Sunday, August 18, 2013

(Special Post for August 15 - Part 2) Japan's General Staff Office Knew About Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombing in Advance and Did Nothing, According to 2011 NHK Documentary

(Continued from Part 1)

Some ask, "Why didn't Japan surrender after Hiroshima, or sooner?" Japan had been suing for peace at least since May 1945, sending secret delegations to contact the Allied Forces. The sticking point did seem to be about the status of the Emperor, but by July the surrender completely in the Allied Forces' terms - unconditional surrender - was being considered as the only alternative. Japan had nothing to fight with, and was defenseless. There were only a handful of major cities (Kyoto, Niigata, Hiroshima, Kokura, Nagasaki) that hadn't been bombed and incinerated. But the negotiations dragged on, going nowhere.

Atomic bombing of Nagasaki has an added irony, as the bomb made by a Christian country destroyed a Catholic church with worshipers in it in a city where the Christians endured harsh state persecution for centuries and kept their faith.

Here's Part 2 of the 2011 NHK documentary "Atomic bombing - top secret information that was never utilized (原爆投下 活かされなかった極秘情報)".

I am aware that this part is even longer than Part 1, but I hope you have time to read it.

Summary of Part 2:

August 6, 1945. The Imperial Army's special intelligence unit picked up the call sign in V600s at 3AM - one of the "special task planes". It was accompanied by a short-wave message to Washington, then followed by a wireless voice communication to the base in Saipan: "Approaching the target".

Major Eizo Hori (see Part 1), head of the Division 2 of the General Staff Office that oversees the special intelligence unit, reported to his superiors that the weather reconnaissance plane was followed by the "special task plane" coming to Hiroshima. The General Staff Office sat on the information and did not share it with the regional headquarter in Hiroshima. The bomb was detonated 5 hours later at 8:15AM over unsuspecting residents of Hiroshima. There was no air raid siren. "Enola Gay" and the accompanying B29s were uncontested all the way to the target.

Three days later on August 9, again 5 hours before the atomic bomb explosion over Nagasaki, the intelligence unit picked up the same call sign in V600 again, and this time the B29 was heading for Kyushu. In light of what had happened in Hiroshima, the information was again immediately delivered all the way to the head of the General Staff Office. The cabinet ministers [more than half of whom were either current or former high-ranking military officers] were in a meeting in the Imperial Palace to discuss what to do in light of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima that practically wiped out the city in an instant. They couldn't come to any conclusion, but the Chief of Staff Umezu assured them there would be no second atomic bombing.

Meanwhile, a pilot of Shidenkai - Japanese fighter plane that could take out B29s - was waiting on the runway of a base in Kyushu. The sortie order never came. The group of B29s, including "Bockscar", on seeing the visibility of the first target of Kokura City in Fukuoka Prefecture was low, went on to the second target. The atomic bomb was dropped over a Catholic church in Nagasaki.

Survivors, who were intimately involved in the atomic bombing of the two cities and were interviewed by NHK, are still left with the question, "Why didn't the government do anything?"

原爆投下 活(い)かされなかった極秘情報 by gataro-clone

(26:50 - August 6, 1945)

August 6, 1945, 3AM. The Imperial Army special intelligence unit caught a call sign in V600s. The "special task plane" was heading toward Japan [for the first time]. Major Eizo Hori, of the General Staff Office, received the information.

"On August 6, this plane with a call sign in V600s issued a short-wave message. We didn't know what the message was, but it went to Washington. Then, it made the wireless voice communication to the US base in Iojima, saying

"We are approaching the target."

That "special task plane" was B29 "Enola Gay", carrying the atomic bomb to be used in the real battlefield for the first time in human history.

Lieutenant Russel Guggenbach was on board a B29 accompanying "Enola Gay" to film the bombing:

"They told us this was a big day, that we will be using, dropping our special bomb. Our target would be, in order, Hiroshima, Kokura, and Nagasaki. This is what we were trained for. Others were still training missions, but this was the real thing."

"Enola Gay" departed Tinian Island, flew over Iojima, and headed toward Hiroshima.


(28:35 - Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945)

August 6. The regional headquarter of the Imperial Army at Hiroshima Castle had been on the heightened alert against air raids. Ms. Yoshie Oka, then 14-year-old student, was working at the headquarter running messages, as part of the student mobilization during the war.

