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.

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