Fumio Kyuma, Japan’s Minister of Defense, agreed there was need during World War II to drop the atomic bomb. “I understand that the bombing ended the war, and I think it couldn’t be helped.” His statement has caused considerable controversy since many Japanese people regard themselves as victims who were unfairly bombed during the war.
Few American secondary teachers present the decision to drop the atomic bomb within its historical context. The Defense Minister is absolutely correct, actions of the Japanese government in 1945 left no other alternative. The Japanese army had 5000 Kamikaze pilots prepared to die, and it had at least two million soldiers ready to fight to the last man. After the first atomic bomb was dropped, the head of the Japanese army was unimpressed and urged the government to continue fighting. I have read minutes of Japanese Cabinet discussions and the majority of those in government wanted to continue fighting. The Emperor forced them to surrender.
I have heard teachers tell students ridiculous things like America should have tested a bomb on a deserted island. There is not the slightest bit of evidence any Japanese leader would have gone to observe such a demonstration. All evidence points to continued refusal on the part of the Japanese government to any offer of surrender. Americans were still shocked in August, 1945, by the bloody battle in Okinawa which resulted in over 20,000 casualties including Kamikaze attacks which alone resulted in 4,000 dead and wounded.
Japan was not a victim, it killed millions of Chinese people, raped and murdered thousands of women in Nanking, and killed thousands of captured American, Australian and British troops. Japan to this day refuses to take any responsibility for its horrible policies in World War II. Unfortunately, too many American school teachers play into the tragedy. Anyone who believes I am being harsh is invited to read Japanese Cabinet discussions regarding the atomic bomb. The Japanese army wanted an invasion so they could die in glory. The atomic bomb tragedy averted that tragedy.