union would broker an end to hostilities, not surrender.

Here is what says indirectly about the A-bombs:

Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.

The fear of "the total extinction of human civilization" has haunted us ever since.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@jeancolmar,

Emperor Hitohito's imperial rescript surrender speech to the Japanese troops made no acknowledgement of the bombs:

https://apjjf.org/-tsuyoshi-hasegawa/2501/article.html

In his speech to the soldiers and sailors, especially die-hard officers who might still wish to continue fighting, the emperor did not mention the atomic bomb. Rather, it was Soviet participation in the war that provided a more powerful justification to persuade the troops to lay down their arms.

The emperor did refer to bombs in his imperial rescript announcement to the general Japanese population. However he also stated in the same speech:

"We declared war...out of Our sincere desire to secure...stabilization of East Asia, it being far from Our thought either to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations or to embark upon territorial aggrandisement."

LOL. I suppose you fervently believe this as well?

In reality, what motivated Hirohito to surrender to the U.S. was neither a pious wish to bring peace to humanity nor a sincere desire to save the people and the nation from destruction, as his speech to civilians stated and as the myth of the emperor’s “sacred decision” would have Americans eager to justify nuking civilians believe. 

More than anything else, it was a sense of personal survival and deep responsibility to maintain the imperial house (which Russian occupation would most certainly have dismantled), which had lasted in unbroken lineage since the Jinmu emperor.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Surrender Speech, not speak.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't forget that in Truman's first public announcement after the Hiroshima bomb, he lied and told the American public that Hiroshima was "an important army base" rather than an entire city. Why do you think he lied?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Why didn't you include Russia, China and North Korea in your last sentence? Do you not hope they too will share in keeping lasting peace? Or are they exempt?

Probably seeing as how they haven't launched a nuclear attack on anyone. But, yes, of course they shouldn't be exempt.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This should NEVER happen again!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Pearl harbor military was the biggest threat to Japan at that time.

lol

Not if Japan didn’t drag the US into the war!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They did?

Oh, so it was ok to nuke the helpless women and children then.

Funny right? =)

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

This should NEVER happen again!

Chances are it will happen again, as long as there are people who think it's use is justified.

And if people believe that use of the atomic bomb on helpless civilians is justified then you can be pretty sure that they will believe any other excuse is justified.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Don't forget that in Truman's first public announcement after the Hiroshima bomb, he lied and told the American public that Hiroshima was "an important army base" rather than an entire city. Why do you think he lied?

Rhetoric. Truman was using "Hiroshima" in the metonymic sense - that is, using a part to represent the whole. Kure, in Hiroshima, was and still is an important naval base, so unless you are intent upon quibbling, or splitting hairs, Truman was not wrong.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Truman was a bigot. Bigots aren't known for their adherence to the principles of honesty.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I’m fascinated by the lack of discussion regarding why Japan didn’t surrender after the Hiroshima bomb.

The first question which hits me when considering the attack on Nagasaki is the question of whether it’s justified to drop a weapon like this on a civilian target.

I say no.

The second question is why didn’t Japan do everything to stop the dropping a second monstrous weapon on its own civilians.

Sorry to harp on this subject, but the silence on this is absolutely bizarre.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't forget that in Truman's first public announcement after the Hiroshima bomb, he lied and told the American public that Hiroshima was "an important army base" rather than an entire city. Why do you think he lied?

What do you mean, "lied"? Of course Hiroshima was an important (Japanese) army base, i.e.,

During World War II, the Second General Army and Chūgoku Regional Army was headquartered in Hiroshima, and the Army Marine Headquarters was located at Ujina port. The city also had large depots of military supplies, and was a key center for shipping. (source: Wikipedia)

The Second General Army and Chūgoku Regional Army were both responsible for civil defense, anti-aircraft defenses, and for organizing guerilla warfare cells in anticipation of the projected Allied invasion. Its primary mission was to ensure the security of southern Kyūshū. (source: Wikipedia)

As for Nagasaki,

*Nagasaki was an important industrial city, containing both plants of the Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works, the Akunoura Engine Works, Mitsubishi Arms Plant, Mitsubishi Electric Shipyards, Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works, Mitsubishi-Urakami Ordnance Works, several other small factories, and most of the ports storage and trans-shipment facilities, which employed about 90% of the city's labor force, and accounted for 90% of the city's industry. These connections with the Japanese war effort made Nagasaki a major target for strategic bombing by the Allies during the war. (source: Wikipedia)*

In any city where there is are military bases and defense factories, you'll find civilian population. Again, civilian casualties are inevitable and unavoidable in war; that's a fact.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And if people believe that use of the atomic bomb on helpless civilians is justified then you can be pretty sure that they will believe any other excuse is justified.

