Reader Mail

U.S., Japan both deserve blame

Regarding Grant Piper’s letter “A-bombs ended WWII’s atrocities” in the Sept. 22 edition, Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki in early April 1945 asked a committee to assess the capability of Japan to continue the war. In mid-May the committee submitted a report showing a bleak picture, including severely depleted naval power, a moribund military industry devastated by overwhelming air raids and dire physical conditions of the Japanese people, who had endured severe food shortages.

The supreme conference discussing the report nevertheless decided to continue the war. This mad decision had been anticipated given the constitution of the conference: Of its six members, four were from the military. The other two, the prime minister and foreign minister, were desperate to end the war, but their lives were threatened by fanatical idiots in the army.

By mid-July 1945, command of the air over Tokyo and the sea facing the capital was lost, and any stubborn resistance by fanatic idiots in the military could be crushed by naval bombardment, as the U.S. had done in the South Pacific.

I understand the U.S. military’s abhorrence and fear of the Japanese kamikaze mindset. But the fanatics were small in number and not well-organized. In fact, those fanatics committed suicide rather than fight.

Why, then, did the U.S. use the A-bombs? It was because of the Soviet Union. The U.S. wanted to gain control of the entire Japanese archipelago before the Soviets were ready to invade from the north.

Truman also wanted to know the effects of different types of A-bombs. So he ordered the bombing of Nagasaki, which used a plutonium-based bomb, whereas the Hiroshima bomb was based on uranium. This was a heinous war crime conducted with a cold-blooded calculation so as to obtain the upper hand in the world power politick.

I denounce those who led the Japanese military into the crazy war and their political collaborators for their war crimes. I denounce the Japanese intellectuals of the time who joined the crazy rants of the fanatic military, thus helping to hypnotize the masses. And I denounce the U.S. government for its cold-blooded experiment of mass murder in Japan.

The French journalist Robert Guillain survived the apocalyptic days under U.S. air raids in Tokyo. He hated the Japanese government that ruled by fear and disinformation, and the Japanese people who blindly obeyed it. But after visiting Hiroshima after the atomic bombing, Guillain strongly denounced the U.S. for its inhumanity.

KEISUKE AKITA
KAKAMIGAHARA, GIFU PREFECTURE

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.