Regarding Hiroaki Sato’s Aug. 29 article, ‘Gratuitous’ bombing of a defeated enemy,” I’d like to make a few comments as a Japanese who is very interested in history. There are said to be several reasons why the United States used the atomic bomb on Japan, including that the U.S. wanted to intimidate the Soviets and that it wanted to see the effects of a bomb blast on a population. We are told that some U.S. leaders were dead set against use of the bomb because of the feared effects on people and that they worried the U.S. would be hated by all nations if the bomb was dropped.
Another reason given is that Japan wouldn’t surrender, so the U.S. had no choice except to use this “special” type of bomb.
I also know there were domestic reasons. The U.S. president, for example, feared that taxpayers would be angry over the billions of dollars spent on research and development of the bomb if it was not even used. Then there was the racist card: In those days the U.S. definitely looked down on the Japanese as inferiors — just as Japan looked down on the Chinese and the Koreans.
Some criticize what the U.S. did to Japan. But I always think of what Japan would have done to the U.S. if it had developed the atomic bomb first. Just look at what Japan did to the Chinese in the name of biochemical experiments involving “Unit 731.” Horrible! There’s no word for it. From what I understand, Japan’s wartime leader, Gen. Hideki Tojo, would not have surrendered (if the emperor at the time had not intervened).
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.