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Do you think the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were morally justifiable?

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With all the talk of apology, perhaps now might be a good time for the US to apologise for the mass slaughter in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

-3 ( +39 / -42 )

Perhaps, this question shouldn't be answered by anybody not born prior to 1930 and therefore not having seen the world as it was at the time. The only opinion that I shall offer is that for however many people died in horrific circumstances in both cities, the 'slaughter' for all armies/civilians concerned would have been a lot worse had the Japanese mainland been invaded by troops.

13 ( +32 / -17 )

Come on with the victim card, Japan was building (or at least trying too) build A-bombs along with Germany and would have done the same thing given enough time.

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

Is any death in war justifiable?

17 ( +40 / -22 )

I would have preferred a "Not sure" reply, but it wasn't offered. TheResident makes a good point. It was a different world then. It's good that we can debate this today, but the B-29 crews that dropped the two bombs were not given any choice in the matter. Some pretty horrible new non-nuclear weapons are being developed even now, and to hope they are never put to use is probably naive.

13 ( +16 / -2 )

What a crazy question! Is there anything 'morally justifiable' about war? Was Japan's imperial rule of Asia and slaughter of millions in the first half of the last century 'morally justifiable'? How about the unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor? Is that morally justifiable? Let's make something perfectly clear about the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan was not the victim! They were the aggressor that took on the rest of the world and paid the for the imperial greed with a near inhalation of their society. Therefore, I voted YES!

4 ( +29 / -24 )

Back then in the world of 1945 with the world on fire, I would say it was understandably justified.

In today's world, it would not only be indefensible, but a grievous crime against humanity.

23 ( +32 / -8 )

perhaps now might be a good time for the US to apologise for the mass slaughter in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

What? No moral outrage for the March 9, 1945 firebombing of Tokyo? It killed 100,000 people and left over one million Tokyo residents homeless, making it the deadliest single bombing of a city during WWII, ahead of Dresden, Nagasaki, or even Hiroshima. But how can this be, if we're supposedly debating morality here?

Somehow, the firebombing always manages to get short thrift by those tripping over themselves for a perch on that proverbial Hiroshima/Nagasaki soapbox.

In failing to condemn the firebombing as equally as bad as, if not worse than, the atomic bombings, these people are, for all intents and purposes, declaring the use of incendiary devices on densely populated civilian centers resulting in 100,000 deaths by braising, boiling, and asphyxiation as a morally acceptable way to commit mass murder, while the use of atomic weapons, largely to the same end, as one that is not.

The logical and moral disconnect of such a leap is staggering.

It's a fool's task to attempt to level 21st Century morality and hindsight against mid-20th Century decisions and events that, not having been there, never having actually lived through the pressures of that time period, are scarcely imaginable for people softened to the extreme by the comfort of a modern society that exists in the form it does (for better or worse) largely because of the decision to drop the atomic bombs.

Were the bombings horrific? They most certainly were. But how does one rank the horrific-ness of being a civilian caught up in a dozen potential ways to have life and limb torn from him during wartime with any degree of seriousness? There were many things the participants of WWII did to each other that make death by one really, powerful bomb pale in comparison.

Enough with this "the atomic bombs were the worst things in the world" pap. Off the top of my head, I can think of a half-dozen far more terrifying ways to wipe out large groups of civilians, all actually dreamt up and carried out by Axis and Allies alike, that make death by near-instant vaporization an infinitely more preferably option, if given the choice.

25 ( +32 / -6 )

I look forward to the many, many comments we're likely to get from people who don't understand the difference between phrases like, "really, really effective" and, "morally justifiable".

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Thursday is the 70th anniversary of the bomb.

Compelling account here that it was unnecessary.

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0806-25.htm

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

@Disillusioned

Coincidence since I believe it's crazy to military attacks on unarmed civilian is justifiable. It's quite easy to answer if you forget about mind-set through your nationalities (rather totalitarian view, if I must add). So, no to atom bombs, Gelnica and Chongqing. Even worse, it's not about the past since it's been still continuing ranging from bombing to drone attacks. We can go forever trying to answer it philosophically, but, if these things were morally justifiable, why even bother about asking moral-related questions in the first place?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

They essentially targeted innocent civilians. That in essence is a war crime. Even if the target was Japanese industry they knew the collateral damage would be on an unheard of scale. They targeted Kitakyushu industrial area, close to where I am sitting now but it was cloudy so they thought we will drop it on Nagasaki anyway. Thats a war crime in the most absolute sense of the word.

0 ( +20 / -21 )

Steve; As an alternative to using such horrible weapons, what do you suggest? A blockade would have killed millions of civilians, as would an invasion, as would continued conventional bombing. There were no good alternatives, only a "least bad" option that saved Allied lives and, in retrospect, also saved innumerable Japanese lives.

6 ( +18 / -11 )

Just be happy it was the Allied Forces that had the bomb and not Germany or Japan because otherwise today would be a much darker, oppressive, and horrific world.

12 ( +21 / -8 )

Back then, nobody knew what the effects of an atomic weapon could do. It was not morally "justifiable" (very few things in war ever are...) but it was also not known what it's capabilities were. Now everyone knows what using a nuclear weapon can do and that it has drastically long lasting effects. Back then it was used out of ignorance, they just thought it would blow up a lot of stuff with one bomb. But now we know better and know that anyone that actually uses it with such knowledge is a fool.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Absolutely and 100% NO! Now, was it 'practical' for the US to do so? that's another question, but the idea of anything related to war being 'morally just' is ridiculous. So, to say that it was 100% morally wrong does not necessarily mean a person thinks it was 100% wrong PERIOD (I think it was, but others have some valid points in their opinions that it was right in some aspects).

5 ( +13 / -8 )

My Mother survived the Nagasaki bombing by leaving the city the morning the bombing occurred. Do i find the atomic bomb morally justifiable? Hell no.! No human should ever be subjected to nuclear annhilation. No human! Luckily, she survived and eventually became an American citizen when she married my Dad. My sister and I are here primarily here because she, her Mom and sister made it out in time. If they were to become mortal victims, I wouldn't be here to tell you about it and I'm a living human being, let alone an American no doubt. Nuclear bombing is not morally justifiable. Period.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Previously posted link: http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0806-25.htm

Is typical of the non-cited, nor properly referred material that people in this debate read and think, well since its published, it must be true. So much non-factual info is put out there saying, well the Japanese were about surrender, but the US was too impatient and wanted to use their bomb. The Russians were about to declare war, it was all hopeless for the Japanese. Except, the Army controlled the JGOV, and women and children were being trained to meet the the US Forces at the beach. The IJA was going to force the whole country to go down in one national suicide. But wait the US could have embargoed the Jports, no food or fuel. Great idea, starve the Japanese and wait until winter when most would freeze to death. So many forget the alternatives to the Atomic bombs where in most cases far more bleak and daunting. It took the Emperor himself to end the war, and even then, they IJA tried to stop him. They dared to conspire to interfere with the wishes of the very Emperor they swore to defend and fight the war for.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Some excellent examples of moral relativism here. The three justifications seem to be that no one knew the effects (bullshit), that it was okay then but would not be okay now because it's a different World now (bullshit) and that "they would have done it to us if they'd had the chance".

The third justification may be factually correct but it's a very poor justification. It's like saying that if you believe someone would rape your daughter it's alright for you to rape his first. Just because someone else might do something morally repugnant doesn't give you a blank cheque.

Killing non combatants is always morally wrong.

2 ( +15 / -13 )

All one needs to do is visit the war museum in Okinawa and view the thousands of names of the dead engraved in the winding black granite wall to project how an invasion would have turned out. Horrible, brutal yet honest assessment.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Heck no it wasn't morally or rationally justifiable

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Anyone who thinks mass murdering innocent women and children is "morally justifiable" has a screw loose.

11 ( +20 / -9 )

Hi @Graeme Young

Um, yeah, I don't get your example about comparing the dropping of the A-bomb and rape.

I mean, in your example the someone you're referring to sounds like to have no history of doing anything right? But, Japan had a long history of attacking, brutally murdering, raping, and wanting to take over at least Asia, so, it wasn't such a far-fetched thing to think that they may attack us, since, well, they already did attack us.

I guess that's another example where I don't get what you're saying. It wasn't that someone else might do something morally repugnant, they were already doing something morally repugnant.

5 ( +11 / -5 )

There is no excuse what so ever to use such nasty weapons.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

With all the talk of apology, perhaps now might be a good time for the US to apologise for the mass slaughter in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I think Japan still has a lot more apologise yet for the mass slaughter of asians which number in the millions. make the A bombs look insignificant. If the average Japanese actually knew or were taught about the attrocities that the IJA committed I doubt theyre would be so many people playing the victim card here.

Look at Germany you rarely hear them demanding an apology from the Russian or the American/allies. why because they fully understand and are taught what there ancestors did in the name of Hitler and his Nazis. The IJA / emperor were basicially the Nazis of asia and now there decendants want America to apologise. You may as well ask China, Korea, Singapore etc to apologise

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Did they end the war? Yes. Did they save lives? Probably yes (certainly thousands of allied lives at minimum, as well as those of the little old ladies tasked with charging battle hardened marines with bamboo spears lest they be executed as cowardly traitors by their own officers.) Politically effective? Absolutely Yes. All but end major power war? Yeah, they did. Justifiable? Ugh...while acknowledging all the "yes" arguments...still, No. Moral? Absolutely not!

As an American living here, I would love to be able to justify Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Can't do it. The most charitable term I can come up with is "overkill." The IJA committed unspeakable atrocities, and the IJA deserved decimation for those. They deserved the mercy they gave, which was none. However, the atomic bombings as well as the firebombing campaigns, punished civilians who, brainwashed or not, had no say whatsoever in the policies of their government.(those bold enough to criticize the government were taken away by the kempeitai as traitors. Hell, they didn't even have to criticize. Not celebrating their sons draft notice was grounds for arrest) Those poor civilians were victims of both their own government and U.S. bombing. To say that their very real suffering was moral is an insult to the concept of morality.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

The question should be, is war justifiable. In war people die. Cities have been destroyed completely. Burned. Salted. Never again to exist!

Atomic weapons on both of those cities are no different. The difference is that never before in history has destroying a city has been so fast! Secondly, that was probably the first time that radiation was also introduced to the world. So the destruction ended up hurting more than the cities themselves. Radiation spreads! That was unfortunate.

But the war was harmful for all sides! Millions of people were killed by the Japanese. Korean people, Chinese and more including Americans.

So ask me if I feel guilt. No, I don't . America should not feel guilt. It is the past! It is over. And the US has been more than fair with the Japanese. Technically, by the rules of war, we had every right to take Japan and own them! But we let them keep their land and statehood. We have helped them get back on their feet and have been close friends with them.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

War is hell. If you lost, heads will roll. This is just the facts of war.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Let's make something perfectly clear about the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan was not the victim! They were the aggressor that took on the rest of the world and paid the for the imperial greed with a near inhalation of their society. Therefore, I voted YES!

So okay to send innocent civilians to oblivion? Had it been a fleet out at sea or an invading army, then yes, tactical atomic weapons could be almost justified... but to bomb civilians? No sorry. And I feel the same way about Dresden.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

The Japan then was not the Japan of today. The mindset was completely different. The atrocities were committed by Japan are legion. Nanking and the Burma railway were amongst the best known. They were barbaric, believed in total war and that conquered peoples and opposing soldiers deserved no respect and quarter. They had to be stopped. Japan could have Surrendered before they did. The fault lies with the Japanese in charge that they did not and extreme measure had to be taken to force the issue. The blood is on their hands not the Americans.