There will always be those who justify such genocide. We just have to be sure to keep them out of power and/or keep hounding them through civil unrest, education, remembering atrocities and boycotts.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I’m fascinated by the lack of discussion regarding why Japan didn’t surrender after the Hiroshima bomb.

The second question is why didn’t Japan do everything to stop the dropping a second monstrous weapon on its own civilians.

Well did they have enough time for that?

Serious question as I don't know anything about that.

Were they told more abombs were coming and how much time were they given to consider

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes, a lot of innocents died, but it was necessary.

Killing necessary is necessary???

What a stupid point of view to justify a coward genocide..

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Yes, a lot of innocents died, but it was necessary.

Killing innocents is necessary???*

What a stupid point of view to justify a coward genocide..

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

to answer your question Jimizo, was because Hirohito was under house arrest by the military and Tojo even attempted a coup to replace the emperor. (this is why Jpan did not surender after the first bomb. Tojo, who was the real head of power at the time, was a psychopath and the emperor was not in control)

This is known as the Kyujo Incident.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ky%C5%ABj%C5%8D_incident

The Kyūjō incident (宮城事件, **Kyūjō Jiken)** was an attempted military coup d'état in the Empire of Japan at the end of the Second World War. It happened on the night of 14–15 August 1945, just before the announcement of Japan's surrender to the Allies. The coup was attempted by the Staff Office of the Ministry of War of Japan and many from the Imperial Guard to stop the move to surrender.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Truman was a bigot. Bigots aren't known for their adherence to the principles of honesty.

He was a Southerner and his views were typical of Southerners in those times. Goes with the territory, man.

But let's not forget that he desegregated the military and honored the 442 Japanese-American Infantry Regiment in a ceremony at the White House after the war. A true bigot and racist wouldn't have done those things.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@SerranoToday  08:41 am JST Yes, and let's not forget what set this into motion - the attack on Pearl Harbor and the multi millions of atrocities committed on men women children throughout Asia by the Japanese Imperial Army.

So true - these should all be mentioned in the same breath.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

And if people believe that use of the atomic bomb on helpless civilians is justified then you can be pretty sure that they will believe any other excuse is justified.

No, that’s way off the mark. Trying to pigeon-hole people as stupid, easily-led or bloodthirsty in this debate isn’t arguing in good faith.

I’ve come across plenty of people who believe killing innocents for a cause they regard as noble is justified, or for the more cowardly, they will use ‘understandable’.

You’ll come across plenty of hypocrisy on the principle of killing innocents. The principle is very interesting in its selective application.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Oh, so it was ok to nuke the helpless women and children then.

No less ok to bomb sleeping sailors. Whats the difference?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I agree Nagasaki would have been totally unnecessary if the IJA had followed the unconditional surrender demanded by the allies, unfortunately they didn't listen unlike after the fact and they surrendered unconditionally

Incorrect. Japan DID NOT surrender unconditionally. Japan's condition that the Emperor could not be held accountable and was not to be dethroned or prosecuted was accepted by the allies. Japan's surrender was conditional.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@ArtistAtLarge

Thanks for the input.

This is a topic that should be discussed at length around this time of year. How was it possible that Japan fell into a situation where a surrender wasn’t called immediately? How can we look at governance, ideologies and other aspects to ensure that this kind of situation never happens again?

This discussion would honour the dead at Nagasaki as much as anything.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Truman was a bigot. Bigots aren't known for their adherence to the principles of honesty.

Pretty much everyone living at the time would be classed as a bigot by today’s standards.

I’m sure we will be classed as primitive bigots by future generations.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

 agree Nagasaki would have been totally unnecessary if the IJA had followed the unconditional surrender demanded by the allies, unfortunately they didn't listen unlike after the fact and they surrendered unconditionally

Incorrect. Japan DID NOT surrender unconditionallyJapan's condition that the Emperor could not be held accountable and was not to be dethroned or prosecuted was accepted by the allies. Japan's surrender was conditional.

Not quite correct either.  Emperor Hirohito intervened and ordered the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War to accept the terms the Allies had set down in the Potsdam Declaration for ending the war.

After the war, Emperor Hirohito did present himself to General MacArthur, then Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, to accept responsibility for the war. General MacArthur understood the Emperor would be the most important person to help transform Japan from a militarist nation to a democratic nation, and allowed Hirohito to continue as Emperor, absolving him from being prosecuted as a war criminal.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The most contested item not only on jt.

Not a single nations wisdom can handle such questions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The second question is why didn’t Japan do everything to stop the dropping a second monstrous weapon on its own civilians.

Jimizo, the question suggests that "Japan" was a unified entity with shared goals. I think that was far from the case. There were various groups and opinions. ArtistAtLarge has mentioned the Kyujo Incident, which I think illustrates the issue. I've always thought wording of the emperor's public surrender speech was designed to calm or control the fanatics.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Halwick (Today |01:28pmJST),

Why didn't you include Russia, China and North Korea in your last sentence? Do you not hope they too will share in keeping lasting peace? Or are they exempt?

