The Instigator
Reigon
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Ameliamk1
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points

The use of Atomic bombs on Japan was justified.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Ameliamk1
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/17/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 486 times Debate No: 92854
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (4)

 

Reigon

Con

I support the use of Atomic bombs as it was the best option available to prevent the least causalities possible.

Round 1: Introduction
Round 2: Argument
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Conclusion
Ameliamk1

Pro

For the purposes of this debate, I will be arguing that the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was conducted without a reasonable exploration of possible alternatives, with questionable motives, and resulted in a very unsavory precedent. I will also contend that the claim that the defeat of Japan would've involved an extremely costly ground invasion is at best overblown, and more likely an outright falsehood.

Good luck to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 1
Reigon

Con

Good luck to you as well, I'll begin my argument, I will be copy pasting while editing partially my initial argument with someone else (they FF'd.)

1. Japanese government had no intention of surrendering during WWII. Diplomacy is a far better answer but it's not always an option. Just to prove even further that Japan had no intention of surrendering:
"After the Hiroshima attack, a faction of Japan"s supreme war council favored acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration, but the majority resisted unconditional surrender. "
Japanese government was willing to fight to the last man, woman or child. Even after the atomic bomb in Hiroshima they had little to no intention of surrendering.
Even after the second bomb on Nagasaki with Japan's surrender a portion of the military did not want to surrender and staged a military coup.
"In the early hours of August 15, a military coup was attempted by a faction led by Major Kenji Hatanaka. The rebels seized control of the imperial palace and burned Prime Minister Suzuki"s residence, but shortly after dawn the coup was crushed."

2. So because the Japanese government had no intention of surrendering the war would've continued. An invasion was one of the options available to end the war. The invasion would've been known as Operation Downfall:
"The Joint Chiefs of Staff estimated that Olympic alone would cost 456,000 men, including 109,000 killed. Including Coronet, it was estimated that America would experience 1.2 million casualties, with 267,000 deaths."
The casualties for an invasion would've been tremendous, those figures are only for the Ally side, imagine how much devastation and deaths Japan would've faced from an invasion. The atomic bomb prevented a need for an invasion.
The other option would be a Naval blockade to cut supplies into Japan. As you know Japanese government had little intention of surrendering and starvation would've been spread across Japan killing unimaginable millions.

3. It's wrong to target civilians but war is never a clear right or wrong path. Extending the war would've caused even more deaths on both sides.
Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night was a plan developed by Japanese unit 731 (I'm sure you know about the atrocities committed by that unit)
"Rats infested with plague-carrying fleas were also released by the Japanese. Nobuo Kamaden, a former Unit 731 member, spoke of releasing 500-gram rats with 3,000 plague-carrying fleas into local populations. Chinese prisoners called 'logs' were infected with the plague. Autopsies were performed on these prisoners without the benefit of anesthesia and before they had fully died to harvest fresh tissue samples and infected organs. It was reported that Ishii had devised Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night, a plan to send kamikaze bombers loaded with plague to San Diego, California. The operation was scheduled for 22 September 1945. The Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945."

This operation planned from Japan was halted by Japanese surrender before it could be carried out. If the war continued the operation COULD (as you know it didn't happen as the war ended before then but it's clear Japan had intentions of carrying out the operation) have been initiated causing unimaginable causalities on American civilians.

Source:
http://www.history.com...
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk...
Ameliamk1

Pro


I thank my opponent for his opening statement.



For the sake of organization, here are the contentions I will be arguing:




  1. Japan was, in fact, in a position of imminent surrender.

  2. Japan had neither the resources nor the means to continue fighting or launch overseas attacks.

  3. There were numerous unexplored alternatives to the use of nuclear force.




1: My opponent makes the case that Japan was not prepared or willing to surrender in mid-1945, based on public displays of resilience and statements affirming this by civil servants of the Emperor. This simply cannot serve as an accurate representation of Japan’s actual position during the period. Japanese political leaders and high-ranking government official were essentially duty-bound to never admit any sort of defeat; it was a cultural and legal matter. After every military defeat, Japanese potentates would claim that the loss was intentional, and part of a bigger plan to defeat the United States.(1)Furthermore, the Japanese people believed up until the unconditional surrender that Japan was winning the war, and would never consider giving up. The propaganda from Japanese media and leaders kept them utterly convinced until the end. The leadership in Japan was going to say these things no matter the circumstances, and thus their statements and actions are insufficient evidence to conclude Japan would not have surrendered without the use of nuclear weapons.


