Open for Discussion…

The Atomic Bomb

Brief historiography. The atomic bomb was used twice on two Japanese cities seventy-one years ago. During the earlier decades following the use of the weapon, Americans were taught that the use of the atomic bomb was used to save both American and Japanese lives. While most Japanese learned that, the weapon was used to end the war before peace could be mediated through Moscow. Today, more Americans are learning that the use of the atomic bomb was two-pronged, saving American lives and firing the first shots of the Cold War since Russia was already occupying territories and posturing against the United States.

Since the dropping of the atomic bombs, polls have been taken and many reports have been written about the events and survivors. For Japanese survivors, call hibakusha, they and their families are scorned and face prejudice to this day. For Americans, soon after the dropping of the bombs, the polls in support of their use were very high; in fact, many Americans wanted more bombs to be used. However, as time pass the poll ratings declined to about 56% in support of their use to end the war.

_Below are my responses to Mr. Takuya Katsumura, Nippon Television Network News Producer three questions_

Thoughts on the use of the atomic bombs on Japan.

The use of weapons of mass destruction over seventy-one years ago should serve as a reminder to the world about the destructive and long-term damages caused by these weapons. The events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should harden our stance against unstable nations and unstable rulers who strive to have access to such weapons. On those days of August 1945, the world was at war and the atomic bombs ended a second great war. The use of the atomic bombs may have prevented other lengthy wars. Prior to World War II, the world had seen many great wars and would more likely see more, however, because of the atomic weapons and mutual destruction was possible wars were localized and limited in lives lost.

Support of Presidential visit to Japan.

Yes, since the end of World War II, the United States and Japan have been close allies. Japan is our greatest ally in the Pacific and Asia. Our President’s visit should be a lesson to all leaders; adversaries at one point in time can become allies and form partnerships to benefit both societies.

Support for visitation of Japanese delegation to Hawaii.

Yes, just as it is appropriate for our leaders and soldiers to visit Japan, it is welcomed for Japanese leaders to visit Hawaii. We hear of old soldiers visiting old combat zones in which they fought. We hear about long ago enemies meeting to trade old war stories. What makes this any different?

Email your response to:

Dr. Michael A. Lazarus
American Veterans Hawaii Historian
U.S. Navy Gulf War Veteran

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