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Post Reply A-Bomb Survivors Want Obama to Meet, Apologize in Hiroshima
lawdog 
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Posted 5/21/16

MeanderCat wrote:


Why should we be sorry, Japan? You started that fight and we ended it.


Economically, we started the fight long before when we told Japan that we wouldn't allow them to develop needed resources in that area.


Yes, how dare we tell Japan not to invade other countries and steal their resources!


Do I think Japan was wrong? Yes. But that doesn't mean the US was by any measure innocent.

The release of the two atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki triggered the paranoia of the 1950's against the 'Red Menace' (the same paranoia that's being inflamed today against Muslims), and they may not have been necessary to end the war.


The bombs WERE necessary. Even though more people died in the firebombing of Tokyo, the sudden destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the jolt needed by those advocating peace, and, especially, for the emperor to step in and declare it over. Even then, elements of the army attempted a coup to prevent the surrender from taking place. Those who say that the Air Corps and Navy would have bombed, and with submarines, starved Japan into submission, are all analysis by armchair QBs, many with agendas that were being pushed, which incorrectly values Japanese culture and societal imperatives. War can't be placed on a logic value scale; wars and human emotions don't work that way.


Did Japan do terrible things to other countries' citizens during the war (and prior to it)? Absolutely. However, so did the US and the rest of the Allies so we shouldn't be too quick to claim the higher moral ground.


So in your world, Jeffery Dahmer, Jack the Ripper, John Wayne Gacy, The Green River Killer, and the world's serial/torture killers are the moral equivalent of someone who got a ticket for jay walking? Because, in essence, that's what you're saying when you morally equate Japan and the USA for conduct during WWII.
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Posted 5/21/16
As someone who lived in Japan for four years and has been to both Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the former war zone in Naha, Okinawa...

I think an apology would be a wonderful thing. I understand that we saved many American lives by dropping the bombs, but I also recognize that America also admitted to dropping the bombs because they wanted to see the devastation it would cause -- it was essentially, in that regard, a science experiment. It wasn't 100% a science experiment, but America wanted to test what it would do to the land, and to people. That much is written in black and white.

The point I believe that Japan is trying to make is they are trying to appeal to Obama to consider getting rid of the amount of nuclear weapons America has. Every year there is a council in Hiroshima that writes a letter to America asking for us to dismantle our nuclear weapons, and they have gone without response since the day they began sending them. The museum puts every letter they have sent on display for all to read.

I also believe Japan should apologize for the war crimes against China and Korea -- but that is a separate argument.

When I lived in Kumamoto, I met a woman who lived through World War 2. She taught me how to knit. She would tell me stories where during air raids she and her family would run along the Shirakawa River (that ran near my apartment) towards Mt. Hanaoka for safety. That she made that run more than a few times. She remembered neighbors and friends and family who died at the hands of American air raiders. I felt sad, hearing her story. I didn't know what to do, so I apologized. Like my apology could echo for the whole of America.

How she responded, I will always remember. She waved her hand at me and said, "You didn't do anything. Maybe your father's father, or maybe not. War is war. It is not pretty and it is not meant to be pretty. But, that is over. We have peace now! That is what matters. You do not need to apologize."

Even still, I feel that the people whose lives were ruined by radiation deserve an apology. That's just my personal opinion.
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Posted 5/21/16

Kerensa wrote:

As someone who lived in Japan for four years and has been to both Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the former war zone in Naha, Okinawa...

I think an apology would be a wonderful thing. I understand that we saved many American lives by dropping the bombs, but I also recognize that America also admitted to dropping the bombs because they wanted to see the devastation it would cause -- it was essentially, in that regard, a science experiment. It wasn't 100% a science experiment, but America wanted to test what it would do to the land, and to people. That much is written in black and white.

The point I believe that Japan is trying to make is they are trying to appeal to Obama to consider getting rid of the amount of nuclear weapons America has. Every year there is a council in Hiroshima that writes a letter to America asking for us to dismantle our nuclear weapons, and they have gone without response since the day they began sending them. The museum puts every letter they have sent on display for all to read.

I also believe Japan should apologize for the war crimes against China and Korea -- but that is a separate argument.