In the early hours of that day, neighboring cities had been attacked by large formations of B29 bombers - Nishinomiya [in Hyogo Prefecture], Imabari [Ehime Prefecture in Shikoku] and Ube [in Yamaguchi Prefecture]. The General Staff Office in Tokyo had had the information of the impending attacks in advance, so it had contacted the regional headquarters which then issued air raid alerts for the residents of those cities.

The regional headquarter in Hiroshima was in the underground vault to escape air raids. The next target might be Hiroshima. Ms. Oka and others were there the whole night, so that they could issue air raid alerts as soon as possible.

"Yes, we were tense, and unsettled. We were wondering what was going on that night. We stayed up all night, till the morning of August 6."

Slightly past 7AM, a solitary B29 entered Hiroshima, about one hour before the atomic bomb was to be dropped.

Major Eizo Hori's voice:

"About 7:20AM, there was a plane coming from Bungo Channel into Hiroshima. It was a B29. Judging by the radio wave it emitted, it was a weather reconnaissance plane."

Major Hori's analysis was correct. According to the mission order issued by the US government, it was a weather reconnaissance plane. The instruction was that the weather aircraft fly first, and using the call sign of "V675" instruct the "Enola Gay", which was following the weather aircraft.

Major Hori:

"Then, as it flew over Hiroshima, this B29 emitted short-wave signal, again it was in V600s. This was so out of the ordinary, we thought. We knew the "special task plane" was approaching."

However, the General Staff Office in Tokyo did not share this information with the regional headquarter in Hiroshima.

Not knowing the "special task plane" was following the weather reconnaissance plane, the regional headquarter called off the alert.

Ms. Yoshie Oka [who was at the regional headquarter running errands]:

"That plane flew over us without doing anything, and we were all relieved. The commander and his staff stayed up all night, so they thought it should be OK if they went back home, eat something and take a short 30-minute nap and come back."

Voice of Lieutenant Guggenbach, who was on board a B29 following "Enola Gay" to document the bombing:

"...none of our planes were ever shot at. Never saw a flight.. Prior to getting to Hiroshima, I did get out of my seat and I did stand behind the bombardier and the pilot. So I did have a look straight at the front of the plane."


Destroyed Hiroshima, without even an air raid siren:

Unprotected, many residents perished.


(34:10 - Why the information wasn't used)

Why didn't the top military officials give the information of the "special task plane" to the Hiroshima regional headquarter? We still don't know the answer.

Mr. Ryoji Hasegawa, who worked in the special intelligence unit, saw in this very room his superior mortified because the information they conveyed to the top officials hadn't been used.

"His face said everything - 'My opinion was not accepted. I am so frustrated.'"

(Hasegawa continues with some heat:)

"'Japan was being attacked, to death probably, and yet people are too slow to respond.' My superior's recognition was not shared with the other members of the General Staff Office."


(35:16 - Hiroshima)

Ms. Yoshie Oka again. She was working as a student at the regional headquarter. Although she was only 700 meters away from the hypocenter, she was unharmed because she was in the underground vault. But her 60 classmates who were out in the nearby field all perished.

If only there had been an air raid alert. Ms. Oka is chagrined even today.

"We were working in this underground vault, and we were saved, with no injuries. If there had been an early air raid alert and people had taken shelters in the underground vaults, many people wouldn't have had to die, many more people would have survived."

Ms. Oka tended her injured classmates after the bomb dropped. But all she could do was to watch them die, one after another.

"A mother was holding her badly injured daughter and cried. But the daughter said, 'Don't cry, mother. I am dying, serving the country.' And she made a smile on her badly burned face and died peacefully. Every day was like that. It was hard. All we could do was to watch."


(37:45 - August 7, August 8)

August 7, the day after the bombing of Hiroshima. Even after the news of destruction of Hiroshima reached them, the Imperial Army wouldn't admit it was an atomic bomb.

Shigenori Togo, Foreign Minister, demanded the affirmation of the fact. To that, the Imperial Army staff answered,

"The US is saying it was an atomic bomb, but it is also possible that it was just a conventional bomb with large explosive power."

Minister Togo said the Army, who denied the existence of an atomic bomb, was trying to minimize the effect of the bomb as little as possible.

However, the General Staff Office admitted, among themselves, that it was an atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.

On August 8, two days after the bomb was dropped, an award ceremony was performed by the General Staff Office in the courtyard of the headquarter of the special intelligence unit. The feat of identifying the call sign of the B29 that dropped the atomic bomb was hailed as great achievement.

