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Truman's grandson visits Hiroshima after meeting atomic bomb survivors

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First US ambassador Roos attends, then Truman's grandson. It seems to be becoming very fashionable. There is a rumor that Obama wanted to attend but was refused. Any truth to that? And "there is no right decision in war"? What the heck is that supposed to mean? Hasn't thought about it very deeply, has he. Is this is 10 minutes of fame?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I'm sure his Grandson regrets his say in decisions made 50+ years ago. When the world feared the might of Japan. Or barbarity (freedom loving Imperial forces) in their quest to un-enslave the Asiatic people from European dominance. Nuclear Weapons? Nuclear plants are the issue now. No country would use N-weapons but a N-plant that can go sour very quickly.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

But Reiko Yamada, a 77-year-old female survivor, said: “I would like him to know that some of those who lost their family members in the bombings will never forgive (the United States) no matter what.”

And I would like Reiko to know that there are some who lost family members at Pearl Harbor in the Japanese sneak attack there that will never forgive (Japan) no matter what either.

It's a two way street, and THAT's the point of remembering history, so we do not repeat ourselves again.

0 ( +16 / -16 )

If Truman was wise enough to unleash the atomic attacks over military targets instead of civilian one, there will be never giving a pretense for those survivors blaming

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

I don't condone the bombing but if they didn't wanted to be bombed then maybe the majority of the citizens shouldn't have signed up for the war in the first place.

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

I'm not sure if the children who perished in those cities "signed up" for any war.

Only cowards drop bombs on children.

11 ( +19 / -8 )

I'm not sure if the children who perished in those cities "signed up" for any war.

What I mean is that the blame also goes to the Japanese.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

The bombing of Pearl Harbor was a crime of war. The atomic bombing of civilians was a war crime.

3 ( +22 / -19 )

They could have dropped the bombs anywhere at that point. It was all about showing the Russians the awesome power of the nuclear bomb anyway. They need not have dropped the bombs on civilian targets. Japan was on its last legs by 1945.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

I'm sure the COMFORT WOMEN - enslaved prostitutes are thankfull the A Bomb brought about the end of the war, such as Trumans grand son said there is no right decision, when it comes to killing women and children in war. I think it's best to just remember the event for peace and not start an endless debate.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

With the power of the A-bomb, a military target would still kill a lot of civilians anyways. Heck, how many civilians have been killed by precision bombs nowadays? There will always be civilian collateral. Furthermore, everybody was bombing cities back in WW2 - it was regular war M.O. Hitler was bombing London and Stalingrad; Japan was bombing Asian cities; the Allies were bombing Dresden and Tokyo; Russia bombing Berlin. Cities were fair targets back then.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I've been in Japan for more than a decade, and every August the same pity party begins. Someone with a distant connection to the bombings is brought out, everyne hopes "dialog" and "peace" can be promoted, and "the healing" can finally begin. Well, it isn't going to begin until the Japanese survivors realize one basic fact- they brought the war on themselves. They kicked a tiger in the butt without any plan for dealing with it's teeth.

The debate over where, when, and if to use the bombs is rehashed every year. The old arguments that "Japan was about to surrender" and "the bombs could have been dropped in the ocean to show their power" are trotted out and shot down by those with more than a passing knowledge of history.

Until proper context is known, the entire exercise is futile. I suggest a meeting of atomic bomb survivors with a group of Japanese PoW camp survivors, and a meeting with the survivors of Japan's brutal occupation of China. THAT would be a true forum for peace and reconciliation.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Tis true. Civilian war crimes? Are you serious? Please, don’t get me going on the Australians requesting the U.S. Government to send heavy artillery up to Gunma ‘’after the start of the occupation,’’ due to the ‘civilians in them there hills wanting to stay at war…or that in 1943, Civilian Dutch Churchmen and Missionaries were sent to Japanese internment camps to suffer and die. Including yet not limited to wives and children. In 1944, Tojo issued orders to all Japanese commandants of prisoner of war camps to kill all prisoners, civilian or soldiers alike. Want a reference? Look it up yourselves!!! It will do you good to study a little history.

The fact is that the secrete hand shake ought to stick with what he does best…Journalism. It’s not like my Grandma goes and participates in taps on the U.S.S. Arizona due to the loss of cousins to whom both were brothers/electrician mates…

2 ( +7 / -5 )

War sucks. Losing war sucks bigger cause it's hard to justify the suckiness.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The survivor says that they will never forgive the US. But are they willing to forgive her ancestors and the generals who led them into an unwinnable war? Maybe had Japan stayed neutral, then they could have truly said that they were victims. But they weren't neutral, they were the aggressors (of course the crazy right-wingers will go as far as saying that the US led them into the war). Japan needs to stop playing the victim already.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Tojo issued orders to all Japanese commandants of prisoner of war camps to kill all prisoners, civilian or soldiers alike. Want a reference? Look it up yourselves!!! It will do you good to study a little history.

General Hideki Tōjō was found guilty of his war crimes and hanged on 23 December 1948.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

If Truman was wise enough to unleash the atomic attacks over military targets instead of civilian one, there will be never giving a pretense for those survivors blaming

Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were military targets of significant importance. Even up until the most recent times, but more so during the war, the Japanese have had a tendency to have industrial shops right smack in the middle of residential areas.