When I lived in Kumamoto, I met a woman who lived through World War 2. She taught me how to knit. She would tell me stories where during air raids she and her family would run along the Shirakawa River (that ran near my apartment) towards Mt. Hanaoka for safety. That she made that run more than a few times. She remembered neighbors and friends and family who died at the hands of American air raiders. I felt sad, hearing her story. I didn't know what to do, so I apologized. Like my apology could echo for the whole of America.

How she responded, I will always remember. She waved her hand at me and said, "You didn't do anything. Maybe your father's father, or maybe not. War is war. It is not pretty and it is not meant to be pretty. But, that is over. We have peace now! That is what matters. You do not need to apologize."

Even still, I feel that the people whose lives were ruined by radiation deserve an apology. That's just my personal opinion.


That story with the old lady tugged at my feels...
tetrum 
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Posted 5/21/16

keeton52 wrote:

People now are not responsible for the crimes of the people in the past. That's my stance and always will be.


I agree with that, but the only problem is, that a lot of groups(ethnic, national etc.) in the world doesn't think that way. And I would add, that civilians not responsible, for actions of the politicians, at least not where the leader isn't democratically placed in the lead .

On one side I can understand, that the victims of the A-bomb want the US to apologize, let's face it, there would have been other ways to show them the power of the A-bomb (maybe aimed to a less populated area near Tokyo, or next to Tokyo, so that, the civilian casualties would have been lower, but still, they could have see the power of the bomb).
On the other side of course if US apologizes for the A-bomb, Japan has to do the same for Pearl Harbor and for all above that was mentioned.

And another interesting thing is, that before the A-bomb attacks, Japan already wanted to start the negotiations with the US about the capitulation, but the problem was, that there was a miss-translation, which lead to a miss-understanding of the content of the letter and lead to the use of the A-bombs.

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Rabbit Horse
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Posted 5/21/16

Kerensa wrote:

As someone who lived in Japan for four years and has been to both Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the former war zone in Naha, Okinawa...

I think an apology would be a wonderful thing. I understand that we saved many American lives by dropping the bombs, but I also recognize that America also admitted to dropping the bombs because they wanted to see the devastation it would cause -- it was essentially, in that regard, a science experiment. It wasn't 100% a science experiment, but America wanted to test what it would do to the land, and to people. That much is written in black and white.

The point I believe that Japan is trying to make is they are trying to appeal to Obama to consider getting rid of the amount of nuclear weapons America has. Every year there is a council in Hiroshima that writes a letter to America asking for us to dismantle our nuclear weapons, and they have gone without response since the day they began sending them. The museum puts every letter they have sent on display for all to read.

I also believe Japan should apologize for the war crimes against China and Korea -- but that is a separate argument.

When I lived in Kumamoto, I met a woman who lived through World War 2. She taught me how to knit. She would tell me stories where during air raids she and her family would run along the Shirakawa River (that ran near my apartment) towards Mt. Hanaoka for safety. That she made that run more than a few times. She remembered neighbors and friends and family who died at the hands of American air raiders. I felt sad, hearing her story. I didn't know what to do, so I apologized. Like my apology could echo for the whole of America.

How she responded, I will always remember. She waved her hand at me and said, "You didn't do anything. Maybe your father's father, or maybe not. War is war. It is not pretty and it is not meant to be pretty. But, that is over. We have peace now! That is what matters. You do not need to apologize."

Even still, I feel that the people whose lives were ruined by radiation deserve an apology. That's just my personal opinion.


not much of a test, but rather a show of power. not just for Japan, but also to Russia.
as for dismantling nuclear weapon, that would be a mistake. just having them and having others know that you have the weapon is enough to stop a major conflict. remember Cold War? if it wasn't for those weapons, there would be a WW3, make no mistake.
if you think the story of that lady is sad/tragic, you should read about Nanking (the link by Nanikore). once you read it, you'll probably understand the sentiment that people in Korea and China have regarding Japan's denial of war crimes. it's not just a matter of "they killed our people during a time of war".

