Not only should President Obama NOT apologize for the US Dropping the Atomic Bombs on Japan, he should vigorously defend President Truman’s decision and point out why in retrospect it was also in the best interest of the Japanese people.
When I was stationed in Japan I had several opportunities to travel to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and have visited both the Peace Memorial Museum and the Peace Park several times. Hence, I have seen the effects of the Atomic Bomb and it just reinforced my deeply held belief that President Truman made the correct decision when he had the Bombs dropped.
Both my father and mother served overseas during the War as did several of my uncles and anyone born after the War who had a father, grandfather or great-grandfather who fought in World War II should thank God every single day that President Truman had the guts use the Atomic Bombs on Japan or there is a good chance you wouldn’t be alive to be reading this. While terrible, those bombs probably saved almost a million American lives and, by the estimate of the Japanese Imperial General Staff, at least 20 millions Japanese lives.
Remember, US Army and Marine Corps forces had just secured Okinawa at a cost of over 20,000 dead (12,520 KIA) and over 55,000 wounded, by far the bloodiest battle of the Pacific, and a third of the island’s civilian population was killed with some estimates as high as 300,000 – and at the time the Japanese didn’t even consider Okinawa part of their “home islands.” Factored in to President Truman’s decision was the Secretary of the Army’s estimate of allied causalities of a “home island” invasion of up to 4 million casualties including as many as 800,000 killed. On 18 July 1945 President Truman had met with his Joint Chiefs and decided to order 766,000 troops to prepare to invade Kyūshū beginning 1 November of that year. This prompted the War Department to order 500,000 Purple Heart medals, a stock pile still being used today.
The Japanese planned an all-out defense of Kyūshū with Four veteran divisions withdrawn from China to strengthen the forces already in Japan and 45 new divisions recently activated. In all, there were 2.3 million Japanese Army troops prepared to defend the home islands, backed by a civilian militia of 28 million men and women. Casualty predictions varied widely, but were extremely high. As I said before, even the Japanese Imperial General Staff estimated 20 million Japanese deaths.
Compare that 20 million to the best estimates of the total causalities from both bombs of about 130,000 killed the first day and as many as 250,000 total dead over time and you can see why it was the RIGHT decision.
And anyone still not convinced that President Truman was right to drop the bombs, I would invite you to listen to Japanese Emperor Hirohito’s Jewel Voice Radio Broadcast of Noon 15 August 1945 (Japan Standard Time) where he announced to the Japanese people the unconditional surrender of the Japan Thus ending World War II. The only reason for the surrender the Emperor stated in his speech was the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Here is the text of the Jewel Voice Radio Broadcast of 15 August 1945 in its entirety:
TO OUR GOOD AND LOYAL SUBJECTS:
After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining in Our Empire today, We have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure.
We have ordered Our Government to communicate to the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union that Our Empire accepts the provisions of their Joint Declaration.
To strive for the common prosperity and happiness of all nations as well as the security and well-being of Our subjects is the solemn obligation which has been handed down by Our Imperial Ancestors and which lies close to Our heart.
Indeed, We declared war on America and Britain out of Our sincere desire to ensure Japan's self-preservation and the stabilization of East Asia, it being far from Our thought either to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations or to embark upon territorial aggrandizement.
But now the war has lasted for nearly four years. Despite the best that has been done by everyone – the gallant fighting of the military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of Our servants of the State, and the devoted service of Our one hundred million people – the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest.
Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should We continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.
Such being the case, how are We to save the millions of Our subjects, or to atone Ourselves before the hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors? This is the reason why We have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the Joint Declaration of the Powers.
We cannot but express the deepest sense of regret to Our Allied nations of East Asia, who have consistently cooperated with the Empire towards the emancipation of East Asia.
The thought of those officers and men as well as others who have fallen in the fields of battle, those who died at their posts of duty, or those who met with untimely death and all their bereaved families, pains Our heart night and day.
The welfare of the wounded and the war-sufferers, and of those who have lost their homes and livelihood, are the objects of Our profound solicitude.
The hardships and sufferings to which Our nation is to be subjected hereafter will be certainly great. We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of all of you, Our subjects. However, it is according to the dictates of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is unsufferable.
Having been able to safeguard and maintain the structure of the Imperial State, We are always with you, Our good and loyal subjects, relying upon your sincerity and integrity.
Beware most strictly of any outbursts of emotion which may engender needless complications, or any fraternal contention and strife which may create confusion, lead you astray and cause you to lose the confidence of the world.
Let the entire nation continue as one family from generation to generation, ever firm in its faith in the imperishability of its sacred land, and mindful of its heavy burden of responsibility, and of the long road before it.
Unite your total strength, to be devoted to construction for the future. Cultivate the ways of rectitude, foster nobility of spirit, and work with resolution – so that you may enhance the innate glory of the Imperial State and keep pace with the progress of the world.
(Hirohito's signature and Privy Seal)
August 14, 1945