Probably, I should have. But it was the U.S. that actually dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and so in my mind there was only the U.S.

The fact that the U.S. have NEVER used nuclear weapons during the past 75 years indicates they are committed to that goal.

But how many times has the U.S. been driven to almost use nuclear weapons in the past 75 years? Once, twice or thrice? You cite the fact that the U.S. has never used nuclear weapons in the past 75 years as an indication that the U.S. is committed to never repeat the same mistake. That means you regret the mistake the U.S. made in 1945 by dropping nuclear weapons on the two cities. But is your regret over a moral mistake or about a military, strategic one?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Truman was using "Hiroshima" in the metonymic sense - that is, using a part to represent the whole. Kure, in Hiroshima, was and still is an important naval base, so unless you are intent upon quibbling, or splitting hairs, Truman was not wrong.

That's a disingenuous explanation. He knew exactly what he was saying, and wanted to avoid saying he has wiped out a city of civilians. And while Kure naval base was several kilometers outside the city, ground zero was dead in the center of the city where one could expect maximum civilian deaths. Over a hospital no less.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Pearl Harbor is relevant because it was how American joined the war which ultimately led up to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The events are related.

In which case the American oil embargo on Japan is also related because this led to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

But the reason people bring Pearl Harbor into this conversation is not to show a causal relationship, but to show an equivalency between the attacks.

A surprise military attack was clearly seen as underhand, but the target was a legitimate purely military target. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were predominantly civilian targets and the purpose to show that the US could wipe out the entire nation.

They were very different things.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I hate to go on, but Truman was possibly the worst president in history. Whether Vietnam, the Middle East or just about anywhere he touched, millions have died are are still dying today because of his post WW2 world order. Quite a legacy, and it seems completely ignored by most US history books.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Truman was using "Hiroshima" in the metonymic sense - that is, using a part to represent the whole. Kure, in Hiroshima, was and still is an important naval base

Like shooting through YOUR house to get to your criminal neighbor. Or YOUR car to get the criminal in the car next to yours. Please call your local police and let them know that's all fine with you. I would not want any of the people paid to protect the public to take a single risk when they can just heap all the risk on YOU.

There should really be a list of people who conjure up that absolute rubbish so that if we are ever attacked the other country will know whose house is okay to bomb to smithereens. NOT MY HOUSE! I believe the bomb has to fit the target. The target does not expand to innocent people for convenience of the bomb size.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Jimizo, the question suggests that "Japan" was a unified entity with shared goals. I think that was far from the case. There were various groups and opinions. ArtistAtLarge has mentioned the Kyujo Incident, which I think illustrates the issue. I've always thought wording of the emperor's public surrender speech was designed to calm or control the fanatics.

Fair point. My main point is to get at why this happened and to make sure Japan is never again in a situation of governance where this kind of breakdown happens again.

This is something I feel is overlooked in my experience of talking about Nagasaki with Japanese people.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No invasion or nukes were ever needed to end WWII. Soviet entry ended it and convinced the Japanese to surrender to the US to save their emperor.

Yes, and the American leadership knew EXACTLY when the Soviets would enter the war with Japan as that had been decided at Yalta. Its no coincidence that just before that the first nuke was dropped. It is so DISGUSTING to read people still excusing the mass murder of civilians after all these years and all the information that has been released. The Soviet entry into the war is what made Japan surrender, PERIOD. Its DISGUSTING how some people need to hold on to a mass murder doing something great apparently as some stupid point of national pride. Well I am American, and its nothing on me. I didn't do it. I had nothing to do with it. But it is infuriating to hear someone from my country still defending this complete garbage with complete garbage excuses that don't match with simple facts.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The Japanese military leadership had decided when the Russians swept into Manchuria roughly 12 hrs before the bombing of Nagasaki that they couldn't fight on 2 fronts. The planes were already en route, and arrived before the Emperor could be informed of the turn of events in China. The rest, as they say, is history. Doubly tragic in that out of 75,000 killed only 150 were soldiers, and that the bombing served no military, strategic or practical purpose. It was an indiscriminate attack on civilians, and should have been prosecuted as a war crime.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

My main point is to get at why this happened and to make sure Japan is never again in a situation of governance where this kind of breakdown happens again.

It's a good point. It should probably apply to all countries. I worry these days about a possible resurgence of fanaticism.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@voiceofokinawaToday  04:50 pm JST

But it was the U.S. that actually dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and so in my mind there was only the U.S.

You deliberately ignore the fact that there was a war going on at the time. It just so happened the U.S. was the only one that had it at the time and used it as wartime circumstances dictated.