Question: If history had been different and the bombs had have been available to be dropped after Nanking how many millions of lives would have have been saved?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

morally justifiable ; what a stupid question. WW2 claimed about 78million lives 23 of those civilian. Millions of these civilian deaths were slaughtered by Hitler and the IJA in the name of the emperor、 were these justified!  During WW2 it was a matter of kill and destroy your enemey as he will do the same to you. Much of the civilian population in every country was put to work building there war machines、 was it justified to destroy the enemeys ability to make war? Truth of the matter is it was a time that was very different today. Moralities were thrown out of the window in the name of survival. There nothing moral about WW2

2 ( +5 / -4 )

does Pearl Harbor sound familiar to anyone else?

lets face it, japan back then in the early 40's were some pretty f ed up people. REALLY messed up. an imperial army going out and simply killing anyone that stood in their way of the conquest of the pacific, the united states on the other hand was an isolationist country, not getting involved in anyone else's buessiness.

if japan had just left the united states alone, we never would have gotten into the war, germany would have destroyed the allies, japan would have destroyed the pacific, and then the US would have likely fallen at the hands of the japanese and german military.

besides, what the heck were we supposed to do, germany had already kicked our asses back and forth and done some serious damage to, basically everyone else who wasnt german. the president and everyone else who has control of the military simply decided that after Iwo Jima, it was enough. too many of the US forces out there were just being slaughtered.

whats more is the united states actually considered NOT using the nukes at first, but as we all know, that changed somewhere along the line and uh, suprise suprise, IT ENDED THE WAR IN THE PACIFIC AND WORLD WAR II saving countless american, japanese and pacific islander military and civilian lives. sure it killed a ship ton of them, but thats war for yah, it kills innocent people who arent involved in the war, [pearl harbor, 9/11, vietnam. etc.] besides, they would have gone out and purged all that opposed their imperical rule

for everyone out there, face the facts, its better in the long run that we nuked 'em and singlehandedly set the US up as the most dominant nation on earth for a while. then the soviet union came along, but thats a totally different arguement for another comment.

-3 ( +8 / -12 )

Atomic bombings are never morally justifiable whatever, hence atomic bombs have been not dropped in any city or town since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. No doubt that atomic bombing is really massacre.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This tit for tat on morals is stupid. But if you want to compare the slaughter of innocent civilians then the IJA was only equaled by Hitler. At that time in history those two powers were the most morally bankrupt. Whatever the American.Soviets Allies did pale in comparison.

3 ( +7 / -5 )

Moral lesson.: Don't go about slapping strangers for no reason. If you slapped Jesus, he may turn the other cheek for you to slap also, on the other hand , woe unto you should you slap some god of retribution - a Nemesis - you will live to regret it. Japan literally "slapped" ( still slaps) people for no reason ( very immoral) and if the blow-back was an immoral " slap" , then , isn't that fare? When you hit somebody for no reason, you won't expect them to be " considerate " about the force they'll use on you. Except by prior arrangement. To answer the title I may not agree - but - I understand.

-1 ( +4 / -6 )

There are very few morals in war. The ones there are . Are drowned out by the attrocities. Abombs morally justified? Justified yes. Moral No

0 ( +2 / -3 )

I say "yes" because it ended the war and stopped people like my future grandfather-in-law from being given bamboo spears and told to attack any G.I. Joe they saw coming up the street.

There's a fascinating graphic showing the number of dead in WWII and where. Everyone should watch it, you won't view the conflict the same ever again.

https://vimeo.com/128373915

10 ( +12 / -3 )

The Japan then was not the Japan of today. The mindset was completely different.

I disagree. The people are the same. The society is still extremely hierarchical, bullying is rife, and the people do what they are told. The focus just changed from war to business, that's all.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

The question itself does not recognize that war itself is immoral, from the most humanitarian point of view. War is an expression of pure Machiavellianism - goals must be achieved at all costs (literally) - the end justifies the means. But judging actions by their results is not good enough, neither judging the intent. We aren't essentially sure how our actions will eventually affect the world - so neither intent nor knowledge of results is good enough to justify the means.

Actions should be judged at their core value. Destruction is universally bad. There is no doubt about it. Death doesn't make the society better and stronger. It is pure manipulation that people are somewhat categorized and placed in categories that makes killing them justifiable - World War 2 was the highest peak of thinking based on social segregation. It's a real shame that many people nowadays still think that their religious beliefs make it okay to hate and kill the "non-believers", "non-something".

In Machiavellian terms, was atomic bombing justifiable? Yes, it brought the expected result - same would have happened to Germany if the situation wasn't that good for the American forces, and it would be also justifiable. But again, the act itself was morally wrong. Even saving the world doesn't justify evil actions.

And a little off-topic comment about morality: It's a universal thing, I believe, that many of the "great" people were actually essentially evil, but judging the effect their actions had on a wider society, they became examples of good leaders, and widely respected people. The fact that Henry the 8th was a very effective leader of England doesn't mean his paranoia towards his wives was justified. The fact that Catherine the Great truly deserved her title, does not justify the destruction of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The fact that people called nowadays Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu lead to the so called "unification of Japan" doesn't morally justify all the killings, treasons, social segregation and cruelty they have caused. In other words - only actions matter. Actions and their definitive interpretation.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Dropping atomic bombs, rampaging through Asia and jihading to the World Trade Center are all equally wrong in my view.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Even though Japan was no innocent party in the WWII, the use of the A bombs was atrocious and unjustifiable.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

No. The US would never have used atomic bomb against a "white" country like Germany for example. And in August 1945 Japan was about to surrender, by lack of fuel, ships and ammunition due to the efficient US embargo. The main goal was to make ompression on Staline and the communists by testing the A bomb against a "non-white" enemy. I visited the Hiroshima peace museum and never saw History the same way since then.

-2 ( +7 / -8 )

I did have relatives who were on troop carrying ships off the Japanese coast awaiting orders to go ashore as the bombs were dropped. My grandmother, RIP, was always adamant that dropping the bombs saved more lives (both ours and theirs) than if they hadn't been dropped at all.

Another question to consider is whether it was really using the A-bombs on Hiroshima & Nagasaki which brought the Japanese to the negotiating table or the fear of having the Russians invading and occupying part of their country. Many Japanese will explain that the fear of having the Russians for masters was the main reason for surrendering and that the destruction of Hiroshima & Nagasaki had nothing to do with Japan's surrender. I'm not sure if my grandmother would ever agree with that, but it's a possibility to consider.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Damned if I know. I wasn't alive in 1945. I would be very much against their use now.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

It is a difficult question, a particular conundrum to Japan as it still tries to dispute war facts. Germany had already settled with everything, falling down on its own knees, and she was pulled up by her neighbors, embraced, welcomed in a brotherly way.

Japan is still hang up high in pride and dignity, which is a good thing as they did suffer the result of the nukes. But, it is ironic that they never seem to grasp the suffering of others beyond their shores. That too is also part of the story.

3 ( +4 / -2 )

Definitely NO.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

does Pearl Harbor sound familiar to anyone else?

So revenge then? Ever heard of the V1 and V2? Know what the V stood for? Vengeance... so were the A bombs vengeance weapons? If so then they are no more moral weapons than the rockets that rained down on the UK and other countries... ergo, the A bombs were immoral and therefore the act of using them was also immoral.

Or is it okay 'cos it was Mer'ca that used them as revenge for a sneak attack on Pearl Harbour?

@Souka... had Germany not surrendered the yanks would have nuked them too.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Even General Douglas MacArthur, Dr. Norman Cousins and a large group of other military and social scientists claimed that it was not necessary.

People apparently were never taught that Japan had been trying to surrender since February of 1945 as they were out of literal energy as well as emotional and physical energy to fight any more. The ONLY sticky point that the U.S. did not enjoy was that they wanted to keep Showa-sama (also known as Hirohito-sama) as purely a figurehead. Even MacArthur was for that, but President Harry S. Truman wanted to use his "toys", apparently to scare the Russians to not invade.

Pearl Harbor was an emotional response to yet another broken treaty from the U.S. government, promising to supply heating and cooking oil for the civilians of Japan, with the decision to NOT send these things to Japan caused hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians to die of starvation and exposure. While it may not have been an intelligent thing to reciprocate like that, I can understand why Japan DID do that.

-2 ( +7 / -8 )

"Japan had been trying to surrender since February of 1945 "

No it hadn't. The allied leaders in late July issued Japan with the Potsdam Declaration, calling for its surrender. Japanese leaders chose to ignore it...until AFTER the bombs were dropped.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

With all the talk of apology, perhaps now might be a good time for the US to apologise for the mass slaughter in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Nonsense. This is just pure Japanese "victim" speak. First off, Japan has no right to hide behind "morally jutsifiable" given the horrendous atrocities they inflicted on hundreds of thousands during the war -- both civilians and combatants. Second, you cannot provoke a country into war, and then blame that country for unleashing all its might to end a conflict that Japan could have ended months previously. Third, Japan would have used the bomb that they created it first. And anyone who doubts that is simply bilnd to reality.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Ever heard of the V1 and V2?

Get your facts together man, V1 + V2 were created by Nazi Germany (not Nuclear) and killed many people in England.

http://ethw.org/V1_and_V2_Rockets

0 ( +2 / -2 )

More likely an act of self-preservation. American intel suggested that an attack on mainland was planned for September 22, 1945. Google: Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Also, the shibboleth that Japan was a beaten nation should be carefully re-examined. It is true that by 1945 Japan lacked any offensive military capability. That did NOT mean, though, that Japan was defenceless. To the contrary, there were hundreds of thousands of armed and trained troops kept in Japan for the express purpose of repelling an Allied invasion (think D-Day on steroids). Also, there were 10,000 aircraft waiting for use as kamikazes, plus millions of civilians being organized into ad hoc home defense groups.

Estimates of Allied casualties were upwards of half a million. Japanese, up to 10 million.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

No, deliberately targeting defenceless women, children and harmless old people is always wrong.

The US should have just stuck to its side of the Pacific and kept it nose out of other people's business.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

For me, an American, this is a very difficult answer. I don't know enough of the history to answer it, but I would question at the very least, the second bomb. Why were two bombs necessary? I don't think they were. I think Japan would have gotten the message very clearly with just one bomb. The first bomb saved some lives and took others. Could it be called a necessary evil in a fallen world? Opinions on that are sure to vary, but I keep coming back to the second bomb. Why?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Get your facts together man, V1 + V2 were created by Nazi Germany (not Nuclear) and killed many people in England.

I know, I was comparing the use of the A bombs as a means of revenge in the same way that Nazi Germany called their rockets V Weapons, as in vengeance... AKA Revenge. The A bomb was a tool of vengeance to pay Japan back for Pearl Harbour. I made it perfectly clear.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@ Vast Right Wing, They should have fought the war with conventional weapons alone. Whether that strategy may have led to more civilian deaths I dont know. To drop an atomic bomb on two cities however, one Nagasaki with no industrial strength or strategic importance, can only lead me to the conclusion that this was the greatest war crime in history. Someone above mentioned Dresden. That was just a massacre. Also a war crime though. Bomber Smith.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Was Pearl morally justifiable? After all, had the Imperial Japanese Navy not bombed Pearl HarbHarbor, the U.S. may not have entered the war. Chew on that. How about the Bataan Death March? Justifiable? The use of Allied POWs on Japanese freighters, knowing they'd be sunk? Justifiable? How about Japanese Military treatment of Allied POWs in general? Justifiable? You see (or maybe not), friends, the Pacific War never had to happen. Had Japan not forced the USA into the war, the Atomic weapons would not have been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The fact that they were is a fact of History. War is never a good thing. But once the USA was brought into the Second World War, the decision was made to end it by any means neessary. That is precisely what "Fat Man" and "Little Boy" did: they ended the war. Tragic? Yes. Horrific? War in general is. The question of whether or not they were morally justifiable is pretty much stupid simply because they never had to be dropped in the first place.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Steve, there is really no difference between being killed in a firebombing raid and killed in an atomic bombing raid. You are dead in both cases. As for the importance of the two cities, Hiroshima was an army HQ as well as a supply and logistics centre. Nagasaki was an important industrial centre, especially the huge Mitsubishi shipbuilding and arms factories, as well as a port.

There is no question that a longer war would have led to more civilian casualties. As it was, Japan only survived the winter of 1945-6 thanks to American supply and relief efforts..

-1 ( +4 / -4 )

Jason, the US had entered the war long before Pearl Harbor.

Civilians should never be targets. It makes no difference which nationality.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Estimates of Allied casualties were upwards of half a million. Japanese, up to 10 million.

