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Nagasaki marks 73rd anniversary of U.S. atomic bombing

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Hopefully we avoid nationalism, enslavement of our fellow citizens, colonization, and revenge so that we as humans don’t have to suffer the worst that wars bring again.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Just remember why the war started that led to the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Abe san and his cronies want Japanese to forget why the last Great War started, and that will only repeat the tragedy.

Remember, and never forget in order to never repeat the past tragedy.

-4 ( +14 / -18 )

A war is just a continuation of the previous one.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

How many times in one article do you have to remind us that Japan was the only country to have nukes dropped on it? Once would have been enough.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

America didn't need to drop an atomic bomb on Nagasaki at all. America wanted to conduct an experiment on human bodies by a new different type (plutonium) from Hiroshima type (uranium type). America had only two atomic bombs (plutonium type and plutonium type) then.

-1 ( +16 / -17 )

Anonymous

Excellent true statement.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

@TAMAGAWABOAT

America didn't need to drop an atomic bomb on Nagasaki at all.

President Harry Truman had a moral obligation to drop nukes on Japan as the commander in chief of US armed forces in order to end the war ASAP by any means necessary, because the direct US invasion of Japanese mainland would have cost 1 million American lives, plus 5 million Japanese lives.

The nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki finally gave Emperor Hirohito the courage to overrule the Japanese military and order the surrender. Without the nuking, the war would have dragged on and on until millions more Japanese lives perished under the US carpet bombing.

-8 ( +12 / -20 )

Without the nuking, the war would have dragged on and on until millions more Japanese lives perished under the US carpet bombing.

That's highly debatable. The Japanese feared a land invasion more than battles fought on foreign soil, as any nation would, and they were probably more afraid of the Russians invading.

They were ready to surrender according to many accounts and didn't even realize what had actually occurred in Hiroshima and Nagasaki until after the surrender. At the time, the Tokyo firebombings were much more devastating in their minds (because they actually were).

0 ( +14 / -14 )

@MrBum

That's highly debatable.

It is not highly debatable. Emperor Hirohito said so himself in the surrender speech. The nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the tipping point that made Emperor Hirohito to confront his generals and issue a surrender against their opposition and coup threats.

This is why it is so critical that one must know the history in full account.

https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/hirohito.htm

Emperor Hirohito, Accepting the Potsdam Declaration, Radio Broadcast. 

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, it would not only result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

It is not highly debatable. Emperor Hirohito said so himself in the surrender speech.

A speech made after the fact under the watchful eyes of those who coerced him into an unconditional surrender.

This is why it is so critical that one must know the history in full account.

I agree. You should know the FULL account, not just one speech.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

@MrBum

A speech made after the fact under the watchful eyes of those who coerced him into an unconditional surrender.

Huh? The Imperial Japanese Army and Navy were ready to fight to the last man and Kamikaze the whole nation. Actually the Imperialist called this Gyokusai(玉砕), but this was Kamikaze to Westerners.

They were teaching Japanese schoolgirls how to Kamikaze against US tanks with bamboo stick bombs.

Nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki finally gave Emperor Hirohito the courage to face his mad generals and end this madness.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

 in order to end the war ASAP by any means necessary

This is a common story but it doesn't hold water in light of the timing of key events in the surrender process.

The Supreme Council of the Japanese government met to discuss unconditional surrender on August 9th, three full days after Hiroshima (and after declining a request to convene to discuss Hiroshima soon after it happened) at 10:30 am, before Nagasaki bomb was dropped at 11am.

Tokyo had been unmoved by the extreme fireboming (in the spring/summer of 1945, 66 cities of pop. 30,000 or more had been 50% or more destroyed by time Hiroshima happened) , "moderate" minister Shidehara: “the people would gradually get used to being bombed daily. In time their unity and resolve would grow stronger.” 

There were two options: inflict heavy causalities in a U.S. invasion of the mainland in hopes of getting better surrender terms, or get Stalin (still neutral at the time) to help mediate better terms. But then the Soviets declared war on Japan in the evening of August 8th, poised to invade Japan from Hokkaido in the north. With the Soviets there and the U.S. attacking from the South Pacific, and the person they'd hoped could mediate for them now an enemy, all Japan's options evaporated in one moment. And it had little to do with either nuclear bomb.

But the nukes as the decisive factor in the story remain convenient for both Japan and the U.S.--for the U.S. to minimize Soviet influence and justify guilt over using such terrible weapons, and for Japanese government to avoid having to take responsibility for having prolonged/lost the war after all they put their citizens through.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

They were teaching Japanese schoolgirls how to Kamikaze against US tanks with bamboo stick bombs.

