A number of years ago, I was stationed in Japan. While I was there, I visited Hiroshima twice. Needless to say, it is a very touchy subject for the Japanese to this day. One thing I was told, don’t visit the site of the atomic blast on the annual remembrance of the day when the bomb was dropped. I can understand that. It had to be very devastating.
Nowadays, they do more than remember the event. It seems that each year the Americans become more villainous and the Japanese more the victims. From time to time, I see specials on American TV speaking of the damage we did while leaving out the reasons… and there were reasons.
I don’t mind them going back over their memories but please let me remind one and all of the reasons for it. To me, it is far more important for us to remember the reasons for the strike than the strike. For if there were no reasons for the strike, there would no strike.
However, before I get into enumerating the reasons, let me remind everyone that if Japan had the bomb, they would have used it on us. Moreover, they would likely would not have stopped with two. Besides, they would used it to imprison, not to for freedom.
As for the reasons, let us not forget our history. We did not start the war. The US was full of pacifist, people who wanted nothing to do with war. Hence we did what we could to avoid war. However, the Japanese had started capturing land throughout the Pacific, even to the point that they became a threat to Australia. Moreover, it was well documented that anywhere the Japanese Army went, they treated the captives inhumanly even to the point of raping the women and torturing the men.
Then one day, no one really knows why, but the emperor of Japan thought it would be a good idea to attack the US. And so it was that they launched an attack on the peaceful islands of Hawaii without provication. In the process, they almost made the United States defenseless in the Pacific.
Maybe they did not kill as many Americans at Pearl Harbor as we killed Japanese at Hiroshima but it was not a sneak attack. First, we were already at war. Second, they were twice warned. May I also add that it was in retaliation. It was not a first strike.
The US lost many men in our defense. The Japanese could have stopped their aggression at any time. We had no intentions of adding the Japanese Islands to our country. Indeed, when the war was over, the Japanese way of life greatly improved. I assure you, had Japan won the war, their leaders would have lived better but not the common family. They would likely be much worse off. It was the way of Japanese before the war.
After the Japanese captured the Philippines, they started what was called the death march for the prisoners. To some degree, I can understand the low rations. They likely did not have many to spare. However the mistreatment did not end with the poor rations. They treated the prisoners badly simply because they wanted to and they could.
Then, even after they reached their destination, there are many instances of mistreatment of prisoners without reason.
As if that was not enough, they told their military and civilians that our army was going to torture them–not true. Because they believed it, thousands, perhaps millions committed suicide in preference to fall into the horrible hands of the Americans. Tragically, hundreds of these marines would have rescued women and children throwing themselves off cliffs and into the ocean, or the rocks below the cliffs.
They would have been given food medical aid and shelter. Instead, they believed the lies of the Japanese. I suppose this is better than dying as the result of an atomic bomb, but maybe the bomb would not have been needed if the Japanese leadership didn’t go around telling lies about us.
So far, none of this is about the cost of taking the main islands. If it got to that point, it would have cost tens of thousands of American lives. However, it very likely would have cost at least ten times that for Japanese, mostly civilians. Very likely, there would not be any building of any size left. It would have taken a couple of decades to re-establish a reasonable transit system.
My guess is, that for every five left alive, one Japanese would be dead. That’s not in any one city but all over the islands.
The aftermath would be worse. There would be hunger, disease and horrible wounds. The US would not be able to help much. They would be tending with our problems.
However, that is not the half of it. The Soviets were beginning to bear down. Already they took back much of the land the Japanese forces took. Had they the time, they would have taken all the Japanese Islands. I assure you, the Soviets would not have treated the Japanese nearly as well as we did.
The point is, no other nation on the face of the earth has ever treated her enemies, even our worst enemies as well as we do. Before you go demonizing us too much, first take a quick look at your own history. Before you go complaining too much about how we treated Japan, think of how it would have been under the Ruskies. Finally, you have all your real estate back, even Okinawa. Personally, I believe we should have kept it. We paid for it with the blood of good men.