Any country that had the atomic bomb at that time and under war conditions would have used it. Do you deny that? If the Soviet Union had the atomic bomb in April 1945, Stalin would certainly have used it against Germany.

You cite the fact that the U.S. has never used nuclear weapons in the past 75 years as an indication that the U.S. is committed to never repeat the same mistake. That means you regret the mistake the U.S. made in 1945 by dropping nuclear weapons on the two cities. But is your regret over a moral mistake or about a military, strategic one?

You are playing with semantics and making non sequitur inferences as you are famous for doing.

There is nothing to regret, nor is it an admission of mistake that the U.S. used the atomic bomb under the circumstances and conditions at that time, which was wartime. The fact is, nuclear weapons (whether you want to admit or not) was a major contributing factor in ending that World War and that's the way it happened. Nuclear weapons for the past 75 years, as a deterrent, continues to be a major factor in preventing future major world wars from being waged again.

Wars will continue to be waged with conventional weapons and by its very nature will use the most destructive available, short of nuclear, of course. But nuclear weapons are now viewed as a weapon "of last resort". During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel almost resorted to using nuclear weapons. They had available 13 Jericho intermediate range missiles armed with nuclear warheads to be used had the war gone badly for them as it almost did.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In which case the American oil embargo on Japan is also related because this led to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

And was was there an oil embargo? Again, it is related so it would be a good idea to learn about it.

But the reason people bring Pearl Harbor into this conversation is not to show a causal relationship, but to show an equivalency between the attacks.

That is not true. On Japanese TV today, they included footage and an explanation of Pearl Harbor when discussing Nagasaki.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why was there an embargo? (for above)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I hate to go on, but Truman was possibly the worst president in history. Whether Vietnam, the Middle East or just about anywhere he touched, millions have died are are still dying today because of his post WW2 world order. Quite a legacy, and it seems completely ignored by most US history books.

Here is something that does not challenge your opinion but instead, shows that it could have been worse had not Truman acted to cut of MacArthur.

Here is a quote by General MacArthur:

*I would have dropped between 30 and 50 atomic bombs on his air bases and other depots strung across the neck of Manchuria.... It was my plan as our amphibious forces moved south to spread behind us—from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea—a belt of radioactive cobalt.*

As you know course Truman fired MacArthur in 1951. Two bombs were dropped on Japan. He asked for 20 to use during the Korean War.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

MacArthur also said that the US should have accepted the Japanese surrender terms offered in April. The final terms of surrender in August were exactly the same.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Why was there an embargo? (for above)

Japan invaded China in 1937. FDR warned Japan to cease hostilities against China. Japan ignored FDR's warning so FDR imposed an embargo and froze Japan's assets.

People often overlook that initial event (Japan invading China) that led to the sanctions and instead blame the U.S. for starting the Pacific War..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Oh, so it was ok to nuke the helpless women and children then.

No less ok to bomb sleeping sailors. Whats the difference?

Well if bombing civilians and bombing military has no difference to you then of course there's no difference.

Thanks, that's just what I want to hear from you.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And if people believe that use of the atomic bomb on helpless civilians is justified then you can be pretty sure that they will believe any other excuse is justified.

No, that’s way off the mark. Trying to pigeon-hole people as stupid, easily-led or bloodthirsty in this debate isn’t arguing in good faith.

I’ve come across plenty of people who believe killing innocents for a cause they regard as noble is justified, or for the more cowardly, they will use ‘understandable’.

You’ll come across plenty of hypocrisy on the principle of killing innocents. The principle is very interesting in its selective application.

Thanks for the insight.

I am however arguing in good faith.

Yes there are many who believe the killing of Innocents could be justifiable for a noble cause.

But that's just it. This is not just killing a handful of people to save someone important .

This is dropping not one but two atomic bombs on masses of population, which aren't even necessary because the military was already broken and helpless.

This is the worst war crime and if people can justify it then they can pretty much justify anything.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Halwick (Aug. 9 | 06:53 pm JST),

Any country that had the atomic bomb at that time and under war conditions would have used it. Do you deny that? If the Soviet Union had the atomic bomb in April 1945, Stalin would certainly have used it against Germany.

When the atomic bombs were dropped, the U.S. military had a complete control over the air and sea of Imperial Japan. Okinawa was already in the hands of U.S. forces. Almost all major cities were reduced to ashes and ruins by incessant bombings by B-29s.

U.S. intelligence must have known Japan could no longer continue to fight despite each citizen's high morale. In fact, the U.S. occupation forces were surprised, when they were stationed in Japan, to find there was indeed nothing left. The superb U.S. intelligence must have known this fact precisely and so must Washington’s upper echelons. It was under such circumstances the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well if bombing civilians and bombing military has no difference to you then of course there's no difference.

