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Diplomatic Stubbornness and Lack of Diplomatic Initiatives In the waning weeks and days of the Pacific War, America showed no inclination to negotiate an end to the war with the Japanese or to initiate any diplomatic initiatives to seek a prompt, peaceful end of the war to minimize further casualties on both sides.After Japan's staggering losses and defeat in Okinawa in June 1945, Japanese leaders sought the Soviet Union's help to negotiate a peace with the U. However, American leaders continued to refuse to consider Japan's request that the surrender be conditional on the emperor remaining as the nation's head.Attitudes of American Leaders and People John Dower's depiction of the hatred of America's leaders and people toward the Japanese during World War II shocked me.
The Potsdam Proclamation issued on July 26, 1945, made no mention of what would happen to the Japanese emperor.
With no promise from the Allies that the emperor would remain in power, Japan rejected the demands of the Proclamation, even though the Allies made clear the consequences if Japan did not accept the ultimatum: We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action.
Aftermath and Ramifications The two films Barefoot Gen and Hellfire from Hiroshima and Dr.
Hachiya's Hiroshima Diary provide shocking evidence of the human tragedy that resulted from the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima.
Changing Personal Opinions My personal opinions on the dropping of the atomic bomb have changed quite significantly.
Before this year (2000), I had visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, seen the film Black Rain, and read Hiroshima by John Hersey, but I had never thought that seriously about the reasons for dropping the atomic bomb. First, although the atomic bomb has much more strength and deadly effects than conventional bombs and weapons, the atomic bomb has the same basic nature and characteristics as other weapons of war.Political Considerations Political factors prevailed over military and humanitarian considerations in the decision to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.The concerns of top American leaders about the Soviet Union's future actions had the most significant influence on President Truman's deliberations on whether or not to drop the atomic bomb on Japan.The poll results vividly reveal the depth of the hatred many Americans must have felt during the war.When reading selected books on the bombing of Hiroshima, I was troubled by President Truman's and other American leaders' deeply prejudiced opinions and attitudes toward the Japanese people.The dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, which caused untold human suffering and brought about profound implications for the entire human race, represents one of the key events of the twentieth century.By examining the historical background and the motivations of the American leaders at the time, the first three sections of this essay evaluate whether the decision to drop the atomic bomb was justified by the circumstances.Top-level World War II military leaders such as Mac Arthur and Eisenhower believed the bomb to be totally unnecessary from a military point of view (Takaki 1995, 3-4, 30-31).Even if the Hiroshima bombing could be justified, the Nagasaki bombing has absolutely no justification, since America did not even give Japanese leaders enough time to evaluate the effects of the Hiroshima bombing and to reconsider their decision to not surrender.Having read Nakazawa Keiji's manga book of Barefoot Gen before viewing the film, I was somewhat disappointed by the adaptation of the book to film.The book vividly portrays the intense discrimination experienced by hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors), anti-war sympathizers, Koreans, and poverty-stricken individuals.