Supply evidence. USA always exaggerate what Japan did to justify what USA did. Japan did not have food/oil when started the war. Not enough weapon. The most J soldiers died of hunger. How can Japan kill 10 million without weapon?

-9 ( +1 / -11 )

Well, Tina, here is one;

"The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff estimated that an invasion of Japan’s home islands would result in approximately 1.2 million American casualties, with 267,000 deaths. A study performed by physicist William Shockley for the staff of Secretary of War Henry Stimson estimated that the invasion of Japan would cost 1.7-4 million American casualties, including 400,000-800,000 fatalities, and five to ten million Japanese deaths."

from Forbes Magazine.

As I said before, the Japanese military was storing and saving weapons and soldiers for the invasion. The Japanese armies in China were cut so that soldiers could go back to Japan. As well, all civilians from age 15 and up were drafted into a kind of civilian army, and given bamboo spears to attack Allied soldiers with.

0 ( +5 / -4 )

VastR-WC, When Truman originally tried using that argument he started with 250,000 casualties, then he jumped to 500,000 and finally, one million. Do you know where that one million number came from? It was Leslie Groves, the gelatinously corpulent man picked by the government to head up the Manhattan project and one of its largest supporters. Groves had no combat experience nor was he in any way familiar with the military picture in the Pacific. He simply pulled the number out of thin air and people still do that to this day. 

The fact is well documented that no invasion would ever have taken place as the Russian invasion ended the war. Additionally, no US Pacific top level commander supported either nuking civilians or an invasion. They collectively felt Japan was defeated and ready to surrender. Here is an excellent starting point for their feelings. 

http://doug-long.com/quotes.htm

In addition, your Forbes Magazine article was written by Henry I. Miller, a man infamous for writing the founding principles for quack science group "The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition" - a now-defunct front created by tobacco giant Philip Morris that tried to discredit scientific research linking tobacco to cancer and heart disease, especially among office workers and children living with smoking parents.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Japan wanted to keep fighting even after the atomic bombs. The real reason why they surrendered to the USA was because they didn't want to surrender to the Soviet Union, who was entering the war in the Pacific. The war was lost anyway, and Japan rather made a deal with the Americans, and in turn, were allowed to keep their government who later become what we now know as the LDP.

That being said, the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the fire bombing of Tokyo, are obviously wrong since its main target were civilians (similar to Dresden). And if you take the paragraph above into consideration, those bombings mean even much less sense. I'm the type of person that wants to see Japan sincerely apologize, or at least even just admit, what they did during that time. But just because the USA won the war doesn't mean they can/should get away with war crimes. There should at least be some sense of remorse.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Do you think the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were morally justifiable?

Loaded question where you can essentially argue whether or not war in of itself is morally justifiable.

If you engage in a war, you do everything you can to win.

The U.S. textbook that essentially teaches that these Atomic bombings ended the war and as a result, saved more Americans and Japanese is false for it was the Soviet's entrance to the war that prompted Japan to surrender.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

@tina oh dear tina your ignorance knows no bounds, you might want to read a few history books about WW2 that werent written in Japan, the IJA slaughtered millions throughout asia, these are documented facts.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

America is not good they think they are the best and the good in this history

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Okinawa was a deciding influence. The U.S. invasion there proved how the citizens as well as the Imperial army were loyal enough to commit suicide over capture. Imagine the Japanese mainland if it were invaded prior to the "unconditional" surrender.

To answer the question skews the true result. Morally justifiable does differ from tactically justifiable. The war ended in days not months or years.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It was Justified.

And BertieWooster, up untl now, I thought you were smart. Or, are you baiting me? And why hasn't the mediator removed your trolling statement?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Dumb question. The use of the A-bombs was justifiable at the time under the circumstances. It is not justifiable with hindsight and it certainly isn't justifiable morally. How can the mass killing of civilians ever be "morally justifiable" even in war?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

theResidentAUG. 03, 2015 - 08:53AM JST Perhaps, this question shouldn't be answered by anybody not born prior to 1930 and therefore not having seen the world as it was at the time. The only opinion that I shall offer is that for however many people died in horrific circumstances in both cities, the 'slaughter' for all armies/civilians concerned would have been a lot worse had the Japanese mainland been invaded by troops.

This has long been the justification for this (though you left out the part about shocking the Soviets). The third way, never discussed, was moving a good chunk of the Pacific Fleet into Tokyo Bay and lobbing a few, well aimed shells into the Imperial Garden, a la Admiral Perry, and test that reaction. I think that might have convinced the emperor, and ultimately this was his war, to surrender a lot more quickly than bombs dropped, regardless of how horrific, nearly 500 miles away.

HonestDictatorAUG. 03, 2015 - 01:29PM JST Back then, nobody knew what the effects of an atomic weapon could do. It was not morally "justifiable" (very few things in war ever are...) but it was also not known what it's capabilities were.

Hardly. They'd detonated a considerably smaller weapon in a relatively flat area of the NM desert and knew full well how much more destructive a bomb would be dropped at a certain altitude in a somewhat bowl shaped topography. While the military and civilian leadership may have been fuzzy on the details, not so for the group who designed the two bombs.

Vast Right-Wing ConspiratorAUG. 03, 2015 - 01:15PM JST Steve; As an alternative to using such horrible weapons, what do you suggest?, . . . only a "least bad" option that saved Allied lives and, in retrospect, also saved innumerable Japanese lives.

One could argue, in retrospect of course, that the whole island hopping campaign was ill-conceived and wasteful of men and material after about 1944. Concentrating on what was left of the Japanese fleet would have left the garrisons on these far flung and strategically useless islands isolated and impotent and would have spared tens of thousands of American and Japanese lives.

Vast Right-Wing ConspiratorAUG. 03, 2015 - 09:55PM JST Steve, there is really no difference between being killed in a firebombing raid and killed in an atomic bombing raid. You are dead in both cases.

Agreed. The Japanese themselves have tended over the decades since the war to emphasize the atomic bombings while rarely mentioning the equally devastating fire bombings of Tokyo.

As for the importance of the two cities, Hiroshima was an army HQ as well as a supply and logistics centre. Nagasaki was an important industrial centre, especially the huge Mitsubishi shipbuilding and arms factories, as well as a port

While true, neither city, as was true of all Japanese cities by August, was of any real strategic value by August of 1945. Left alone, neither was going to turn the tide in the war or even appreciably lengthen it and both were completely vulnerable to conventional air attack. Japan at that point no longer had the ability to sustain war materially for more than a few weeks - fuel and food were short and they could no longer produce ammunition and spare parts.

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once again there are many on here that are blind to what the attrocities of the IJA / Hitler and what happened outside of Japan during WW2. Mainly because they are taught only what happened to Japan and the pacific side of WW2. the death and destruction that happened in Japan pales in comparison to what happened in Europe and Asia. more people 60 million people died outside of Japan during WW2, 2/3 of this total were civilians. This is more than the total population of Japan in 1945! Many Japanese can keep playing the victim card and how badly they were wronged. If it wasnt for the lack of "morally justified" acts of Hiltler and the IJA almost 70 million people would never had died. So please WTFU and look at the whole picture not just what you want to believe.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

*Morally justifiable by the Government responsible for dropping the bombs, unmoral & unjustifiable by it's victims. Let's turn the tables around for the sake of "what If" reasoning, what if??? the Japanese and Germans had developed the A-bomb before the Americansdid. What cities would have been targeted and destroyed then*., Paris, London, Warsaw, Kracow, San Fransisco, Seattle, Los Angeles,Ca. etc,etc.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

wtfjapanAUG. 04, 2015 - 03:29AM JST once again there are many on here that are blind to what the attrocities of the IJA / Hitler and what happened outside of Japan during WW2.

No. But a war crime for a war crime is hardly the sort of yard stick one wants to apply, which seems to be what you and others are doing in a vain attempt at moral equivalency.

Mainly because they are taught only what happened to Japan and the pacific side of WW2

As most of the people who comment here are not Japanese, most being being foreign students of and/or residents of Japan, I think you meant to say something else.

60 million people died outside of Japan during WW2, 2/3 of this total were civilians. This is more than the total population of Japan in 1945!

I guess this depends on whose estimates you are using. However, more people by far died in the European theater of the war than in the Asia-Pacific theater with Stalin killing more of his own people pre-, during and post-WWII than were killed by the Germans. And Japan's population prior to WWII was about 73 million.

China, bearing the brunt of killing during WWII in Asia, lost some 20 million people, by their accounting, which is surely inflated if not a number made-up by the PRC post-1949 since the KMT was in no position to come to grips with the war's aftermath being soon engaged in the civil war with the communists and driven from the country within four years. Slightly more than half of these deaths, about 10 million, fewer people than the Germans killed in the camps, were due to starvation rather than military action.

Some 24 million Soviet citizens died through a combination of internal purge and fighting the Nazis. Germany lost some 7 million citizens and killed another 11 million or so in the camps. Poland, between the Nazis and Soviets, lost nearly 7 million people.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tough call. Though if Japanese Unit 731 is any indication....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The military alternative to this course of action was to go ahead with the invasion and risk the high casualties. The Japanese wanted to buy time in the hope that war-weariness of the U.S., with concerns about high casualties, would produce a softening of the unconditional surrender demands. Even for the Japanese, the issue was not whether they would be forced to surrender, but rather on what terms. The best leverage for Japan's leadership was to raise the cost perceptions, both military and political for U.S. decision makers. The downside for the Japanese from U.S. decisions dragging out the war would not only have been the devastation and loss of life that would have resulted from bombing and sea strangulation. The longer the war lasted, the longer and deeper Soviet participation would become. And attaining a satisfactory postwar settlement once the inevitable surrender did take place would probably have been more problematic.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Do you think the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were morally justifiable?

Absolutely not. And they set a moral benchmark for continued depravity.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Was the Rape of Nanking morally Justified? Was the Japanese chemical and biological experimentation unit 731 morally justified? (Look it up if you don't know about it!) Was field testing chemical and biological weapons on humans in China morally justified? In revenge for the Doolittle Raid on Japan, the Japanese killed an estimated 250,000 Chinese who might have helped the Americans - was this morally justified? Every day the war was extended, in addition to Americans and Japanese, 10,000's of Chinese died! I hope no one thinks Japanese lives are more valuable than Chinese lives! Most of these 10,000 deaths a day of Chinese was because the Japanese troops took their food and livestock. The bombs ensured that the invasion of Kyushu did not take place, saving both American and Japanese lives. Even after the two bombs were dropped, there was an attempted coup to prevent Japan from surrendering! In Germany is it illegal to deny the Holocaust. In Japan, it is dangerous to tell the truth of what the Japanese did! Is that morally right? What about the two (Army & Navy) Japanese Atomic Bomb programs? Would Japan have dropped the bomb? Put all the morality cards on the table, and see how the deck is stacked! Both atomic bombs were morally justified!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Was killing millions of jews, gypsies & ethnic minorities "Morally Justifiable"? in Hitlers opinion it was, and the 3rd Reich was to last for a 1000 years. This man was bent on destruction to the point where he destroyed even himself. I have visited the war memorials of Aushwitz & Birkenan in Poland, believe me it's no disneyland and hard to believe over 2 million deaths occured all in one place. The race for A-Bomb was at hand and the only way to brake & defeat the Axis Powers was by using them on Japan. Germany had already surrendered by the time the Russian & Allies took over Berlin. Japan was still unconquered! the A-bomb spelled Japans eniment defeat & unconditional Surrender to the U.S. & Allied Forces, this in turn ushered in a nuclear age of peace treaties with Japan and the the dividing of Germany & Europe between the Russians, Americans and it's Allies. Finally in my opinion Fate & destiny play'd a definite role in were which country was to employ the 1st A-Bombs.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

*shugo 67AUG. 04, 2015 - 05:18AM JST Morally justifiable by the Government responsible for dropping the bombs, unmoral & unjustifiable by it's victims. Let's turn the tables around for the sake of "what If" reasoning, what if??? the Japanese and Germans had developed the A-bomb before the Americansdid. What cities would have been targeted and destroyed then***., Paris, London, Warsaw, Kracow, San Fransisco, Seattle, Los Angeles,Ca. etc,etc

Warsaw? Krakow? Cities largely leveled during the German retreat? More likely Moscow, if they'd had the delivery system. They'd already planned to destroy Paris during their withdrawal. Depending on the winds, nuking Paris would have been problematic. London would have been a tremendous loss. As far as your West Coast examples, just how were the Japanese supposed to deliver the warhead? That sounds like one of the outlandish excuses given for invading Iraq, ignoring the fact that the Iraqis didn't have ICBMs, submarines or long range bombers, the latter two easily detected.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The race for A-Bomb was at hand and the only way to brake & defeat the Axis Powers was by using them on Japan.