Absolutely no difference when there is no state of war.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I think it’s worth noting that the original target for Bockscar, the plane that dropped Fat Man, was Kokura. However, smoke from a previous firebombing obscured it, and so the pilots decided to attack Nagasaki, the secondary target. It’s also worth noting that the intended target of the Nagasaki attack were Mitsubishi Shipyards, Electrical Shipyards, Arms Plant, and Steel and Arms Works, which employee a whopping 90% of the entire workforce of the city and accounted for 90% of the city’s total industry. Think about that a moment, only 10% of the city’s industry and 10% of its workers were non-military. Thus they would have been considered military assets under the laws of total war that existed at the time.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

voiceofokinawaAug. 9  10:36 pm JST

U.S. intelligence must have known Japan could no longer continue to fight despite each citizen's high morale. In fact, the U.S. occupation forces were surprised, when they were stationed in Japan, to find there was indeed nothing left.

That's not quite true. Yes, Japan was finished as a warfighting nation, BUT.......

After the Battle of Okinawa, Japan pulled back its remaining military forces and deployed them to Kyushu for the anticipated 1 November 1945 American invasion. Japan still had available some 10,000 airplanes available for Kamikaze attacks, and four million soldiers plus civilian population ready to fight the American invasion.

This was Operation Ketsu-Go.

https://fas.org/irp/eprint/arens/chap4.htm

When the U.S. military planners were planning Operation Olympic, the data on Japanese military strength was initially based on data collected in April 1945, which proved to be inaccurate.

By July 1945, U.S. intelligence realized they had underestimated Japanese military strength on southern Kyushu where the American invasion forces were going to land and that the Japanese defense force actually outnumbered the planned American forces.

By 1 August 1945, almost all Japanese forces to defend Kyushu were in place.

U.S. intelligence also underestimated the effectiveness of Kamikazi attacks defending Kyushu. Japan still had Shinyo suicide motor boats and midget submarines in reserve.

If Operation Olympic had been executed as planned, it would have been the largest bloodbath for both American and Japanese forces and civilian casualties.

https://fas.org/irp/eprint/arens/chap5.htm

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Peter

MacArthur also said that the US should have accepted the Japanese surrender terms offered in April. 

Japan was in absolutely no position to dictate surrender terms to the US at the time, given the hopeless state it was in and the US's overwhelming position. That went to show how deluded the Japanese were at the time.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This gets tiring hearing people go on about bombing ""innocents"" the ONLY innocents were the young, Japans govt, military & PEOPLE were pretty much FULLY behind the war, PERIOD!

And yes BOTH Hiroshima & Nagasaki were VALID military targets!

And there was a bloody WAR going on, why on earth are so many posting seeming to think just because the war reached Japan that the US & allies should simply HALT the war.....that is nuts!

The war continued until Japan SURRENDERD as it should have!

The blame for those that died in Hiroshima & Nagasaki resides SOLELY with JAPAN!!

This revisionism is off the charts. Hell even to this day the govt in Japan STILL does NOT care one bit about its own people!! The govt continually run rough shod all over them non-stop!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Halwick,

The U.S. planners of an operation called "Operation Olympic "were planning to use the atomic bomb as a tactical weapon against the beach defenses on Kyushu."

So pro-Hiroshima/Nagasaki atomic bombing can be assumed to be thinking the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is justified because it's the same tactical use of the bombs as against beachhead defenders on Kyushu. 

That's why these people claim the atomic bombs ended the war quickly and saved millions of lives, Japanese and American. But was it really the tactical use of the bombs?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Planet has been kind to mankind. It is an invitation for mankind to be kind to the Planet. Hence kill not, nor destroy our common home, may have to be our humble way of proceeding.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Voiceofokinawa,

Quit looking at the events with today's 2020 hindsight morality and political correctness, and look at it with the perspective of the period. THERE WAS A WAR BEING FOUGHT AT THAT TIME. If a new type of weapon was available and its potential was promising, it would immediately be used against the enemy.

At that time, I repeat, AT THAT TIME, the U.S. military viewed the atomic bomb as a new type of tactical weapon to be used in the same manner as conventional bombs were used. The difference being the atomic bomb was considerably more powerful.

One B-29, carrying one atomic bomb with the explosive yield equivalence of 15,000 tons of TNT could do the work of 2,500 B-29s each carrying 12,000 lb bomb payload. That made it a very efficient weapon.

Another thing: military planners and tacticians AT THAT TIME, did not understand the atomic bomb's radiation effects, nor did they take it into account in their usage. They believed it could be deployed just like a regular conventional bomb.

