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Was the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki justifiable?

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Presentation on theme: "Was the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki justifiable?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Was the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki justifiable?

2 Yes, it was justified: Argument #1: Japan’s leaders refused to surrender Many believe that the emperor of Japan, Emperor Hirohito, would never have accepted unconditional surrender. The war would have continued on and on until the ultimate devastating defeat of Japan.

3 Yes, it was justified: Argument #2: Japan’s soldiers refused to surrender Many believe that because of the fanaticism of the Japanese militarism, soldiers would have fought the war until bitter defeat. Examples such as kamikaze dive bombers, the death rate at Iwo Jima and Okinawa as well as the ritualistic suicide of the Japanese known as seppuku.

4 Yes, it was justified: Argument #3: Everyone in Japan was involved in the war effort (total war) Some may argue that the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nearly all civilian, however, all citizens of Japan worked to aid the war effort in some way (total war) and so it was justifiable to target them.

5 Yes, it was justified: Argument #4: Bombings actually saved Japanese and American lives Some military experts at the time believed that it would cost over 1 million American soldier’s lives to invade and defeat Japan. They also estimate that over 1 million civilians would have perished during the invasion (Japanese propaganda efforts).

6 Yes, it was justified: Argument #5: No worse than then U.S. firebombing of several Japanese cities in More Japanese civilians died in the U.S. firebombing campaigns of Japanese cities in Since these raids used conventional bombing methods, fewer people argue the justification of these raids.

7 No, it was not justified: Argument #1: The bombings killed innocent civilians The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had very little if any strategic military value, the vast majority of the population was civilian. The method of targeting civilians in war is unethical and morally wrong.

8 No, it was not justified: Argument #2: Japan was already intending to surrender The economy and fighting capacity of Japan was utterly destroyed by August of Some historians believe that the government of Japan was preparing to surrender in early August. The leadership knew that the war was basically over, especially when the Soviet Union declared war on Japan.

9 No, it was not justified: Argument #3: Was used as a political weapon against Stalin and the Soviets President Truman and the U.S. government wanted to scare the Soviets away from entering the war in the Pacific against Japan. The use of the atomic bombs ended the war and set the stages for the Cold War. The killing of 400,000 civilians to achieve this was unjustifiable.

10 No, it was not justified: Argument #4: The “revenge” bombings were not proportional to the destruction at Pearl Harbor Many people may argue that the use of the atomic bombs was justifiable because the Japanese “started it,” at Pearl Harbor. However, others argue that the killing of over 1,200, mostly military personnel, is not proportional to the killing of 400,000 people, mostly men, women and children.

11 No, it was not justified: Argument #5: Other methods could have resulted in surrender Some have argued that the United States could have used the bomb in a less populated or even unpopulated area and achieved the same results: surrender. The use of the bombs on civilian targets was unnecessary and unjustified, other options could have been used. This method could have also had the same impact on diplomatic relations with the Soviets.


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