Are you serious? They had a hard enough time convincing trained pilots. Do you actually think civilians would go that far? Do you actually think the Imperial Army thought civilians would go that far?

Look up the United States Strategic Bombing Survey conducted immediately after the war.

Their conclusion concerning Japan and the atomic bombs:

"Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."

0 ( +7 / -7 )

@Fouxdefa

This is a common story but it doesn't hold water in light of the timing of key events in the surrender process.

So it is you vs Emperor Hirohito's own speech citing the nukes as the reason for surrender but never mentioned the Soviet declaration of war against Japan.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Arguing which side was MORALLY doing the righter thing is a little ridiculous.

Firstly how far back are you willing to go in history to begin your account? Are we going to speak of British and other western countries colonizing Asia and killing and stealing? Will we speak of Japan being forced to open borders and how they feared colonization and went on a large militarization period?

Will we speak about WWI when Japan fought with the allies and at that time their war crimes and atrocities toward other weaker humans wasn’t called that, but victory.

Countries don’t do moral things when their backs are against the wall in wars to the death. They tend to act as humans do, doing all they can to survive and then trying to explain it away later and justify their actions.

I can buy the argument that the A bombings ended up perhaps in not as many killed on both sides if the alternative was invasion and if the Japanese were ready to fight to the death. Studying about it is interesting but is think the reality of literally fighting with your women and kidz to the death is a different thing altogether, and may not be realistic to assume. No nation has done that in history, but Japan was also a one off society.

But morally dropping nukes....cmon, humans can only do that to Aliens.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

@thepersoniamnow

But morally dropping nukes....cmon, humans can only do that to Aliens.

I would have made the same decision if I was in Harry Truman's shoes.

There was no other choice, especially when the Imperial Japanese military leaders were calling for the sacrifice of entire 100 million Japanese population to fight Americans to the last man and women and children. The US president had the constitutional obligation to minimize the loss of US troop's lives to absolute minimum, and executing the invasion of Japanese mainland without trying nukes first would have been unconstitutional.

This is why it is so important that Japanese remember the history in full account regardless of how painful it maybe, in order to not repeat it.

If Japanese forgets history, then it is bound to be repeated.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

Samir Basu

One thing about gaining knowledge is to not be totally sure and convinced of things you aren’t sure about. You state your statement like it’s a math equation 1+1=2, but I think you’ve just done a good job of convincing yourself that you are right.

I agree that we in Japan in general need to know our own nation’s history and war history.

I disagree that there was definitely no other choice and that the Japanese were definitely going to do one thing or another. Much more educated historians can tell you the same.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

"Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."

Unconditionally?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@thepersiamnow

I disagree that there was definitely no other choice

What other choice did Harry Truman have?

Japanese have shown willingness to die rather than surrender, with countless Banzai charges and Kamikaze attacks. Now imagine schoolgirls and grandmas doing that, which was the real fear at the US military.

An analysis on the Invasion of Japanese mainland has estimated that 1 million US troops would die, and at least 5 million Japanese.

At the same time, the US had a weapon that could possibly convince the Japanese leadership that further resistance was futile and they faced an extinction if they continued to fight instead of surrender.

You are telling me Harry Truman should have crossed out the option no. 3 and went along with option no. 2, thereby sacrificing 6 million lives?

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

MrBum

The link you provided has no mention of bombs attached at the end. Maybe you have trouble reading?

This is the intelligence the US military had on the bamboo stick bomb that the Japanese schoolgirls were being trained to use.

http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/jp_tankhunters/index.html

Some people like to believe that all Japanese people are samurai that follow the Bushido code. 

The Imperial Japanese military generals demanded that all Japanese follow the Bushido code and give their lives in defending Japan. Every able bodied ones, including schoolgirls.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Bushido is a death cult, and so it manifested itself in the 1930s~1940s.

It is a matter of historical record that the Japanese would not surrender under ANY circumstances. General Slim remarked that if the British encountered 500 Japanese defending a position, they had to kill 495, and the last 5 killed themselves.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Re. TAMAGAWABOAT

America wanted to conduct an experiment on human bodies ......

Look whose talking.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

How many times in one article do you have to remind us that Japan was the only country to have nukes dropped on it? Once would have been enough.

That's what they said in Nagasaki.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The bombing of The two cities was nothing more that a science experiment. For the most part Japan was running low on fuel and other supplies. The poster that said an invasion would have cost one million American soldiers and 5 million Japanese is way out to lunch with His figures.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

“... it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."

Given Gen. Curtis LeMay’s plans neither would have been necessary to force surrender. He planned to relocate the bombers freed by Germany’s surrender to the Far East (bringing the number of available bombers to something like 10,000) and commence even bigger and more frequent attacks from the air against even the smallest Japanese cities. That would have killed even more people directly and as a result of the subsequent famine and disease.

LeMay wanted to prove that air power could win the war without a bloody invasion. Pre-war theory said that future wars would be waged and won from the air by “breaking” civilian morale.

As post-war surveys showed, civilian morale wasn’t “broken”, but civilians in neither Germany nor Japan had the option to rebel. Both countries were military dictatorships which vigilantly looked for signs of “weakness” among the military and civilian populations.

So the war wasn’t won by breaking civilian morale. And additionally, surrender wasn’t the general population’s decision to make.

The civilian population was helpless before the air attacks and their own government’s obstinacy and the dithering of the Emperor. I pity their situation.

Keep in mind that the Supreme Council in Japan had already decided that the 100,000 deaths from the 9 March 1945 firebombing of the Tokyo area was not enough to justify surrender no matter the conditions. Not to mention hundreds of other smaller attacks.

I think relief was universal when Japan accepted defeat.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

What other choice did Harry Truman have?

Virtually every foreign policy decision Truman made was a disaster, many of which we are still trying to clean up today. Two atomic bombs, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Middle East, Palestine/Israel.... For world affairs, probably the worst president in history.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

A bomb apologists and their "two wrongs do make a right" mentality used to be amusing but now it's sad with so much ludicrous right-wing conservative activity in the US.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

*So it is you vs Emperor Hirohito's own speech citing the nukes as the reason for surrender but *never mentioned the Soviet declaration of war against Japan.

It is not "me" , these are facts about the nature and timeline events happened (summer 1945 fireboming and extent of damage, public statements and propaganda from Tokyo revealing attitude towards citizens' lives, Hiroshima bomb dropped, Soviets declare war, Supreme Council convenes, Nagasaki bomb dropped, etc.) all of which are verifiable, even in just the Wikipedia articles on the war and surrender of Japan.

The Emperor said what he said. But it is worth considering what he left unsaid. Why he left it unsaid is of course up to speculation, but even the facts (the timeline of events) show Nagasaki at least was not part of the Supreme Council debate on surrender on August 9th.

Those are the facts. The paragraph below is my opinion:

The Japanese were not and aren't dumb. The Emperor's speech was very well-calculated. It was and is politically expedient to leave the Soviets out of the reason for ending the war. It set the tone for the U.S.-Japan relationship that continues to this day--the speech gave Tokyo a way to deflect attention from and avoid explaining government failures.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@MrBum

"....prior to 31 December 1945 ... Japan would have surrendered..." 

Which would have given the US air force more time to destroy more of Japan’s cities. The same survey stated:

“…air supremacy and its exploitation over Japan proper was the major factor which determined the timing of Japan’s surrender and obvitated any need for invasion.

The assumption was that the massive aerial bombings would have continued apace, like the Tokyo firebombings, killing even more people.  About 50,000 people of various nationalities were getting killed every week in the summer of 45.

Thus, the shock and awe of the nuclear bombs expedited Japan’s surrender, saving a significant number of lives of everyone involved.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The problem with the argument that the bomb saved lives is that, even if it were true, it was negated by the pointless second bomb in Nagasaki.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

They were ready to surrender according to many accounts and didn't even realize what had actually occurred in Hiroshima and Nagasaki until after the surrender.

Japanese scientists correctly surmised what kind of bomb was dropped on Hiroshima before the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. They had earlier considered developing an atomic bomb but just didn’t have the resources to build one at that time.

”Ready to surrender” is not the same as communicating unambiguously one’s intention to surrender.

In any case, the real decision maker(s) weren’t ready to surrender.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

In any case, the real decision maker(s) weren’t ready to surrender.

3 days was not nearly enough time to allow for a decision to surrender.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

@comanteer

For world affairs, probably the worst president in history.

Truman was a quiet, thoughtful president, in stark contrast to the gang of firebrands who ruled Japan at the time. His Interim Committee of experts drawn from many fields spent about a month considering how to use the bomb. He accepted their recommendations, in favor of use, in his final decision. We need more leaders like Truman.

The problem with the argument that the bomb saved lives is that, even if it were true, it was negated by the pointless second bomb in Nagasaki.

Ah, no. Japan's Supreme War Council had been deadlocked after Hiroshima over surrender. News of Nagasaki prompted the emperor to finally intervene and order surrender.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

We need more leaders like Truman.

If you are hoping for an end of the world, scenario, yes. There was nothing thoughtful about Truman's international actions (read my post above). If he was thoughtful, he thought wrong. The Vietnam war would have been completely averted, the Middle East could be a different place, the Cold War, Korea....

Compared to the leaders in Japan, yes, he was probably thoughtful. He was thoughtful enough to realize that wiping out a city of civilians might upset some Americans sense of being the good guys. So he lied, and said Hiroshima was the name of a military base, and was a military target. He only changed his story because that lie wouldn't hold.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

3 days was not nearly enough time to allow for a decision to surrender.

You mean they just started discussing the matter of surrender after August 6? Not before?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Just remember why the war started that led to the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The blockade the US imposed on Japan?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Reading the discussion above, two thoughts came to mind :

1) Japanese leaders may have been ready to sacrifice the whole population, but that doesn't mean all japanese were ready to sacrifice themselves. It didn't happen in Germany, there's no more reason to think it would have been the case in Japan.

2) At this point in the war, Japan was half destroyed, had no more navy, was under blockade with no more resources left. Plus, Russia was about to enter the war as promise at the Yalta conference (therefore the US knew it was coming...). The US could just have sit and wait for Japan's surrender.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Which would have given the US air force more time to destroy more of Japan’s cities. The same survey stated:

“…air supremacy and its exploitation over Japan proper was the major factor which determined the timing of Japan’s surrender and obvitated any need for invasion.

The "was the major factor" (past tense) implies that they meant the bombings that had already occurred were enough. That and their conclusion that the atomic bombs weren't necessary.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Plus, Russia was about to enter the war as promise at the Yalta conference (therefore the US knew it was coming...). The US could just have sit and wait for Japan's surrender.

Actually, the promise (which the Russians were going to honor) was made with Truman's predecessor, FDR. Truman was surrounded by advisors who were more wary Russia and how the post-war world was going to be split with them.

Some say that was one of the main reasons why the atomic bombs were dropped, to show Russia who's boss. Then the Cold War and arms race happened... So yeah, dropping the bombs were pretty bad all around.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Samit Basu, Ike-in-Tokyo,

Good posts. i agree.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The bombings, while somewhat regrettable, were necessary for peace. It finally put an end to Japanese Imperialism. I still believe, and still tell any Japanese person who asks me, that the bombings were a mercy act by the US.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Vince Black

You should beware of stating such an inflammatory short sighted American statement in Japan.

Very stupid thing to go around saying.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Samir Basu

You seem to have picked up a history book that you approved of, decided everything in it was totally true, and decided to disregard all the rest.

You have even pieces together pieces that noted historians and scholars have they themselves have said its hard to place as irrefutable.

Good for you dude! You are educating the whole world.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Whole-hearted Hope of Hibakusha have been trampled by Japanese self-righteous Abe Government.

Prime Minister Abe self-proclaim "Bridge" between Nuclear arms countries and other countries.

but They actually have done nothing to Abolishment of Nuclear Weapons.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

 I still believe, and still tell any Japanese person who asks me, that the bombings were a mercy act by the US.

That's just perverse. We killed 80,000 as an act of mercy? And Americans wonder why they are so hated sometimes.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

It's this day every year that my wife looks at me and says, "Whoops!"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Alternate article title: Nagasaki marks 73rd anniversary of the Japanese government putting its citizens in a situation where an atomic bomb was dropped.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@iampersonalnow

Very stupid thing to go around saying.

Only because the people who would be offended would be very stupid. Or grossly misinformed, as in people who have strong opinions about historical events but who never read history books.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

We killed 80,000 as an act of mercy? And Americans wonder why they are so hated sometimes.

Most Japanese forgive USA for all they did in the War. Forgive but never forget. And Japanese do not hate American, the two nations are the closest friends in the world. PM Abe and Trump are famous example of this. Amazing friendship.

USA would never do this to Japan again.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Just remember why the war started that led to the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The blockade the US imposed on Japan? (Raw BeerToday  04:59 pm JST)

@Raw BeerToday, WHY did the US impose sanctions on Japan in the first place? The sanctions were imposed in response to Japan's invasion and atrocities in China.

Why did Japan invade China beginning in 1931 and other countries throughout Asia? If Japan didn't embark on their military expansionism in the 1930s, the events that led to the US sanctions, the attack on Pearl Harbor, declaration of war, and the ultimate atomic bombing of Japan might not have happened.

3 days was not nearly enough time to allow for a decision to surrender (commanteer)

So the US should have given Japan 3 weeks? 3 months? 3 years? Look, there was a WAR going on and the priority to get Japan to surrender ASAP. The US gave Japan surrender terms back in July 1945 at the Potsdam Conference. After the atomic bomb was successfully tested, the US gave Japan another opportunity to surrender, or else expect destruction never seen before. Even after the Hiroshima bombing, Japan was still silent, which was interpreted as "no surrender". So the second bomb was planned.

I can buy the argument that the A bombings ended up perhaps in not as many killed on both sides if the alternative was invasion and if the Japanese were ready to fight to the death. Studying about it is interesting but is think the reality of literally fighting with your women and kidz to the death is a different thing altogether, and may not be realistic to assume. No nation has done that in history (thepersoniamnow)

IF alternative was invasion? IF Japanese were ready to fight to the death? Obviously you are selective in your study of World War II history and YOU have picked up a history book that YOU have approved of that ignores or glosses over Japan's military expansionism in the 1930s, dismisses the invasion of China that started the War in the Pacific, and concluded that Japan was a victim of western imperialism and only acting defensively. Good for you, DUDE. Your revisionist views are educating the whole world.

Have you ever heard of Operation Ketsu-go?

As early of April 1945, Japan knew an ground invasion of the homeland was inevitable and planned for the defense. Japan still had in reserve some four million army soldiers and reserve civilians, 10,000 planes and ships to be used as kamikazes against the invasion of Kyushu. The defensive plan also called for the use of the Civilian Volunteer Corps, a mobilization of all boys and men 15 to 60 and all girls and women 17 to 40,  trained with hand grenades, swords, sickles, knives, fire hooks, and bamboo spears.

For the US, the Battle of Okinawa was an indication of what would happen in an invasion of mainland Japan. The incredibly high military casualties on both sides, the high civilian casualties, the prolonged battle of attrition, the large scale use of suicidal kamikaze attacks and the fanatical determination of the Japanese military to fight at all cost during that battle, made the US rethink the realities of an invasion of the Japan homeland, which would have been the logical progression to defeat Japan.

If Operation Olympic had been executed as planned on 1 November 1945, there is no doubt it would have been the largest bloodbath in American and Japanese history. Although American forces had superior fire power and were better trained and equipped than the Japanese soldier, the close-in, fanatical combat between infantrymen and civilians would have been devastating to both sides.

Fortunately, the atomic bomb was available as the alternate solution to the invasion, performed as expected and forced Japan to realize the futility of continuing the war and surrendered.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

As the only nation to have come under nuclear attack, Japan has been backing the creation of a nuclear free world, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to make strenuous efforts toward the goal. I have seen the devistation that war can bring. If it were not for Truman, no doubt the people of Hokkaido would be speaking Russian today. Truman denied Stalin the occupation of Hokkaido.

Our 11th Airborne Division were the first troops to enter Japan. We occupied northern Honshu and Hokkaido. My regiment was the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Below is an excerpt from Book I, of the Private Payne trilogy 'Ride The East Wind'.

The War is Over

The war is over; I find myself walking the streets as an eighteen-year-old soldier, looking in awe and wonder at a world of devastation and despair that I see before me. Japan is an intriguing and different world. I glance at homeless people gathered in small groups near train stations looking forlorn and destitute. I see makeshift houses built along the riverbanks and shacks under bridges to help block the cold winter weather. Adults and children hug tattered blankets to keep warm. As I slowly walk in the city, I stop and stare with wonder at the bombed out buildings- many now call home.

    At the entrance of a temple, I see a cluster of former Japanese soldiers missing arms or legs. Some have bandages- leaving their wounds festering, hoping for donations of food and money.

A few months ago, the Japanese were my deadly enemies. Now, I see them through different eyes- eyes of compassion. I realize the impact of war on families and children. . . . . . . .

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Ganbare Japan!

Most Japanese forgive USA for all they did in the War. Forgive but never forget.

Sadly, most Japanese forgot what Japan did to its neighbors during the war. Don't ask for forgiveness and forget quickly is Japan's stance toward its Imperialism victims.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

@Raw Beer

The blockade the US imposed on Japan?

The US sanction was imposed on Japan due to the Japanese invasion and atrocities in China.This was a perfectly legal and morally justified sanction. The Pearl Harbor surprise attack wasn't.

@Bintaro

Japanese leaders may have been ready to sacrifice the whole population, but that doesn't mean all japanese were ready to sacrifice themselves.

Japanese population had no choice, run toward Americans or be shot by Japanese troops from behind.

Remember what happened to Okinawan population during the Battle of Okinawa, where the Japanese troops ordered Okinawan civilians to commit suicide instead of surrender.

The US leaders were fearful the same tragedy would be repeated if they invaded Japanese mainland.

It didn't happen in Germany,

Germany isn't Japan, and there were no German Kamikazes. Actually there was one small squad but their objective was to come back alive and the command taught their pilots how to down USAF bombers without killing themselves.

there's no more reason to think it would have been the case in Japan.

The US leaders had every reason to fear the tragedy of Okinawa was about to be repeated on Japanese mainland if they went for a full scale invasion.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I came in here expecting way more people to be blaming the US for war crimes. I have been disappointed.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

For sure, the worst day of makind, where man behaved like the devil. They could drop the bomb in an area that they would not kill so many civilians, but, its powerful effects could be seem by hundreds of thousands. But, they wanted to hurt, to kill, and had killed hundreds of thousands of innocents, they were not happy with one, so, they launched two bombs, on the population of two cities. There was no mercy, no humanity at all. Events not to be forgotten. One of the ugliest chapters of human history.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

@Makoto Shimizu

They could drop the bomb in an area that they would not kill so many civilians,

Such as? In the middle of nowhere?

BTW, the US WARNED the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to evacuate the cities via leaflets days in advance.

https://www.atomicheritage.org/key-documents/warning-leaflets

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

 But, they wanted to hurt, to kill, 

No, they wanted to end the war quickly, so that more people of various nationalities wouldn't get hurt and killed. And they succeeded.

For sure, the worst day of makind, 

Not by a long shot. Japan's invasion of China, for example, killed about 10 million people, death toll about 8,000% higher than the Nagasaki bombing. Mostly Chinese civilians, and many suffering an agonizing death. What followed that was brutal rule of a country. What followed Nagasaki was peace, prosperity and freedom, the likes of which Japan and Asia had never experienced.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

For sure, the worst day of makind, where man behaved like the devil. They could drop the bomb in an area that they would not kill so many civilians, but, its powerful effects could be seem by hundreds of thousands. But, they wanted to hurt, to kill, and had killed hundreds of thousands of innocents, they were not happy with one, so, they launched two bombs, on the population of two cities. There was no mercy, no humanity at all. Events not to be forgotten. One of the ugliest chapters of human history.

Well, Mr Shimizu, the Greater Asia War was an ugly chapter too where the IJA killed many innocents unnecessary with a total lack of humanity....

A former predator who inflates the victim role can't be taken serious when it comes to describing history..

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Commanteer, you cant have it both ways - if japan was so eager to surrender, why the complete lack of movement in that direction even after the hiroshima bomb??

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Surprising ( or perhaps not) the defree to which most of the japanese posters on this thread seem to be lacking in knowledge of certain key pieces of information re japanese guilt and war crimes in WW2, portraying japan as the victim.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I don't recall seeing that pic/statue before. If there was no caption, I would have guessed it was from Rome, Greece or Central Europe.

Strange statue for an atomic bomb memorial IMO.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Commanteer, you cant have it both ways - if japan was so eager to surrender, why the complete lack of movement in that direction even after the hiroshima bomb??

Because people keep claiming that the Emperor and his military commanders didn't even know about the bombing... But I'm pretty sure that Japan had telephones by WWII.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why did Japan invade China beginning in 1931 and other countries throughout Asia? If Japan didn't embark on their military expansionism in the 1930s, the events that led to the US sanctions, the attack on Pearl Harbor, declaration of war, and the ultimate atomic bombing of Japan might not have happened.

They were just copying what Europeans had been doing for centuries.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Fizzbit, and who you were they copying with Unit 731?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Samit Basu

Japanese have shown willingness to die rather than surrender, with countless Banzai charges and Kamikaze attacks. Now imagine schoolgirls and grandmas doing that, which was the real fear at the US military.

So it was necessary to nuke hundreds of thousands of women and children because you think the US military feared schoolgirls with sticks? I see......

Emperor Hirohito's own speech citing the nukes as the reason for surrender but never mentioned the Soviet declaration of war against Japan.

Incorrect. The Emperor's imperial rescript surrender speech to Japanese troops mentioned the Soviets but made no acknowledgement of the bombs.

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

BTW, the US WARNED the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to evacuate the cities via leaflets days in advance.

Wrong. Your source states the following:

"These leaflets did not directly reference the atomic bomb, and it is unclear whether they were used to warn citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki specifically. The second round features a picture of a mushroom cloud and a message about the Soviet invasion (which commenced on August 9). The historical record is unclear, but it seems as though these leaflets did not make it to Nagasaki until after it, too, had been hit by an atomic bomb."

3 ( +8 / -5 )

USA would never do this to Japan again.

In a heartbeat.

They side with dictators, arm terrorists, engage in war crimes and renege on agreements. If they can practice genocide in Japan and Vietnam, in recent living memory, they can do it again.

It was a despicable, racist experiment on people of the East, it must not be allowed ever happen again.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

They side with dictators, arm terrorists, engage in war crimes and renege on agreements.

War crimes??

If they can practice genocide in Japan and Vietnam, in recent living memory, they can do it again.

And what was the catalyst of that?

It was a despicable, racist experiment on people of the East, it must not be allowed ever happen again.

As bad as the bombing was, had it not been done, millions of Americans and Japanese would have been slaughtered as the US was thinking of a massive ground offense. So there is an alternative way of looking at things.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Nuking hundreds of thousands of woman and children saved no lives. It is simply a laughable myth invented by the US government used to justify cynical and cowardly war crimes. Those who try to justify nuking children are similar to the Nazis who try to justify gassing Jews.

Harry S Truman's approval of the decision to mass murder Hiroshima and Nagasaki's women and children was perhaps not surprising given his bizarre religious delusions and feeble-minded racism. According to Harry Truman:

“I think one man is just as good as another so long as he’s honest and decent and not a NI&&ER or a Chinaman... THE LORD made a white man from dust, a NI&&ER from mud, and then threw what was left and it came down a Chinaman. He does hate Chinese and Japs. So do I....We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. It may be the fire destruction PROPHESIED in the Euphrates Valley Era, after NOAH and his FABULOUS Ark....This weapon is to be used against Japan....

-Harry S Truman

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The Japanese would have used the atomic bomb had they succeeded in developing it ( they were trying), no doubt about it.

And the US would have used it on Germany had they had it in time.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

JeffLee

Obviously you havent lived in many places abroad if you think its alright to go around the world making inflamatiry comments.

I wouldnt state to locals that they deserved the nukes as a mercy kill just as I wouldnt say some stuff to Jews, Arabs, or any others who have suffered.

But by all means go ahead, and if you find yourself in a hot bed dont wonder why.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This "Bombing" should have never happened!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I am not sure, but I think I heard that the statue made for the Nagasaki Peace Park's central symbol is made that way to show (after reflecting on what Hiroshima residents had to do) the human effort needed to clean up and begin again after the bomb. Focussing on the human strength to call upon for the task, the statue is to leave the past behind like a typhoon or quake and get on with the tasks of restoring human living conditions. (As for its appearing similar to western or European art, I do not know whether that is relevant or just happened because humans are human.) Some religious or even secular folks claim memory of one's past wrongdoing may prevent recurrence, but some say that the very memory may incite to repetition (besides those cited below, see the S.E. Asian Buddhist Scriptures on repenting during the rainy season) ! These latter opine that the best method is "not to recall one's sins in detail, but to suffer their results with patience" (Kadloubovsky and Palmer's trans. of "Early Fathers from the Philokalia"). This would perhaps fit as well with various American (not convicted and not punished) war crimes as well as with those of other countries such as Japan, if any. We might consider the subdued resentment of victim countries as a consequence of our American habit of violence (from the beginning of our country) and endure it patiently, trying to listen. Then we may find (e.g.) that people may not "ask for forgiveness" (since that moment may be gone or a figment of only OUR version of the history) but do indeed keep minds and hearts free from hatred!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And the US would have used it on Germany had they had it in time.

It is conveniently ignored that the Manhattan Project was inspired by Albert Einstein's letter to President Roosevelt in 1939 warning that the Nazi Germans were making significant advances in nuclear research that could lead to the development of a very powerful bomb. President Roosevelt authorized the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb before Germany for use against Germany at the first opportunity.

Germany surrendered on 8 May 1945 before the U.S. atomic bomb was successfully test on 16 July 1945. So the opportunity to use it against Germany was lost.

But the war with Japan was still raging on and Japan gave every intention of continuing the war, despite its devastating loss during the Battle of Okinawa.

The Japanese would have used the atomic bomb had they succeeded in developing it ( they were trying), no doubt about it.

There was an active Japanese atomic bomb program that began before the war and continued right up to the final days. The Japanese atomic bomb was known as "genzai bukudai".

The leading Japanese atomic scientist of Dr. Yoshia Nishini. He was a contemporary of Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr and had established a nuclear research laboratory in 1931. By the late 1930s, Nishini was making great strides in nuclear fission research and realized military potential. The Imperial Japanese Army became interested in the atomic bomb potential and initiated the Ni-Go Project. The Imperial Japanese Navy also had a parallel program called F-Go Project.

Of course Japan did not have the deep pockets and resources that the U.S. had and was hampered by the B-29 bomber attacks. The B-29 attacks prompted Japan to move its nuclear research to Hamheung (previously known as Konan), North Korea where Japan desperately continued to developed their atomic bomb. This move costed Japan three months delay.

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

http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-japan-bomb-20150805-story.html

Japan may have successfully detonated a test bomb on 12 August 1945 in North Korea, as reported in a controversial 1946 Atlanta Constitution newspaper article by David Snell. Observers described:

"The ball of fire was estimated to be 1,000 yards in diameter. A multicolored cloud of vapors boiled towards the heavens then mushroomed in the stratosphere. The churn of water and vapor obscured the vessels directly under the burst. Ships and junks on the fringe burned fiercely at anchor. When the atmosphere cleared slightly the observers could detect several vessels had vanished."

(How could observers in North Korea make up a description like this?)

Shortly after the test, Soviet army troops overran the Japanese research facility, captured scientists and documents and destroyed the secret facility.

http://www.reformation.org/atlanta-constitution.html

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2009/12/113_56715.html

There is an interesting book by Robert K. Wilcox called "Japan's Secret War: Japan's Race Against Time To Build It's Own Atomic Bomb" (1985 by William Morrow & Co) that documents the story of Japan's atomic bomb program.

Wilcox concludes in his book that “The Japanese, in fact, tried to make the bomb [and] got farther than the Germans did. And certainly, as all the documents about their coming Defense of the Homeland indicate, the Japanese would have used the bomb in their defense had they been able.”

Furthermore, the "Japanese are not solely the victims of the bomb, as they have been portrayed for so long. They were willing participants in its use, and only losers in the race to perfect it.”

Many people, in military and civilian circles are quick to dismiss and suppress the existence of a World War II Japanese atomic bomb program and possible successful test in North Korea during the closing days of the war for political reasons, i.e.,

The American military and government officials would be embarrassed upon being proved wrong that Japan had come close to building an atomic bomb;

The anti-nuclear / anti-US / Hikabusha-sympathizers and their anti-nuclear agenda and portrayal of Japan as a martyred tragic victim would be undermined.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Furthermore, the ****"Japanese are not solely the victims of the bomb, as they have been portrayed for so long. They were willing participants in its use, and only losers in the race to perfect it.”

Many people, in military and civilian circles are quick to dismiss and suppress the existence of a World War II Japanese atomic bomb program and possible successful test in North Korea during the closing days of the war for political reasons, i.e.,

The American military and government officials would be embarrassed upon being proved wrong that Japan had come close to building an atomic bomb;

The anti-nuclear / anti-US / Hikabusha-sympathizers and their anti-nuclear agenda and portrayal of Japan as a martyred tragic victim would be undermined.

Thanks for the informative comment. I've read more than once assumptions that the US wouldn't use a nuclear bomb on Germany as they wouldn't have bombed their own race, but given the intensity of the conventional bombing of German cities with thousands of victims comparable with those on Japanese cities it's doubtful that they wouldn't have used it when necessary.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Halwick, Excellent post. Thanks for that information.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I've read more than once assumptions that the US wouldn't use a nuclear bomb on Germany as they wouldn't have bombed their own race

There is no evidence to support the idea that the U.S. would not have used atomic weapons against the Germans because they were white, but would have used them against the Japanese because they were not. The Allies clearly were willing to massacre German civilians, as they did drop firebombs on several German cities, i.e, Dresden in which 135,000 civilians were killed.

The simple reason the atomic bomb was not used against Germany is that the bomb was not ready for use and Germany surrendered TWO months before the bomb was successfully tested and ready for deployment.

The Manhattan Project was initiated as a response to Einstein's letter to Roosevelt in 1939 warning that the Germans were involved in nuclear research that would lead to the development of "a extremely powerful bomb of a new type." The atomic bomb was developed with the intent to use it against Germany before Hitler could develop the atomic bomb and use it against Britain and U.S.

The atomic bomb, at that time, was considered a tactical weapon. Had the bomb been available in 1944 the U.S. would have used it against Germany.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

With the Soviets there and the U.S. attacking from the South Pacific, and the person they'd hoped could mediate for them now an enemy, all Japan's options evaporated in one moment. And it had little to do with either nuclear bomb.

But the nukes as the decisive factor in the story remain convenient for both Japan and the U.S.--for the U.S. to minimize Soviet influence and justify guilt over using such terrible weapons,...

@Fouxdefa,

Excellent post. This article provides further background.

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

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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