Had the Japanese been able to develop the atomic bomb and able to produce them, they would have used them as a tactical weapon against the American invasion forces. Since they didn't have a bomber capable of carrying the bomb, they would load it on the Shinyo kamikaze motor boats and sent it out toward the incoming American fleet as they approached the Kyushu beaches.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There's another theory that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were to flaunt them to Joseph Stalin in anticipation of the coming Cold War after World War Two. If so, to say it was necessary to quickly end the war is nothing but shenanigans.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Planet has been kind to mankind. It is an invitation for mankind to be kind to the Planet. Hence kill not, nor destroy our common home, may have to be our humble way of proceeding.

Dr.Cajetan CoelhoT,

I admire the words.

But realistically speaking, the seeds of war, as manifested in conflicts of interest, are everywhere and will not be abolished by pious platitudes.

When we are able to abolish conflicts of interest, whether are rooted in political ideology, economic, religious and personal prejudice, then there can be hope for world peace.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There's another theory that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were to flaunt them to Joseph Stalin in anticipation of the coming Cold War after World War Two. If so, to say it was necessary to quickly end the war is nothing but shenanigans.

How can you reach the conclusion that ending the war is nothing but shenanigans? Are you implying that it would have been better to prolong the war?

The Potsdam Conference allowed the Soviet Union to enter the Pacific War three months after the surrender of Germany. That would put the Soviet entry circa August 1945.

Truman and advisors saw the problems Stalin was causing in divided Germany and the potential for future conflict between the U.S. and Soviet Union. Truman did not want a divided postwar Japan with the same problems.

So the war had to be ended BEFORE the Soviet Union declared war on Japan and landed on Japanese soil and occupied the Northern half of Japan.

Given the already growing adversarial relationship between the U.S. and Soviet Union in Germany, what do you suppose would happen when the American invasion forces met and clashed with the Soviet forces already on Japanese soil since August 1945?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Halwick,

How can you reach the conclusion that ending the war is nothing but shenanigans? Are you implying that it would have been better to prolong the war?

Nowhere did I say "ending the war is nothing but shenanigans." You're blatantly misquoting me and putting this deliberate misquotation in my mouth. I said it was nothing but shenanigans to try to justify the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by saying it was to end the war rather quickly.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

we stand before the abyss; do we scream into the relentlessly uncaring wind,

'ban these man made monstrosities of mankind',

while the belligerence of the bullies continues unabated,

for fearless they feel, armed with the ultimate, delivery of death,

our collective calls for common sense,

give them no cause for caution, instead,

they take more and more, till their arrogance fuels, hatred and war...

we hold the double edged sword,

damned if we don't, damned forever if we do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa,

I said it was nothing but shenanigans to try to justify the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by saying it was to end the war rather quickly.

Okay.....So what you are really saying is that the original plan of invasion would NOT be shenanigans (to use your phrase), even though it would have resulted in prolong the war, millions of civilian casualties and dividing the country in the aftermath. This is what you prefer?

Just trying to understand why you would prefer that kind of outcome to justify avoiding the use of the atomic bomb when it prevented it from happening in the first place.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@pug boy!,

That was very nice. we should ban ALL types of man-made weapons of monstrosities (not just nuclear, but also conventional, biological, chemical and anything else that can be used as weapons).

But first we have to abolish the conflicts of interests and prejudice that are really the root cause of war.

Idealistic but not realistically attainable, unfortunately.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Halwick,

The planners of Operation Olympic were contemplating the tactic use of atomic bombs to destroy beachheads at Kushikino on Kyushu. Were the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings the same as beachhead attacks at Kushikino?

An aerial bombing against the concentrations of enemy forces before invasion has some tactical meaning, but does the atomic bombing of civilian populations? And afterwards you try to justify your action by saying it was to quickly end the war. This is what I call shenanigans.

It is often said that the unilateral revocation by the Soviet side of the Japan-Soviet Neutrality Pact and the Soviets' participation in the war quickened Japan's surrender.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

After reading the recent comments and the conviction the posters have for this snippet of history, makes you wonder if others even consider this, in their "here and now moment" of change culture, loot and destruction for past wrongs and cultural cleansing. The US history, as with most countries, is one full of progressive moments backed by mechanical events. I think of them as mechanical because war is one of those realities of civilization, where one paradigm challenges another, and progressive ideas, worth fighting for, are in conflict with the methods used to protect and promote them. You cant have one without the other, on the stairs of development.

Its without any doubt that if the Japanese would have won, they would of crushed any form of individualism, freedom and replaced it with their own version of fascism. If, after the attack on Pearl, FDR submitted to the feeble minded advisors in his cabinet to just negotiate a deal, the Japanese would have gladly accepted and then seen it as an act of weakness and demanded more, due to their belief in racial and divine superiority. The kamikaze and banzai charges are evidence of their commitment to this belief.