Germany surrendered in May 1945.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Do you think the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were morally justifiable?

Yes. (& lots of great opinions here from those other Yes' posters.) The shot-callers at the end of WW2 needed to make a bold statement to Stalin. So Hiroshima and Nagasaki became the sacrificial lambs for a stubborn (already) defeated Japan-who would not surrender before the 2 bombings.

On that note, the shot-callers had enough consideration to exclude Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto as targets. Where in those cities, hold lots of Japan's cultural identity and historical relevance.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

If anyone here thinks there was another alternative to the bombs....

History professor Robert James Maddox wrote: "Even after both bombs had fallen and Russia entered the war, Japanese militants insisted on such lenient peace terms that moderates knew there was no sense even transmitting them to the United States. Hirohito had to intervene personally on two occasions during the next few days to induce hardliners to abandon their conditions."[60] "That they would have conceded defeat months earlier, before such calamities struck, is far-fetched to say the least."

Kōichi Kido, one of Emperor Hirohito's closest advisers, stated, "We of the peace party were assisted by the atomic bomb in our endeavor to end the war." Hisatsune Sakomizu, the chief Cabinet secretary in 1945, called the bombing "a golden opportunity given by heaven for Japan to end the war."[65]

Some argue that the fact that after the triple shock of the Soviet intervention and two atomic bombs, the Japanese cabinet was still deadlocked and incapable of deciding upon a course of action is telling both of the power of the Army and naval factions in the cabinet, and of their unwillingness to even consider surrender. Even following the personal intervention of the emperor to break the deadlock in favour of surrender, there were no less than three separate coup attempts by senior Japanese officers to try to prevent the surrender and take the Emperor into 'protective custody'.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Wc626AUG. 04, 2015 - 07:55AM JST On that note, the shot-callers had enough consideration to exclude Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto as targets.

Given the destruction of the fire and conventional bombing, Tokyo was nothing but the administration shell of the nation. Osaka, Kobe and Nagoya had also been bombed pretty much to rubble. A relatively untouched target was wanted to better gauge the level of destructive power.

http://www.onlinemilitaryeducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/10.-Osaka.jpg

http://kikuko-nagoya.com/picture01/sakae-sengo.JPG

Where in those cities (Osaka, Nagoya), hold lots of Japan's cultural identity and historical relevance.

Neither city then or now holds much in the way of "historical relevance." Nagoya/Owari were the germ of the Tokugawa shogunate and there is Atsuta Jingu. But otherwise both cities have modern, post-Tokugawa histories as commercial/industrial cities. Osaka-jo and Nagoya-jo were mostly destroyed by conventional bombing by wars end.

Unbelievably, the military had to be talked out of bombing Kyoto throughout the war.

http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/2014/08/08/kyoto-misconception/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A relatively untouched target was wanted to better gauge the level of destructive power.

@Jeff. Good point & pics from the link. . . But wasn't the destructive power somewhat gauged in NM? Surely they had some idea bad things would happen as a result of dropping the two.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This is a weird debate. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the ONLY cases where we seriously debate the killing of civilians in order to break military resistance.

If you support the argument that Hiroshima was effective, and therefore broke Japanese military resistance, and therefore moral, then you have to accept the argument that the 1940 German bombing of Rotterdam (10,000 killed), and which broke the Dutch will to resist, was also moral. And so on for practically every similar case.

And the argument that this "was a different era" is bogus. The German bombing of Guernica in 1937 and the Japanese bombing of Chongqing in 1938 was widely denounced as barbaric, including by the U.S. government, and FDR, who openly called on all countries to pledge not to bomb civilians.

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JeffLee - as stated before, the ONLY reason why the Potsdam Treaty was not accepted by Japan is because the Japanese people wanted to keep Showa-sama (Hirohito) as the symbolic figurehead (yes, without any power). Thanks to General MacArthur, that finally was allowed to happen.

This could have been avoided if the U.S. had listened to MacArthur some 6 months earlier. No nuclear bombs, no hundreds of thousands of people dying. The argument that the Japanese would have killed more than a million U.S. soldiers was nonsense.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Everyone talks about what happened during the war but none talks why it led to war. Don' recall the name but I believe one historian said that war was an extent of economic activity.

The Germans were forced selecting a populist to escape from Postwar compensation of WW1 and some call the European war as an extension of WW1. Japan went to war due to the protectionism and European imperialists dominating SEA and Japan not being able to import or export without paying outragous tariffs and further cornered by various embargos.

At the end the US sent an ultinatum called the Hull note which the US knew Japan would not accept leading to Pearl Harbor.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If we hadn't used the bomb the war would have gone on.. The Russians were coming and likely we would have had a split Japan (or entirely controlled by Russia) in the same way as Germany if we hadn't ended the war when we did. I shudder to think about how the world would be different today if that had happened..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Let's make something perfectly clear about the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan was not the victim! They were the aggressor that took on the rest of the world and paid the for the imperial greed with a near inhalation of their society. Therefore, I voted YES!

I'm in two minds. By August 1945, Japan had been dehumanised in the minds of their opponents. They were depicted as "yellow monkeys" and the like. Dropping the atom bomb was made in that light. There were other factors to consider. The US wanted a demonstration of their newfound power to the Russians - who duly followed and created their own atom bomb in 1949. Japan had also dehumanised their victims, to the point that civilians were encouraged to kill themselves rather than surrender. There were mass suicides of civilians in Saipan and Okinawa. On the mainland people were training with spears. I agree also that Japan wasn't a victim. It had committed previous countless atrocities of its own. But at the end of the day, dropping the atom bombs killed many people, including Koreans and nearby POWs. It gave the Emperor a face-saver for intervening. But the atom bombs weren't really the only thing that ended the war. One could argue that Russia's breaking of the neutrality pact hastened things along

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yes the bombings were justified for that period of time when Japan was ruthless in today's world there is no justifiable reason for such bombings but back the Hell yes!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

dont get me wrong i love japan want to live in japan but the atomic bomb was the only way to save lives of us troops cause in war thats wat matters if we would have invaided by foot out death tool would of been major

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan had also dehumanised their victims

Correction, opponents. Dropping the atom bombs was controversial in 1945. MacArthur and Eisenhower opposed it, Churchill supported it. This issue will continue to be debated until the end of time

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Months before The bombs were dropped, Japan were in talks with the Allies in Geneva. This was just after Nazi Germany defeat. Russia told the Allied that it will take 3 months before Russia could have their army in place for a land invasion of Japan and Japan knew this. So Japan knew that the war was lost and want to negotiate that the Emporia life be spared. The Americans wanted the Emporia executed and a Unconditional Surrender. They were still in talk when testing of the Bomb was complete. You can check to time line. After the second Bomb was drop, MaCarthy realised the Emporia was worth more alive then dead and being the Commander and Chief of the Pacific ordered the Emporia execution be postponed. Also the Americans did not want Japan being split in haft with Russia like East/West Germany. They want payback, they want a end to the war and they wanted to show the world what they had and what could with it. So Yes it was morally wrong but right decision in the end or How would Japan be today if it became under the control of both the Americans and the Russians.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Americans wanted the Emporia executed and a Unconditional Surrender.

They decided on "unconditional surrender" for the Axis powers around 1943.

MaCarthy realised the Emporia was worth more alive then dead

MacArthur decided it was politically expedient to keep the emperor on the throne. However that meant acquitting him on any responsibility for war crimes - which in hindsight (with the resurgence of right-wing nationalism in Japan) has proven to be a grave mistake.

How would Japan be today if it became under the control of both the Americans and the Russians.

There would likely have been no right-wing nationalists permitted to return to power (Kishi etc) if the Russians had a say in the post-war governance of Japan. Likely no security treaty either. Nothing will change the reprehensible nature of the atom bombs - and nothing will stop people debating them until the end of time

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In true diplomatic terms there is no such thing as un-conditional surrender. If there was it means the surrending government would be accepting anything and everything towards their citizens and poperty including slavery, cofiscation of all any and all assets, etc.

Basically it means to handing over ALL soverign rights in which case the government would not have any incentive in surredering and rather fight to the death.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I still see a lot of revenge comments here: was unit 731 morally justified in what they did, blah blah blah... no-one is disputing that the Imperial Japanese forces committed atrocities... but does that mean that dropping A bombs and fire bombing Tokyo were okay because the Japanese deserved it? Did housewives deserve to be incinerated? Did school kids deserve to be turned to ashes? How about the salarymen going about their affairs? Or are we applying different standards to the German civvies who died in Dresden.

Let's get this clear... it WAS revenge for Pearl Harbour, and also to send a message to Stalin. Dresden was Bomber Harris' revenge - he even said as much:

"The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everybody else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw, and half a hundred other places, they put that rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now, they are going to reap the whirlwind."

President Hoover sounds like the voice of reason...

"The use of the atomic bomb, with its indiscriminate killing of women and children, revolts my soul."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Basically it means to handing over ALL soverign rights in which case the government would not have any incentive in surredering and rather fight to the death.

If Japan didn't surrender unconditionally, it appeared as if they faced certain death for pretty much all their citizens. They likely thought America would drop atomic bombs on all of their cities. When faced with the choice between that, and potential slavery or whatnot, an unconditional surrender does come with incentive.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The USA could have accepted Japan's surrender beforehand but chose not to because it wanted to destroy Japan in order to promote its own political and economic ambitions within Asia.

The USA always played hardball with Japan deliberately and unfairly knowing that it was likely to provoke it into a fight and then destroy it.

As with Russia earlier, it was just a little surprised by how well Japan could defend its interests with the resources that it had.

No, the atomic bombing of civilians was not morally justifiable as they were done for the reasons above.

"We want to rule Asia, now is our chance as the Europeans are busy, but do to do we are going to break or remove these little guys".

The women and children were just seen as dispensable sub-humans, not even "collateral damage" in today's terms, even though the society that was being eradicated was far more civil, equal and refined, and less brutal and divide than the US was at that time.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

The USA always played hardball with Japan deliberately and unfairly knowing that it was likely to provoke it into a fight and then destroy it.

Harball, perhaps a little. But Japan did the rest with its overseas expansion into Asia

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Tough Luck:

Start a WAR, pay the PRICE. "ALL is FAIR in Love and WAR". Do you HONESTLY think the JAPANESE would NOT have used the Bomb if THEY had it? SURE they WOULD.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But Japan did not start the war, WA4TKG.

I know it is difficult for Americans to grasp that but it is the fact. The US was already in the war long before Pearl Harbor and the Pacific-Asian War was merely an extension of a campaign which had been going on since the 19th Century.

@ Christopher

No, part of the problem right from the beginning was the Japanese actually played by the rules and stuck to their treaties and agreements, whereas the US - which at the time was just completing it's genocide of native Americans and Hispanics - had a culture of not doing so, and using threats and violence instead.

Although matters certainly accelerated, Japan certain did not start off in that mode. It had been a pacifist nation for much longer than the USA had actually existed.

Had Japan not faced the US and European super powers playing behind the scenes, things would have gone much differently.

But, you see, it wasn't in the US's interest for Asia to develop politically and economically and Japan, due to its remarkable modernization, was the great risk to American economic interests in Asia.

Note, not a risk to America itself nor the American people who were actually held in high esteem.

