Essay On Japan Atomic Bomb
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Reasons and circumstances behind the dropping of the 1945’s atomic bombs
The invention of atomic energy was a commendable finding and marked the most significant mile stone in the field of science and technology. However, this invention brought about several environmental and safety concerns among scientists as well as the general public. These concerns included the effects of nuclear energy on the environment and the capability that scientist had in containing or preventing terrorists from misusing this energy. As a result, the use of nuclear energy sources faced great opposition in several states. During warfare, the involved parties tend to overlook important values such as humanity an end up making decisions that are inclined towards specific concerns such as the supremacy of a state (Thomas, p.5). Even so warfare is not the best thing in resolving any existing conflicts among nations or people living in a society. This is because warfare involves huge and significant decisions that may have heavy implications on the lives of people both in the present and future. There are two clear instances of warfare that are highly significant in history due to their sever implications on human beings and animals in Japan. These two instances include the dropping of an atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bombs had immense effects on the people living in these cities which included loss of eye sight and thermal burns as a result of extremely high temperatures (Truman, p.1). The main reason for the two cases of bombing was to compel Japanese troops to move from or surrender. Several people lost their lives as a result of these expositions while the survivors still suffer from serious and unusual health conditions which resulted from direct contact with the harmful atomic radiations. The effects of the two bombing incidents are still evident today.
This conflict between the United States and the Japanese Empire officially started at the attack on Pearl Harbor. This was an attack orchestrated by the Japanese to neutralize the United States’ pacific fleet in order to cripple the United States’ ability to wage war on the pacific theatre (Robinson, 2011, p.3). However, this plan back fired as the Japanese underestimated the United States power, as combined with its massive natural resources and technological knowledge it would quickly overwhelm the Japanese in wartime production and military resources (Robinson, 2011, p.4). The U.S. had great determination to defeat the Japanese Empire in the pacific and push them back to mainland Japan at which point the United States was in control of the situation. To completely bring down the Japanese troops the united state laid its first attack on Hiroshima which was the Japanese army base after Japan refused to withdraw its army.
According to Cooper, during the initial stages of world war two, it was believed that the Germans were in the process of developing nuclear weapons. In response, the United States, along with the help of the United Kingdom and Canada started the Manhattan project (cooper, 2004, p.308). This projects main objective was the development of nuclear weapons for use against Germany. The project was initiated at a time when many nations and states were still campaigning against the use of atomic energy to produce weapons. Bernstein stated that this project was highly secretive to the point that the vice president of the time Henry Truman was not aware that the project was running. It was also one of the most expensive military projects at the time. Costing 2 billion dollars (adjusted for inflation). This tremendous cost later became a factor in the decision to use the bombs in order to avoid public condemnation for wasting a substantial amount of money that could have been spent on more practical resources (1995, p.139). The project saw success in 1945 with the testing of “The Gadget”, the codename for the first nuclear bomb ever detonated (Cooper, 2004, p. 308). However, by that time Germany had already accepted an unconditional surrender. This would leave the Japanese Empire as the target of the bombs.
Japan’s intention to develop and deploy nuclear weapons posed a major threat to the neighboring states and the entire world. This was the major reason why there was need for immediate intervention to stop the destructive mission. The Japanese Empire had its eyes set on expansion of its military power and possession of strong and unbeatable weapons. It had plans to grow a huge empire and dominate the region. In order to accomplish that it believed that it must first focus on colonizing resource rich regions of south Asia, as it did not believe that it mainland would have sufficient resources to maintain an Empire (Townsend, 2011, p.4). The need to acquire resource rich areas was further prioritized because of the oil embargo the United States setup, which put the Empire at a desperate need for this essential resource (Townsend, 2011, p.4). In its expansion, the Japanese committed many war crimes. The most heinous being mass killings during war. An example of these mass killings is the Rape of Nanking, in which anywhere between 100,000 to 300,000 people were raped, and killed in China (Hann-Shuin, 2007, p.4). This was a clear demonstration of a war doctrine adopted by the Japanese military called The Three alls policy. This policy implies that soldiers must kill all, loot all, and destroy all (Fairbank & Goldman, 2006, p.302). From this policy, there is clear evidence why the Japanese were seen as a threat to stability of the region as their treatment of captured civilians indicates the horrors the Japanese empire would commit if allowed to spread any further. Therefore, ending Japan’s dominance in the war was a core priority if the region was to acquire full stability.
After recognizing the Japanese regime’s policy of expansion and abuse of human life, the united state government could be stand the urge to quickly defeat and eliminate Japan’s dominance in warfare. The use of nuclear weapons, despite being a deadly measure served as a readily available option in accomplishing this goal as other options would produce many more casualties. When considering plans to accomplish the objective of defeating the Japanese regime, the logical conclusion would be an invasion and capture of the Japanese homeland. This approach however, would have been catastrophic for both sides of the conflict with the American death tolls alone estimated to reach 268,000, and this estimate was made before discovery of the extent of Japanese preparations (Landesman, 2003, p.23). This closely follows into Japanese’s Samurai culture which is highly dominant among citizen and occupants of Japan.
Through their long persistence in war and strong contempt for surrender, the Japanese portrayed their unwillingness to end the conflict and restore peace. The Japanese army together with their leadership stood firm against all the pleas made by other state asking them to withdraw their troops from war. Their firm stand called for a more affirmative and forceful method in order to end the conflict. This is evident in their battle with the allies where they would fight to the last man even though defeat was certain. No stronger indicative of this is than the Battle of Saipan. In this battle the Japanese forces were cut off from support and faced an overwhelming American force. In spite of the odds very few of the soldiers surrendered, the majority fighting to the last breathe using knives as their resources were depleted, and the remaining committing suicide as not to face the humiliation of capture (Ronald, 1995, p2). What was even more surprising is that even civilians would favor death, as about two thirds of the population committed suicide (Ronald,1995, p.2). All this would have caused outrageous death tools if an invasion occurred. On the other hand, the use of nuclear weapons helped avoid such an outcome. This show of might allowed for the Japanese ego’s to remain unscathed. It allowed the Japanese government to justify an unconditional surrender as they had no power to stop this new threat, thus saving countless more lives from the suffering of a prolonged conflict.