Instead, the actual evidence must be examined, to determine what was really being thought and discussed among Japan’s decision-makers. In 1946, one years after the end of the war, President Truman, who had ordered the bombings himself, commissioned a study by the Strategic Bombing Survey Group, to determine whether the bombs were necessary. (2) The following conclusion was reached:



“Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945 and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.” (3)


In other words, no other outside pressure would have been required to force Japan’s surrender; it was inevitable given their country’s condition. Future president Dwight D. Eisenhower, the most influential general of WW2, said of the bombs, “The Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them”. (4)It’s interesting to note that other figures from the time who said that the bombs would not be necessary included General McArthur, the Admiral of the US Navy William Leahy, Secretary of War Henry Stimson, Secretary of the Navy Ralph Bird, Director of Naval intelligence Ellis Zacharias, and many others. (5) Most of these men were not even consulted about the use of the bomb despite being military experts.


In conclusion, the evidence clearly demonstrates that despite their public impression, Japan was in every sense prepared to surrender, and the use of the most destructive weapons in human history, or the conducting of a massive, costly invasion, would simply not be necessary.



2: Even if the high-ups in Japan had wanted to continue the fight indefinitely, the country lacked the funding or the ability to defend itself, let alone launch an attack. My opponent claims Japan was going to launch a massive biological attack on America’s West Coast, but surrendered before the plan could be put into action. Throughout the course of the war, the Japanese devised dozens of schemes to cause destruction and casualties in the United States, most of which were never attempted, and those that were carried out failed. (6) This one seems especially ridiculous, and operated on the assumption that Japan could spare a squadron of bombers and fighters, which could make it past US naval and air defenses, would survive all the way to San Francisco, before dropping a payload of diseased animals, which would successfully spread the plague and cause untold deaths. My opponent must realize this is incredibly weak.


Japan was materially defeated. Virtually uncontested conventional air raids were constantly weakening Japan’s military assets, and even massive bombing raids on the capital of the country, Tokyo, enjoyed minimal casualties. (7) Blockades of every major port in Japan went unchallenged and prevented resources from entering, and military assets or potential threats from leaving. (8) Secretary Stimson said, “Japan had no allies; its navy was almost destroyed; its islands were under a naval blockade; and its cities were undergoing concentrated air attacks.” (9)


Japan had reasonable manpower, but couldn’t equip their volunteers with the means to prevent bombings or artillery strikes, or provide enough food for a prolonged campaign. Being constantly barraged and weakened, Japan really could not keep fighting, even if they desired to.



3: Let’s assume for argument’s sake that Japan had no plans to surrender, and that it had plenty of resources left for continued combat, and that it posed a real threat to the American mainland. Even if we can assume all that, the deployment of atomic bombs on Japanese population centers would not immediately be justified, as there were many alternatives apparently never considered that would’ve rendered both the nuclear weapons and a ground invasion unneeded. Here are a few:



A: A Warning Shot/Demonstration



Although the US had promised “annihilation” to Japan, no mention of the bomb was ever made before its use. Had a warhead been dropped on a mostly uninhabited part of Japan, or over the ocean off the coast, the Japanese people as well as the authorities would have seen the power of the weapon, and would realize it could be used on Tokyo, or to target the Emperor. This would have likely been almost equally effective as simply dropping the bombs on civilian centers.



B: Let the Russians Handle It



Russia had every intention of entering the war against Japan, and the Japanese authorities were under no delusion that they had a chance against the Red Army. The Foreign Minister of Japan wrote to an ambassador, “It is clear as day that the Imperial Army in Manchukuo would be completely unable to oppose the Red Army which has just won a great victory and is superior to us on all points.” (10) In fact, the threat of Russian invasion is considered a factor almost equal to the atomic bombs in prompting surrender. The bombs were used a mere one week before the Russian invasion was scheduled, making the decision to use them even more bizarre.



