9 Jun 2022


Necessity of the Bombing of Japan

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Academic level: College

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The atomic bombing of Japan was necessary to end the Pacific war, a mission that Truman was obliged to accomplish. Truman had just taken over the office after the death of President Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s measures were aimed at ending the Pacific war; unfortunately he died before he could accomplish his goals. Walter says that President Truman “was committed to carrying out Roosevelt’s legacy” (Walter, 2016). Truman worked hand in hand with his predecessor’s advisors who helped him understand the goals of Roosevelt. By bombing Japan, President Truman would end the war and thus complete Roosevelt’s legacy. 

One cannot deny the presence of alternative measures in ending the war such as the use of massive raids and the conventional bombing of Japanese home islands. Unfortunately, the alternatives were not futile as the Japanese were steadfast in the war. For instance, the massive raid in March 1945 in Tokyo, which “killed 100,000 Japanese” and resulted in more 500,000 casualties did not convince the Japanese to end the war (Walter, 2016). Besides, the Japanese emperor had been given several warning through leaflets to surrender but he did not heed. The former president had offered Japan an opportunity to end the war and he promised to let go armies involved in peace. Further, the president gave assurance that the Japanese would not be enslaved or destroyed for surrendering. Instead, the president promised trade for peaceful industries. Additionally, civilians would enjoy basic rights such as freedom of religion and speech. In the warnings, the Japanese emperor was warned of prompt and utter destruction if he failed to surrender. 

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President Truman had a duty to protect and assure the Americans of peaceful living. Evidently, there was good progress as the European war was ending. Unfortunately, the progress was not enough for the nation to experience positive economic growth as the Pacific war was persistent. Additionally, tension from the Soviet Union increasingly overwhelmed the United States. Thus, it was necessary for Truman to take up quick measures that would that would “keep the United States from plunging back into depression” (Walter, 2016). The bombing of Japan would shorten the war and give the United States an opportunity to grow economically. 

Importantly, the veteran Japanese armies were undeniably brutal. According to Walter, the “Americans detested the Japanese with special ferocity for the hideous atrocities that the imperial army had committed” (2016). The Japanese militaries committed several atrocities throughout the Pacific and Asia. The armies murdered civilians, tortured and executed prisoners, raped women, and forced others to be sexual slaves. Thus, the invasions of that were made on Japanese islands would have led the death of numerous American civilians. The Japanese were determined to fight to the death in retaliation for the invasions. The increased resistance from Japan was a threat to America and thus bombing was necessary to save the lives of civilians. Importantly, the war would have saved the Japanese civilians who also suffered the repercussions of the war such as death and casualties. 

Besides, Truman did not have to work out projects for the bombing as the Manhattan project that was initiated by Roosevelt was already present. Thus, Truman had all it takes to end the Pacific war. One would argue that it was unethical for the president to think of using the bomb on civilians as a way of ending the war. However, the cost of ending the Pacific war using the bombs was much higher than a fight to the death. In any case, the Japanese would not hesitate to use the weapons had they a chance. 


Walker, J. S. (2016).  Prompt and utter destruction: Truman and the use of atomic bombs against Japan . UNC Press Books. 

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