We found someone who was present at the ceremony. Mr. Kunio Tanaka, 90, was a captain of the special intelligence unit. Mr. Tanaka listened to the officer from the General Staff Office explaining that the B29 with the call sign in V600s was carrying an atomic bomb.

"'The plane was carrying the most terrible weapon, atomic bomb. If the same kind of planes come again, we will stop them. We will pursue and destroy them. You all did a great job.' We received the praise from him."

However, the very next day, the same tragedy was repeated in Nagasaki.


(41:08 - August 9)

Before dawn on August 9. The same call sign came in - V675, exactly the same as in Hiroshima. It was coming from Tinian Island, just like before.

We found someone who was monitoring this very call sign. Mr. Arao Ota, 90, was a lieutenant in the intelligence unit. He spoke about the day for the first time on camera.

"It was the same special radio wave used by the B29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. It was coming from the airfield on Tinian Island. We didn't know what it said, all we knew was the radio wave was emitted. But it was me who caught the call sign. I knew it was out of the ordinary, I felt fear. I thought there was a high probability that within a few hours an atomic bomb would be dropped somewhere in Japan."

This information did reach the top officers in the military. We found the document that backs it up, at the Military History Department of the Ministry of Defense.

It was Lieutenant Colonel Tadao Inoue of the General Staff Office who left the document. He was a close advisor to Chief of General Staff Yoshijiro Umezu.

This is a memorandum kept by Lieutenant Colonel Inoue. There was a running note on August 9, 1945:

"Special bomb V675. We knew in advance, via communication [radio wave], 5 hours before Nagasaki was bombed."

So, the information of the bomber with atomic bomb approaching had indeed reached the top of the General Staff Office 5 hours before the bombing.


(44:15 - Omura airbase)

Omura Airbase, 15 kilometers north of Nagasaki. In order to protect the entire Kyushu, a detachment of fighter planes was stationed in the airbase.

Mr. Minoru Honda, 88, was a pilot there. Mr. Honda and his fellow pilots flew "Shidenkai" (Purple Thunder). Shidenkai was one of the few fighter planes that could go as high as B29, to 10,000 meters. Mr. Honda says he was determined to take out B29 with the atomic bomb if it came again, even if that meant a suicide attack.

Mr. Honda happened to witness the atomic bomb explosion in Hiroshima from the sky two days earlier. He was on his way from Hyogo to his base in Omura.

"Just as I was flying over the Hiroshima Castle, I was blown off the course. The heavy Shidenkay was blown off. The plane became uncontrollable, and I must have dropped at least 500 meters. I finally regained control of the plane, and looked up ahead. Then I saw a cloud of red and black rapidly rising. The city of Hiroshima, which I had just looked on moments ago, disappeared. I couldn't see the city. I thought I had gone crazy. I couldn't tell if that was real."


(46:45 - Nagasaki bombing)

August 9, 9AM. After taking off Tinian, the B29 with the second atomic bomb was approaching Kyushu - "Bockscar". It went first to Kokura City in Fukuoka Prefecture, but since the visibility was bad it moved on to the second target, Nagasaki.

However, no order came to Mr. Honda's unit to make a sortie. That B29 was approaching Nagasaki was confirmed, but they weren't told the B29 was carrying an atomic bomb.

Shidenkai pilot Minoru Honda looks puzzled:

"B29 is not impregnable. I actually shot it down. It is extremely difficult, but it's not impossible to shoot it down. Even today, I am vexed. Why didn't they issue us a sortie order? They lacked information that much?"


(48:35 - What the top echelon of the military was doing when the bomb dropped in Nagasaki)

August 9, 10:30AM. The Conference of Supreme Leaders of War was on-going at the Imperial Palace all morning. They had received information of further deterioration of the war.

On August 9, 1945, Soviet Union, which had remained neutral, declared war against Japan, and the troops were crossing the Manchurian border.

The topic of the meeting that day was whether to accept the Potsdam Declaration and make an unconditional surrender. But if they surrendered, what would happen to the status of the Emperor? Would they be harshly prosecuted as war criminals? They couldn't decide what to do.

The top military officers present in the meeting, including Chief of Staff Umezu, insisted that it was possible to continue the war even after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and said the following:

Umezu: "It is true that the damage from the atomic bomb is extremely heavy, but I doubt that the US can keep using the bombs one after another."

