T Nation

Apologise For Hiroshima!


#1

I was in a bar with some American exchange students a couple of weeks ago. One of these guys was wearing a US Army t-shirt, and they all had distinctive American accents. A while later a couple of rather drunk Japanese men walked over to us, noticed they were Americans and demanded that they "apologise for Hiroshima!"

I was very taken aback by that, and even more surprised when one of the guys reponded sympathetically. My first thought about the Japanese was: "How about you bastards first apologise for Nanjing, Manchuria, Taiwan, Shanghai, Pearl Harbour, Korea...."

Today, I came across this very gruesome and hard-hitting read:

http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/12.12.96/cover/china1-9650.html

In many ways, the Japanese 'Holocaust' was probably even more horrific than the Nazi Holocaust. Do you think there is not enough of this taught in schools? I don't think the extent of Japanese atrocities are well known by most people, the least of which, the new-age Japanese themselves.


#2

I completely agree. I feel that the free world so desired to completely demonize (and rightly so, don't get me wrong) Nazi Germany, that it influenced them to sort of neglect and not talk about the atrocities committed by Japan against China and other nations, as well as Stalin's genocide against his own civilians in Russia.

And for the record, the United States has formally apologized for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which is an apology I don't fully endorse anyway...


#3

They should apologize, for not doing it a month earlier and stopping at two cities instead of three or four.


#4

So why does that mean you shouldn't apologize for Hiroshima? I don't see a reason for being so taken aback at your friend being sympathetic. A wrong is a wrong, just because Japan has done more fucked up shit in their past than us attacking Hiroshima doesn't absolve anyone's responsibility to admit fault or cruelty, or to apologize.


#5

United States war crimes in WWII go far beyond (or rather, before) the use of atomic mega-tons as terror bombing activities. Do you not know of the fire-bombing of German and Japanese civilian populations, which preceded the atomic fire?

The US firebombing of Tokyo killed 100,000 civilians (the intended target) in one night. An estimated 635,000 German citizens were killed during US/British terror bombing, including 150,000 in Dresden and 50,000 in Hamburg.

Maybe its you then, who needs the history lesson?

"By August 1945, 58 Japanese cities had been firebombed and the bomber commander, General Curtis LeMay, had to curtail his raids because he had run out of incendiary bombs. After the war, Le May remarked 'I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal.'"

Funny, this supposed relativity of "war criminal" and "terrorist".


#6

I was disgusted because of the sheer hypocrisy of these Japanese. What makes them think that they can demand an apology for Hiroshima, in light of the atrocities that their own country commited, which were a thousand times worse? (See the linked website)

Granted, this is probably due to ignorance on the part of these Japanese men. I have a friend who is an English teacher in Tokyo and tells me that the the history of Japanese activities during the war are largely ignored in their school curriculum (and in a few cases, even glorified).

Contrast this to Germany, where it is illegal not to teach about the history of the Holocaust in schools.


#7

Unless the person who actually dropped the bomb, or who actually made the decision to drop it was there, I don't see any reason at all for someone to apologize for what his/her countries military did years ago.

Do I owe an apology for every bad decision Bush or Clinton made while they were in office?

I don't get how anyone thinks anyone else owes an apology for something they had no control over.


#8

comparing unbridaled imperialism and genocide to acts to end a war is rather silly.

We offered them peace if they surrendered. They refused until TWO atomic bombs were used. One wasn't enough.

The blame for Hiroshima and Nagasaki lands firmly on the hands of the jap elite, not on American hands.


#9

The Japanese certainly have a problem with their teaching, or lack thereof, of atrocities in WWII. This is a definite problem that needs to be addressed, especially as they mull remilitarisation.

All the Japanese military's atrocities don't make it right though to target nuclear weapons specifically at civilians.


#10

um Hiroshima had tremendous military significance. The 2nd army there was in control over the defenses of Southern Japan

Nagasaki was a MAJOR industrial port that supplied the Japanese War machine.

If we wanted maximum civilian death we could have obliterated Kyoto or Tokyo


#11

Good grief...


#12

.


#13

sorry Tojo!

Feel better now?


#14

The bomb in Hiroshima was dropped over the civilian center of the city as opposed to the strategic targets outside.

That said, nobody should be apologizing to anyone at this point unless they participated directly. The idea that someone who wasn't even born yet at the time of a supposed atrocity should apologize to someone else who also hadn't yet been born is absolutely ridiculous.


#15

Fuck that.

That was a world war, and the Japanese were completely consumed with the code of the bushido and the idolatry of the emperor.

If we were forced to invade them (as we would have had we not dropped the bombs), the casualties would have been through the motherfucking roof.

They would have armed every man, woman, and child to defend their homeland, and we would have killed all of them.

Apologize? I don't think so. They should thank us. They were insane with their atrocities, and a more brutal country would have aimed for Tokyo first. We did as well as we could there. There would be millions more dead in the Battle of Japan if we had not dropped that bomb.


#16

Cry me a goddamn river. Maybe they should not have supported nations that killed 6 million Jews, tons of Chinese (and other nationalities in Asia), and tried to impose a totalitarian government on the world.

"War means fightin, and fightin means killin".

Every one of those civilians was at fault for not standing up and overthrowing their ridiculously imperialist governments.

Is it horrifying that this happened? Of course. But we didn't start that goddamn war- we finished it. No apologies from me, and I would have told those Japanese drunks to go fuck themselves.

/rant


#17

Because an apology assumes you regret what you did and won't do it again in a similar circumstance. I think given the same circumstances the US would do exactly the same thing again, to apologise is hypocritical. (though it must be done for diplomacy reasons)

And of course a nation must apologise for its past misdeeds. That's not to say that I personally as a US citizen must apologise, but the nation is an entity in a sense, and if a nation commits horrific misdeeds someone must apologise on behalf of the nation.

And yea, Japan pointing it's finger at anyone is beyond ridiculous, given that throughout history they have been one of the cruelest and most imperialistic nations.


#18

Wow. I'm practically speechless.
And this coming from a non-U.S. person.
Thanks for the perspective bro. (I happen to wholeheartedly agree.)


#19

I allways think it's funny when someone demands an applogy. That is the best time in the world to tell them to go fuck themselves.


#20

just to remind everyone... stop bitching about this. unless you have a time machine,

tube steak boogie.