You need to see the bigger picture. Japan was an ally and admirer of the USA even after it had threatened it the first time round. It could have been remained an ally if treated different --- and not just to serve the interests of the military-industrial complex.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Newyorknewyork, playing coy and fast and loose with tne facts never works. Civilians died at Pearl. Civilians died on Bataan and Corregidor. Civilians died in Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Nanjing, Beijing...need I go on? Americans and America WEREN'T at war, believe it or not. The USA did not start the war, and when 69% of Americans wanted war with nobody, that ought to tell everyone the USA's attitude towards war on Dec. 6th, 1941. That such needs to be spelled out is telling indeed.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

For me, the key to answering that question is the past tense phrase, “were morally justifiable”

After four years of world war America spent billions of dollars and tens of thousands of her young men's lives. At home, every industry was involved in war production. Almost everybody had a personal connection to someone serving in the military and knew someone who had lost a loved one in the fighting.

Every week, newsreels showed the carnage in graphic detail. Magazines and Hollywood movies told the stories of Japanese atrocities committed against the civilians of the occupied countries and America's men held as prisoners of war.

With all that in mind, many Americans hated the Japanese, not just militarist Japan but, the Japanese race. If the physicists who developed the bombs had instead invented a device with a button that by pushing it would kill every Japanese on earth I believe many Americans would have pushed it without hesitation.

With tens of millions of people dead and Americans anticipating the invasion of Japan and all the carnage that that would bring, Truman was given a weapon that could end the war right away. He had to use it. His duty was to the American people not the Japanese.

Japan's government was responsible for the Japanese people. They knew they were beaten yet they kept fighting. Had Japan surrendered after the Potsdam declaration the bombs would never have been dropped.

Yes dropping the atomic bombs WAS morally justifiable.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Jason. Once again, great post. The usual counter to your logic is, "the US cut-off Japan's oil" or another lame excuse. everyone seems to forget Pearl and the occupation of china.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

For me, the war started when Japan set up an incident in China as an excuse to move armed forces into Manchuria in 1931. The oil embargo was a "Peaceful" attempt to moderate the Japanese actions in China and Manchuria, not to be used as an excuse to say US Actions caused the Japanese to go to war. I recommend reading "Japan's Imperial Conspiracy" by David Bergamini for some very interesting reading about what Japan was doing. There are over 140 pages of notes, references and bibliography's if you want to check up on what David wrote! Yes, one can say the bombs were used to scare the Russians, revenge for Pearl Harbor, etc. Yes, the Japanese were broken and for the most part defeated when the bombs were dropped. But the IJA still hand a very large number of untouched combat troops in China. For every day the war would drag on, over 10,000 Chinese civilians would die! One estimate was 200,00 deaths for the two atomic bombs. Three weeks faster stopping the war saved more Chinese lives than Japanese who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Then there are the lives (US & JN) saved by US not invading Kyushu. Cruel to balance one set of lives against another set of lives, but that happens when you put war morality on the table.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

President Harry Truman was a haberdasher. He was not an educated man. He made the decision to drop THE BOMB during the Potsdam conference, responding to a note that said it was "ready" by spontaneously telling the note bearer to "use it." Worse yet, he delegated the authority to continue using this horrific weapon to the generals. Not only was he incapable of reflective thinking, but he was also very temperamental and violent -- as we see from his violent letter to a Washington Post reporter's panning of his daughter's singing abilities. According to Justice William O. Douglas, FDR would not have used this weapon. We offered to drop A-BOMBS in Viet-Nam for the French but they refused, and, of course, Barry Goldwater campaigned on the promise of using nuclear weapons in Viet-Nam. Violence is as American as apple pie.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Violence is as American as apple pie.

You seem to have missed the previous thousands of years that human beings have been fighting wars with each other well before America was even founded. Violence is a human condition, not specifically an American one.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The dropping of the two atomic bombs prevented what would likely be a bloody ground war against a militaristic Japanese government that would not surrender until the very end. The bombs, while horrific and destructive, prevented the potential loss of many more lives and the destruction of more Japanese cities. A necessary evil at the time.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

funny how you hardly ever see anything relating to WW2 outside of Japan, WW2 was so much bigger than the Abombs, 20 times as many people died outside of Japan (60million+, Japan lost around 3 million) this was more than the total population of Japan at the time. The Abombs killed a total of about 250,000 both during the detonations and the years after. Europe and Asia had the same fatalities as the Abombs in about 8 days!. Yes that equals about 30,000 people everyday for the total six years of the war. Japan wants so desperately for the world to look at them as a main victim of WW2, but the truth is many other countries suffered on a much larger scale, Jews, Soviets, Chinese etc they deserve as much recognition if not more for there sacrifices, and they arent tarnished by being the aggressors thats started and caused much of this slaughter, 2/3 of which were civilians.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The dropping of the two atomic bombs prevented what would likely be a bloody ground war against a militaristic Japanese government that would not surrender until the very end. The bombs, while horrific and destructive, prevented the potential loss of many more lives and the destruction of more Japanese cities. A necessary evil at the time.

Me thinks they still teach this in U.S. which is started with Pearl Habour and ended with the atomic bomb.

It's a nice story if one seeks some sort of vindication psychologically but the decision to surrender was decided as a result of Soviet entrance to the war against Japan. To be exact, it was 18 minutes after Japan was informed of this event.

http://www.sankei.com/life/news/140909/lif1409090011-n1.html

Discussed here five years ago.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/historians-rethink-key-soviet-role-in-japans-defeat-in-wwii

Tokyo Bombing caused more damaged than Hiroshima/Nagasaki combined so civilian casualty as a result of these numerous raids had very little bearing on the government's concern at that time.

In addition, there were at least a dozen more bombing campaign after Nagasaki so even the U.S. knew that the atomic bombing had very little to do with surrender.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Wc626AUG. 04, 2015 - 09:15AM JST @Jeff. Good point & pics from the link. . . But wasn't the destructive power somewhat gauged in NM? Surely they had some idea bad things would happen as a result of dropping the two.

Yes, as I stated in another comment above to someone who said no one knew what it would do, or words to that effect. They were cognizant of the tremendous destructive power. Hiroshima was chosen as the city backs up against mountains and they wanted to see how deflection would alter the blast.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the main thing here we should all understand is, we can't change history.... The only thing we can do from here on out is know what was wrong with what happened, and of course don't repeat the mistakes of the past which is why we should never forget the consequences of the choices made by those before us.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@wtfjapan

funny how you hardly ever see anything relating to WW2 outside of Japan,

Try making friends with some Poles or Russians, or reading something but a Japan site?

@Jason Lovelace

No, you are wrong there. The USA was in the war before Pearl Harbor, indeed long before Pearl Harbor fighting a proxy war via the KMT and others. Do some homework on the numbers of "special advisors" and the amount of hardware and cash they supplied.

There were also at war prior to it because of the ABCD agreement.

The president and the government does not always tell the people what is going on and how it really is. I would have thought that was obvious by now.

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Of course the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not justified. Deliberate targeting of civilians in war is a war crime. Harry S Truman was a war criminal.

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@nigelboy Yep, you nailed it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The bombings were absolutely justified. Furthermore, Japan brought on that situation on itself. You were given the chance to surrender and you refused. You attacked the United States without a formal declaration of war. You took advantage of the religious nature of American people by bombing them on a Sunday. This is what Japan asked for.

Sometimes I think Japanese people expected America to roll over and play dead. If you start a fight you better expect that one individual is going to lose and lose big. America brought it's (excuse the pun) A game and you are crying about it.

That's what Americans do. They bring their A game to just about every aspect of life. We are HARD and determined. Don't mess with us. We don't like fighting. We are a peace loving people but when you start something, we'll finish it.

Patton: Don't die for your country. Make the other guy die for his.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Without the bombs there would not have been a unified Japan. The russians had already attacked manchuko and were looking to extend their influence to Hokkaido and nothern Japan. The immediate Japanese surrender prevented that from happening. If not for the bombs, we would probably have a similar scenario today as we see in the korean penninsula. Not justifying it, just pointing out some food for thought.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Without the bombs there would not have been a unified Japan. The russians had already attacked manchuko and were looking to extend their influence to Hokkaido and nothern Japan. The immediate Japanese surrender prevented that from happening. If not for the bombs, we would probably have a similar scenario today as we see in the korean penninsula. Not justifying it, just pointing out some food for thought.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No, part of the problem right from the beginning was the Japanese actually played by the rules and stuck to their treaties and agreements, whereas the US - which at the time was just completing it's genocide of native Americans and Hispanics - had a culture of not doing so, and using threats and violence instead.

How is launching two undeclared wars against both Russia and the US playing by the rules.

stuck to their treaties and agreements

Japan signed a treaty on "forced labour" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_Labour_Convention but clearly did not keep it - as seen with the sex slaves and the POWs. Japan withdrew from the League of Nations (later the U.N) in 1933 - not keeping its obligations there either. As for the "genocide" of Native Americans, that is a separate topic for a separate thread. The atomb bombs were a tragic event, that much can't be denied

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

http://www.jstor.org/stable/132546 As this link shows, propaganda went both ways in the Pacific. Remember the part where the IJA told civilians that committing suicide was better than surrendering? (as at Saipan and Okinawa) That's the one! Nonetheless, the atom bombs were a tragic event

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Christopher Glen

There were a lot of IJA soldiers that tried to surrender but was refused as well that had been recorded by various journals.

The famous call "No prisoners" was quite literal in those days.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

No, part of the problem right from the beginning was the Japanese actually played by the rules and stuck to their treaties and agreements, whereas the US - which at the time was just completing it's genocide of native Americans and Hispanics - had a culture of not doing so, and using threats and violence instead.

Some tried, but they were a minority. In many cases they gave fake names so their families wouldn't know of their capture. Some tried suicidal breakouts at Cowra https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowra_breakout

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The bombings were absolutely justified. Furthermore, Japan brought on that situation on itself. You were given the chance to surrender and you refused. You attacked the United States without a formal declaration of war. You took advantage of the religious nature of American people by bombing them on a Sunday. This is what Japan asked for.

Like I said... revenge. Not tactical, not militarily justified... revenge.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Those time were based on slaughter of the general population and it was justified as within the general population there were factories and other things supporting the war effort.

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Thunderbird2

From what I heard it's more about budgetary justification and scientific testing(read lab rats).

Congress would have been a blood bath for the Oval office trying to justify the termendous amount of money invested in a weapon if they are not going to use it and the military wanted to study the difference in the U235 bomb and the Plutonium bomb and the affects on human subjects.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Interesting report from the BBC here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-33754931

Being neither American or Japanese it has a refreshing point of view.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

70 years later it is easy to take the moral high road, but the reality then calls for a "yes" answer. I have met ex-pow's, who were dying at a rate of about 150 a day, and who say the bomb saved their lives. The bomb was an atrocity, but so were the 20 million killed by the Japanese in China, just to mention one example. As others have said, if Japan had the bomb and the capacity, they would have dropped it on U.S. cities in a second. It ended the war and saved lives.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

scap

If IJA took the same method as the allies then there would not have been that many POWs in the first place.

Which was better?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They could have just dropped in off Tokyo Bay and said, "OK, the next one is on you". I think the message would have gotten through. But it was a deliberate act for the reasons given above.

The targeting of civilians, which goes on today's war in the Middle East, is not justifiable.

It's not possible to hold the women, children, defenceless old people etc responsible for acts carried out by others.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It was not morally justifiable. It was militarily necessary.

And it was a military necessity for the US to win the war.

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There is some doubt as to Russia's capability to launch an amphibious invasion at that time.

USA yes, as they had plenty of practice at it up to 1945, but the Red Army had fought exclusively a land war.

This is a hard question. Yes it ended the war, yes there would have been an awful lot more casualties on both sides had the war continued. Yes the civilian population would have suffered,not just from getting caught up in the fighting, but also from a lack of food stocks in Japan at the time, but I still struggle with an act that deliberately murdered tens of thousands of civilians.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan would not be the economic & technical power it is today if the war didn't end with the two atomic bombs. If the U.S. invade the main land losses on both sides, civilian and military would have wiped out 50% of the Japanese population. Okinawa showed how the population would fight to the death like the soldiers did. No one wins in war, all loose, both the concurer and the defeated parties. We must learn, we should avoid war and all the suffering it causes every living thing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe we should all be asking why there is still a need for countries to possess nuclear weapons?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is only one way you can justify calling the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki morally unjustified. This is by conceding that the bombing of civilian populations was morally unjustified. The A-bombings was a continuation of military policies of the Allies and the Axis powers that led to 50% of all WWII deaths being noncombatants. Everyone did it but that does not make it morally right. The horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were such that A-bombs were never used in combat again. The bombing of civilian populations has continued and is happening as I write.