C: Bomb Japan Into Submission



As the US was meeting little to no aerial resistance by the end of the war, and hitting Japanese military and civilian targets at will. The study commissioned by Truman said of the campaign, “Nevertheless, it seems clear that, even without the atomic bombing attacks, air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion.” (11) I’ll let that quote speak for itself.



Any of these three options, as well as others, would be very likely to force surrender, and in combination would almost guarantee it, casting even further doubt on the decision made to use the bombs.



Conclusion: I’m short on character, and will wrap this up quickly. The evidence is clear that Japan was out of resources, out of funds, and quickly running out of the will to fight. Brave words mean nothing when one is quite literally out of options. Japan would not and could not have continued the fight. And even if by some miracle they could, there were plenty of less costly and perfectly feasible possibilities of ending the war. The atomic bombings were not justified.



I thank my opponent again for initiating this debate, and look forward to his response. Due to character limits, sources are the in comments.


Debate Round No. 2
Reigon

Con

Looks like we're going to have an interesting debate, thanks!

"Japan was, in fact, in a position of imminent surrender.

Japan had neither the resources nor the means to continue fighting or launch overseas attacks.

There were numerous unexplored alternatives to the use of nuclear force."

I will be refuting the following during our debate:

Japan was in a position to surrender but the Japanese government had little to no intention of surrendering.

Japanese resources was becoming more and more scarce but the government had no intention of surrendering. To an extent I do agree they were losing their ability to wage conflicts overseas but if they wanted they could have.

There were numerous other alternatives to ending the war but the Atomic bomb was the best option to end the war as quickly as possible while causing minimum causalities.

"1: My opponent makes the case that Japan was not prepared or willing to surrender in mid-1945, based on public displays of resilience and statements affirming this by civil servants of the Emperor. This simply cannot serve as an accurate representation of Japan"s actual position during the period. Japanese political leaders and high-ranking government official were essentially duty-bound to never admit any sort of defeat; it was a cultural and legal matter. After every military defeat, Japanese potentates would claim that the loss was intentional, and part of a bigger plan to defeat the United States.(1)Furthermore, the Japanese people believed up until the unconditional surrender that Japan was winning the war, and would never consider giving up. The propaganda from Japanese media and leaders kept them utterly convinced until the end. The leadership in Japan was going to say these things no matter the circumstances, and thus their statements and actions are insufficient evidence to conclude Japan would not have surrendered without the use of nuclear weapons."

Japanese government had no intention of surrendering regardless of the bloodshed that would've ensured with a prolonged World War II. The Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima August 6, 1945 , even after the devastation as a result of the bomb the Japanese government refused to surrender.

"After the Hiroshima attack, a faction of Japan"s supreme war council favored acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration, but the majority resisted unconditional surrender."

This proves even when faced with the devastation of a single bomb that decimated an entire city the Japanese government was not wiling to surrender.

""Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey"s opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945 and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."
In conclusion, the evidence clearly demonstrates that despite their public impression, Japan was in every sense prepared to surrender, and the use of the most destructive weapons in human history, or the conducting of a massive, costly invasion, would simply not be necessary."

I do agree Japan would have surrendered but the issue is they had no intention of surrendering anytime soon and was wiling to prolong the war. As shown above even after Hiroshima, Japan was not willing to surrender. This shows how far their government was wiling to pursue the war.
Time is precious, as you said resources were getting scarce by the day but even then Japan was not wiling to surrender. The longer the war is delayed the more causalities Japanese civilians, military personnel, POWs etc would have faced as resources gets more scarce. Japanese government would have been willing to sacrifice those people to prolong the war as they strongly opposed the Potsdam Declaration. We could've easily prolonged the war with a Naval blockade but that would've resulted in even more causalities, especially on the Japanese side (I refer back to my proof above of the Japanese government not willing to surrender.)

"2: Even if the high-ups in Japan had wanted to continue the fight indefinitely, the country lacked the funding or the ability to defend itself, let alone launch an attack. My opponent claims Japan was going to launch a massive biological attack on America"s West Coast, but surrendered before the plan could be put into action. Throughout the course of the war, the Japanese devised dozens of schemes to cause destruction and casualties in the United States, most of which were never attempted, and those that were carried out failed. (6) This one seems especially ridiculous, and operated on the assumption that Japan could spare a squadron of bombers and fighters, which could make it past US naval and air defenses, would survive all the way to San Francisco, before dropping a payload of diseased animals, which would successfully spread the plague and cause untold deaths. My opponent must realize this is incredibly weak."