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Posted 5/21/16

KarenAraragi wrote:

No. We did what we have to do to win. Also, your country started the fight. Your country attacks us first. You refuse to surrender after being beaten. You force our hand. You decide to keep fighting after having the first A-Bomb drop on your ass. This is fucking stupid.


Plus WE didn't even do crap. There are a lot of complex issues surrounding that bomb but non of them involve me. I wasn't even born then and neither was Obama. We shouldn't have to apologize for crap we didn't even do much less stuff you can argue our side had no choice but to do.

I hate people who try to force people to be accountable for stuff they never even did. Just let the damn past go and stop bugging us about things we didn't even have a say in. What am I going to do say "Oh sorry I'll make sure my dead grandfather never does that again ... wait".
runec 
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Posted 5/21/16

namealreadytaken wrote:
remember how Obama bowed to the emperor?

btw, Japan don't want an apology, apparently:


He bowed to the emperor of a country where bowing is customary? <gasp>

Japanese politicians don't want one, you mean. But its not them that's asking, Its victims of Hiroshima. The proper, human thing to do would be to acknowledge what they've been through and apologize. He doesn't need to get up on a stage and proclaim it to the world. But he should meet with the survivors and acknowledge what they've been through. Even if he just does so privately.

That alone should help their peace of mind.



Metazoxan wrote:
I hate people who try to force people to be accountable for stuff they never even did. Just let the damn past go and stop bugging us about things we didn't even have a say in. What am I going to do say "Oh sorry I'll make sure my dead grandfather never does that again ... wait".


Countries live longer than people and in this case in particular, there are still people alive who were directly involved. We're not talking about a quarrel between two individuals here. You can't both hoist up the historical heroics of your country during wartime and dismiss any negatives because they happened too long ago to bother with.



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Posted 5/21/16 , edited 5/24/16
Obama can not apologize, because it would open a bad precedent. I mean, what about the other victims of American air strikes in Korea, Vietnam, Balkans, Africa and the Middle East?

As for war crimes, how about start by prosecuting the Japanese Emperor? If the emperor was not guilty for the war, then which of the war criminals fighting the war for the emperor is? The Japanese always say they apologize every year, and every prime minister has issued public apologies for the war, so how much apologies is enough? When Japan becomes a republic and removes war criminals from their shrines, then it would be a start.
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Posted 5/21/16
The tiny group of Japanese who want an apology should look in the mirror. The Japanese government refuses to acknowledge their own war crimes. At least the majority of Japanese have the decency to not push for a nonsensical "apology."
Posted 5/21/16
Meh. I think its dumb, but its ultimately up to Obama, so whatever Obama wants to do, its his perogative.
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Posted 5/21/16
Basically "NOW look what you did! You better apologize for your face smashing into my fist like that!"
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Rabbit Horse
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Posted 5/21/16
it sure would be nice if Japan didn't brainwash [1] their kids by omitting [2] historical facts in history courses
[1] http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-21226068
[2] http://www.wsj.com/articles/japanese-middle-school-textbook-changes-raise-irk-china-south-korea-1428402976
at least they don't try to deny the bombing of Hiroshima/Nagasaki in us history books or about the internment of Japanese-Americans.
there's a whole chapter about the bombing in my history book about the incident. cold, hard, historical facts.
in other words: America actually acknowledges what happened as a result of the bombing, while Japan still denies the war crimes even occurred.

really, with history being rewritten by Abe, it's no wonder kids from Japan don't understand the grudge against their country, and of course radical nationalist will brainwash them further by saying that Japan is a "victim"
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Posted 5/21/16

MeanderCat wrote:


Why should we be sorry, Japan? You started that fight and we ended it.


Economically, we started the fight long before when we told Japan that we wouldn't allow them to develop needed resources in that area.

Do I think Japan was wrong? Yes. But that doesn't mean the US was by any measure innocent.

The release of the two atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki triggered the paranoia of the 1950's against the 'Red Menace' (the same paranoia that's being inflamed today against Muslims), and they may not have been necessary to end the war.

Did Japan do terrible things to other countries' citizens during the war (and prior to it)? Absolutely. However, so did the US and the rest of the Allies so we shouldn't be too quick to claim the higher moral ground.



