The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Hiroshima was necessary

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/23/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 963 times Debate No: 18936
Debate Rounds (3)
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I am challenging CAPLlock to this debate. It consists of 3 rounds-
1st round - Acceptance
2nd round - Arguments
3rd round - Rebuttal
I look forward to what i hope will be an intriguing debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Let us begin.
People have argued, since 1945, that the famous nuclear bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which brought a final end to World War 2, was unnecessary. I maintain that it was necessary because it was simply the only way to end the war. The Japanes had proven, over many occasions, that they would not surrender, choosing to fight to the death. The Japanese were severely weakened by then, but gave no indication whatsoever that they would surrender. Emperor Hirohitio refused to surrender to the Americans. What they needed was a crippling blow to morale, a super-weapon that could destroy entire cities. They had one, thanks to project Manhattan. The massive loss of civilian life was deeply regretted, but it saved many more lives by ensuring Japan's surrender. Japanese soldiers were fanatics, and their Emperor stubborn and uncompromising. The bombing was the only way. I await your argument.


The Japanese treated their leaders as if they were gods. This is a key point. There had to be a way to end the war and save the leaders 'face'. So a peace treaty that states the ruler can stay in power may have created the wanted effect.
Debate Round No. 2


You have studied Japanese philosophy, I see. However, as I said, the Emperor at that time, Hirohito, was uncompromising. His men were fanatics and he was, as you said, seen as a god. He probably believed that he could not be defeated, so he would not surrender. His surrender came as a shock to the Japanese people. A peace treaty may have worked earlier on in the war, but at this point the Japanese were past negotiations.


The Emperor stays

Ultimately, Japan was allowed to keep her Emperor. But the Emperor's retention was not established with complete explicitness at the time of Japan's surrender. Two main factors helped Japan's doves resolve the issue:

The atomic bomb had shown the doves that they had run out of time and that further delay would result in the Emperor's demise.
While the Allied surrender terms did not explicitly guarantee the Emperor's retention, neither did they refuse the request made by Japan to the Allies on August 10, 1945 to keep the Emperor.
Moreover, the August 11, 1945 Allied response referred to the Emperor's continuing role in Japanese government: "the authority of the Emperor and the Japanese Government to rule the state shall be subject to the Supreme Commander of the Allied powers" (Butow, pg. 245). Sec. of War Stimson later explained, "the Allied reply... implicitly recognized the Emperor's position by prescribing that his power must be subject to the orders of the Allied supreme commander" (Stimson & Bundy, pg. 627).

The Japanese government correctly interpreted this and other statements in the Allied surrender terms to mean that the Emperor could be retained. On August 14 the Emperor told Japan's cabinet, "I have studied the Allied reply and concluded that it virtually acknowledges the position of our note [requesting the Emperor's retention] sent a few days ago. I find it quite acceptable." (Toland, pg. 936-937). With this reassurance and at the Emperor's "desire", on August 14 the Japanese Cabinet unanimously signed the surrender document, agreeing to Allied terms (Toland, pg. 939).

Altho the Japanese military still wished to fight on as late as August 14, it was the doves rather than the hawks in Japan's government who had the final say. As mentioned earlier, it was the atomic bomb plus the belief that the Emperor might be retained that finally led the doves to play their trump card: the direct intervention of the Emperor requesting the Cabinet to surrender immediately.

Were Atomic Attacks Necessary?
Debate Round No. 3
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2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: 3 days passed between both atomic bombs, so if japan was undecided over peace AFTER the first nuke went off, and a SECOND was needed then i would say it is necessary. Con did have a dam good argument so i gave him sources just to give him some points, pretty good debate despite its briefness
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:41 
Reasons for voting decision: use scources