Japan at that time was known for their radical ideals, it's very hard to predict their intentions. They continued with their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor knowing that this attack will lead to the US intervening in WW2. They knew the capabilities of the US military yet they still chose to get the US involved.
In military conflicts they would conduct the "Banzai Charge" or "Banzai Counterattack" when on the verge of defeat. If they ran out of ammunition or failed to overrun the enemy they committed suicide.
Unit 731 (known for their infamous human experimentation to further biological and chemical warfare) is another example of Japan's radical ideals. I won't get too much into the Unit as it's despicable but this unit was responsible for Japanese plans to spread plagues/numerous other diseases onto the US.

Anyway only given these three facts of the Japan during that time you can tell were wiling to fight to the last man, woman and child.
"During the last months of the war, Ishii was preparing for a long-distance attack on the United States. This operation, codenamed "Cherry Blossoms at Night", called for the use of airplanes to spread plague over Southern California at night. The plan was finalized on March 26, 1945. Five of the new I-400-class long-range submarines were to be sent across the Pacific Ocean, each carrying three Aichi M6A Seiran aircraft loaded with plague-infected fleas. The submarines were to surface near San Diego and launch the aircraft towards the target, either to drop the plague via balloon bombs, or to crash in enemy territory. Either way, the plague would then infect people in the area and kill perhaps tens of thousands. The mission was extremely risky for the pilots and submariners, likely a one-way kamikaze mission. A pilot under the command of Ishii, Ishio Kobata, recalled the plan in 1998:"

Given Japan's radical methods of war, I would not gamble and allow them to commit even more atrocities with plans such as Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night.

I'm afraid I've ran out of characters so I'll be brief for the rest.
Japan was on the verge of defeat yes but they were not willing to surrender. Even with a lack of supplies they could've easily waged guerrilla warfare or any other methods of unconventional warfare.

Source:
http://www.history.com...
http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp...
http://www.unit731.org...
http://www.u-s-history.com...
https://www.awesomestories.com...
https://weaponsandwarfare.com...
http://fas.org...
Ameliamk1

Pro


I thank my opponent for his rebuttals.



I will be responding to my opponent in the order of the three original contentions.



1: Japan Was Preparing to Surrender



While it can be up to the judgment of the reader, I found very little to respond to on this point. My opponent provides no evidence or counter-evidence to demonstrate that Japan was not preparing to surrender, but simply reaffirmed that indeed they were not based the people’s suicidal devotion to their emperor. My opponent does address my single strongest piece of evidence, the post-war report that found the atomic bombings were unnecessary, but restates his argument, and does not in any way question the legitimacy of the study or its results.


In fact, not only was Japan almost certain to surrender without the use nuclear strikes, they were already in the process of doing so. (1)


“While publicly stating their intent to fight on to the bitter end, Japan's leaders (the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War, also known as the "Big Six") were privately making entreaties to the still-neutral Soviet Union to mediate peace on terms more favorable to the Japanese.” (2)


Japan were already engaged in peace-talks when the United States used the super-weapons. While obviously Truman and the other allies didn’t know about the secret talks, this fact once again demonstrates that Japan’s elite knew they were beat, and were more than willing to surrender. It also demonstrates that the bellicose rhetoric used by Japanese officials did not have any bearing on actual policy discussions.


Before I move on, I should address one point made by my opponent. He says, “Even after the devastation as a result of the bomb the Japanese government refused to surrender.” This argument is reinforced by the fact that much of the war council still opposed surrender. However, the point is ultimately void. Once again, it was the duty of Japanese leaders to be resilient, and I have firmly shown the disparity between what these leaders said and what they thought. More notably, though, is the fact that the opinion of the war council didn’t really matter in the end. “Emperor Hirohito intervened and ordered the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War to accept the terms the Allies had set down in the Potsdam Declaration for ending the war.” (3) The Emperor had the ultimate say, and he did not hesitate in commanding Japan to surrender. So while much of the Japanese government may have refused to surrender, the portion of the ruling body that mattered were already preparing to surrender before the bombs were dropped.