To quote the Yale Law Schools's Avalon Project:

*Hiroshima was a city of considerable military importance. It contained the 2nd Army Headquarters, which commanded the defense of all of southern Japan. The city was a communications center, a storage point, and an assembly area for troops. To quote a Japanese report, "Probably more than a thousand times since the beginning of the war did the Hiroshima citizens see off with cries of 'Banzai' the troops leaving from the harbor."

The city of Nagasaki had been one of the largest sea ports in southern Japan and was of great war-time importance because of its many and varied industries, including the production of ordnance, ships, military equipment, and other war materials. The narrow long strip attacked was of particular importance because of its industries.*

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The bombing of Pearl Harbor was a crime of war. The atomic bombing of civilians was a war crime.

So true. Just one was a bit more horrible, over the top, cruel, than the other. The conflict, if you can call it that, won't be forgotten for centuries to come.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I think the young Truman now has a clue as to the difference between what zichi stated: a crime of war and a war crime. Let this sink in slowly.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's sad that innocent people on both sides of the war had to die, but why on earth didn't the Japanese emperor or the powers that be surrender after the first bomb was dropped? If they'd cared about their own people, not only would they have surrendered immediately, they wouldn't have forced their own people (including children) to commit suicide.

As for the victim mentality, nobody has a monopoly on that. When you have Japanese soldiers bayonetting you, or raping you or Japanese doctors performing experiments on your body while you're still conscious, you just want everything to stop, even if that means dropping a bomb on your enemy's country.

What we need to do is move on (without rewriting or denying history).

0 ( +6 / -6 )

To quote the Yale Law Schools's Avalon Project:*Hiroshima was a city of considerable military importance. It contained the 2nd Army Headquarters, which commanded the defense of all of southern Japan. The city was a communications center, a storage point, and an assembly area for troops. To quote a Japanese report, "Probably more than a thousand times since the beginning of the war did the Hiroshima citizens see off with cries of 'Banzai' the troops leaving from the harbor."

The city of Nagasaki had been one of the largest sea ports in southern Japan and was of great war-time importance because of its many and varied industries, including the production of ordnance, ships, military equipment, and other war materials. The narrow long strip attacked was of particular importance because of its industries.*

Nicely said, but it does not alter the fact that the aim was to hurt Japan where it hurt the most: the civilian population.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I visit Hiroshima for the first time 2 years and visited the Memorial Park. It's very touching to see the whole area that was devastated in person, and I hope everyone will take the time to go there if possible. I am not going to waste my time trying to place blame on the events that happened. We should all hope that something like this will never happen again.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The bombs (whether the 2nd one was necessary is questionable) saved more lives that they took. POWs were dying at a rate of over a 100 a day. The invasion of Kyushu in November was expected to cost at least 500,000 US military lives, and that is just Kyushu. The Japanese people were expected to fight to the death, just as Japanese soldiers did on Okinawa and Iwo Jima, using bamboo spears, farm tools, and what ever. Fighting on the mainland of Japan would have made Hiroshima/Nagasaki look mild. Japan needs to get over its "victim" mentality which is perpetuated by the ceremonies every August. Japanese people all know how their country suffered, but know almost nothing about the death and devistation their military caused throughout Asia where millions were killed, including countless innocent civilians. Finally, if Japan had the bomb you can be sure they would have used it. Truman, a great president, made a difficult decision, but the right one in my opinion. I respect his grandson for visiting Japan.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I've been in Japan for more than a decade, and every August the same pity party begins.

I've been in Japan nearly 30 years and the same thing happens in Okinawa on June 23rd, in August in Nagasaki and Hiroshima as well. There is nothing wrong with remembering the people who died.

The goal is that we shall never forget and never let the same happen again. What's wrong with that?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Oh and while the "numbers" pale in comparison, 12 AMERICAN's died at Hiroshima too.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I don't accept that America even had to invade mainland Japan. They could have just sat it out and ensure the supply lines were cut. The country would have collapsed within one year.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

@Yubaru: Don't forget the 20 thousand or so Korean laborers who suffer from radiation related illnesses. Where's thier piece of the pity pie? Hell, where are their health care benefits?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Not sure why some people would vote down the fact that Tojo was hanged for his war crimes?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

I don't accept that America even had to invade mainland Japan. They could have just sat it out and ensure the supply lines were cut. The country would have collapsed within one year.

And this is because your historical vision is 20/20 right? If you were "there", born during the time when the decisions were made, who would you choose to die? Your countrymen or the enemies?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I totally agree with Yubaru on this. You have to be in the moment when these decisions are made. Japan was still occupying Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaya, Singapore and Indonesia. The Japanese wanted to force the allied powers into a negotiated end to the war which was out of the question (see Potsdam declaration). After the surrender of Germany, Americans were tired of having American boys die overseas and wanted the quickest possible defeat of Japan.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

You have to be in the moment when these decisions are made.