It is nice to say "No more Hiroshimas and Nagasakis." I wish the same people would say with equal vigor "No more civilian bombings."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Absolutely not. They were morally reprehensible.

Unnecessary to win the war because the US has already firebombed 50 odd cities to ash and bone and Japan was dead in the water. It was a science experiment and the first shot across the Russian bow as a prelude to the Cold War.

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Tamarama I truly wish you had been given audience with Hirohito and the military elite. I wish you could have told them what you wrote. I wish they would have said, "Oh, we didn't think of that" and then said, "Thank you Tamarama for enlightening us. Now we will surrender immediately so we can get on with our lives."

What the Japanese government was doing was telling the people to prepare to die for Japan in the invasion by the foreign barbarians. My friend, who was a school girl then, had daily spear practice. The girls were to use those spears on each other when the foreign invaders were at their door. That was the mental state of the Japanese government before the A-bombs.

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Doesn't JT ask this question like clockwork EVERY year? What do they want to hear differently that hasn't been said how many times before?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The U.S. textbook that essentially teaches that these Atomic bombings ended the war and as a result, saved more Americans and Japanese is false for it was the Soviet's entrance to the war that prompted Japan to surrender."

This point, made repeatedly by certain people, raises an interesting question. I'm pretty sure Russian school textbooks dispense with any pretense to objectivity and gleefully depict the USSR's declaration of war against Japan on 8 August as a continuation of the "Great Patriotic War" against fascism and imperialism. If it was the Soviet entry into the war that really caused Japan to give up, was Moscow's unilateral abrogation of the 1941 Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact justified? After all, Japan surrendered just one week later on 15 August. The "lives were saved" argument would appear to have more validity, for some people, when talking about Soviet entry into the war against Japan versus the atomic bombings by the USA.

However, I suspect people sympathetic to Japan's war aims feel that both the USA and the USSR were both wrong to take the actions they each took against Japan in August 1945. What it all comes down to for many such people is their belief that Japan's war aims--the subjugation of China and the displacement of the West by Japan as the hegemonic power in Asia (please, it was never about "liberating" colonized peoples in Southeast Asia)--were valid.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think it was. War is war. It is an ugly business by definition. When it comes to it, you can only win or loose. And you prefer winning, minimizing your losses. Don't forget that Japan was the Nazi of he east.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Was it a moral thing to drop the bomb, of course not. Was it justifiable given the circumstances of the events at that time, yes. But that is the reality of war, if the roles were reversed, Japan would have done the same and rightfully so.

Doesn't JT ask this question like clockwork EVERY year? What do they want to hear differently that hasn't been said how many times before?

I was wondering the exact same thing.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There was no excuse for dropping the bombs. Dropping them could never be justified, not even if the existence of the US depended on doing so. In reality we know dropping the bombs wasn't even helpful in ending the war as the Japanese had offered to surrender before the bombs were dropped. It was a war crime and those responsible should have faced trial, if there were mitigating factors (such as confusion over the effects or targeting) they could have been considered in the trial or sentencing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

God no, murdering mass people is never morally justifiable. I wonder if they ever considered dropping the nuke on a slightly less inhabited area? Damage and fallout would be the same, just less dead humans....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There was no excuse for dropping the bombs.

I beg to differ.

Dropping them could never be justified, not even if the existence of the US depended on doing so.

Again, I beg to differ. I think as a nation and for the survival of the nation, the PM, President or what have you has a moral obligation to protect their country if that country is being attacked or the possibility is that the nation could be wiped out, the leader of that nation can use any force necessary to defend the country and its citizens.

In reality we know dropping the bombs wasn't even helpful in ending the war as the Japanese had offered to surrender before the bombs were dropped.

after the 2nd bomb, Yes.

It was a war crime and those responsible should have faced trial, if there were mitigating factors (such as confusion over the effects or targeting) they could have been considered in the trial or sentencing.

That is your personal opinion. I believe otherwise.

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For once, I sort of agree with Bass. I don't know if the leader of a nation has a moral obligation to use any force necessary, but I think that they will do so and to ignore that is to ignore human nature. No one is going to hold back on something with the survival of their people at risk, due to some moral considerations.

Japan attacked the US. Japan got attacked by the US. Japan lost. Morals aside, Japan was to blame for the result, and no matter which way you cut it, Japan was not the victim.

As a side note, this is why I criticize the US for their attack on Iraq - they have zero moral high ground to come from. They attacked a sovereign nation that had not attacked them and posed no threat to them. Therefore any consequences they face from that action are their own fault.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Of course I'm not accept that USA apologyze his crime. After 70 years they are continously killin people in the name of peace. At that time Japan can not continue the war....the boms were not necessary to ensure the victory.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kabukilover, That's a murky little rant. Struggling to follow you there.

67 cities to be precise were firebombed during WW2. The last being Kumagaya, despite the air crews effectively knowing that Japan had surrendered - they dropped their 'payload' anyway. Japan was done and dusted domestically, industrially and militarily.

You have no irrefutable proof that the A Bombs were responsible the Japanese surrender, it's just conjecture. Had they not been dropped, how do you know Japan would not have surrendered when it did anyway? Or a week later? If you have proof to the contrary, I'm happy to consider it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It is strange to hear people justify nuclear weapons by saying things like ;

Well if the US hadn't use them first, someone else would have. There were worse atrocities during the war. It's the Imperial Army's fault. The bombings saved lives. Japan started the war.

We should all be here to pay our respects to the victims of mankind's worst moments in history. Just as we pause on the anniversary of VE Day to remember the millions of Jews that were killed, why we pause on yet another day to remember those killed in Pearl Harbour.

Regardless of the narrative you were taught to believe, it's time to recognize that the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were mistakes of mankind never to be repeated again.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Is this a joke? Japan was a fascist, racist empire trying to emulate Nazi Germany in the Pacific who saw their emperor as a god and themselves as a divine race. Japan had already murdered millions and the cost of lives to all countries involved would have continued to rack up. Japan went far beyond its borders murdering, pillaging, raping, and the like. Mind you that the bio diseases developed on live human beings was actually used on the US in an attempt to cause mass civilian deaths in the US. It failed but the attempt was there. The bombs should have been dropped at the start of the war frankly and saved the world all the atrocities and misery inflicted by Japan in the first place.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

The Showa Imperial government was not the reason for the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Joseph Stalin, Communist extraordinaire and bloodthirsty dictator, ally (at the time) of the USA, was. The US wanted something to show off to Stalin and his land-grabbing ilk, so they readied nuclear fireworks.

Also, WWII was a pretty racist war. The Nazis and the Hakko Ichiu delegation were not the only racists in the war. People in the American government, the Chinese, many of the Soviets, etc., were also racist, and some of the bigots included American generals. The nukes could've been used on a Japanese forest. Instead, the USA chose to massacre civilians with nukes.

Showing off atomic weapons? Justifiable. Nuking civilians and wrecking cities that didn't need to be wrecked? Not justifiable.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Of course not. People in the US tries to justify it saying Japan started war and they ended by this. I can say that is true. Japan is the one that attacked the US in the first place. But, do they really think this fact can justify killing a million ordinary people in Japan? Hiroshima and Ngasaki were not major military bases and People there were likely to have very little to do with Japan military. Also, I would think people there has nothing to do with the decision on starting the war. Even during the war time, that kind of massacre cannot be justifiable. Having said that, the tragedy happened 70 years ago and Japan and the US have a good relationship now. I would think Japan need not demand apology or something. They can move on for the future.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

bass4funkAUG. 06, 2015 - 12:36PM JST

Dropping them could never be justified, not even if the existence of the US depended on doing so.

Again, I beg to differ. I think as a nation and for the survival of the nation, the PM, President or what have you has a moral obligation to protect their country if that country is being attacked or the possibility is that the nation could be wiped out, the leader of that nation can use any force necessary to defend the country and its citizens.

Valid in the abstract, but doesn't remotely apply to the atomic bombings of Japan.

The continental U.S. was at no time threatened during WWII by either Japan or Germany as technology limited how far planes, ships and even submarines could travel. About the only plausible scenario would be a submarine sneaking it's way into a harbor with a nuclear weapon (presuming that Japan or Germany was able to build one no later than 1944) and detonating it at the surface of the water. While still devastating, it wouldn't have been remotely like what the air detonations did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Alternate history aside and back to your statement as it relates to WWII, Japan was never going to win and the continental U.S. was never going to be attacked by Japan. The bombs were not used to protect the U.S. or to "win" the war. The bombs were used to expedite the inevitable, save American lives, reinforce the terms on which Japan must surrender, and scare the Soviets. But even today with dramatically reduced arsenals, there would be no "winner" if the U.S. leadership chose to use nuclear weapons against, presumably, Russia or China to "save" the country.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They would have saved even more lives if the US had just stuck to the US side of the Pacific in the first place.

@melonbarmonster

No, the bombs killed primarily women, children and defenceless old people who were problem the sweetest, kindest and most civil people you could have met. Fact.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The death and destruction of an invasion of Japan would of made these two atomic bombs look insignificant.

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If this was the right thing to do and those who voted yes see no issues, then why not use nuclear bombs to attack Isis? Let's just use it in Syria and Iraq because at the end of they day, it worked once already right? They wish to obliterate most of humanity for their beliefs so I suppose we should sort this problem out with a few nuclear bombs...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nima SoufianiAUG. 07, 2015 - 08:52AM JST If this was the right thing to do and those who voted yes see no issues, then why not use nuclear bombs to attack Isis? Let's just use it in Syria and Iraq because at the end of they day, it worked once already right? They wish to obliterate most of humanity for their beliefs so I suppose we should sort this problem out with a few nuclear bombs...

A, 'cuz you can't really "aim" a nuclear bomb and all of ISIS doesn't sit around in the same clubhouse on Saturdays so that we could get 'em all at once. A "few nuclear bombs" dropped here and there in the region might cause a wee bit of collateral damage. There are some groups there we consider "good guys." Less so in Japan in the summer of 1945.

Oh, you. You had me going there and I thought that was a serious question.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Everyone with a bit of insight into the details of the history going on at that time knows that the real reason the bombs were dropped wasn't to end the war but to test the bombs in a real scenario. The US with their nuclear weapon research going on at that time was keen to have a real life example of their power.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

As CGB said... the only reason for the dropping of the bombs was for tests and to show the world the almighty US.

Look at the dates...

FIRST A-bomb test (Trinity) July 16, 1945... Hiroshima A-bomb was drop on August 6th 1945 (only 21 days after the first ever a-bomb test)

Why the urge to use a weapon that only has being tested once in controlled conditions and in a deserted area? and all of the sudden it becomes the mighty weapon of choice of the US to "end a war".

By the way... Second bomb in Nagasaki, August 9, 1945 Surrender of Japan, August 14 1945.....

Now a "war monger country that was never going to surrender"... how come then the surrendering was so swift and without internal disputes? Why? because Japan in the middle of July was already preparing for surrendering, the US found out and desperately used two bombs (for test) to be used to "END" the war and show to the world (read Russia mainly) the powerful weapon they have and that they had it perfected to be already used on the field...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

CGB SpenderAUG. 07, 2015 - 11:41AM JST Everyone with a bit of insight into the details of the history going on at that time knows that the real reason the bombs were dropped wasn't to end the war but to test the bombs in a real scenario.

Yes and no. You need to read a bit more about the development of and the decision to use the bomb. There was a third ready had Japan not chosen to surrender after Nagasaki.

Daniel NeagariAUG. 07, 2015 - 05:09PM JST Why the urge to use a weapon that only has being tested once in controlled conditions and in a deserted area? and all of the sudden it becomes the mighty weapon of choice of the US to "end a war

Like CBG, you need to do a bit more reading as your post suggests that you don't know the timetable or any of the discussions that went on between the Manhattan Project scientists, the military and the president. Of course those people who advocated its use, especially a number of the scientists, wanted to see what it would do on a populated and built up area and Hiroshima was chosen in part because of its topography.

