Why did the US bomb Japan?

+28 votes
asked Aug 13, 2019 in Culture & Society by Tina (1,500 points)
edited Aug 14, 2019
This month marked the anniversary of September 11, which was a horrendous tragedy that killed almost 3000 people and changed the world. It received a lot of news coverage and recognition. Last month marked the 70th year since the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan; I don’t know about you, but I didn’t even hear about it until after the anniversary had passed. Apparently they still aren’t sure exactly how many people they killed, but it’s estimated to be killed at least 129,000 people. The bombings undoubtedly changed the world. And I have trouble understanding why it happened. Why did the US bomb Japan? Was it really necessary? How can it be justified?

2 Answers

+29 votes
answered Aug 14, 2019 by Anthony (890 points)
edited Aug 14, 2019
You’re right; the bombs did kill a lot of people. But they also did what they were designed to do: they ended the war which killed around 60 million people – 3% of the 1940 world population. The US started working on building atom bombs after they were warned in 1940 that Nazi Germany was researching nuclear weapons. They felt they needed to be prepared. But, by the time they managed to build and successfully test the atom bomb, Germany had already been defeated. The Pacific War was dragging on, Japan was refusing to surrender and it was predicted that a land invasion of Japan would be very costly in terms of lives and resources. So they bombed Japan and ended the Pacific War.
+6 votes
answered Aug 14, 2019 by SammieChecch (310 points)
edited Aug 14, 2019
Another reason (lesser known and certainly less noble) can be found for why did the US bomb Japan: they needed to demonstrate their new found power to the Soviet Union. By 1945, the Soviets and the United States were already at odds and deeply suspicious of each other. The Russians were occupying a lot of Eastern Europe and so the US needed an ace up their sleeve. The atom bomb was their trump card. Many believe the bombing of Japan was actually what started the Cold War.
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