Saturday, August 06, 2005

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Japan remembers

Today was a hard day for us to get through here in Japan. At 8:15am on August 3rd, 1945, the Enola Gay dropped "Little Boy" on the city of Hiroshima and its 60kg core of uranium 235 was detonated. On that day, the aggressor turned into the victim. Its explosion with a force of 13 kilotons of TNT flattened a radius of 1.5 miles and killed 70,000 to 80,000 people outright with many more later dying of radiation sickness that the U.S. claimed was "Japanese propaganda." (As of August 2004, the City of Hiroshima claimed 237,062 dead as a result of the bombing.

Inside the Truman administration there was a debate on whether to drop the bomb in an unpopulated area to demonstrate its power or to see what it could do on a city. The arguments of Secretary of State James F. Byrnes won out with Hiroshima being the first target.

Claims, most notably from Byrnes, say that the bombs saved lives in the war. However, Japan was looking to end the war anyway. Take for example the words of then President Truman on July 18, 1945, President Truman: "telegram from Jap Emperor asking for peace…. Believe Japs will fold up before Russia comes in. I am sure they will when Manhattan [atomic bomb] appears over their homeland." Another among many examples is Walter Brown, aide to Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, who on Aug. 3, 1945 wrote "agreed Japs looking for peace…. "

I could go on about how the bomb was really for the Russians to let them see what the U.S. could do, but this is familiar to the point of cliche. Thus is will end by saying that every year in the peak of summer we here mourn as we will again on August 9th.

4 Comments:

Blogger DJEB said...

Sorry to double up on that Dearkitty. (T_T)

Saturday, August 06, 2005 4:00:00 pm  
Blogger Truth Seeker said...

Thanks for that DJEB, it's certainly important to remember what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki 60 years ago. The world must never allow those atrocities to happen again.

Saturday, August 06, 2005 4:05:00 pm  
Blogger Yak40 said...

The Emperor may have indeed wanted peace (like many in the general population I'm sure) but is it not true that his authority at that time was pretty much zero ?

Saturday, August 06, 2005 7:06:00 pm  
Blogger DJEB said...

I'm not quite the one to answer that, but there was a recent book by an American professor suggesting that suggested that he had more power than was suggested earlier. At any rate, as the official head of state, he would be the one that the U.S. would have the most official contact with and he would be the most authentic spokesman for the state.

Saturday, August 06, 2005 11:55:00 pm  

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