Now a "war monger country that was never going to surrender"... how come then the surrendering was so swift and without internal disputes? Why? because Japan in the middle of July was already preparing for surrendering,

Certain members of the Japanese government were willing to surrender, the U.S. knew this. However, they did not control the government and they were seeking something other than unconditional surrender. A number of the military fanatics on the war council wanted to fight to the last man and, having no idea that the U.S. had such a weapon, expected the U.S. to mount an amphibious invasion to subdue the main islands.

the US found out and desperately used two bombs (for test) to be used to "END" the war and show to the world (read Russia mainly) the powerful weapon they have and that they had it perfected to be already used on the field.

Again, this is your opinion unsupported by any of the voluminous documentation of the development and decision to use the bombs. It is a fact that the U.S. wanted Russia to stay out of Japan, though they were happy to have them uselessly tie up their army fighting the Japanese in Manchuria and Korea. Using the bombs hastened the Japanese surrender so that the Soviets had no time to prepare for an invasion (which they didn't have the ships for it anyway) and had the added "benefit" of shocking the Soviets, known to be working on their own bomb but were years behind.

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

For the most part, Suzuki's military-dominated cabinet favored continuing the war. For the Japanese, surrender was unthinkable—Japan had never been invaded or lost a war in its history.[19] Only Mitsumasa Yonai, the Navy minister, was known to desire an early end to the war.[20] According to historian Richard B. Frank:

Although Suzuki might indeed have seen peace as a distant goal, he had no design to achieve it within any immediate time span or on terms acceptable to the Allies. His own comments at the conference of senior statesmen gave no hint that he favored any early cessation of the war ... Suzuki's selections for the most critical cabinet posts were, with one exception, not advocates of peace either.[21]

After the war, Suzuki and others from his government and their apologists claimed they were secretly working towards peace, and could not publicly advocate it. They cite the Japanese concept of haragei—"the art of hidden and invisible technique"—to justify the dissonance between their public actions and alleged behind-the-scenes work. However, many historians reject this. Robert J. C. Butow wrote:

Because of its very ambiguity, the plea of haragei invites the suspicion that in questions of politics and diplomacy a conscious reliance upon this 'art of bluff' may have constituted a purposeful deception predicated upon a desire to play both ends against the middle. While this judgment does not accord with the much-lauded character of Admiral Suzuki, the fact remains that from the moment he became Premier until the day he resigned no one could ever be quite sure of what Suzuki would do or say next.[22]

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n3p-4_Weber.html

American officials, having long since broken Japan's secret codes, knew from intercepted messages that the country's leaders were seeking to end the war on terms as favorable as possible. Details of these efforts were known from decoded secret communications between the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo and Japanese diplomats abroad.

In his 1965 study, Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam (pp. 107, 108), historian Gar Alperovitz writes:

Although Japanese peace feelers had been sent out as early as September 1944 (and [China's] Chiang Kai-shek had been approached regarding surrender possibilities in December 1944), the real effort to end the war began in the spring of 1945. This effort stressed the role of the Soviet Union ...

In mid-April [1945] the [US] Joint Intelligence Committee reported that Japanese leaders were looking for a way to modify the surrender terms to end the war. The State Department was convinced the Emperor was actively seeking a way to stop the fighting.

In April and May 1945, Japan made three attempts through neutral Sweden and Portugal to bring the war to a peaceful end. On April 7, acting Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu met with Swedish ambassador Widon Bagge in Tokyo, asking him "to ascertain what peace terms the United States and Britain had in mind." But he emphasized that unconditional surrender was unacceptable, and that "the Emperor must not be touched." Bagge relayed the message to the United States, but Secretary of State Stettinius told the US Ambassador in Sweden to "show no interest or take any initiative in pursuit of the matter." Similar Japanese peace signals through Portugal, on May 7, and again through Sweden, on the 10th, proved similarly fruitless

2 ( +2 / -0 )

there is an old adage that says, mess with the bull you get the horns...well Japan got more than what it bargained for. Luckily it was halted at just two locations.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The bombs did have the effect of turning a very aggresive military nation into pacifists for 70 years, I do wonder how history would have looked if they had surrendered in some other way. I look at how things ended with Germany in World War One and how eventually the Third Reich came to power which triggered WW2 twenty years later. Could something similar have happened in Japan after a few decades if the two bombs hadn't been used?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The bombs had nothing to do with turning Japan into a Pacifist nation.

Japan had already been a pacifist nation for over 250 years before the USA turned its cannons on it and threatened it unless it opened up, so that's where the first blame lies.

Had the USA not woken Japan up in such a manner, and had the USA recognized its sovereignty and allowed it to develop and do business with who it wished, we would have avoided the entire Meiji era.

The provocation lies entirely with the USA something that's not taught in American schools.

It was not just American gunboat diplomacy, it was the decades of American inequality and outright discrimination that followed than whipped the hornets nest. And even that was a deliberate strategy that USA, Inc had planned in order to serve their financial interests in Asia.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan started the war; the U.S.A. ended it.

That's all that needs to be said.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Except that it did not. The US was already in the war long before Pearl Harbor.

It's time for us all to grow up and discard the comic book version of history.

The instigating element was the USA's attitude of manifest destiny and it's economic ambitions in Asia.

The moral question is whether anyone has the authority or should be allowed to drop atomic weapons on any civilians (primarily women, children, defenceless old people and other non-combatants).

3 ( +5 / -2 )

newyorknewyork AUG. 08, 2015 - 02:07AM JST The moral question is whether anyone has the authority or should be allowed to drop atomic weapons on any civilians (primarily women, children, defenceless old people and other non-combatants).

If your talking about the moral question, what is the difference between conventional bomb and A-bomb that killed thousands of people? They're all the same. Why is Hiroshima and Nagasaki so important? From March 1945, U.S. bombed 68 cities and killed 300,000 and injured 750,000 people, and left 1.7 million people homeless. Nobody seems to remember these people that didn't die from A-bomb. The conventional bombing killed more people than the combined the A-bomb that was dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think, contrary to all the chauvinistic chest thumping, the USA actually admitted defeat to the IJA and decided to target women and children instead in order to cripple the nation.

Any suggestion that taking Japan would have been easier or more successful than taking VIetnam is a joke.

From history, it's very clear that many of the American leaders had outrightly racist attitudes and it is hard to remove the conquest of Asia from the conquest of America and the genocide of the native Americans, Hawaii and the Philippines etc.

This is why I think the "It started with Pearl Harbor and ended in Nagasaki" narrative is moronic. No, it was just one event in a much longer and highly one sided assault.

Reading the old books, Japan clearly had a profound admiration of the USA and found it hard to stomach the discrimination it and Japanese people, e.g. Japanese immigrants in to the USA, suffered from some quarters in American.

I agree the firebombings were equally malicious and evil.

Picking on women and children is not a noble way to win a war.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

newyorknewyork, the uninformed nonsense you post would have made Howard Zinn blush. And before you jump to any conclusions, I have the utmost respect for Zinn's scholarship.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Given the ghastly death toll during the battles at Iwo Jima (known as Iwo-To today) and Okinawa, where the Japanese defenders fought almost to the last soldier, the War Department had no moral qualms about using the atomic bomb to end the war more quickly. There were real fears that the Japanese military would resist literally down to the last soldier defending the southern shore of Kyushu when Operation Olympic started in the late October 1945, and that would result in a horrible death toll of soldiers on both sides and civilians living in southern Kyushu. Given the war-weariness of the American people by the summer of 1945, any means to shorten the war and avoid a ghastly land invasion of the Japanese home islands was welcome--the atomic bomb, along with the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, finally forced the Emperor to break the political deadlock and end the war.

In short, I believe the US War Department did the right thing, saving possibly tens of millions of lives that otherwise would have died in a land battle on the Japanese home islands.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

The US Military Committed the Worst Atrocities of World War II to Prevent Soviet Influence over Japan and Stop Their Oil & Gas Trade: http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=19385

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Morally justifable?

I agree with SFJP330, air raids and bomb run using hundreds of thousands of conventional 500-lb, 1000-lb/2000-lb bombs and incendiary bombs, killing hundred thousands (some even more than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined) is morally the same as 1 atomic bomb killing same number of people. If the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are to be subjected to war-crime case, ... morally and justifiably ... , the Fire-bombing of Tokyo, Dresden and other cities should also be subjected to war-crime case.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm not a history expert. But a demonstration on a visible but unoccupied island would have sufficed, and after that if no surrender, a demonstration on a military target. Instead, we targeted two civilian cities and claimed they were military targets, three days apart. I've heard that some Japanese think WWII was a fair defeat and don't hold a grudge. I'm American, I'm appalled that we dropped those bombs in the first place, and I'm still appalled that after the fact, we still house and store nuclear weapons that could be used again.

www.nuclearsecrecy.com has plenty to say about it, plus a fun little tool to get an idea of what would happen if a bomb hit, say, NY, NY. It's not pretty and really makes you think.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Unbelievable even to this day, this was even considered a question, much to my chagrin and horror, reading all those who think there is justice in randomly nuking two cities, with a scale as huge as a NUCLEAR WEAPON targeted to innocent civilians is deliberately a (war) crime, inhumane, barbaric, and evil. Both cities, and especially Nagasaki could have been avoided. In all the guilt and conscience of a sane human mind, heartless or not, blind or dumb, it should NOT have happened.

By early August of 1945 from February of that same year, the Japanese military might was crumbling fast. Finances were all but gone. Imperial Navy Forces were all down and defeated, They were already ready to surrender... and it was only a matter of days, if not hours before it became official. Japan was ready to surrender by the Hiroshima bombing, which led to the number of casualties of about 150,000 innocent civilians or more. Still, America decided to drop ANOTHER ONE on Nagasaki! So, it merely seems that America just wanted to flex their muscle and show the world what they're made of... scare tactics for all to quiver at. Just wanting to test their weapons of mass destruction ... does not justify killing 100's of 1,000's of innocent people - women and children!! And not just once ... but, TWiCE!! Obviously they don't know when enough is enough ...

Overall, up to this date, whatever justification or reasoning and those who said yes it was justifiable, I hope you understand that human lives are valuable and can't be thrown away like unneeded garbage.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In general, the use of the weapon was justifiable because Japan had declared unrestriced warfare and had already used chemical and biological weapons on civilians an military personnel in the course of the war. That is not fair to the citizens of a country ruled by a dictatorship but that is how it cracks up. As a member of the Axis alliance, they set forth the code of conduct that included the mass extermination of almost 7 million people.

However, the decision to use the weapons was also tainted by racism of war planners that were more comfortable with using the weapon on Asians. The decision to end the war fast was more of a concern of Japan falling under the control of the Soviets that saving lives. It is unfortunate that their concern was not on the retribution the civilian population that the Russian and Chinese occupation would have resulted, but just keeping the strategic ports and airfields out of Communist hands.

One piece of misinformation that is often quoted is how many live we saved by the US not invading. There were no realistic plans for an invasion. General LeMay had resources in place to raze from Aomori to Kansia using conventional weapons in 30 days. The US would never have wasted that many troops, even to prevent a East / West Japan scenario.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Morally justifiable? I can't answer. Understandable? Yes.

Other posters have described this as a war crime. I agree. But in the context of the other war crimes that had been committed previously (Tokyo fire bombing, Nanjing massacre, Unit 731, Dresden bombings, etc., etc.) why do we focus on the atomic bombings? A favorite poster of mine on these forums has already indicated she felt a certain happiness after the bombings. It indicated the end of the war and a new start. I've heard this sentiment expressed many times from older Japanese people.

Bluntly speaking, I don't see why those who suffered in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are any different from those who suffered the Tokyo fire bombing. I'm also not sure I see the difference between all those people and a little kid who stepped on a land mine in the Philippines around the same time. In my mind, the significance of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings is that they signaled a new future. As soon as 'the other side' had these weapons, things changed. Mutually assured destruction became the phrase, although I'm not sure we wouldn't have achieved the same with just more efficient conventional bombing.

