Japan marks 75 years of atomic bombing
On 6th August, Japan has marked 75 years since the world’s first atomic bomb attack. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to do his best for the “realisation of a world without nuclear weapons”.
Chain of events
- On August 6, 1945, the US dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, and three days later, on August 9, it dropped another bomb on Nagasaki, killing hundreds of thousands of people and affecting many more who would suffer the effects of the radiation from the blast and the “black rain” that fell in the aftermath of the explosions.
Why did US bomb Japan?
- After the conclusion of World War II in 1945, the relations between Japan and the US worsened, especially after Japan forces decided to take an aim at Indo-China with the intention of capturing the oil-rich areas of the East Indies. Therefore, US president Harry Truman authorised the use of atomic bombs in order to make Japan surrender in WWII, which it did.
- One historian Gar Alperovitz argued in his 1965 book that the use of nuclear weapons on Japanese cities was “intended to gain a stronger position for postwar diplomatic bargaining with the Soviet Union, as the weapons themselves were not needed to force the Japanese surrender,” a US government website mentions.
Why Hiroshima was chosen?
- Truman decided that only bombing a city would make an adequate impression and, therefore, target cities were chosen keeping in mind the military production in the area and while making sure that the target sites did not hold cultural significance for Japan, like Kyoto did. This was because the aim was to destroy Japan’s ability to fight wars.
- Hiroshima was primarily a military target with a population of about 318,000 people. Hiroshima at the time was also the seventh-largest city of Japan and served as the headquarters of the Second Army and of the Chugoku Regional Army, making it one of the most important military command stations in Japan. It was also the site of one of the largest military supply depots and the foremost military shipping point for troops and supplies.