Last Friday, I had international television news on, and I kept getting very annoyed at how the newscaster, when reporting on United States President Barack Hussein Obama’s historic visit to Hiroshima, were portraying Japan before the Americans dropped the atomic bomb there. We were given the impression that it was a nice quiet peaceful day when out of the clear blue, for no reason, The United States attacked that poor innocent city with the deadly bomb.
Considering that most people are not too historically knowledgeable, and no place in the reports was any serious or even minimal context given, it was clear that the point was to make the Japanese look like innocent victims and not immoral deadly enemies of the USA.
In 1945 there was a vicious war going on between Japan and the USA. Japanese believed their emperor to be a god and were willing to die for his victory against America. Those were the kamikaze pilots who willingly crashed their planes into American ships to destroy, sink and kill.
Kamikaze aircraft were essentially pilot-guided explosive missiles, purpose-built or converted from conventional aircraft. Pilots would attempt to crash their aircraft into enemy ships in what was called a “body attack” (体当たり; 体当り, taiatari) in planes laden with some combination of explosives, bombs, torpedoes and full fuel tanks; accuracy was much better than a conventional attack, the payload and explosion larger. A kamikaze could sustain damage which would disable a conventional attacker and still achieve its objective. The goal of crippling or destroying large numbers of Allied ships, particularly aircraft carriers, was considered by the Empire of Japan to be a just reason for sacrificing pilots and aircraft.
These attacks, which began in October 1944, followed several critical military defeats for the Japanese. They had long since lost aerial dominance due to outdated aircraft and the loss of experienced pilots. On a macroeconomic scale, Japan suffered from a diminishing capacity for war, and a rapidly declining industrial capacity relative to the Allies. Despite these problems, the Japanese government expressed its reluctance to surrender. In combination, these factors led to the use of kamikaze tactics as Allied forces advanced towards the Japanese home islands. (Wikipedia)
The American decision to use the atomic bomb wasn’t easy, and the Japanese were a very difficult enemy, a different culture and mind-set. Over seventy years after the fact, nobody can say how much longer and how many more Americans would have had been killed by the Japanese if the USA hadn’t dropped the bomb on Japan.
Not only is the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki kill, maim and destroy many lives and much property in Japan, but it broke the morale of the country, the public’s faith in the emperor as god and made it possible for them to fully surrender.