2: In response to my claim that Japan lacked the capability to defend themselves or launch any particularly dangerous counter-attacks. My opponent brings up Kamikaze attacks and the Japanese death squad, Unit 731, as well as quoting a long passage about Japan’s far-fetched plan to launch a biological assault on the United States. The latter is the only plan for which there is any indication Japan would have attempted as a last-ditch effort. However, as stated in round 2, I fail to see how the plan would have any hope of succeeding, even if it was carried out, which I doubt it would have been, since Japan devised dozens of ridiculous schemes to attack the US mainland, none of which had any notable effect. Also, is it really to be believed that a nation in surrender-talks with the Soviets and facing an imminent invasion would attempt to commit an act of mass biological murder, thus sealing their fate and ending their opportunity for favorable terms?



My opponent states that Japan was unpredictable (a “God works in mysterious ways” cop-out argument), and says “They continued with their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor knowing that this attack will lead to the US intervening in WW2.” I’m sorry, but this demonstrates a lack of research and understanding about the time period. It is inherently false. Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in a wrong-headed attempt to prevent the US from joining the war, not to encourage it. (4) Japan saw the US as weak and believed one decisive strike would keep the US uninvolved. Japan’s attack on the naval base was in no way designed to pull the US into the conflict.



3: My opponent does not address my alternatives. Perhaps if he had devoted fewer characters to quoting almost half of my second round arguments, he would have the characters to spare. The points I made on contention three merely add to the case that the use of the atomic bombs was unnecessary. Japan chose to enter peace-talks with the Soviets because they feared them more than the “total annihilation” promised by the United States. At this point, Japan did not even know the atomic bombs existed and yet was in early preparation for surrender. The bombs prompted immediate action, but did nothing to cause a surrender that would have happened regardless.



In conclusion, the strongest evidence I cited in my second round argument still stands, as well as further proof that Japan was going to surrender without the use of nuclear force. To overturn my arguments, my opponent must demonstrate that Japan would not have surrendered without the atomic bombs, despite the fact that Japan was already in talks to surrender, despite the private communications of top Japanese officials revealing that they were ready to give up, and despite a great deal of compiled American evidence that Japan would have surrendered without the nuclear attacks. The bombs did nothing to help end the war, but did destroy two major cities, cause a great number of birth defects and radiation illnesses, and add hundreds-of-thousands more to the body count.(5) I once again thank my opponent for initiating this debate, and look forward to his final arguments.



(1) http://www.nuclearfiles.org...


(2)(3) https://en.wikipedia.org...


(4) http://www.pearlharbor.org...


(5) http://atomicbombmuseum.org...


Debate Round No. 3
Reigon

Con

"B: Let the Russians Handle It"
Russian intervening would've resulted in even more causalities from both atomic bombs combined.

"C: Bomb Japan Into Submission"
Bombing Japan into submission takes time. They weren't willing to accept the surrender terms offered to them even after one atomic bomb how much bombing, deaths, suffering would the government have tolerated before accepting the Potsdam Declaration?

The issue is Japan was willing to surrender but not willing to accept the Potsdam Declaration, they actually wanted to negotiate surrender terms after being responsible for such heinous acts.

Let's look at the situation with a metaphor:
Let's just say a serial killer goes on a killing spree murdering dozens of people just to rob them of their wallet. The serial killer is surrounded by law enforcement but still poses a threat as they have hostages (the Japanese people.) Law enforcement lays out surrender terms but the serial killer denies trying to hold out a siege to obtain a more favorable surrender term. If the siege continues hostages are bound to die but the serial killer only saw the hostages as expendable objects to obtain his goal. Law enforcement decides to shoot the serial killer in the arm (atomic bomb), even then the serial killer refuses to surrender and tries to use his other arm to retrieve his weapon. He is then shot in the other arm and finally surrenders.

That is the situation the Japanese government was in. Japan was willing to surrender but not on the terms laid out to them therefore making their desire of surrender irrelevant. It would be like wanting to sign a contract but not actually signing it.