There will be no atomic bombing the second time. As the B29 with the atomic bomb was approaching Nagasaki, the military was repeating the baseless assertion. [NHK's word, literally.]

At 11:02AM, while the meeting was still on-going, an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

Again, there wasn't even an air raid siren.


(51:10 - Aftermath - "Day after the fair")

Mr. Arao Ota, who caught the call sign from Tinian Island and reported on the danger of the second atomic bombing, still can't understand.

"I am so mortified. We knew it! If they used the information and did all they could, then we might have been able to accept it. But there was no indication that they used the information. All the more I'm mortified."

Major Eizo Hori, who reported the information collected by the special intelligence unit to the top officers in the General Staff Office, had hardly anything to say about the Nagasaki bombing. In his post-war document, he simply wrote:

"The same call sign was caught again on August 9, but nothing was done. A day after the fair."

Mr. Minoru Honda, who was waiting for a sortie order at Omura Airbase, was ordered to carry injured people to the hospitals after the bombing.

"I can't forget, till I die. People without any hair, naked with no clothes on, melted. How could a horrendous thing like this be allowed in this world? I cried and cried. I didn't even know why I was crying. I still remember. I feel helpless. As a soldier, I feel helpless, I feel sorry."

We shared our new information with Mr. Honda, that the top military officers had information of the bomber with the atomic bomb approaching Nagasaki 5 hours in advance. The truth, the first time in 66 years.

(Mr. Honda says in a shaky voice, in sheer disbelief, disgust, and anger:)


"So they knew. Then why didn't they issue orders? 5 hours were more than enough to thoroughly prepare."


"So this is Japan. Such a thing, I think it will happen again, if we let them get away with it."


(55:20 - burning the record)

On August 11, with Japan's surrender all but certain, an order was issued to the special intelligence unit - destroy all information, including intelligence information, kept at the headquarter in Tokyo.

Mr. Ryoji Hasegawa was ordered to burn the documents. He says with some heat:

"I was told to burn them, and then turn them into dust. Destroy evidence. Destroy evidence of the existence of the unit."

Mr. Hasegawa says he kept burning the documents there, until the day of surrender.

Everything, including the fact that the Imperial Army knew about the activities surrounding the atomic bombing, was made to cease to exist.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Atomic bombs dropped on defenseless people. Many lives and living were destroyed in an instant.

Knowing the grave danger approaching, the military leaders did not share the information. Two tragedies keep asking us about the responsibility of those who lead the nation.



This is beyond incompetence. They purposefully withheld the key information and lied.

NHK does not speculate why the top military (essentially the government) decided to sit on the information, but the documentary seems almost begging us to "read between the lines" when the scene was described with highest ranking officers and government officials meeting to decide what to do on the day of Nagasaki bombing.

Excuse can be made for the Imperial Army that by that time, having tens of thousands of people killed on one bombing raid must have seemed like nothing. In March that year, more than 100,000 people perished in Tokyo in one night in a massive incendiary bombing. Hundreds of B29 had been dropping bombs indiscriminately over cities. A few B29s flying toward Hiroshima may have hardly seemed worthy of any attention, even though they were with the peculiar call signs and did unusual things (like short-wave communication to Washington).

But all they needed to do might have been to sound an air raid siren so that people would stay in bomb shelters, and to send fighter planes to at least harass the B29s so that the B29s would abandon the missions (and drop the charge in the ocean, instead of over the targets).

Instead, they withheld, lied. The B29s were uncontested. It is almost as if the military wanted the bombs to go off.

The documentary was aired two years ago. Since then, arm-chair general (or I should say cosplay tank commander) Shinzo Abe has become the prime minister for the second time. Despite the revelation from, of all people, NHK, most Japanese don't seem to care that ordinary Japanese in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were essentially abandoned by the central government in August 1945. From what I can tell, this documentary doesn't seem to have caused much impact in Japan at all.

The Japanese continue to let them get away with it.

It is an inconvenient truth, which doesn't suit anyone's narrative. The Japanese government wouldn't want to admit to any of this, after 68 years of having gotten away with it. Japanese people who condemn senseless killing of civilians by the US using atomic bombs would want to keep their narrative that the attacks were "surprise attacks" by the US. They have to remain the victims of the atomic bombs dropped by the US. They probably wouldn't want to admit that they were victims of their own government.