Wrong. Economics is one thing but Pearl Harbor was another. Not even close. Needed resources located in Korea? The Philippines? Other countries? I hate to say this, but by trying to be reasonable you've gone down the wrong path of appeasement. If you ask a 90 year old Korean, Philipino or any other east Asian of that age group if they think we should apologize to Japan for dropping the bomb they'll tell you, "Hell no we wanted you to drop a third one" I don't think you realize how many the Japanese butchered during WW2. We didn't throw injured sailors to the sharks because we believed the enemy to be an race of subhuman animals, the Japanese did it as a matter of course. Perhaps you should study more history and travel some of those countries a bit more. When the Americans occupied Japan, we handed out food and water. When the Japanese occupied an area they bayoneted babies. Don't make the Allies war crimes seem like they approach the Axis war crimes in magnitude or intensity (except Kutazov, that guy allowed 1 million German women to be raped during his occupation of Berlin, <shudder>, crazy bastard)
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Posted 5/21/16 , edited 5/21/16

namealreadytaken wrote:

it sure would be nice if Japan didn't brainwash [1] their kids by omitting [2] historical facts in history courses
[1] http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-21226068
[2] http://www.wsj.com/articles/japanese-middle-school-textbook-changes-raise-irk-china-south-korea-1428402976
at least they don't try to deny the bombing of Hiroshima/Nagasaki in us history books or about the internment of Japanese-Americans.
there's a whole chapter about the bombing in my history book about the incident. cold, hard, historical facts.
in other words: America actually acknowledges what happened as a result of the bombing, while Japan still denies the war crimes even occurred.

really, with history being rewritten by Abe, it's no wonder kids from Japan don't understand the grudge against their country, and of course radical nationalist will brainwash them further by saying that Japan is a "victim"


That's what I mean.

Japan still doesn't give no fucks about the crap they did during the war. At least Germany is remorseful and makes sure that people know what happened, so it doesn't happen again.


lawdog 
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Posted 5/21/16 , edited 5/21/16
The bombs were a tragic necessity, but they saved countless lives.
1) If you tried to starve Japan into surrender, the general bombing campaign would've intensified and continued. The result would've been far more Japanese dead over that time than died due to the A-bombings.
2) US estimates were for upwards of 100,000 dead, just to invade the southern island of Kyushu, with Japanese dead expected to top 1 million.
3) For the invasion of the main island of Honshu, some estimated that the allied death toll could top 1 million, with the Japanese death toll far exceeding that number. The invasion called for one part of the invasion to have all 6 US Marine divisions land at the same time to establish one beach head. There were no plans to use those 6 divisions after 72 hours, as it was believed that those divisions, of roughly 120,000 men, would have taken so many casualties in 3 days that they'd no longer be effective combat units.
4) Meanwhile, Stalin. One of history's greatest murderers wouldn't have sat around waiting: He'd have tried to take Hokkaido during this period, and then do his own landings on Honshu. The Soviets weren't prepared for a sea invasion, but they'd have done it anyway, incurring horrendous casualties on their part, killing millions of Japanese, and raping every Japanese girl and woman they came across, as well as many young Japanese males.
5) If you think Stalin was going to hand back any land he'd occupied, just take a look at the Kurile Islands, which have been occupied since WWII.
6) Back to the USA. Many European theater US combat divisions were going to be transferred to the Pacific for the invasions of the Japanese home islands. But there's a problem: The most experienced officers and soldiers are all being discharged from the army on a "points" basis. As a result, instead of combat tested units preparing to invade Japan, these divisions are filled with green recruits and green officers, many of whom have never seen combat. By the time the bombs were dropped, many senior generals were unhappy at the combat readiness and training status of these divisions. Had they been used in the invasions, casualties would've been severe, possibly even worse than projected.

Without the bombs, more Japanese would've died than did with the bombs, possibly millions more. Allied deaths would've been in at least 5 figures. 400,000 Americans died during WWII. If we'd invaded Japan, that number would probably exceeded 1 million. Further, we'd have likely ended up with a divided Japan, one that might still be divided today (Korea, anyone?).

Hard as this might be to understand, the bombs ended up saving Japan from a much worse future.
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