And since most of us can't relate to the moment we base our decisions and opinions upon information that was unavailable at the time in question and crucify those that were forced to make the choices.

Heaven forbid that any one of "us" are ever put into the same situation.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It is understandable for a survivor to make a statement as did ms Yamada, some people find in their heart to forgive, some never do. for most of the nation- the a bomb was unknown- a secret weapon- , for most in the know- it's power was tested- but only in desert , so yes - power was known- but true destruction with force load? not sure.

reading the comments and seeing the polarization where one side wants apologies yet refuses apologies for things they did, where the hatred keeps stirring. such a shame.

the war is over- that time is past- most of that generation is past- we should learn to get along, not make the same mistakes- not harbor the same fears and hatreds.

are we not all survivors of that time?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There where many that wanted the other "3" bombs that were ready to be dropped on Japan, and the president had the gall to stand up and say enough is enough angst many that wanted Japan removed from the face of the earth.. unfortunately some still do... Japan should be thankful to Mr.Truman for saving Japan

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Yubaru (Aug. 04, 2012 - 03:56PM JST ):

President Truman justified his decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by saying that the bombings were necessary in order to end the war quickly. I take his words even though with some reservation. The Japanese people were mesmerized by the then military government into believing that their cause for the war was just and fair and so they were determined to fight it out to the last person.

As Yubaru says, yes, war is a two-way street, and he may be right to counter that "there are some (Americans) who lost family members at Pearl Harbor in the Japanese sneak attack there that will never forgive (Japan) no matter what either." To put his words differently, dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was retaliation for Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. It was thus an eye for en eye and a tooth for a tooth. War is a two-way street.

But I always wonder if Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima/Nagasaki could be discussed at the same level. If retaliation was what it was, the U.S. side had retaliated against Japan more than enough toward the end of the war. Well over 200 cities had been bombarded and reduced to ashes and rubble with civilian deaths totaling 330,000 (Wikipedia). The war's end was imminent to anyone's eyes. And yet it was under such situation that the atomic bombs were dropped, instantly killing or evaporating 90,000–166,000 people out of 350000 in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 people out of 240,000 in Nagasaki.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Yubaru

And this is because your historical vision is 20/20 right? If you were "there", born during the time when the decisions were made, who would you choose to die? Your countrymen or the enemies?

I was born just after the war, in Liverpool, which was the second most bombed city after London. Our family homes were destroyed and some fighting family members lost thier lives. One child, my uncle was killed from a bomb. My family also fought in Burma but fortunately no one was killed or captured.

Later, I served my country with some time in the Royal Navy.

I think that America didn't need to invade mainland Japan. Please explain to me the reason for doing that? America had already firebombed every single city except Kyoto which was spared because of the historical sites. The military was broken. Like I said, America just had to sit it out and retake the islands.

Unless, America actually had other intentions?

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Well, I do agree that the present and the future based on the historical past is about peace, world peace and a world without atomic weapons which is spreading way too much.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Dear Mr, Truman Daniel, please rest assured that your grandfather did not wish to annihilate these people had Ms. Reiko Yamada et al heeded his warning.

Shortly before the US dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, the United Stated showered the Japanese cities of Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and 33 other potential targets with over 5 million leaflets warning civilians of the impending attack. In Japanese, the back of the pictured leaflet read:

"Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or friend. In the next few days, some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs. These cities contain military installations and workshops or factories which produce military goods. We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique which they are using to prolong this useless war. But, unfortunately, bombs have no eyes. So, in accordance with America's humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives. America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique which has enslaved the Japanese people. The peace which America will bring will free the people from the oppression of the military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan. You can restore peace by demanding new and good leaders who will end the war. We cannot promise that only these cities will be among those attacked but some or all of them will be, so heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately."

That's a hell of a lot more warning than they got in Pearl, Hong Kong, Guam, Wake, Malaya, the Philippines and Singapore.

@Prestio345:

Nicely said, but it does not alter the fact that the aim was to hurt Japan where it hurt the most: the civilian population.

you might want to take note too.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

But Reiko Yamada, a 77-year-old female survivor, said: “I would like him to know that some of those who lost their family members in the bombings will never forgive (the United States) no matter what.”

Your burden.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Zichi: I too was born shortly after the war, my father died when I was very young of wounds he suffered also in Burma, I served in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam so we have many parallels. However when you say : Unless, America actually had other intentions?, please be aware that Codename Downfall (the invasion of Honshu) proposed a Commonwealth Corps designated X Corps (General Sir Charles Kneightley) and consisting of:: 3rd British Division 6th Canadian Division 10th Australian Division so please don't make this an American only decision and operation. A quick end to the war save quite a few British lives too.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Zichi, unfortunately you are wrong on many counts.

The Japanese military as NOT broken at war's end. To the contrary, the Army had been hoarding supplies and troops to repel an Allied invasion. There were more than half a million soldiers in Kyushu alone. Plus, the home volunteer guard had 15 MILLION members , who were training with bamboo spears and satchel bombs. There were also nearly 10,000 aircraft of varying types available for kamikaze missions.

