Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Exploratory Essay, Position #2

By mid-1945 incendiary bombing raids by the Americans had destroyed many of the strategic targets on mainland Japan. Their natural, industrial and military resources were decreasing with every year of the war (D’Olier et. al 21-22). Defeat was imminent and hope for an Imperial Japanese empire that matched the original vision of Emperor Hirohito was beyond unthinkable. D’Olier’s Bombing Survey states that bombing raids on Tokyo on the morning of March 9, 1945, alone caused 185,000 casualties (20). The dropping of the atomic bomb was, to many living in fear on the Japanese mainland, an insult to a nation that had already been brought to its knees. “I thought it was absolutely unnecessary,” Japanese Foreign Ministry official Toshikazu Kasi stated, “because by the time the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, we were conducting negotiations with the Soviet government and looking toward an early end of hostilities and we were completely exhausted. And the (Japanese) Navy and the Army, too, were thoroughly becoming amenable to the idea of peace.” (“Episode 24: The Bomb.” The World at War). This view was not one exclusive to the citizens of Japan, but was also held by many Americans, including U.S. Army General Dwight D. Eisenhower (Alperowitz 4). But somewhere in the middle of these views that were for or against the dropping of the bomb is an opinion that has become more popular in recent years.

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