In addition to the casualties that would have fallen in an invasion, the death toll in Japanese occupied region and that of prisoners of war would have been enormous as well. Due to the large scale of the invasion, it might record a longer period of time before it is fully ready. In the meantime, other regions occupied by the Japanese were still suffering from oppressive rule and mass killings. There were also Japanese armies in active combat mainly against the Soviets in China. Death projections for the occupied regions were held to be 250,000 deaths per each month the conflict continued (Landesman, 2003, p.34). The Japanese were also in position of American POWs. These prisoners, including soldiers and civilians, were held hostage, for the Japanese threatened to execute them in the case of an invasion. The use of nuclear bombs was the best solution to both problems as the put a quick end to hostilities by securing an unconditional surrender, and guarantied the security of POWs.
Now that is has been established that the Japanese needed to be defeated quickly, and that an invasion would have been too catastrophic, it is important to contemplate the consequences of not pursuing an unconditional surrender. Not using the nuclear weapons or invading, which as established was not the best approach, would result in a conditional surrender, which would only lead to future conflict. Due to the nature of the Japanese regime, simply defeating their forces and having them surrender while keeping control of Japan would have only lead to future catastrophe. This is because Japan is not a very resource rich region, and in order for the regime to achieve its goal of becoming a world power, it would have to be acquiring new land to fuel its strength (Townsend, 2011). This would necessitate the use of nuclear power as a way to achieve victory and compel the regime to order an unconditional surrender. This allowed the United States to rewrite the constitution of Japan, to shape it into a stable county that did not seek to expand. This was achieved by dissolving the armed forces of Japan, and only allowing for a defensive military.
Another reason the United states sought an unconditional surrender by the use of Nuclear weapons was a similar decision could have avoided World War two. Claimed by Landesman, This situation was the defeat of Germany in world war one. After its defeat, Germany accepted a conditional surrender to the allies (2003, p.28). This surrender did not strip Germany of its ability to make war and represented a threat as predicted by the leader of the allied forces at the time. After the defeat, Germany went on to be influenced by nationalistic movements and began to build a military of great strength that defeated almost all of Western Europe. This situation could apply to Japan, as it had a strong nationalistic sense. This is why the use of nuclear weapons was necessary, for it would eliminate the chance of this happening without needing the horrors of an invasion.
Not only did the use of the bomb prevent future conflict, it also guaranteed the best future for Japan by not allowing the Soviet Union to invade Japan. In the initial stages of the conflict, the allied forces put pressure on the Soviet Union to be involved in the conflict with Japan (Landesman, 2003, p.24). This would not happen as the Soviet was preoccupied in the European theatre of the war. However, after the surrender of Germany, the Soviets expressed interest in joining the allies in the war against Japan and began by engaging Japanese forces in China. However, Landesman argues that by that point it was evident to the United States that the Soviets would also instill communism in areas it has influence. The United States shifted its opinion on the Soviet involvement and put all its effort into insuring the Japanese surrender before Soviet invasion (Landesman, 2003, p.24). This was achieved by the use of nuclear bomb, as it would induce the Japanese regime to surrender before Soviet invasion. Not allowing the Soviets to gain foothold on Japan had major implications on Japan’s future. This is because it would allow Japan to escape the conflict of the upcoming cold war. Had the soviets partook in an invasion of Japan, the situation today could be akin to that of East and West Germany, where one side would be poor and suffering the consequences of a failed system. An even worse alternative would be a situation similar to North and South Korea, in which conflict and instability could be the nature of the relationship between its two parts.
In addition to not allowing Soviet influence, the use of nuclear bombs helped install a new government, by removing the previous one, which along with the United States focused on building an economically prosperous Japan. After the successful removal of the old regime without Soviet involvement, the United States still felt that need to insure Japan’s future. The concern was that after the war, Japan’s economy was in such ruin that growing discontent would cause the country to fall into communism, the United Stated also wanted a strong anti- communist ally in the region. For this reason the United States worked closely with the Japanese government to develop the economy. This effort and Japans new focus on economy instead of expansion have led to what is known as the economic miracle of Japan. This period spanning from post-World War Two to the 1990s held huge growth for Japan, transforming it from a low-wage county to a high-wage economic power. Even today he effects of this push are felt as Japan’s GDP is only surpassed by the much larger nations of China and the United States.
The use of nuclear weapons might seem like an unnecessary act to the uninformed; however, the use of nuclear weapons was necessary to bring a quick end to the regime, which in turn leads to future peace and prosperity of Japan. While the act might seem evil, the alternative would have been a much greater one, for sometimes even the most moral of souls must choose the lesser of two evils. While it can be claimed that the past use of nuclear bombs was justified it is hard to justify any such attach in this day and age, for the direness of the situation in World War two has not been replicated; regardless, due to the proliferation of this technology it is hard to imagine that a nation would risk total annihilation by using one. The only use for nuclear weapons in the twenty-first century will be as a deterrent. From the above it is clear that the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing led to the termination of warfare and restoration of peace. However, there were several casualties and who died and got injured as a result of the attack. This depicts the hard implication of war on human beings and implies that war should be avoided by adopting better conflict resolution mechanisms.
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