I have provided proof of japan unwilling to surrender:
"After the Hiroshima attack, a faction of Japan"s supreme war council favored acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration, but the majority resisted unconditional surrender. On August 8, Japan"s desperate situation took another turn for the worse when the USSR declared war against Japan. The next day, Soviet forces attacked in Manchuria, rapidly overwhelming Japanese positions there, and a second U.S. atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese coastal city of Nagasaki.

Just before midnight on August 9, Japanese Emperor Hirohito convened the supreme war council. After a long, emotional debate, he backed a proposal by Prime Minister Suzuki in which Japan would accept the Potsdam Declaration "with the understanding that said Declaration does not compromise any demand that prejudices the prerogatives of His Majesty as the sovereign ruler." The council obeyed Hirohito"s acceptance of peace, and on August 10 the message was relayed to the United States."

As shown above the war council was unwilling to surrender, if Emperor Hirohito was so bent on surrender why didn't he intervene the supreme war council about surrendering after Hiroshima? Why did he wait till Nagasaki to intervene?

My issue is if Japan's plans were so far-fetched why were they so willing to commit war crimes to test their biological warfare capabilities? Just to test their biological and chemical warfare capabilities unit 731 caused the following deaths "During the war, the Japanese Imperial Army used biological weapons developed and manufactured by Unit 731's laboratory in Harbin throughout China, killing or injuring an estimated 300,000 people."
Their activties included
"2.1Vivisection
2.2Germ warfare attacks
2.3Frostbite testing
2.4Syphilis
2.5Rape and forced pregnancy
2.6Weapon testing"
on humans. "Thousands of men, women and children interred at prisoner of war camps, including U.S. POWs,[ were subjected to vivisection, often without anesthesia and usually ending with the death of the victim. Vivisections were performed on prisoners after infecting them with various diseases."
If their idea was so far fetched why were they committing these atrocities? Think about it, if you were responsible for these atrocities and many others would you actually try to negotiate for favorable terms of surrenders?

Actually the mastermind behind Pearl harbor himself believed in the following
"Despite worsening Japanese-American relations (especially in light of Japan"s alliance with Germany and Italy), Yamamoto initially opposed war with the U.S., mostly out of fear that a prolonged conflict would go badly for Japan. But once the government of Prime Minister Tojo Hideki decided on war, Yamamoto argued that only a surprise attack aimed at crippling U.S. naval forces in the Pacific had any hope of victory. He also predicted that if war with America lasted more than one year, Japan would lose."
He himself was against war with the US.
He also said the following ""I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.""
""If we are ordered to do it," Yamamoto had answered, "then I can guarantee to put up a tough fight for the first six months, but I have absolutely no confidence as to what would happen if it went on for two or three years.""

"It is inherently false. Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in a wrong-headed attempt to prevent the US from joining the war, not to encourage it."
Think about it, if I was to sucker punch your kid how would you respond? Do you truly think you wouldn't respond to that?

"Japan saw the US as weak and believed one decisive strike would keep the US uninvolved. Japan"s attack on the naval base was in no way designed to pull the US into the conflict."
If they saw the US as weak they ignored the facts and the capabilities the US had. " Japan"s attack on the naval base was in no way designed to pull the US into the conflict." I can say I want to rob my neighbors at gunpoint and take their home from them, does that mean I can say I have no intention of hurting them? Parts of the Japanese government may have believed that but the mastermind of Pearl Harbor did not.

"To overturn my arguments, my opponent must demonstrate that Japan would not have surrendered without the atomic bombs, "

I have never stated Japan would not have surrendered without the atomic bomb(s), that's not what our argument is about either. Instead I've provided proof above that Japan was irrational, arrogant and unwilling to accept the Potsdam Declaration without being forced to by drastic measures.
I've proven why the Atomic bomb was justified as alternatives would've prolonged the war causing even more causalities. I stand by my justification as the Atomic bomb helped prevent further and more bloodshed.

Source:
http://www.history.com...
http://www.unit731.org...
http://www.outsidethebeltway.com...
http://www.history.com...
Ameliamk1

Pro


I thank my opponent for his closing statements. This has been a very fun and engaging discussion.



Since my opponent began by addressing the alternatives I offered in round 2, I will begin by rebutting his responses.



1: Demonstrate the Power of the Bomb


My opponent does not have a word to say on this, likely because it is an extremely reasonable alternative. I am mentioning it here to remind the readers that the argument was made and went unanswered, but I will not further the point.