The facts of history should be recorded, but we should refrain from passing judgement.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There was no morality then, and there is even less now. The only question that remains is? Who will use them next?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Jeff

I had no idea who Howard Zinn was but will look into his work. Beyond some barbed insult, are you making any intelligent point? If so, I cannot work it out. Are you calling me a Marxist?

I stand by the comment above yours. Indeed, as with the continuum of genocides of everyone from the native Americans to Philippines, Koreans, VIetnamese, Indonesians, Iraqi, Afganis etc, I'd extend it to say the USA is unique in modern times for always having won its wars by targeting women and children (a modus operandi one has to add unequal and broken treaties).

At least the European powers had a period of chivalry.

The greatest offence and confidence trick though is that these acts were carried out on behalf of the American people, which I argue against. They were done in the financial interests of a small elite, and relative to Japan, a small elite - right up to the presidential level - which favored business in China and sought to take advantage of the Europeans' distraction during WWII.

The Japanese elite just stood in their way and had to be eliminated. The Japanese people, women, children, harmless and defenceless old people, where just sub-humans. Cockroaches to be crushed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There's nothing moral about war. There are only losers and those who lose less. World war on the scale of WW2 was something never seen in the history of mankind. 70 years later, we are ALL still living with the consequences.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

... including, to invert one of Howard Zinn's ideas, "weaponized history".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This was a crime against humanity. One of the largest single acts of state terror in the history of mankind.

I see many in denial, mostly bc they're incapable of criticizing their own country.

It is well established that Japan had already offered to surrender, only asking to keep its emperor.

Others talk about revenge. So you carry out your "revenge" against defenseless civilians?

And, those who accept the first bomb as "moral", what about the second one? Also moral?

Most ppl in the world condemn this atrocity.

You can opine even if you were not born yet. That's why there's history books.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The dropping of the bombs was 100% justifiable. I will reiterate the argument that had the bombs not been dropped, and ground forces had been forced to conquer Japan, the death toll would have been fantastically higher. Worse yet, the Soviets were preparing for their own invasion of Japan, and had the war continued for much longer, today there might very well have been a north and south Japan.

By 1944 the Japanese already knew that they could not win the war, but they thought that if they continued fighting, they might not lose. "War last 100 years!" they cried whenever B-29 bombers would fly overhead, then they would beat their Allied POW's within an inch of their lives to show the "superiority of Nippon", as they said. They thought the war would last 100 years, because the war would not end until the last Japanese had died fighting.

When Iwo Jima and Okinawa were invaded, very few Japanese surrendered, allied casualties were very high. And though these islands were Japanese territory, they were not in fact the "home islands", which would be defended even more vigorously. America was tired of the war, the Soviet Union was gearing up for their own invasion, and, for good reason, there was little sympathy for Japan or the Japanese people at this point.

You can argue that the people were not responsible for the actions of their military, and that attacks should have been restricted to military targets. But you would be wrong. The people are responsible for the actions of their government, they allowed and supported their government in it's military actions. They provided the labor, the supplies, and the money for their government to kill millions. If the people were coerced into doing this, that is no real excuse.

Hitler did not allow civilians to evacuate Berlin as the Soviets invaded, saying that the German people had given the Third Reich it's mandate, and as a result, the people would suffer the same fate as the soldiers.

Japan started the war, Japan invaded many countries, killed, tortured, maimed, and starved millions. The dropping of the atomic bombs was one of the consequences of starting the war, and it is Japan which was responsible for their use, not America. Since Japan began the war, they end up bearing the responsibility for all deaths, atrocities, and destruction committed by both sides. Had Japan not started the war, the bombs would not have been dropped, in all likelihood, they might never have been invented in the first place.

Lastly, had Japan developed such weapons, they would have dropped them without hesitation. Japan had an extensive weapons program through which they hoped to infect America with plague or other diseases. Japan did in fact use biological weapons in attacks on 11 Chinese cities. Anthrax, cholera, and plague agents were dropped, killing about 20,000 Chinese civilians. It is ironic that near Hiroshima is Okunojima, where Japan was secretly developing chemical weapons.

Since the end of the war Japan has tried to hide it's responsibility for the war behind the dropping of the atomic bombs, in an attempt to use one atrocity to atone of the other. What Japan fails to admit is that they are responsible for both atrocities.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

World war two was wild out of control global conflict where all sides use all available weapons to the very last day with out any guild or moral restrains. Large scale killings of humans is not morally justifiable but America did it because they had means to do it. If Japan had 20 times larger atomic device at the end of WW2 New York LA and Chicago possibly would not exist today.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why is it that we can do second guessing & backseat driving 70 years after the fact. I dare say not one that's commenting here was even alive when the bombs were dropped or anything before that. In those days, like today, you went by the information you had and gut feelings. At this historic date today, 70 years after the facts, the real question is who learn what lesson? What did Japan learn? The US? Russia? China? Are we entering a déjà vu era? That's ALL that matters today. I'm afraid our answer to that question may be NO. Who's going to shoot the first bullet?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The bombs were a necessary evil (hitsuyo aku in Japanese). The radicals on both sides focus either on the "necessary" or on the "evil" part, depending on their world view. So this pointless debate will rage on forever...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

JT: Do you think ...

Would it have been moral to leave Japan in possession of much of China and totality of various other countries, as might have happened if their surrender was negotiated and not forced? Especially given how badly they treated those countries?

Given that Japan introduced the mass-production format of terror bombing to the world with its 5-years-long bombing of Chongqing in Szechuan, why not start with that, instead of ignoring it, as is traditional?

nigelboy: It's a nice story if one seeks some sort of vindication psychologically but the decision to surrender was decided as a result of Soviet entrance to the war against Japan. To be exact, it was 18 minutes after Japan was informed of this event.

http://www.sankei.com/life/news/140909/lif1409090011-n1.html

Google translate of second paragraph of your link negates your point, according to the "Showa emperor Annals" discussed there:

.... In the Annals, and it details the 20 days until August 15 that gyokuon-hōsō of surrender flows from July 27, 1945 you get the Potsdam declaration that the Allies were asked to surrender to Japan over the page 36. According to it, Showa emperor said the hope that want to "end the war as quickly as possible" on August 8 two days after the bomb was dropped, to the Tamamono謁 the Togo Shigenori Foreign Minister Hiroshima.

37 pm next day the 9th 9 am, when receiving the report of the Soviet army has started Manchurian invasion, 9:55 immediately after, ...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Honestly, it's basically silly to talk about an event that (1) Occurred before most anyone here were born and (2) Anything that happened in a war before yours or almost anyone's time. War by it's very nature is stupid. It's something that you learn about in history and hope you, your friends and even your enemies don't have to experience. I'd rather think about today and tomorrow. Those you do have some control over.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@turbotsat

Would it have been moral to leave Japan in possession of much of China and totality of various other countries, as might have happened if their surrender was negotiated and not forced? Especially given how badly they treated those countries?

If the USA had, Korea would have still been united, China would not have fallen to Mao and 70 million been saved, there would have been no Korean or Vietnam War, no Pol Pot, and Asian nations would have been enjoying a quality of life equivalent to Japan's.

That sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Russia would not have come anywhere near a united Asia.

I am sorry but we've all been fed a highly biased version of history designed primarily to defend and distract from the real effect of America, Inc's blundering about in Asia.

Oh, add to that the 1,5 million Indonesians murder by the despotic right wingers in Indonesia the CIA etc propped up for decades.

None of it is "morally justifiable". It's all just been about profit for the few at the cost of the many.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japanese leaders including Hideki Tojo were given a choice, surrender or atomic bombings. They chose atomic bombings. There is nothing morally justifiable about wars and their atrocities. Are the atomic bombings in Japan by the USA morally justifiable ? Are the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in Nanjing, China by Japanese soldiers morally justifiable ? Are the internment or imprisonment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry by the USA government during World War 2 morally justifiable ? No, they are ALL NOT morally justifiable.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This wouldn't have happen if Japan did not commit war aggression on Manchuria in the first place.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No intelligent response from the West... many which STILL believe hostage release from Iran in the 70's was due to Ronald Reagan's god-like ability to negotiate. Apparently... you CAN fool some of the people, all of the time...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I was not born when this happened, but I feel very sad that it happened and that the war happened at all. So many young men and young women who never got to live their full lives were lost in the war. I am glad that we have more peaceful times and that the Japanese and the US are friends and allies. My young grand-daughter is Japanese-American, and I hope for peaceful, happy times ahead for her and for all of Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Joyce MazziniAUG. 10, 2015 - 02:43AM JST Japanese leaders including Hideki Tojo were given a choice, surrender or atomic bombings. They chose atomic bombings.

No. The Japanese had no idea that the U.S. had such a weapon until the first bomb was dropped.

HansaramAUG. 10, 2015 - 04:21AM JST This wouldn't have happen if Japan did not commit war aggression on Manchuria in the first place.

Japan had been meddling in mainland Asia for decades going back to the first Sino-Japanese War the late 1800s, the Russo-Japanese war in 1905, the annexation of Korea in 1910, and had occupied parts of Manchuria for nearly a decade before attacking the U.S. fleet in Hawaii. The American decision to use atomic weapons had nothing to do with Japan's actions in China. In fact, no one in the West much cared what Japan was doing in Manchuria until Japan moved south and took Shanghai and Hong Kong because both were full of Europeans at the time and the latter a colony of Britain.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Joyce Mazzini

Actually, Japan had been looking to surrender. Unfortunately the USA would not accept its terms (which were reasonable enough) and wanted an unconditional surrender which was designed to be an affront to the Japanese and keep them fighting.

Unconditional surrenders were the USA's norm; a noble death being better than surrender was the Japanese.

The Japanese are often portrayed as being unreasonable but I think the ultimate blame in this case actually lies with the USA's deliberately unreasonableness, and its agenda to dominate Asia itself.

In simple terms, it wanted Japan out of the way and was skilful and chauvinist enough to provoke Japan into self-destruction.

In this case, I'd agree with what Jeff says about not giving a damn about the cost to other Asians. The American elites, political, economical and military, were at the time deeply racists towards Asians.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Just be happy it was the Allied Forces that had the bomb and not Germany or Japan because otherwise today would be a much darker, oppressive, and horrific world."

I dunno, we wouldn't have had the Korean War, and all of Korea, China, the Philippines, Guam, etc. would be under Japanese control... Wait... oh, that would be way worse...

"There is no excuse what so ever to use such nasty weapons."

Firebombs like those dropped on Tokyo are also pretty nasty, they pretty much obliterated Tokyo, yet months later the Japanese still hadn't surrendered.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Unfortunately the USA..... wanted an unconditional surrender"

The Nazis accepted unconditional surrender, but it wasn't good enough for the Japanese, eh? LOL.

No way that the emperor-worshiping death cult that killed 10 million people should have been given the option to retain power, after the enormous sacrifice of allied soldiers. Just as Hitler should have never been given that option.

The world after 1945 would have continued to be the hell hole that Nazis and imperial Japanese created it if Truman was forced to negotiate.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Actually, the quality of life in Asia would have risen to a Japanese level without the Korea and Vietnamese Wars, without Korean being split, without the 70m dying under Mao, without Pol Pot, Suharto and whole heap of other gangster, with 2 million dying in Vietnam under the French and so on.

Asia would have been a much better place.

All you are doing is demonstrating your ignorance and prejudice.

Germany did not attempt to surrender a year earlier as Japan did. Japan was forced into the war and forced to carry on the war by the Americans.

Which was the result the Americans, or rather 'USA, Inc', wanted. USA, Inc had planned its assault on Asia with the aim of dominating it politically, economically and militarily. It needed Japan out of the way to do so as Japan was the best and natural leader to rise out of the mess the European Imperialist had created.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan was forced into the war and forced to carry on the war by the Americans.

Japan was not forced into the war. If they didn't want war, they didn't have to sign alignment with the Axis. By aligning themselves with the Axis, once the Axis went to war, Japan would eventually have to go to war too.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It seems the USA didn't realize that they made Japanese civilians to pay for the wrong decissions of the military and imperialism. They (USA) who claim themselves to be the best defenders of freedom, end up killing many innocent people twice. I believe there should be an appology oon their part, otherwise, the USA is a lie.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is an impossible question to answer, but people will keep debating this forever.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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