Mr. Honda the Shidenkai pilot said it will be repeated if people let them get away with it. Many would say it has been repeated, most recently on March 11, 2011 and its aftermath. It will be repeated.


P.S. Chief of Staff Yoshijiro Umezu received a sentence of life in prison in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, but died while in prison in 1949 because of colon cancer. If he lived, I have no doubt that he was pardoned, like most others who also received the life sentence. He is enshrined in Yasukuni Shrine.


wren said...

Again, a sincere thank you.

For English readers, a good account of the effects of the bomb is in John Hersey's book, Hiroshima.

Anonymous said...

How do you get "There will be no atomic bombing the second time" from "I doubt that the US can keep using the bombs one after another."?

He was right. The US only had the two bombs, and they didn't want to drop either but were left no choice other than a land invasion which would have killed far more civilians. A third bomb would have been ready mid-August and maybe 2-3 more per month afterwards. Then they would have to be delivered which would have been a lot more difficult after Hiroshima/Nagasaki (see: U.S.S. Indianapolis).

Anonymous said...

"I can't forget, till I die. People without any hair, naked with no clothes on, melted. How could a horrendous thing like this be allowed in this world? I cried and cried. I didn't even know why I was crying. I still remember. I feel helpless. As a soldier, I feel helpless, I feel sorry."

I wonder how he thinks the sailors at Pearl Harbor felt?

Apolline said...

What is the real reason of japanese's silence ? The real reason.

Anonymous said...

My Japanese father-in-law, who for some reasons ( high-level education or other kind of skills - though he hated war ) had to serve in China ( awful experience he said ) told my wife, his daughter, that he wasn't against the N. bomb.
Why ? Because it put a faster end to Japanese people's suffering under the government of that time.
I'm just reporting a fact here.
As I was a common politically correct European thinker at that time, which means against the N. Bomb, it was very puzzling and informative for me.
He wasn't a fool, and his family was long-time into diplomacy.
Surprise, surprise.
Learn a new lesson every day.
Of course I don't mean it wasn't awful for H. and N. people.


Anonymous said...

I meant
" had to serve in China in some special teams "


netudiant said...

Just outstanding research!
I am stunned by the effectiveness of the Japanese intelligence. They had the bomb program reasonably pegged, got notice of the Trinity test (one wonders how) and identified and tracked the 509th bomb group aircraft.
That the leadership failed to act on these insights even minimally is hard to understand.
That the intelligence people involved kept silent for so long is also hard to understand.

The concern is obviously that we are perhaps experiencing something similar currently.
Are nuclear engineering experts offering insights that the leadership again resolutely ignores?

Apolline said...

First part translated...

I start the second one. Longer than the first one. But asked by my readers.

Thank you again, Ultraman.

Anonymous said...

It was completely unnecessary to use the bomb - it is well documented that the Japanese had been trying to get out of the war (via Russian diplomatic channels) for months at the point of its use. Many would argue that the termination of that option - through the military intervention of the Soviets in the Japanese arena on the 9th of August 1945 had a far greater influence on the decision of the Japanese government to surrender, than the atomic bombings. After all, more than 60 cities had been decimated by B-29 firebombing by that point, so 2 further cities were 'more of the same' in the context...

Why then was the weapon used and why on cities rather than military targets? In the view of many historians, it was simply an experiment - the US wanted to know what the effects of the weapon would be in combat.

What intrigues me about this article is the implication that the government actively held back from stopping the atomic raids, despite having plenty of forewarning. This opens up the possibility of collusion between the US and Japanese military at some level. Is it possible that high ranking Japanese military staff had been offered reduced punishment terms post war in return for such collusion?

In support of this, it has always struck me as odd that the atomic raids had no fighter cover! Okinawa and Iwo Jima air bases were easily in range for land based fighter cover (e.g. using P-51's) for both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It seems extremely suspicious that none was provided given the importance of the raids and that fighter cover was routinely provided during B-29 fire-bombing raids in previous actions...

VyseLegendaire said...

I think what's amazing here is that there is anybody left on planet earth with a shred of faith left in the 'government.' Governments throughout history have lied, cheated, stolen from, and enslaved their populace.

Pearl Harbor, Hioshima & Nagasaki, 9/11, 3/11.... all were predicted and/or fully aware of ahead of time by our 'leaders' and yet we still cling to them for protection, years after our bondage and their depredation became obvious.

The answer to this quandary is obvious – obliviate your allegiance to the state and become a stateless person, only relying on yourself and your own determination to decide what is the true and how to be safe.

This probably includes ignoring NHK who by spending so much time and effort obviating the obvious, is engaged in a propaganda campaign of epic extent with this project.

Charles said...

_The New Dealers' War_ chronicles the horrific decision of F D Roosevelt to conduct the war with a simple phrase:

"Unconditional Surrender".

Once he ordered this, the European and Pacific Wars were destined to murder countless civilians. The book begins with the leaking of "Rainbow 5" and proceeds to show with certainty that FDR, having decided to run for the Presidency on the Platform of Peace with no U.S. involvement in the European War, secretly and intentionally maneuvered the U.S. to prepare and engage in an all out war.


Anonymous said...

Anon at 2:35AM with Pearl Harbor reference, study history and grow up.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 12:59, I'm not quite sure what you mean by calling 2:35 ignorant and immature, but it does you no credit. His comment was restrained compared to what he might have said. Many outside of Japan are deeply offended by those Japanese who play the victim of the atomic bomb attacks, yet still fail to acknowledge the systematic atrocities committed by the Japanese during their push for imperial expansion, and the 20 to 30 million civilians murdered during the conflict. Mr. Minoru Honda's shock at witnessing the impact of war on his countrymen is understandable, but one wonders whether he experienced any similar feeling for the far more numerous victims of other nationalities and ethnicities who suffered and died at the hands of the Japanese military.

NY UltraBuddha said...

Thank you for these two posts. I had not known of this history. But it is something everyone should know both here in the US and in Japan.

Ro said...

Thank you always for your hard work. This is an excellent coverage, as always. I also happen to be reading this book called "Genbaku no himitsu: Showa Tenno wa shitteita" by a guy called Onizuka Hideaki. I don't know much about the author other than the fact that he tends to write historical non-fictions that questions mainstream interpretations of histories. I'm just perusing through it but I'm sort of curious what you think about it. There is a domestic kokunai version (vol. 1) and kaigaihen (vol.2). Published by Seiko Shobo, which is a minor publisher too, so ... if you get your hands on them I'm curious what you think about it. Please keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Netudiant hello,
Warren Buffet called the cdo and cds weapons or tools of massive ( financial ) destruction.
Retrospectively, the financial crash was deciphered more clearly and openly than in the case here.
Yet... well everyone has his understanding about this.
Still whistle blowers could be heard, but the bulldozer kept on full steam for the cliff. Trillions of USD worth that was hot air actually dispeared for good.
I have no clear thinking about your question. I just know that what the army experts did with a specific purpose was then transferred to the civilian use of atomic energy with many unanswered questions : waste, safety, decontamination and even the real cost of this energy.
Toto, for a change.

doitujin said...

Thank you for posting this!

netudiant said...

You are so right, we have recent and ongoing examples of similar blindness, in finance, nuclear, environmental policy, education, security etc. So we only use this nuclear bombing example as an especially focused illustration of a larger problem.
We recognize that it is not a Japanese issue, but rather a structural flaw in organizational communications globally.
Even so, it is still surprising to me that there was not a Japanese military man analogous to the hedge fund manager Paulson,(who got Goldman to structure and sell a security that he could short) with the force to act within his military authority to send up the interceptors at Nagasaki.
Your point regarding nuclear energy however is a wonderful example of the biblical wisdom that 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions'. President Eisenhower was determined to find a peaceful use for nuclear energy, so a Navy reactor was pressed into service as a utility power generator. That simple decision, the rush to do good, poisoned the well, because all the questions that your comment raises were brushed aside. A more cautious and deliberate approach might have allowed the nuclear industry to evolve more rationally. We are still paying for that 'noble intention'.

Anonymous said...

I can not see how nuclear industry could have evolved more rationally. Nuclear generation is tied to nuclear proliferation and, as such, its main rationale is the rationale of mutual nuclear destruction.

On a separate line, Perl Harbour, Hiroshima, Nagasaki... once you replace people's heads with helmets it's always the same story. Protesting that you suffered a surprise attack or that you were singled out for an atomic test is an attempt to state that you are 'better' than the 'enemy', which is always a dangerous statement.


Anonymous said...

Good day Ultramansan.
Your effort in sharing information otherwise accessible only for japanese-speaking/reading people is really praiseworthy.
Some see the fact that the populace in Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been left alone to his own terrific destiny as something "beyond sheer incompetence" or even the sign of an "evil pact" between USA and Japan high rank officers to whom a not too harsh treatment would have been granted by US forces if they favored the collapse of Japan.
Well, i too see the evil but not there. I'm not japanese so may be i'm misinterpreting japan's honorable culture but as far as i've understood, defeat, humiliation is a great dishonor for japanese. Indeed i do see people who where in charge of deciding whether to surrender or not, the top ranks, *paralyzed* by fear, terror, discouragement, humiliation! much like a boxer, facing defeat, who doesn't even has the force nor the will to rise his arms in order to at least protect his face from the punches of the challenger.
This is war, and that's EVIL, and that's why war is ALWAYS evil no matter for whatever good reason may have been started, exactly as there is no RIGHT or CIVIL use of nuclear power.
I really do hope that people on earth soon or later will understand that.

Anonymous said...

The US has pushed the idea that the bombings were needed to end the war. This idea is practically dogma in the US. If you actually look at the goings on leading up to the bombings the US didn't NEED to do them to end the war. They did it to show the Russians the US had the capability. Greg Mitchell has some good documentation of the real political maneuverings going on at the end of the war that led up to the bombings

People in the US need to forget what they were told in school and do some deeper investigation into the end of the war.

Peak Everything, Fiat To Zero said...

I wonder how he thinks the sailors at Pearl Harbor felt?

The Japanese always said it was the US who started it:

Japanese Submarine Sunk at Pearl Harbor Is Found

Anonymous said...

"I wonder how he thinks the sailors at Pearl Harbor felt?"
What? Hey guys, this is propaganda!
"Our" newspapers are full of sorrow and grievance for "our" "poor" soldiers fallen while accomplishing their "duty" on foreign lands such Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. BUT the same newspapers prise "our" soldier's courage and braveness when they kill in "heroic", harsh fight a not better defined "enemy". No sorrow for them, they are "enemies", may be even "terrorists"!
So what? How can we only even think of comparing children, women, elderly people, simple workers, CIVILIAN, normal people doing their best to live an honourable, decent life, even in the face of a war, completely swept away, all of a sudden, melted, burned to ashes, vaporized in a fraction of a second, not to mention all other people later dead by acute radiation sickness; compare all of them with soldiers, with people who get paid for killing AND, eventually, BE KILLED!
Please, don't misunderstand me. I'm not stating that civilian victims are bad and military are good! No, i'm not saying this!
I'm only saying that atrocity in killing people, bombarding cities, towns, villages, especially with atom bombs, simply makes all other forms of atrocity pale in comparison.
Please don't dishonour the innocent victims of wars, all wars!

Anonymous said...

It would seem that the Japanese and US governments were both following the same script. The question is, 'Who wrote the script?" and "Why were the Japanese and US governments the followers of this script?"

Anonymous said...

The script was prepared by the "Global power elite" and they were preparing the U.S for the so called "cold war" while they set up America to fall. Welcome to the "New world order" and there is nothing new about it. Study history (not the revisionist version) and it's all there to be gleaned. May those who have eyes see that we have been snookered.

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Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

This carries as much credibility as the tall tales from elderly Russians about the 1962 Cuban IRBM showdown that get more and more fantastic and bizarre as the decades roll on.

Unknown said...

Séparation of U235 aND U233 from U238 is indeed difficult and the difficulty of that task remains the basis of non-proliferation. Japanese nuclear science had not advanced so far as Plutonium, whereas the US had sufficient to use one bomb worth in the TRINITY implosion bomb test, using 6% enriched Uranium as fuel in reactors, while 90+% is needed for small but reliable (hence untested before Hiroshima) Uranium gun type bombs.

Unknown said...

Japanese cities during wwii were legitimate military targets, with military production decentralized into private homes, right down to the presence of lathe, mill, or press in almost every home. Hiroshima had a regional headquarters, army group head quarters, supply depot, military port, and biological warfare agent production factory. Nagasaki had a Mitsubishi steel mill and a torpedo factory on either side of ground zero

Anonymous said...

Was it because it being generally known that the US had atomic bombs might give a stronger hand to those who wished to surrender and stop ALL the destruction led the army to resist acknowledging the truth about it? We know there were attempts by the military to prevent the surrender right up to the time it was effected.

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