The US and Allies did commit atrocities, but this is part of the accepted collateral when defending your paradigm. They did it out of fatigue and exhaustion, fighting the other peculiar paradigm that some here are are so eager to defend. The Japanese atrocities were not committed out of wanting to negotiate peace, but instead by the instruction of zealots who were initially seizing the moment to exploit their ideas of world domination by taking advantage of political turmoil in neighboring countries and slaughtering the weak. These facts are clearly self evident; you can look at the context of history and the times, and come to the same conclusion. Anything else is just revisionist attempts to cherry pick events to support conspiracy theories.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I know the internet is where nuance goes to die, and that this is a VERY nuanced topic, but whenever the topic of the atomic bombings come up, I always see people talking about how the bombing were directed at "civilian cities". This is kinda disingenuous, because it gives rise to two misconceptions. 1: That the civilians were the intended targets of the bombs. (They weren't) and 2: That these were purely civilian cities, which did not contain viable military targets. (They did).

When thinking about the reasoning behind the bombings, you have to consider the situation at the time. While I'm sure there were those who hoped that the sheer power of the bombs would be enough to bring the Japanese to heel, this was a best case scenario. And during a war, you don't plan around the best case scenario; you plan around the worst. The worst case scenario was that, even after the bombings, Japan would still refuse to surrender, making a ground invasion necessary. This is what was in the minds of commanders at the time. And when you look at the bombings with this in mind, you see precisely WHY the targets they chose were chosen. The targets on the bomb list weren't chosen by just picking an industrial city off a map. They were chosen because the destruction of the military targets therein would be of maximum benefit to the coming invasion.

Take Hiroshima. There were a number of military units stationed there. Most were small and of little consequence. There were some naval dry docks as well, but since the IJN was nearly annihilated by then, they weren't the primary target. The main reason Hiroshima was chosen was the presence of the GHQ of the Second General Army. The Second General Army was a 400,000-strong military unit stationed in southern Kyushu. The SGA was going to be the primary unit that American invasion forces would face in Operation Olympic. The bombing of Hiroshima was intended to decapitate the SGA in one, fell swoop, thus making the unit less of a challenge for the expected, American invasion.

Regarding the second bombing, most people don't know that Nagasaki wasn't the original target. Kokura was. And if you know gun collecting, you know that Kokura was home to the massive Kokura Arsenal complex that produced huge volumes of infantry weapons, artillery, tanks, and ammunition. It was second only to the slightly larger arsenal at Nagoya. Destruction of Kokura and its arsenal would have severely hampered the IJA's ability to supply its troops and sustain resistance again American forces moving northward from Kyushu, inland from the Kanto Plain, and the Soviets moving south from Hokkaido. Fortunately for Kokura, great clouds of smoke from a firebombing the previous night obscured the target zone and prevented Bockscar from finding the target zone. Thus, they diverted to their second target, Nagasaki.

Nagasaki was chosen not so much because its military targets would directly affect the invasion, but because its industrial capacity had been left relatively untouched because the topography of the area interfered with American path-finding radar used to guide the bomber streams at night. Ironically, this topography would shield parts of the city from Fat Man's blast, thus leading to a lower casualty count despite the weapon's higher yield.

And while some might not believe it, civilian casualties were a consideration in regards to what cities were put on the short list. Originally, Nagasaki wasn't on the list at all and the secondary target for the Kokura raid was Kyoto. However, American commanders judged that conventional bombing had destroyed most of the military targets in the city and dropping an A-bomb on Kyoto would have resulted in massive civilian casualties for no military gain.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ReynardFox,

Hiroshima may have been a military city before August 1945, whereby you seem to say it was OK to target it for atomic bombing. Even so, there was a far larger civilian population than military personnel and cicilians working for the military combined. The atomic bomb killed the whole populations indiscriminately. 

The Bockscar's original target was the industrial city of Kokura, says ReynardFox, but, when the Fat Boy-carrying B-29 arrived, the city was heavily covered with the smog from the previous night's firebombing and the crew couldn't find the pre-determined target. So they changed their target from Kokura to Nagasaki at the last moment. ReynardFox seems to suggest the bombing of Nagasaki can thus be justified because the pre-determined target was “correctly” an industrial, military city.

I remember hearing an interesting fable from a foreign student from Israel in a foreign language class many, many years ago. A very faithful pet bear there was, which saw a noisy fly alight on the forehead of his master who was sound asleep. The faithful bear took up a hammer and with all his strength smashed the fly flat. 