2: Let Russia Handle It


My argument on this matter was not that the USSR could have launched a full-fledged invasion of the Japanese islands, but that the mere threat of invasion would prompt a swift surrender. I presented evidence in the form of secret communications between high-ranking officials considering their options given that they had no chance to defeat the Soviet Union, and the established fact that Japan was already discussing terms of surrender with the Soviets. My opponent fails to address this evidence, which suggests the USSR would not have needed to invade Japan, nor the US drop the atomic bombs. As it happened, the Soviets fought very briefly with Japan in Manchuria before the surrender.


Here are two more quotes from intercepted transmissions sent between Japanese diplomats in 1945:


July 11: "make clear to Russia... We have no intention of annexing or taking possession of the areas which we have been occupying as a result of the war; we hope to terminate the war".


July 12: "it is His Majesty's heart's desire to see the swift termination of the war". (1)



3: Continue Conventional Bombing


While bombing raids had been conducted for some time over Japan, with little results in terms of ending the war, it is likely the bombings would have ultimately led to surrender. The report on the necessity of the bombs in 1945 had this to say on the matter:


It is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.” (2)


So, in other words, even without the other factors, including the Russian invasion, the constant US bombing raids would have brought Japan to its knees in a timely fashion, and would have resulted in fewer casualties and not required the complete annihilation of two major cities.




Was Japan Willing to Surrender?



I believe the evidence speaks for itself. Not only was Japan prepared to surrender, but were already in the process of doing so when the nuclear strikes occurred. I have cited the most notable war report on the bomb, quoted transmissions and statements from Japanese officials, and pointed out that Japan was already in peace-talks with Russia.


In his closing argument, my opponent offered a quotation stating that the majority of Japan’s War Council would not consider unconditional surrender. I have two points to make on this. First, the War Council never voted to surrender (3), but instead submitted to the authority of the Emperor, who had the ultimate decision, and who desired peace months before the atomic bombs were used. Their opinions mattered, but it was once again their duty to refuse surrender (until the Emperor decided otherwise), and to show a brave face to the public. Secondly, while they were resistant to unconditional surrender, they were already discussion surrender on more favorable terms with the Soviets. The US never offered Japan anything but total submission. Had the States considered letting Japan keep their emperor, they likely would have surrendered even earlier. (4)



The evidence clearly indicates that whatever impression they gave off on the world stage, Japan was a weak and defeated country which was looking for a good opportunity to give up the fight. The bombs were not necessary to make this happen.




Was Japan Capable of Retaliation?



As my opponent makes clear, the special forces of Japan were capable of, and had committed, many atrocities of a biological sort which often involved sick human experimentation. However, my claim is not that Japan would not be willing to attempt such an attack on the US mainland, but instead that they lacked the capability toward the end of the war. Such an assault would require Japan to assemble a large fleet of aircraft capable of penetrating deep into America’s airspace. It is hard to believe this could happen, given Japan lacked the resources to even intercept American bombers. (5)


It is also hard to imagine a nation discussing peace terms would endanger their chance of survival by launching a risky attack, which would exact a minor amount of revenge but would also secure their total destruction. Japan was simply in no position to cause mass casualties, civilian or military.



Final Conclusion


To determine whether the use of the atomic bombs at the end of WWII was justified, we must consider the motivations, which in this case were clearly to bring about a quick surrender and end the war. The bombs did so, but at a completely unnecessary cost to human life and infrastructure. Japan was in preparing to capitulate due to a number of factors, and the 1956 report on the bombs indicates the surrender would have come well before the end of the year. Furthermore, the decision to use the bombs was made without the exploration of other possibilities, such as a demonstration of the bomb, the threat of Russian invasion, continued blockades and bombings, and offering terms to Japan other than “total annihilation”. Leading experts on Japan and influential American figures of the war, including its two greatest generals, Eisenhower and McArthur, opposed the use of the bombs, which they were never even consulted about. The decision to use the ultimate weapon was earnest but rushed. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not justified.



One more time, I thank my opponent for initiating this debate. I thoroughly enjoyed it.



(1) http://www.doug-long.com...


(2) http://www.authentichistory.com...