Your solution of a continuing naval blockade would have killed far more people than the atomic bombs. There would have been mass starvation in Japan, and who would suffer the most? Civilians. The military would have priority over whatever food was available, and leave the scraps for the citizens. Plus, you would be condemning those held in Japanese PoW camps to another year of torture and abuse.

Young and old Japanese alike need to face the facts and not the emotions.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique which has enslaved the Japanese people. The peace which America will bring will free the people from the oppression of the military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan. You can restore peace by demanding new and good leaders who will end the war.

Well what they didn't realize was that most of the Japanese citizens themselves were in favor of the war. And look, it's happening again with the disputed islands and with people like Ishihara. If they keep blaming others for their problems then they will never learn.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Vast Right-Wing Conspirator,

totally disagree with your comment.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

techall, sorry about your father and I accept what you say, but it was America leading the way.

Could it be that the real reason America invaded mainland Japan was because it thought if it didn't then Russia would have?

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Zichi: Those numbers are correct. The battle plan and troop strengths are available on the web. Also read "Japan's Longest Day" which is a factual account of the 24 hours leading up yo the surrender broadcast. according to those who were involved.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Zichi: The war in the Pacific was indeed American led, but this was in part because Roosevelt agreed to Churchill's "Europe First" policy. The Potsdam Declaration proves that England too was committed to unconditional surrender of Japan. There was simply no money to keep all those men in arms for a long siege. The British did play a big part in the occupation.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

techall,

sorry I didn't question your figures but I do question the need to invade mainland Japan, and I question the need to drop two atomic bombs unless America was sending a warning to the Soviet Union?

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Zichi: Well Japan did not respond well to the first one and in fact broadcast that they would never surrender. However, the message to the Soviets was pretty clear too.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The bomb was ready for Germany but it was ok to drop on Asians only

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

War sucks. Losing war sucks bigger cause it's hard to justify the suckiness.

That sums it up pretty nicely.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

We will get the usual numbers of protestors outside the Yokosuka base from organizations like "Japan's Peace Constitution to the World" and of course the "No nuclear ships in Japan" when a nuclear reactor is not the same as a nuke bomb. It's there right and glad to see at least they are trying to remember, you'd be surprised at how many Japanese don't even know how vast the Japanese forces spread during WW2, and the destrucion they caused. They seem to think WW2 began and ended with Hiroshima.

But, if they want to remember, all I ask is that they look at Japan's role in the war too. The US just didn't decide to go to war and drop an atomic bomb on Japan. There was a reason for it, whether they chose to admit it or not. Ask the people of Okinawa if they really wanted to commit suicide at the behest of the IJN when it was looking like it was over. Look at the difference between the German civilian population as the allies were over running Germany and their actions of willing surrendering to the Allies (and trying to make it to the American and British vice the Russians) and the Japanese on Okinawa and before that Saipan, and tell me if you weren't the US commander you would have wanted a way to break the will of a people who didn't mind dying for their cause as long as they could take you with them.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

techall, General Douglas MacArthur was Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP).

The first atomic bomb was dropped and three days later the second one. Seems like a very short time for Imperial Military to understand what had happened?

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

I think that America didn't need to invade mainland Japan. Please explain to me the reason for doing that? America had already firebombed every single city except Kyoto

If you read history America did not "firebomb every single city" except Kyoto. Both Nagasaki and Hiroshima had been spared until they both were hit with nukes.

Take away both Hiroshima and Nagasaki and there would have been no choice but to invade.

Remember hindsight is 20/20, I lost relatives in the Pacific War, I have relatives whose names are engraved into wall of Peace at Mabuni in Okinawa, I have American relatives that DIED in WWII.

Yet I was born nearly 20 years AFTER WWII ended, do I have animosity or hate towards the Japanese that killed my father's brothers? No! Not now, not ever!

I have relatives that will never forgive me for marrying a Japanese woman, because they believe I dishonor the loved one's they lost during WWII, but I did not marry a Japanese woman for her nationality, I married her because of who she is and not where she was born.

Don't ever think YOU or anyone ever knows what the two of us have been through or "know" about what the war does or did to people. I can relate stories that would make people cry.

My ONLY point is this! Never forget what has happened, lest we repeat the mistakes of our ancestors!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Can our 'expert' historians on this thread look into the real reason Japan attacked Pearl Harbour? Why was Japan so desperate to attack a country they knew they couldn't beat? And of course they new the allied countries would join the U.S. Find the real answer to that and you may change your mind about Japan's so-called 'unprovoked' surprise attack. I realize it's slightly off topic but it is a very important thing to learn about and understand. There are some very thought-provoking articles about this written by Japanese and non-Japanese alike. Western imperialism, its superiority complex, and racism also contributed to the outbreak of war. As for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, if they don't constitute war crimes, what does?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Yubaru,

I have relatives that will never forgive me for marrying a Japanese woman, because they believe I dishonor the loved one's they lost during WWII, but I did not marry a Japanese woman for her nationality, I married her because of who she is and not where she was born.

I'm sorry you and your wife had that experience with your family. I married my Japanese wife and nearly all my relatives attended the wedding includes those who had been fighting in Burma. My wife is fully accepted by my family. We lived for a number of years in London before moving to Japan about 20 years ago.