The U.S.'s Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings appear to me like this bear's action.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@voiceofokinawa

That’s certainly an interesting parable, but one that doesn’t really track well with the situation. It the parable, the bear struck its master in the head. So by your logic that would make America the bear and Japan the master? Or would that make Japan the bear or America the master? Either way, the metaphor doesn’t really work. Now if, say, the bear’s master had been struck by someone else and the bear then hit that other person with a hammer, the parable might be more applicable.

and just because you put words like “correctly” in scare quotes doesn’t change anything. These were major, military targets and were struck because of it. Total war is nasty business, where the line between civilian and military is blurred. Take the civilians who worked in the military factories? Are the acceptable targets, as they contribute directly to the war effort? Remember, military industries accounted for 90% of Nagasaki’s industrial base and employed 90% of all workers in the city. It wasn’t just a few people here and there.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

RaynardFox,

So by your logic that would make America the bear and Japan the master?

Maybe, the master is the mastermind in Washington and the bear the people who executed the plan actually and faithfully.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So by your logic that would make America the bear and Japan the master? Or would that make Japan the bear or America the master?

I couldnt follow the parable or analogy either....lol.

What allot of these apologist fail to mention, is that there were many high ranking IJA colonels etc who escaped trial, and some later went on to serve in the Japan diet. Speculation says that some even went on to carry out post war nationalist adventures overseas. Thats interesting, because there is evidence that some were involved with the execution of POWs. Remember, Japan was executing POWs, before they surrendered.

Tojo and a just a few others were actually prosecuted, after given a trial with lawyers, but many Allied POWs and captured civilians never even got a trial, whatsoever. They were just summarily executed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TheLongTermer,

To say more about the parable, the master may be the values the U.S. holds high up: democracy, freedom, humanitarianism, respect of individuals and what not. Those values were crushed to pieces by one stroke of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and another on Nagasaki. 

So the faithful bear can be said to be the U.S. government led by then President Harry S. Truman that decided on the use of the atomic bombs against a nation on the verge of death, gasping for breath.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

For the record, they clearly were not going to stop the horrors and torment they were committing. The Batan death march and other things (not to mention their ally with mustache). Pure stubborness from hell.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@voiceofokinawa

A more apt parable might go something like this:

There once was a man who had a pet bear. This bear was a most loyal, devoted, and protective creature. One day, while the pair were walking down the road, they were approached by a man whom often quarreled with the bear’s master. As they crossed paths, the two did indeed begin to quarrel, trading terrible insults. Then, quite suddenly, the second man struck the bear’s master across the face. Seeing his master so struck, the bear attacked the second man, biting off both his hands. The man fled, and never troubled the pair again.

See, here the meaning makes more sense. The second man (Japan) struck the bear’s master (the USA) first (Pearl Harbor) and then the bear (the US military) bit his hands off (the atomic bombings). While some might argue that biting off someone’s hands in reaction to a face slap is an overreaction, it can also be argued that in biting off the man’s hands, the bear had thus ensured that the man would never be able to strike his master across the face again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ReynardFox,

The U.S. dropped atomic bombs allegedly to hasten for Japan to surrender and you think it worked. Japan surrendered 6 days later.

During those 6 days, note the Soviets breached the Neutrality Pact with Japan and started attacking Japan. Note also that U.S. B-29s continued incendiary bombings of cities even after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As for the aerial bombardment, Tokyo underwent it 106 times, 5 of which were very extensive and large scale.

Japan accepted the Potsdam Declaration on August 15, 1945, thus ending the war.

Does your own parable describe this sequence of events aptly?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa

Now you're just moving the goalposts. The original discussion was about the atomic bombings, not the other events you mentioned. And I'm well aware that the atomic bombings weren't the only factor in Japan's surrender, but it was a factor. You'll note my original post in this thread was about how military planners assumed that it wouldn't hasten the end of the war. The US got exceedingly lucky that the bombings contributed to Japan's surrender, as it saved countless American lives. And an early end to the war, regardless of what you choose to believe was the primary driving force behind it, saved the lives of many more Japanese. A protracted invasion and subjugation of Japan in the same vein as the invasion of Germany, coupled with the American naval blockade, would have resulted in a staggering number of civilian deaths through combat and starvation that were ultimately avoided. There are people that argue that hastening the end of the war still didn't justify the use of nuclear weapons and that is a perfectly acceptable and rational position to have. But so is the position that the bombings were the lesser of two possible evils.

Ultimately, we can't see the timeline where the bombings didn't happen. We can only make educated guesses as to what might have happened. I put my educated guess in my first comment, so take from that what you will.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ReynardFox,

Certainly, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki worked as a factor for Japan to accept the Potsdam Declaration and end the war quickly. The catch is the U.S. gave an explanation later, saying the atomic bombings were necessary to end the war quickly and save millions of lives, Japanese and American.

It is this explanation by the U.S. side that is at issue here. If it was to scare Japan to surrender quickly, there might have been a lot other ways for the U.S. to do so, rather than exercising a direct medical experiment on the two cities.

The U.S. cannot be exonerated from the inexcusable war crime it committed at the last minute of the Second World War. The Pearl Harbor may pale before this heinous act on the part of the U.S..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

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

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites