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Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes?

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No, just the remedy to what Japan created.

-3 ( +29 / -32 )

No. Japan had ample warning about what was going to happen but still refused to surrender. The USA did not want to drop these terrible bombs. There were even several days between Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and still Japan’s leaders would not surrender! War crimes were committed in Nanking, Thailand, and some other places. But we have forgiven Japan of those terrible things and have moved to our mutual futures for peace and prosperity.

-4 ( +28 / -32 )

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

Here is a American military newsreel from WWII gloating about the mass murder of civilians.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdJyOBriLTI

Six of the seven US WWII five star officers concluded that the nuking of hundreds of thousands of civilians was totally unnecessary.

As Brig. General Carter Clarke stated:

"... .we Brought them [the Japanese] down to an abject surrender through the accelerated sinking of their merchant marine and hunger alone, and when we did not need to do it, and we knew we didn't need to do it, and they knew that we knew we didn't need to do it, we used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs. "

As Daniel Ellsberg indicates, Harry Truman delayed the end of WWII to demonstrate nuclear weapons.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuKdRF5r3FI

Harry S Truman's 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 N@@@ER. or a Chinaman... THE LORD made a white man from dust, a N@@@ER from mud, and then threw what was left and it came down a Chinaman. He does hate Chinese and J@ps. 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

12 ( +31 / -19 )

"The seventeenth wandering of American statesmanship was Truman’s immoral order to drop the atomic bomb on the Japanese. Not only had Japan been repeatedly suing for peace but it was the act of unparalleled brutality in all American history. It will forever weigh heavily on the American conscience."

....**.Freedom Betrayed**.

Innocent civilians evaporated in a flash, If that is not equal to whatever controversial massacres Japan is being accused of, what is.

4 ( +17 / -13 )

I was going to answer 'Not necessarily, it depends on whether they really knew what the effect would be', but after reading the quote from Truman I think the answer is unequivocally Yes.

The decision by various countries, in the full knowledge of the effects, to develop the bigger and more powerful nuclear arsenals we see today is nothing less than a crime against humanity.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

All nuclear weapons are a crime against humanity

15 ( +20 / -5 )

Yes, because it was absolutely unnecessary; Japan's war of attrition was on the brink of ending, and quite simply American investors and the military wanted to see what they got with the money for the Manhattan Project. They also did it to scare the Russians. Also, the prevailing attitude by many defenders that it "saved lives" when it took hundreds of thousands -- almost all civilians -- away.

5 ( +20 / -15 )

"The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence, the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population, are prohibited."

 Article 51(2) of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions

Opinions are not really relevant here. They WERE war crimes as they deliberately targeted the civilian population.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

GyGene Today 10:26 am JST

No. Japan had ample warning about what was going to happen but still refused to surrender. The USA did not want to drop these terrible bombs. 

If refusal to surrender, even if it is for unconditional surrender, removes the illegality from war crimes, then Nanking is not a war crime.

Heck, Nanking's numbers are even less favorable. For one thing, it was not a State action, but a "failure to stop". The demanded concession was if harsh at least less than an unconditional surrender. Further, Japan undeniably attacked the United States, while the Japanese were at least arguably shot at by Chinese at Marco Polo and Shanghai also started with a Japanese offensive.

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

Why keep rehashing something that happened 74 years ago?

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

Absolutely NOT war crimes. Adding to that I doubt that there is a single person old enough on this forum to have an accurate answer, including myself.

Different times, Untenable ongoing situation. Japan had plenty of warning of what was going to happen if they didn't surrender before Honshu was invaded.

The cost to not only Japanese lives (civilians included) but also to US soldiers would have been far greater if these bombs had not been dropped. The fact that these bombs were dropped (thank God that they were small weapons compared to what has been developed since) has most certainly contributed to the fact that a nuclear weapon has never been used again.

@smithinjapan: They had plenty of chances to 'end' it and they didn't. The world was a VERY different place then and very. very war weary.

-7 ( +13 / -20 )

@showchinmono

Not only had Japan been repeatedly suing for peace 

Peace on their terms.

I wonder if those terms included no occupation to prevent meddling with Japan’s social fabric, i.e. democratization. This the Allies thought essential.

One reason for the Allies’ insistence on occupation was to make the fact of defeat crystal clear to the entire population of Japan. Despite this there still are people who insist Japan really wasn’t defeated as large forces were still in China and elsewhere.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

@zichi

All nuclear weapons are a crime against humanity

You don’t want to include napalm, white phosphorus and poison gas?

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Crimes against civilians, yes. Crimes against the leadership/military, no. Monstrous, inhumane militaries - the Japanese military of that time - deserve no pity. The civilians, absolutely yes deserve pity.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

The Geneva convention clearly defines the rights and protections afforded to non-combatant citizens during war time.

The Geneva Protocol signed in in 1925 before the invention of the nuclear bomb, is the Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare(weapon of mass destruction).

So dropping not only the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki but also the massive fire bombing on most all major Japanese cities were also a war crime.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

@utorsa

Your quote from Truman appears to be a single utterance, but it consists of two parts that were made more than 30 years apart. The ugly utterance was made in 1911. The words about the bomb itself were in a document that also contained these words:

*"He (Sec. of War, Simpson) and I are in accord. The target will be a purely military one and we will issue a warning statement asking the Jps to surrender and save lives. I’m sure they will not do that, but we will have given them the chance. It is certainly a good thing for the world that Hitler’s crowd or Stalin’s did not discover this atomic bomb. It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful..."

He also wrote this:

“My object is to save as many American lives as possible but I also have a human feeling for the women and children of Japan.” 

I'm not wanting to justify the dropping of the bomb. It was clearly in breach of the Geneva Convention. But then, so was so much else at that time. Robert McNamara, who helped plan the Tokyo fire bombings said this,:

"I don't fault Truman for dropping the nuclear bomb. The U.S.-Japanese war was one of the most brutal wars in all of human history: kamikaze pilots, suicide, unbelievable. What one can criticize is that the human race prior to that time and today has not really grappled with what are, I'll call it the rules of war. 

Was there a rule then that said you shouldn't bomb, shouldn't kill, shouldn't burn to death 100,000 civilians in a night? LeMay said if we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals, and I think he's right. He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals."

4 ( +9 / -5 )

If the term "war crime" is to have any meaning in practice, then it has to be defined in a such a way that dropping a nuclear bomb on a city full of people counts as one.  If vaporizing a city isn't a war crime, what is?

This is a separate question, it should be noted, from whether or not the A-bombings can be justified based on the lives saved by ending the war sooner.  There is an argument to be made that the two A-bombings by shortening the war avoided the far larger number of deaths that would have occurred had the war dragged on and the Americans invaded.  I'm not sure which side I fall on that debate, but its entirely possible for an act to be both a war crime and something that might have been preferable to the available alternatives at the same time.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Absolutely NOT war crimes. Adding to that I doubt that there is a single person old enough on this forum to have an accurate answer, including myself.

Different times, Untenable ongoing situation. Japan had plenty of warning of what was going to happen if they didn't surrender before Honshu was invaded.

It is a war crime to deliberately target civilians TheResident. It's is absolutely cut and dry in terms of the Geneva Conventions. Are you saying that the bombs were not targeting civilians or are you simply unclear what a crime is? Or are you perhaps turning this into some sort of military strategy or moral issue? It isn't. The question is pertaining to international law. It is a legal issue.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Sorry for the formatting of the first quote. JT rules don't allow one of the words in the quote, I tried to add an asterisk and things went a little wonky. The bold text has no significance.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ike-in-Tokyo-from-89

The post is about atomic nuclear weapons. With the potential to destroy the entire planet with just a few of them.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

War crimes were committed in Nanking, *Thailand**,* and some other places.

Thailand? Thailand was part of the Japan-Germany Axis.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Geneva convention clearly defines the rights and protections afforded to non-combatant citizens during war time.

The Geneva Convention is not the relevant treaty to determine whether or not it was a war crime. The 1907 Hague Convention and its specific clauses on aerial bombardment supercede the general prohibition on targeting civilians in the Geneva Conventions. The law recognised that it would be near impossible for a pilot dropping bombs out of a bi-plane cockpit by hand (as was the case in 1907) to distinguish between military and civilian targets on the ground. The convention prohibits aerial bombardent of undefended cities but allows for the indiscriminate aerial bombardment of cities which are defended. This was the law in force in 1945.

If JT is going to ask this sort of question every year, better to ask if commentors think it was morally justified or not. Asking whether it was a war crime has a single objective answer and it's quite clear.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The Geneva Convention is not the relevant treaty to determine whether or not it was a war crime. The 1907 Hague Convention and its specific clauses on aerial bombardment supercede the general prohibition on targeting civilians in the Geneva Conventions.

Interesting. How do you know it is superceded by the Hague?

I agree completely about it being a rather silly question and that the moral issue is the more interesting or at least debatable question to ask.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@J-Daka: It is people with your liberal and by the book attitude that very quietly let people like Hitler, Pol Pot and Milosevic come to power and wreak atrocity and genocide in the world. Over and over again.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

War is war. In war there are no rules. If Nagasaki and Hiroshima hadn't taken the final blow, Germany and Berlin would have been the ones falling. We should also remember that Emperor Showa's war instinct was to "never surrender".

It took Emperor Showa two atomic bombs to realize a final defeat. He could've surrendered after the first bomb in Hiroshima, but refused to throw in the towel. He could've spared tens of thousands of human lives, but for him, honour was more important than human lives. We should also remember the atrocities commited by Japan during the Second Sino-Japanese war.

The Hiroshima and Nagsaki bombings are not war atrocities. It was deemed necessary in order to spare both Japan and USA for many potential casualties in case of an invasion. Again, "In war there are no rules to oblige", only the winning side are able to punish their defeated ones.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

@M3M3M3Today 04:57 pm JST

This, apparently was what Hague actually said:

Article 25: The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited.

While it has been argued (likely self-servingly by countries that have bombed cities) that the failure to say anything about defended targets is a "loophole" - as a principled legal interpretation it is a fail. The correct move is to read it in conjunction with:

Article 51(2) of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions

"The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence, the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population, are prohibited."

So that they won't contradict each other, such that:

1) If the town is undefended, attack or bombardment is categorically prohibited. In addition to being a positivist demand of the Hague Convention, it also gives logical effect to Article 51(2) - if there is no military then the only plausible objects of attack are civilians.

2) Even if the town is defended, since Article 25 does not actually permit the bombardment of towns if they are defended, the correct reading is to say whether the bombardment is legal depends on the object of attack (an evaluation of the attacking nation's "mental state" or intent). If the object is to hit a military target, it is permissible even if the object happens to be inside a town. If the object is to hit the civilian population, then the fact the target is "defended" does not create a permission for attack.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If Japan had had the A-bomb they would have done the same. No doubt.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

War rules are silly. When at war, you should be able to do anything you can to beat the other side.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Interesting. How do you know it is superceded by the Hague?

Whenever two conventions appear to contradict eachother, the one which deals with the specific topic in greater detail will always take precedence over a general statement of principle. This is known as the doctrine of of Lex specialis. The Geneva Convention codifies the general principles regarding civilians, but the Hague convention sets out the exceptions to that general principle.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Of course the dropping of the atomb bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the American government were war crimes the same with the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Nanjing Massacre conducted by the Japanese government.

Point is war brings out the worst in both sides of the battlefield that's why we must do our utmost best to prevent wars from happening in the future.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

It's an interesting interpretation but I think the larger problem is that Protocol I only became part of the Geneva Conventions in 1977. There's little doubt that similar bombings carried out today would amount to a war crime given the expansive language you quote, but civilian protections under the GCs pre-1949 & 1977 were very modest.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What is this rule to call A is crime and B is not in War.

Again, you are trying to kill each other in the battle field to End their Lives. When you are about trying to protect your wife and kids from the thugs, do you mind the law? When you think you will die today, do you mind the rule, Int'l law, ethical perspective、humanity?

Again, the winners write history, if they do, why don't we all shut our mouths all up

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Again, you are trying to kill each other in the battle field to End their Lives.

When you purposely kill non-combatants this is considered a crime against humanity and this is exactly what happened when the US government dropped the atomb bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

There is no crimes in War.

Yes there are that's exactly why we have the convention of Geneva since 1951.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

When you purposely kill non-combatants this is considered a crime against humanity and this is exactly what happened when the US government dropped the atomb bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

There is no crimes in War.

Yes there are that's exactly why we have the convention of Geneva since 1951.

YES I totally AGREE with you but seems you don't understand my points.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Killing innocent civilians is the most inhumane act and not accepted in any situation whether it USA or Japan or any other country. Killing innocents to stop war or force to surrender is a most cowardly act.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

war crimes the same with the attack on Pearl Harbor

Attack on Pearl Harbor was a complete surgical strike that targeted no civilian population.In fact the number of civilians killed in that attack was less than 100 that were unfortunately on base during the attack if I remember correctly.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

How many military leaders have been prosecuted for war crimes. But not the US war criminals. Why? And even now the Japanese government continue to suck up to the US.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

War in and of itself is a crime, so the term war crime is a bit of an oxymoron, isn't it?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@showchinmono

 the winners write history

Only if they manage to kill everyone.

Perhaps it is more accurate to write, "the winners write the first take on history, then everyone else is accused of being a historical revisionist by them".

Writing the history first allows you to whitewash your own crimes and accuse the others first. It does not mean it is right.

That could not be more true of the American conquest of Pacific-Asian Region.

Nehru wrote one of the well know victors' history quotes. He also wrote,

War is the negation of truth and humanity. War may be unavoidable sometimes, but its progeny are terrible to contemplate. Not mere killing, for man must die, but the deliberate and persistent propagation of hatred and falsehood, which gradually become the normal habits of the people.

@farhaan

Killing innocent civilians is the most inhumane act and not accepted in any situation whether it USA or Japan or any other country. Killing innocents to stop war or force to surrender is a most cowardly act.

Unfortunately, it has always been part of America military strategy from the India Wars onwards through Vietnam to Iraq and Iran tomorrow. They never had a noble period where chivalry or bushido ruled.

It's even more cowardly when done from 10,000 ft.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

These attacks were absolutely war crimes and nuclear terrorism against innocent children and women. It is to be hoped one day at the USA, Japans now greatest friend and ally in the world, will sincerely apologize for these attacks.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

@J-Daka: It is people with your liberal and by the book attitude that very quietly let people like Hitler, Pol Pot and Milosevic come to power and wreak atrocity and genocide in the world. Over and over again.

I'll go ahead and assume I am J-Daka here. Is there another way you suggest societies handle law other than "by-the-book"? Perhaps I naively thought the point of laws were to have fair and reasoned guidelines to avoid unfair arbitrary application. I'm not sure what I said that was "liberal". I was simply taking the incidents in question and applying it to my rather slight knowledge of international law as per the question. I was not being political. There was no soapbox to stand on.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The severity of treatment which peoples of Japanese race received was much more than that of the European Nazis who committed much greater crimes against Humanity.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Yes. No doubts at all. An horrific nuclear attack on this country.

But were the war criminals who launched these inhuman and cowardly strikes on Japan brought to justice?

Nope.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

well if nuking non military city and killing everyone with that horrible bomb is not a war crime then what is war crime ?? U.S army is famous for being cowards and use any lowly trick they have to destroy other countries but you know what makes me laugh at them when i think of them invading Vietnam and thinking they are the strongest people in this world that tiny country showed us that they are nothing.

and yes what they did is more than a war crime its a shameful act that only can be done by some scared people.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Why keep rehashing something that happened 74 years ago?

Because, unlike Japan, America continues to wage war around the world, backed by the myth of American moral goodness. Nothing at all has changed since 74 years ago.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

There's a documentary if you can find it on Youtube, of an elderly Japanese couple who suffered terribly but survived Hiroshima and travel to meet the then elderly pilot of the Enola Gay, Paul Tibbets. They hope to receive some kind of sympathy of apology from him not just personally but for all the innocent people who suffered.

He was absolutely resolute and refused to do so. As far as he was concerned, brainwash others might say, it was the right thing to do and he had no conscience about it. It was disgusting but typical of the psychopathic and racist mentality behind it. He was clearly lock in denial about the suffering he caused. He has no regrets and wouldn't have hesitate to use it again.

He thought the suggestion that the atomic attack was morally wrong was "hogwash."

The couple were deeply broken by the experience.

The American military, for all its bluster, did not have the stomach for a hand to hand battle and preferred the efficiency of what it called to congress to get its support, "inducing permanent absenteeism within the workforce", referring not just to the A-Bombing but the fire bombing of all the major civillian centres in Japan. The firebombing was just as bad as the atom bombing and, given what happened in Vietnam, "victory", based on the will to proceed against an equivalent resistance, was not assured.

Actually, the firestorms too was a war crime not just for its mass murder of defenseless women, children and the elderly but also the destruction of the historical and cultural assets of Japanese society.

100s of years worth of culture were destroyed making what the Taliban did to the Afghan Buddhist statues look like art appreciation.

Destruction of heritage is also a war crime in international law*. The deliberate targeting or plundering of religious, historic, and cultural sites is prohibited during war.

Paradoxically, the American Civil War established the precedent.

Much of what was not reduced to ashes was then plundered by the invasion force, or sold in desparation to the occupiers by families trying to survive the starvation that followed.

(The ‘Lieber Code’ In 1863, the Brussels Declaration of 1874, and the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907).
-1 ( +6 / -7 )

No Japan deserved it.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

No, because it quickly stopped the bloodiest war in history. Emperor Hirohito said in his surrender speech the atomic weapons were the main reason for him to intervene on the deadlocked supreme war council and order surrender. In today's analysis, ignoring the bomb's extraordinary role in quickly effecting peace throughout Asia is insanely myopic.

"Killing innocents to stop war or force to surrender is a most cowardly act."

Even when surrender results in the sudden end of the killing of even MORE innocents...on both sides. I don't think so.

Hey, folks, WW2 was total war, ie, populations against populations, not limited to army versus against army. Japan set the standard in 1930s, instantly tearing down the demarcation of soldiers and innocent civilians. Japan bombed the h*ll out dozens of big Asian cities, like Singapore, before the West even entered the war.

And guess what - no Japanese at the time and very few Japan today called/call that repeated bloodshed targeting innocent city dwellers a "crime against humanity." Hypocrites, much?

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

It’s clear by most of these comments that a clear perspective of what happened is lost due to time and lack of proper education of that period in history.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If, of your own volition slapped someone for whatever reason, you surely won't have a say on what his comeback should be. You might slap a jesus and they'll turn the other cheek, woe unto you if you did a potential nemesis. You'll live to regret it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@JeffLee,

"....it quickly stopped the bloodiest war in history"

Incorrect. Russian invasion ended the war. Nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki was simply a cynical live human experiment on hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians:

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

"Emperor Hirohito said in his surrender speech the atomic weapons were the main reason for him to intervene..."

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

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

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

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

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

I suppose you fervently believe this as well?

In reality, what motivated Hirohito to surrender to the U.S. was neither a pious wish to bring peace to humanity nor a sincere desire to save the people and the nation from destruction, as his speech to civilians stated and as the myth of the emperor’s “sacred decision” would have Americans eager to justify nuking civilians believe. More than anything else, it was a sense of personal survival and deep responsibility to maintain the imperial house (which Russian occupation would most certainly have dismantled), which had lasted in unbroken lineage since the Jinmu emperor.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

No, and if Japan would of beat the US to a nuclear weapon, with technology stolen or provided by Germany, they would of used it on us, and we would of suffered hundreds of thousands of atrocities that would occur after the initial bombing, similar to what happened to the Chinese at Nan jing, the Singaporeans, the Guam citizens , the Koreans, the POWs, the Vietnamese and the Filipinos during the battle of Manila, etc etc. in the attempt to make us all obedient to the "racially superior"Japanese. I have no reservation or bad feelings at all. Save the pity party for something more deserving. Instead of complaining about that event, there should be a day set aside, like Victory day, for celebration of the defeat of Fascism and its brutality instead of whitewashing history with revisionist attempts at victim hood. As a student of WW2 history, Im especially proud of the efforts of the Americans during the battle of Midway and the battle of Corridor.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

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

Thats interesting, could be true. I for one never bought the myth that he was blind to what was going on, especially since his brother was involved the the West China campaign and Hirohito appointed Tojo as his one dictator meets all the requirements and became minister of every agency.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Regardless of the reasons, targetting civilians is a war crime.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

ABSOLUTELY YES !!.. It was a war crime and the most atrocious act of war ever committed.. Nothing, nothing and nothing in life justifies having evaporated two cities full of innocent people, women and children, no country deserves something like that.. For the naives who believe that Japan deserved this I would like to know what would happen to your country if an atomic bomb fell on you to see what it feels like. War is the worst invention of the human being and it should be only among the military, Japan committed its war crimes as well but the civilian people of Japan or any country do not deserve to pay for the errors of corrupt politicians and military full of ambition for power.. Any country regardless of its ideology that has atomic bombs should be considered a terrorist country and an enemy of humanity.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

here's a documentary if you can find it on Youtube, of an elderly Japanese couple who suffered terribly but survived Hiroshima and travel to meet the then elderly pilot of the Enola Gay, Paul Tibbets. They hope to receive some kind of sympathy of apology from him not just personally but for all the innocent people who suffered.

He was absolutely resolute and refused to do so. As far as he was concerned, brainwash others might say, it was the right thing to do and he had no conscience about it. It was disgusting but typical of the psychopathic and racist mentality behind it. He was clearly lock in denial about the suffering he caused. He has no regrets and wouldn't have hesitate to use it again.

He thought the suggestion that the atomic attack was morally wrong was "hogwash."

The couple were deeply broken by the experience.

I saw that video. The Japanese couple kept demanding and demanding "You say gomenasai!" but you mis characterized what the pilot said. He said something about "not until there is a gomenasai for his friends that died at Pearl Harbor would he apologize." Actually the pilot was quite civil, but the handlers were trying to work on his emotions (common strategy in Japan) and showing him all around the park and museum and loading that with guilt. He would not move on his position, and I saluted him for that.

The Japanese couple were annoying, because it was the typical me me me attitude you hear from Japanese, no thought or consequence to anything their government had done or caused.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

@commanteer

America continues to wage war around the world...

No, the US rarely "wages war." Rather, it typically takes part in military operations where war is already being waged by the local people: Iraq, Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, etc., with the goal of getting out as soon as practical.

Japan's military adventure, by contrast, was to take over peaceful societies and then rule them for eternity.

If you can't tell the difference, you need to read a good history book (not the revisionist claptrap so many JT posters seem to have digested).

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

without the sheer determination of the US military in those days, that so many neglect or disqualify today, Japan could of easily won the war. They made some errors at Pearl; if they would hunted down the carrier groups and destroyed them, then Midway might of been a lost cause for the US. Once they got their supply channels locked in and protected, there was no stopping the Japanese. Probably Japan would of pushed its territory right up to the West coast and controlled the US with an iron fist, with all kinds of sneaky demands. what a nightmare it would of been.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

without the sheer determination of the US military in those days

So determined they entered the war late.

I have no doubt at all that there were brave and decent individual soldiers, who did their best to ensure fascism and imperialism were defeated.

But the military? The top brass?

Nothing but contempt for them and their genocidal actions against Japan.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I remember reading the message in a memorial book at Nagsaki written by a Chinese visitor.......

”You plant the seeds, you reap the fruit!”

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Jtsnose

The severity of treatment which peoples of Japanese race received was much more than that of the European Nazis who committed much greater crimes against Humanity.

I believe the atomic bomb was originally designed with Berlin in mind. The western allies and the Soviet Union feared that one or the other might sign a separate armistice with the Nazis hence the unconditional surrender demand.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Toasted Heretic

So determined they entered the war late.

The US had no treaties with Britain or France to enter the war if the latter two were attacked. And the only reason the US Congress declared war on Germany was Hitler’s foolish declaration of war on the US first.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Harry S Truman's 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.........

you have to understand that racism was a part of every culture at that time. The civil war had ended not even 70 years earlier and many confederate veterans were still alive, some of the generals in the military had relatives who were still alive that fought in that war. I mean, everybody was a racist at that time. Doesnt make it right, but thats how it was.

Japanese ranked right up there with Nazis. They captured a US pilot and put him in a cage at Ueno zoo, as he was considered sub human. When this news got back to the mainland US, people formed their own opinions about the Japanese, based on the barbaric acts of Japanese. They were beheading people, machine gunning women nurses, slaughtering people everywhere they went, pitchforking babies, horrible things. This is just life and reality dude, you cant come back decades latter and start preaching how racist everybody was. Yeah, what was acceptable in those times would not be tolerated today, but everything was different then.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

TheLongTermer, there is a nice picture of a woman holding a Japanese skull on the cover of Life magazine. American troops did not always take Japanese prisoners or killed them soon afterward. Then there are all of the nice pictures of Japanese skulls on different military equipment. Japanese skulls are still being found in America today as the WWII veterans pass away. America is not innocent of war crimes.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

yes I have seen that picture. And whats your point? The Japanese did much worse. My point is, if you roll over and let them behead you, they would. The US stood up and pushed back on that. Coulda Woulda Shoulda.....we can all blame latter. That threat is gone due to the sacrifices of many, and we must always be reminded of it so we appreciate.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Yes. The targeting of civilians in war is defined as a war crime and was so in the case of the Tokyo fire bombing, Dresden and even more so with Hiroshima.

Under International Humanitarian Law, civilian casualties are permitted as collateral damage when attacking legitimate military targets. Wide scale firebombing just because there may be a few small factories in the area, arguably isn't.

Lets not forget that Hiroshima was a large and grotesque military experiment. Before the bomb was dropped Hiroshima had been spared large scale bombing, which resulting in its population and industries swelling. The bomb itself had also never been tested, prior to August 6th. As a result the US military dropped an untested bomb on a city it had previously spared, and took a great deal of interest examining the results afterwards.

Your call. But that does not sound like regular warfare to me.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@InspectorGadget

Lets not forget that Hiroshima was a large and grotesque military experiment. 

Let’s not consider it a large and grotesque experiment.

Let’s consider the Japanese high command’s response (“carry on”) as just another example of their grotesque Bushido code of victory or death (of the nation if need be).

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@YuriOtani

TheLongTermer, there is a nice picture of a woman holding a Japanese skull on the cover of Life magazine. 

How about the “nice” pictures of Japanese soldiers learning the soldierly art of the bayonet on live Chinese prisoners or junior officers being instructed on the proper use of the sword when beheading POWs?

How about the “nice” pictures of Japanese doctors performing vivisections on POWs - Oh, sorry. That evidence was disposed of.

Got other pictures you’d like to discuss?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@Ike-in-Tokyo-from-89

Let’s not consider it a large and grotesque experiment.

Let’s consider the Japanese high command’s response (“carry on”) as just another example of their grotesque Bushido code of victory or death (of the nation if need be).

There was general disbelief in the Japanese government at the time that the US had the capabilities to deliver an atomic bomb (most wouldn't have even have known what was one was).

It was only after the events of the 9th (Nagasaki) that it became clear that the US was in possession of a new and terrible weapon and could use it at will. Later on the 9th, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan and quickly over-ran the many of the forces in Manchuria. The 9th was an especially bad day for Japan.

Yes, there was considerable debate between the Government and the armed forces about carrying on, but the Emperor was asked, and decided to "bear the unbearable".

Even after that there was a mini-uprising in the Palace when some of the armed forces tried to steal the recordings of the Emperor's surrender speech before they could be broadcast.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How many military leaders have been prosecuted for war crimes.

Many.

But not the US war criminals. Why?

Many were, as for the bombing, of Hiroshima and Nagasaki it was justified.

And even now the Japanese government continue to suck up to the US

They made that that decision to bomb Pearl Harbor and this is the result. But it worked out well because Japan is a model for peace and non-violence.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@InspectorGadget

It was only after the events of the 9th (Nagasaki) that it became clear that the US was in possession of a new and terrible weapon and could use it at will.

The Japanese high command after consulting with scientists (Japan itself had investigated the feasibility of developing an atomic weapon) had determined within 24 hours after “Little Boy” was dropped over Hiroshima what kind of device that bomb was. They could not have known that there was only one more available for immediate deployment in August. Nevertheless, the war was continued with the assumption that more such bombings would follow.

The abrogation of the non-aggression pact and entry of the Soviet Union into the war on August 9 in pursuance of a secret treaty with the western allies must have felt to the Japanese like their own “day of infamy”.

Someone mention karma?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Many were, as for the bombing, of Hiroshima and Nagasaki it was justified.

It was a genocide on the Japanese people with weapons of mass destructions, how could this ever be justified ?

And it was not like the intentions of the US government were noble from the start neither, they just saw an excuse to take control over the Pacific region and expand their imperialistic reign over the world.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It was a genocide on the Japanese people with weapons of mass destructions, how could this ever be justified ?

We ask the same about Pearl Harbor.

And it was not like the intentions of the US government were noble from the start neither,

No one told Japan to enter Manchuria

they just saw an excuse to take control over the Pacific region and expand their imperialistic reign over the world.

Yeah, liberals believe Bill Ayers propaganda junk

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@Ike-in-Tokyo-from-89

Let’s not consider it a large and grotesque experiment.

If you knew your history, you'd know InspectorGadget is correct.

The US had prior intention. They specifically spared a number of cities from the firebombing of civillians that was every bit as much destructive as the A-bombs. I forget but I think it was 7 or 12 of which Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Kyoto were three. Kyoto, the historical capital, was only spared by chance.

As I wrote, the firebombing of primary wooden and paper cities was passed through Congress as "inducing permanent absenteeism in the workforce", as in burning them and their families to death, therefore even the US government was duped into what was going on. It was done in a way civillians could not escape, up and down the city grids.

It was not "payback" for Pearl Harbour. It was, as Mister X writes, about the political and economic domination of the Pacific-Asian region and expanding imperialistic reign. It was not defensive. It was also a pre-determined strategy that had been cooking for 90-100 years, going back to the old "Manifest Destiny" concept.

The intention was to cause as much damage as possible to the primary competitor in the region, one that the US had habitually treated, over decades, very badly in a racist and unequal manner.

In much the same they are still doing in the Middle East to Iraq and Iran.

The US did not need to drop the bomb on a city of civillians. That was "the vivisectionist's experiment" they want to try on out on what they considered to be sub-humans. They could have just dropped it in Tokyo bay or near to a military target and the message of the scale of weapon would have gotten through.

But, no, they chose to target women, children and the elderly - defenseless civillians - to cause as much suffering as possible.

And, no, the decision for Japan to go to war in the first place was not a democratic. The people would not be held responsible for it in the way the US could for Iraq.

Peace on their terms.

Peace on reasonable and sensible terms.

Your history is lacking.

The US deliberately refused any terms because it wanted domination, destruction and total submission at any cost and to set Japan back decades in order that it could take control over Asia, which then led to the Korean and Vietnam War, the rise of Mao and the death and suffering of 10s of millions in a dozen countries.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

We ask the same about Pearl Harbor.

I called the attack on Pearl Harbor a war crime by the Japanese Government but at least they did not purposely kill thousands of innocent men, women and children.

No one told Japan to enter Manchuria

I don't condone the way the Japanese government was procuring their natural resources at the time but they certainly weren't the only country one who invaded and colonized other countries.

The difference is the US government is still invading and colonizing other countries untill this very day.

Yeah, liberals believe Bill Ayers propaganda junk

I have no idea who Bill Ayers that is so I can't comment on that.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Ike-in-Tokyo-from-89

*The Japanese high command after consulting with scientists (Japan itself had investigated the feasibility of developing an atomic weapon) had determined within 24 hours after “Little Boy” was dropped over Hiroshima what kind of device that bomb was. They could not have known that there was only one more available for immediate deployment in August. Nevertheless, the war was continued with the assumption that more such bombings would follow.*

Yes, as with Nazi Germany, Japan also had a fledgling nuclear research program. They were both hamstrung by the same issues of research fragmentation and access to resources (primarily Uranium) and manpower. One of the last gasps of the war was an attempted transfer of Nazi nuclear technology and 550Kg of Uranium to Japan in mid April 1945. The sub was captured and the two Japanese officers accompanying the shipment committed suicide. Because of this research they were also acutely aware of the resources, time and commitment that would be required to develop this further.*

It wasn't a conscious decision to continue. The information we have about the Japanese command structure after the bombing of Hiroshima was that there was considerable debate/confusion occurring on whether this really was the terminal blow. This continued for several days afterwards until and even after the 9th. In essence the war continued, as there wasn't a decision to stop. Momentum carried them along. *

*
1 ( +1 / -0 )

War crimes have a very specific definition, which means it doesn't matter what any of us consider. The bombings were, by definition, war crimes. We can argue about whether war crimes are defined correctly, but it is an exercise in futility to argue whether that bombings were war crimes.

That said, the bombings were necessary to prevent further loss of life. Of course, people that refuse to acknowledge their own atrocities in WWII and constantly paint themselves as the victims will rush to re-write history to fit their narrative.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

It doesn't apply only to atomic bomb, but we shouldn't kill non-combatants, even if it will be effective toward ending the war.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I called the attack on Pearl Harbor a war crime by the Japanese Government but at least they did not purposely kill thousands of innocent men, women and children.

So those young men that died, many fresh out of Highschool were essentially kids and someone else’s child as well as innocent. As bad as it all is, it’s war and innocent people will be killed and to try and isolate kids when engaging the enemy especially back then was just impossible. Remember, a lot of Japanese soldiers strapped bombs on the babies and forced some of these women to walk up towards an American soldier blowing themselves up. All of this is unacceptable, but when you have a war, people on all sides are affected by it and no one is spared from war. Men, women and children. If the bombs wouldn’t have been dropped, Truman’s other option was a massive land assault, now imagine what would have happened there....both sides would have suffered heavily, so to avoid that, he decided to use this new experimental bomb. I think it was bad as well as devastating, but Japan was foolish to think with that kind of attack that we wouldn’t respond with overwhelming force.

I don't condone the way the Japanese government was procuring their natural resources at the time but they certainly weren't the only country one who invaded and colonized other countries.

No, but we were already supplying Japan with the oil it needed and tried to accommodate it as much as we could, but Japan wanted to expand its territory by brute force, again, unacceptable.

The difference is the US government is still invading and colonizing other countries untill this very day.

What? Which country?

I have no idea who Bill Ayers that is so I can't comment on that.

Read Obama’s Dreams of my father.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It's difficult at that point in history to imagine the US using a nuclear weapon on a European country. The purpose of bombing Japan was as much to put China and Russia on notice that they would suffer the same fate as it was to end the war.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So those young men that died, many fresh out of Highschool were essentially kids and someone else’s child as well as innocent.

Yes and I regret that but they were still combat personnel and not ordinary civilians.

At Pearl Harbor there were a little over a hundred civilian casualties, in Hiroshima and Nagsaki there were more than a hundred thousand directly after dropping the bombs and thousands died in the subsequent years due to radiation.

The atomb bomb was a prestige project of the American government and there fingers were just itching to drop them, didn't matter on who or what.

Truman’s other option was a massive land assault

That option was never on the table, by the end of the Pacific war the US military didn't have the manpower to invade mainland Japan and conquer it.

Japan wanted to expand its territory by brute force, again, unacceptable.

I agree but so many other countries did that and most of them, amongst whom the United States, were never punished nor did they give any apologies.

What? Which country?

It must be clear by now that the US goverment's next target is Iran, they are trying to get an international coalition of the willing in the region and then "something" will happen for which Iran gets the blame and that will be all the justification they need to invade the country and secure its oil resources.

By the way am still waiting for the proof of the infamous "weapons of mass destruction".

Read Obama’s Dreams of my father.

Thank you I will, I personnaly think that until this day Barack Obama is the best president the United States ever had.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@expat

It's difficult at that point in history to imagine the US using a nuclear weapon on a European country. The purpose of bombing Japan was as much to put China and Russia on notice that they would suffer the same fate as it was to end the war.

Einstein urged FDR to pursue development of an atomic bomb in 1940 (and earlier) which was after the beginning of the European war (1939), but before the beginning of the Pacific War (1941). He did so because of reports that Germany was able to produce fissionable material at an unexpectedly high rate.

To respond to your “difficult ... to imagine” statement: No it wasn’t difficult to imagine the USA using a nuclear weapon against a European country. Einstein, for one, had a clear target in mind: Nazi Germany.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Chip Star

That said, the bombings were necessary to prevent further loss of life. 

The intent of the bombings may have been to prevent further loss of life - soldiers’ as well as civilians’ - but there’s no proof I know of that the Emperor’s decision was shaped exclusively or even largely by a desire to spare the population further suffering from additional atomic bombings. He and the high command knew within 24 hours what had destroyed Hiroshima. Dozens of cities had been fire bombed with tremendous loss of life, but the Emperor didn’t call on his people to “bear the unbearable” then. I wonder if the Allied high command just threw up their hands in exasperation the day after Hiroshima.

Acceptance of the Allies’ call for unconditional surrender, itself a political decision made to keep the alliance intact, was what WAS NECESSARY to prevent further loss of life. That was the Japanese high command’s call and the Emperor’s. Not until after Nagasaki was the call made. Pity the people of Hiroshima and especially Nagasaki. No pity for the Emperor.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The bombing was never necessary, neither was the demand for "total surrender". Japan had been suing for peace for months. The Americans refused as a knowing and deliberately further provocation.

You should study up on the psychological profiling of Japan and Japanese that was done by the highest level advisors and how it was deliberately used against Japan to get the results the US wanted; US domination of the Pacific-Asian region.

Including the refusal of peace offers.

As a small footnote from history supporting the "science experiment" angle, Japan was selected as it was consider that they would not be so apt to secure knowledge from it as would the Germans if it did not go off (src: recorded discussion between Groves, Bush, Conant, Admiral Purnell, and Major Styer).  

Ditto, the target considered was the Harbor of Truk” in Micronesia, the Japanese equivalent of Pearl Harbor. A purely military, tactical target. Their fear there was, again, the bomb could be salvaged from the water and backengineered.

I don't know how and when discussion turn to civillian targets but it was prior to the firebombing because the list of cities being considered were excluded from the firebombing, in order that they could study the effect of the bomb on an untouched "virgin" urban landscape.

The timing of the drops were coordinated to be the time when most people were out on the streets.

Strangely, in the case of Nagasaki the target was the largest Christian Cathedral in Asia,  St. Mary’s Urakami Cathedral, in the area where the highest density of Japanese Christians were to be found.

They had suffered and survive 250 years of oppression in Japan, only to be nuked by the Americans.

The majority of Nagasaki Christians did not survive the blast, 6,000 died instantly, 8,500 of them eventually died as a result of the bomb, 3 orders of nuns and a Christian girl’s school disappeared instantly.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Crimes against the leadership/military, no. Monstrous, inhumane militaries - the Japanese military of that time - deserve no pity. The civilians, absolutely yes deserve pity.

But the civilians were supporting the military. Suddenly the situation gets complicated...

Tokyo and other cities were devastated by the firebombings in March and the Japanese military still hadn't surrendered by August and were still causing misery for countless people in various countries. The atomic bombings finally put an end to it. That's about all. Peace out.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@albaleo

Truman expressed strong racist sentiments before, during and after his presidency. Here is another quote from Harry S Truman in 1941:

"What a pity a WHITE man like Lee had to surrender to old Grant".

Truman's racist rantings continued well into the 1960s: He also called the Freedom Riders "meddlers" and Rev. Martin Luther King "a trouble maker".

Truman's claim that "the target will be a purely military one" is proof that he was either a blatant liar or an unbelievably ignorant puppet manipulated by others.

The primary targets at Hiroshima were residential in nature with the overwhelming majority of casualties being civilian. In fact, Honkawa Elementary school was mere meters from the epicenter of the Hiroshima nuke strike.

It's ironic the people responsible for nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki censored all criticism of themselves and images and information about the bombings after enshrining the the "right" to "free speech" the constitution.

Has a comparison with Orwell's "Animal Farm" ever been more apt? Perhaps some pigs are more equal than others.......

3 ( +4 / -1 )

No, they can't be considered war crimes. It was a necessary evil to end the war and save lives. It did save lives ironically. After the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan should have surrendered to prevent Nagasaki from happening, yet they dug in. The fact that those bombs were not dropped on Tokyo shows the Americans thought hard about it. War crime is what happened in Nanjing.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@pacificwest

If you knew your history, you'd know InspectorGadget is correct.

If YOU knew your history, you’d know InspectorGadget is incorrect.

The bombing was never necessary, neither was the demand for "total surrender". Japan had been suing for peace for months.

First, I haven’t argued for any “necessity” to use atom bombs against Japan in WW2.

A demand for unconditional surrender is very, very different from a demand for total surrender. The demand for unconditional surrender had more to do with keeping Western Allies - Soviet cooperation alive. The Soviets feared that the Western Allies might cut a deal with the Nazis and thus allow the Hitler regime a chance of survival through a stalemate on the eastern front.

The Western Allies in turn were well aware of the Soviet-Japanese non-aggression pact and, probably, aware of Japanese attempts to use the Soviets as “good faith” middleman in negotiations that might meet Japanese conditions. In light of the Soviet army’s strong offensive/defensive position in Central Europe on Germany’s surrender in May, 1945, they could well afford to break their secret agreement to join the war on Japan 3 months after Germany’s surrender. That would have continued to give the Japanese high command hope of their own stalemate. It’s interesting to note that when Stalin made a promise to the Western Allies he kept it. How shocked the Japanese must have been when the Soviets declared war and immediately invaded Manchuria and Sakhalin. Stalin knew there was fresh territory to be conquered.

“Suing for peace”. The Japanese government was suing for peace alright, but on their terms. That is perfectly understandable, but also understandably naïf.

The onus for ending the Pacific War was always on the Japanese government. The high command knew the war was lost after the destruction of the last fleet off the Philippines yet continued to trade the lives of Japanese soldiers and civilians to protect those who launched the war.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Ike

To the best of my knowledge, there is no such thing as "total surrender" in international law and so I have no idea to what you refer.

As with, say, Iraq yesterday and Iran tomorrow (probably), the US had just deliberately set out destroy the nation (debellatio) and break the spirit of the primary rising economic and political competitor within a region they wanted to dominate.

The deliberate breaking of Japan and destruction was just a pre-meditated move to set its development back several decades by which time the USA could be established as the dominant geo-political in Pacific-Asia region. Throwing 100,000s of "sub-human" Japanese and Koreans - as they saw they - on a funeral pyre was merely expedient to that aim.

Which is why it is among the greatest of war crimes for which the perpetrators have avoided punishment. Iinvading Iraq was another).

Until you get that, and get the pattern in play here, quibbling over the details is a waste of time.

I always found the degree of America's hypocrisy extraordinary. Or rather the degree of lies with which its elite manipulated its people in order to exploit them. Communism was the supposed to be the great evil, and yet it not only allied itself with a communist super against the anti-communist pact but its banking and industrial sectors actually built up that communist super-power (Soviet Russia). And why did it choose to throw its weight behind a corrupt incompetent like Chiang Kai-shek against Japan ... except to provoke and inflame a situation that it could then exploit later.

That is, to set two parties against each other until both become weakened and exhausted, and then conquer or dominate them both. The old game of divide and rule.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Nuking hundreds of thousands civilians saved no one

Millions of people disagree with that assessment, especially those in China, Korea, the Philippines and other countries where the Japanese were running rampant. A ground invasion of Honshu would have killed hundreds of thousands on both sides.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

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