I am well aware of the horrors of war, I personally know some people who spent many years in a Japanese POW camp and were tortured.

Because I have never in the last 50 years supported the atomic bombing does not mean I have any support for all the horror made by Imperialist Japan.

67 cities were firebombed, and I also consider firebombing a war crime.

I'm sorry for the loss of your relatives.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Common misconception among the American educated is that they are fed with the notion that atomic bombs ended the war when in fact, it was was the Soviet's entrance to the conflict that finally sealed the deal. Another falacy is that people assume that civilians back then had access to information like today when in fact, the they were fed with propaganda by the government so that the support and the morale would continue.

The decision to surrender(Imperial council) subject to condition on 国体護持 was decided at early Augusut 10th (meeting concluded 2:30 am) The vague report on Hiroshima(which indicate it was either an atomic bomb or new weapon) was relayed to the government at 10:00 am.(Please also recall that Nagasaki has been bombed already) The confirmation that it was actually a nuclear bomb was relayed on August 15th from the August 10th investigation conducted by the six experts from Kyoto University as per request of the Navy.

Hence, the two atomic bombings were just an overkill and was not factor in the decision to surrender. Having said that, hindsight is 20/20 since U.S. weren't 100% sure that Japan will surrender. This is evidenced by the fact that there were eight aerial bombings continued after Nagasaki until the final bombing of August 15, 1945.(Tsujizaki Aerial Bombing).

3 ( +7 / -4 )

The bombing and, more, the thousand of bomb testing in the 50th-70th are pure crimes against humanity, which are still affecting everyone today. And... nothing!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't accept that America even had to invade mainland Japan. They could have just sat it out and ensure the supply lines were cut. The country would have collapsed within one year.

The American people didn't have it in them to continue the war much longer. Especially after the defeat of Hitler, the American people was by then, 4 years on, really tired of the war - and they were fighting 2 wars. They just wanted their soldiers, fathers and sons, home. Continuing the war longer would have no political support back home (like what happened with the Vietnam War); the restless population would demand otherwise. While European allies were even more tired of the war they wouldn't be expected to send replacement troops to help out in the Pacific front. And don't underestimate back then Japan's will to suffer thru sacrifices - they'd rather die than surrender and lose honor (it took super extraordinary circumstances for Japan to surrender), so it's not guaranteed. And the USSR would rather invade, conquer, and occupy rather than sit back and wait, so if the Allies won't do it, the USSR would.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Thomas Anderson

You really don't get it do you ?

"citizens shouldn't have signed up for the war in the first place." They didn't sign up voluntarily, most of them were forced to sign up.

"Japanese citizens themselves were in favor of the war."

How do you know ? During WWII, newspapers were censored, people who disagreed with the government were sent to prisons. Do you somehow have statistics that nobody else has ?

don't be a typical foreginer, it might be a surprise to you but there are millions of people in Japan and people have different opinions in the same country.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

zichiAug. 04, 2012 - 05:18PM JST

The bombing of Pearl Harbor was a crime of war. The atomic bombing of civilians was a war crime

@Zichi, wow, you have said enough in short sentence. Very, very well said.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The bombing of Pearl Harbor was a crime of war. The atomic bombing of civilians was a war crime.

The first bombing was a war crime. The second bomb was gratuitous terrorism.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

most people have forgot about the brutal and savergry of the Japanese army on war prisoners, there was no forgivness!! have they appolagised for there act of attrocity on prisoners of war??

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yubaru (Aug. 05, 2012 - 01:29AM JST),

You say you have relatives who died in the Pacific War. Were your relatives civilian or military? Can you also tell how many civilian deaths there were in the combined fleet of the Imperial Japanese Army's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

they needed to be put back in there place i would droped 20 more bombs

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Zach Odle (Aug. 05, 2012 - 08:41AM JST) ,

You are simply venting your anger with no rationale given. But don't worry. You are telling half the truth. The atomic bombings were carried out not out of the U.S. government's official policy line to end the war quickly, but out of retaliation against the hateful Japan that mimicked the West, thinking imperialism was a good thing to expand one's territory.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Hide Suzuki

They didn't sign up voluntarily, most of them were forced to sign up.

Wrong, most of the citizens were actually in favor of the war, and the people who were not were marginalized and ostracized by the majority. They went to war because they WANTED to. They were doing so good during WWI with small successes and advancements and hence they thought that they were invincible. They had a reasonable amount of freedom and democracy before the WWII.

How do you know ? During WWII, newspapers were censored, people who disagreed with the government were sent to prisons. Do you somehow have statistics that nobody else has ?

Their own fanatical nationalism has pushed their entire nation into WWII. They silenced their dissenters and they did not try to bring more democracy to the government.

Again, this is nothing more than yet another attempt to evade from their responsibilities. You can blame all you want but the fact is that it happened. It's their own fault for being blindly loyal to their nations, and in fact they still do. What did the Japanese learn from WW2? NOTHING, apparently. They learned NOTHING from WW2. They are still blindly nationalistic and loyal to their own nation, like yourself. They will still obfuscate, make excuses to evade their responsibilities. They will make the same mistake again and again because like you, they will keep on blaming somebody else or something else for their problems. The Fukushima disaster is just one of the examples. The media still acts as a lapdog to the government.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Wrong again Thomas.

Most of the citizens were in favor of the war because of what the Japanese government and the censored media fed them. And in this case, it's was their "patriotism" and not "nationalism" that paved way for the enlistment prior to the mandatory draft.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Most of the citizens were in favor of the war because of what the Japanese government and the censored media fed them.

LOL yet another excuse. Ask any person who are alive now that went through the WW2 period. They knew full well what they were getting into yet the majority were in favor of the war. What they regret now is that they didn't do more to go against the tide to oppose the war.

Oh, those poor Japanese, they were so brainwashed and so clueless! It's certainly not their fault... Actually this is a common misconception, Japan went to war because they wanted to.

Even if they were "brainwashed", it's still THEIR OWN FAULT for not being questioning enough of their government. The Japanese are STILL not questioning their own nation. The majority are still blindly loyal and nationalistic, like yourself.

And in this case, it's was their "patriotism" and not "nationalism" that paved way for the enlistment prior to the mandatory draft.

LOL it's the bloody same thing. Actually it was ultra-nationalism.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

LOL yet another excuse. Ask any person who are alive now that went through the WW2 period. They knew full well what they were getting into yet the majority were in favor of the war. What they regret now is that they didn't do more to go against the tide to oppose the war.

Source please. How in the world would they know what "they were getting into"? What was their source? Please enlighten me.

LOL it's the bloody same thing. Actually it was ultra-nationalism.

Nah. The common definition here in this site is that "nationalists" uber or not, are reluctant to die for their country. Can you same the same thing for the IJA?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The dropping of the atomic bombs caused the quick surrender of Japan. This saved the people of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea (where I make my home) from potential genocide. Early in August indigenous "workers" (= slaves) of the Japanese were warned by a righteous Japanese soldier/overseer not to go to a "celebration" at the end of the month because the Japanese soldiers were going to use that gathering to get the men of the island together, get them drunk, and machine gun them, because the soldiers were blaming the locals for the fact that they were losing the war. Because of the A-bombs in early August, they never had a chance to start the carnage. Instead in a few months New Irelanders were dancing as the Japanese occupiers marched to the American ships carrying them home. (Incidentally, when the Allied troops arrived, locals hid the Japanese informant who wanted to save their lives. They gave him up only when it was clear that the Allies had different rules of engagement than the Japanese and were not going to kill all the Japanese troops. In the 1960s the Japanese man had become a successful businessman and sent some Toyota trucks to a school where he had been as an occupying soldier. Many occupying Japanese soldiers were evil. He was not. He is fondly remembered by our old people, as is the dropping of the A-bombs by the Americans.)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

But Reiko Yamada, a 77-year-old female survivor, said: “I would like him to know that some of those who lost their family members in the bombings will never forgive (the United States) no matter what.”

Fair enough Reiko, but you should take a look at another article posted here in JT that S. Koreans hate Japan more than they do North Koreans. Even after the north invaded them and took over their capital twice, and recently sunk one of their ships, they still have a deep seeded hatred of Japan from its colonization of Korea, to the issue of comfort women in WW2.

So it's fine is she has no forgiveness, I can respect that. But I think she needs to own up to the fact that a lot of countries still feel the same way about Japan, no matter what Japan does they will probably feel that way.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

So it's not their fault because they were too ignorant and stupid and instead they let their blind nationalism take over? lol. Yet another attempt to evade from their responsibilities.

That's not what the sentence saids. It states that during the war, many citizens were not able to get accurate information which is exactly what I said previously.

Next source please.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It states that during the war, many citizens were not able to get accurate information which is exactly what I said previously.

Which means that they were IGNORANT!!

Next.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Anyway, it was a brave thing for Truman's grandson to visit Hiroshima, see the museum with his own eyes, and speak to some survivors. Good on him. I respect him for that. I think Obama will visit too, when he is reelected, and he will also get the START with Russia back on track. Weapons like these are a blight on humanity. Others want them because others have them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The hatred of Chinese and Koreans toward Japan seems to be an generational issue (leaving aside that there were enough collaborators with the Japanese among both the Chinese and Koreans -- but that subject is taboo). There are poles among Chinese showing that young people are favorably disposed towards Japan and especially J-pop culture. There are lots of Chinese here in Tokyo, so you can talk to them directly. As for the "pity party", even if it is a "pity party" it has the important function of reminding Japanese that war is hell, no matter which end of the stick you are on, and it should leave a bad taste in your mouth. War should be abolished, but humans are such a pitiful creature that this will not happen.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Which means that they were IGNORANT!!

Yes. As I stated again and again, it's because they had no other sources which brings to my original point

"Another falacy is that people assume that civilians back then had access to information like today when in fact, the they were fed with propaganda by the government so that the support and the morale would continue."

No TV, no live feed, no internet, no same day coverage, no uncensored newspapers, no tweeting, no Youtube, no facebook, etc.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

No TV, no live feed, no internet, no same day coverage, no uncensored newspapers, no tweeting, no Youtube, no facebook, etc.

Japanese people are no more enlightened today than they were in the past.

Next.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

"lostrune2Aug. 04, 2012 - 06:03PM JST

the Allies were bombing Dresden and Tokyo;

You are not correct! USA and Britain!

Russia bombing Berlin. Cities were fair targets back then.

Russia not had power bombers like USA and Britain.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That visit is not important. He was check effective nuclear test of her grandfather for future use bomb and genocide of Russia.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Thomas Anderson

"Which means that they were IGNORANT!!"

Which part of censored radio and newspaper during the WWII do you not understand ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When the Imperial Japanese Combined Fleet advanced toward the Hawaiian Islands to attack U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, the Tokyo government tried hard to officially declare war against the U.S. before the fleet reached there and attacks began so that they could at least say afterwards that they acted according to the rule of war. But even if the declaration of war was made in time, I do not think war against the U.S. could ever be condoned.

At any rate, Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was a violation of the rule of war and so must be condemned to that extent.

On the other hand, atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where citizens were about to start their daily life in Hiroshima or in the middle of being engaged in daily work in Nagasaki, cannot be simply dubbed as a violation of the rule of war. Rather, it was an offense against human ethics and therefore a flagrant challenge to all humanity.

In this sense, zichi (Aug. 04, 2012 - 05:18PM JST) is right in saying that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was "a crime of war" and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were "a war crime." So it's not enough for the U.S. to apologize to atomic bomb victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki but it must confess its sins to the world for using such evil weapons of mass destruction against civilians.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We are the only nation to use atomic weapons in a war, and the Japanese are the only people who have been bombed by our atomic weapons. I would seem impossible for them to forgive us, but they have. Can we forgive them for "Pearl Harbor?" I hope we can.

Look how Truman's grandson had the courage to visit Japan and visit with survivors of our attack.

He was the first Truman relative to attend the anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima on Aug 6 and Nagasaki three days later.

It gives me even more hope that we can all lay this to rest, but how can we ever forget?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Only cowards drop bombs on children.

Well, once could say only cowards declare war moments before a sneak attack killing thousands, or perhaps that only cowards throw babies on bayonets in China, or that only cowards experiment on some of those they 'capture'. And one could say only cowards behead unarmed and beaten men, and only cowards ruthlessly invade other countries and enslave the native population, and perhaps that only coward rape women and use them as concubines, and that only cowards then try to deny and erase the history of ever having done any of this, but who knows?

Reiko Yamada, a 77-year-old female survivor, said: “I would like him to know that some of those who lost their family members in the bombings will never forgive (the United States) no matter what.”

But then you have trouble understanding why China, the Koreans, Australians, US and other nations conversely have trouble forgiving the Japanese. Whether vaporized or burned by one huge bomb, or killed by a torpedo or the cold steel of a bayonet is rather meaningless in the scheme of being dead. is an instant of a massive bomb really any more evil than years of planned, deliberate and savage butchery?

The bombing of Pearl Harbor was a crime of war. The atomic bombing of civilians was a war crime.

Come now Zichi - while that sounds profound, it's horse-sh__. Declaring war as your aircraft are killing troops in their billets on board ship in a harbor - and they did kill quite a few civilians at Pearl - is not excused and made 'okay' because of that declaration right before the fact. And did the Chinese civilians at Nanking have the right to be killed by the Japanese by virtue of war? Folks in Japan seem to dismiss this type of argument as mere propaganda and anti-Japanese sentiment. No, in fact the peace-loving innocent victims of Japan systematically murdered hundreds of thousands. The numbers are argued, but by most all accounts are staggeringly high. Is that an excuse to be bombed? Well, depends upon whether or not your child was stomped under the boot of an invading Japanese trooper. Poor civilian Japanese murdered by the evil U.S. atomic bomb? Maybe. But it's funny how we rarely see the Japanese or the rest of the America hating world equally condemning the acts that preceded the atomic bombing, and were the direct cause of it happening in the first place.

What the Japanese don't get - and what many of you who post on here in support of their whining about the bomb don't get is that the anger from people like me comes not from the idea that those who were bombed were unfair victims (all civilians are), but rather that they fail to understand or even entertain the totality of the reason behind the bombing. They speak of not being able to forgive the US - the ones they should not be able to forgive are the heads of their own government who perpetrated the madness to begin with.

Was the bombing necessary? Depends upon your point of view. All I know is that I had three uncles in the Pacific war - one was at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. They were very thankful that the war ended and they did not have to invade Japan. I'm damned glad to have them around now - and they didn't start the bloody war.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

On the other hand, atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where citizens were about to start their daily life in Hiroshima or in the middle of being engaged in daily work in Nagasaki, cannot be simply dubbed as a violation of the rule of war. Rather, it was an offense against human ethics and therefore a flagrant challenge to all humanity.

But here again you make a distinction that so many of you do on this point about the atomic bombing being a great 'crime against humanity' as if it's somehow separate from the rest of the war, or warfare in general. I don't see the distinction. Are you under the illusion that during most other military campaigns of the Second World War - or any other modern war for that matter - that military operations normally preclude the killing of civilians? Yes, typically towns were largely evacuated (the people fled in advance) but that was hardly always the case. War is about killing. Bullets and bombs can't determine whether or not you wear a uniform. The bombing of major cities in Europe had already been done, and killed a hell of a lot of civilians. The point is, any war is a crime. I guess I just don't put stock in the argument that if folks are in uniform it's okay to butcher them in any fashion you see fit - that war. I don't see how a Japanese soldier on Bataan riding a horse down a column of men and randomly beheading them (it happened - and worse) is okay 'because it's war', but civilians from the country that started said war to begin with being killed is so much more terrible.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But then you have trouble understanding why China, the Koreans, Australians, US and other nations conversely have trouble forgiving the Japanese. Whether vaporized or burned by one huge bomb, or killed by a torpedo or the cold steel of a bayonet is rather meaningless in the scheme of being dead. is an instant of a massive bomb really any more evil than years of planned, deliberate and savage butchery?

Is that what she said?

From my experience, those who denounce the use of Atomic bombs are also very vocal in denouncing the IJA conduct at that time as well. Is it any wonder that great majority domestic population is requesting payments from the Central government and not U.S.? This goes for victims of Tokyo Air raids as well for they too are seeking payments from the Central government. (U.S. isn't even in the picture).

When Tamogami stated that those who attend the Peace memorial are bunch of left wings, he was countered by these groups by calling him a right wing. When former Defense Minister Kyuma stated that the atomic bombing "cannot be helped under the situation" (referring from a U.S. point of view) he was dismissed and was labeled a right wing.

In summary, you imagine the hypocricy is because like most posters here, they have very little clue political view and climates of Japanese citizens. What you did in essence is to take a left wing view of certain population and combine them with the right wing view of certain population to come up with the imagined hypocricy.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

TigermothII

Come now Zichi - while that sounds profound, it's horse-sh__.

No I don't think it's horse shit. The war began with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and ended with the atomic bombing. I don't think we can even begin to compare those two.

In my opinion, the atomic bombings were war crimes but it does not excuse all the terrible and horrific events made by Japan between those two. The Japanese Class A war criminals were found guilty and hanged.

I'm not how did you say, one of the America haters. My mother is American and lives in Florida.

Two wrongs don't make a right.

There were many American experts against the dropping of the atomic bombings.

There were other war crimes like the fire bombing of Dresden but we not discussing that here.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

TigermothII

Declaring war as your aircraft are killing troops in their billets on board ship in a harbor - and they did kill quite a few civilians at Pearl - i

I'm British, not Japanese so they were not my aircraft?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

nigelboy - you're likely making a good point that for whatever reason I'm not really getting completely in reading your posting - but I think your basically saying that many of the victims do blame their own government (at the time) for starting a war to begin with - and if that's a very good thing. Although as quoted she states that many families of the victims could never forgive the United States. In truth I can understand this. But as you state, as long as it is realized that the Japanese military/government was to blame for the situation that ended in the horrific use of the atomic bomb. In truth, I'm not condoning bombing of any kind, and am in fact am declaring war in general as a crime against humanity. And the unfortunate part in it all is that the poor civilian bears the brunt of the injustices perpetrated by their governments, and usually without much recourse in the whole matter. The anger comes more in the too often adamant refusal by the Japanese to take any responsibility for the results of their actions during the war. I suppose it's unfair of me to expect the civilian victims to shoulder that responsibility - but that's the burden of citizenship.

Zichi - no two wrongs don't make a right. If you haven't, you should read some of the better books on Nanking and Japan's actions in China - just to give you historical perspective on the type of mentality the allies were dealing with in the Japanese at the time. It's easy to armchair quarterback (American term, sorry) some 67 years after an event and make condemnations. It was often very different at the time. After going through a European war that had killed so many, and years of a Pacific war that had killed so many, and not so very far removed from a First World War that had taken so much - I think everyone was just ready for war to end. Horrific that the final curtain call were two atomic bombs. But the horror of the rest of the show was no less gruesome, and certainly no less costly. From an Allied perspective if the bombing ended the war without further loss of Allied lives, it was a necessary thing. Start reality I'm afraid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

meant to say 'stark reality I'm afraid'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TigermothII

I"ve held the same view over the atomic bombings for the last 50 years.

I know about all the evils done by the Imperial Army but the topic of the post wasn't that.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Ha - I always thought it was maybe a sculpture by Paul Day or something.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a crime of war.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Tigermothll has a really "white" view of history. It looks like the British, French, German, etc. conquerors during the century of humiliation were actually having a big party and the evil Japanese came along to ruin the party. Unfortunately for that idea, there is a lot of photographic evidence of what the British, French, Germans etc. actually did in China long before the Japanese arrived. Why is it called the "century of humiliation"?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Tigermothll has a really "white" view of history. It looks like the British, French, German, etc. conquerors during the century of humiliation were actually having a big party and the evil Japanese came along to ruin the party.

Er, actually any history would show that the German Nazis (and Italy) have come to crash the European party. And Japan allied with them.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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