(3)(4) https://en.wikipedia.org...


(5) http://www.history.com...



Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Danielle 4 months ago
Danielle
== RFD part 0 ==

Whoops. Anyway I agreed with Con before the debate.

THIS IS A VOTE FOR THE JULY VOTERS UNION.

Point 1 focused on whether or not Japan was willing to end the war any time soon. In R3 Con writes, "I do agree Japan would have surrendered, but the issue is they had no intention of surrendering anytime soon and was wiling to prolong the war." He argues that since Japan was prepared to prolong the war, that doing so would cause a loss of precious time (resources and lives). Therefore, ending the war ASAP regardless of how would be justified.
Posted by Danielle 4 months ago
Danielle
== RFD part 1 ==

In response to the Japanese higher-ups not being willing to fight to the death, Con writes in R3 that the Japanese were known for their radical way of fighting, thus we should assume the country would have fought to the death of every person and would have done everything possible to keep fighting until dropping the atomic bomb was inevitable... and yet, in the last round 5, Con says "I have never stated Japan would not have surrendered without the atomic bomb(s), that's not what our argument is about either." However that HAS to be with the argument is about, since he said the Japanese would have fought until every "last man, woman and child" meaning until everything BUT the atomic bomb was exhausted. Thus Con defeats his own argument here.

In R4, Pro notes "My opponent does address my single strongest piece of evidence, the post-war report that found the atomic bombings were unnecessary, but restates his argument, and does not in any way question the legitimacy of the study or its results." He also points out that the Japanese were already in the process of surrender.

In reply to point 2, Pro contends that it would not have been in the best interest of the Japanese to move forward with their radical attacks, because they were clearly beat. He also says "Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in a wrong-headed attempt to prevent the US from joining the war, not to encourage it" to discount Con's contention that Japan would have done willfully ridiculous things regardless of cost/benefit. In fact, Pro argues, Japan acted deliberately.
Posted by Danielle 4 months ago
Danielle
== RFD part 2 ==

In the last round, Con argues "Japan was willing to surrender but not on the terms laid out to them therefore making their desire of surrender irrelevant. It would be like wanting to sign a contract but not actually signing it." He claims that he has proof Japan was not willing to surrender, which includes a quote about the war council being unwilling to surrender. Con also says that Japan did not intentionally "awake the sleeping giant" of America when they attacked Pearl Harbor.

In the final round Pro contends that the War Council's job was deliberately to keep a straight face and SAY they wanted war, even if they really didn't. What matters, Pro says, was the will of the Emperor and he proved the Emperor wanted peace and took measures to start heading in that direction.

In conclusion, Pro's evidence from the 1956 report prove that Japan's Emperor was inclined to surrender, even before knowing about the Atomic Bomb. Pro argued that other measures could have been utilized before going to that extreme. While Con suggested that the Japanese would have kept fighting on regardless, Pro said we should have at least tried more diplomacy, blockades or invoking Russian support. Con did not deny Pro's points about leading military experts including Eisenhower rejecting the bomb.

I also thought Pro made a strong point in his conclusion that EVEN IF dropping the bomb was necessary, those particular ones may not have been necessary at that time (and those are the bombs in question). He mentioned it was a rushed decision before all other options were explored, whereas Con argued that the measure was taken so as to not waste time.
Posted by Danielle 4 months ago
Danielle
== RFD part 3 ==

Neither side made a strong economic or moral argument. Thus I'll have to judge based on pragmatism and which was likely to end the war sooner. While Con has a good point that ending the war sooner would be beneficial, Pro argued (and proved with sources) that it was already headed in that direction. Further, Con did not emphasize why saving time and lives was more important than using the alternatives Pro mentioned; Con simply repeated his contentions but did not back them up with enough arguments or evidence. The evidence he did provide on saying the war would have continued (war council) was negated by Pro, who proved that they *had* to say that.

While it was a close debate and both sides could have done better (see below), and while I agree with Con, Con did not refute Pro's points effectively, specifically on the fact that the war was likely to end soon anyway and the fact that the Emperor's decision was most important. Further, Pro presented some alternatives and Con said they "wouldn't have worked" but didn't explain why or offer any social commentary.

== Constructive Criticism ==

Con should have argued that dropping the Atomic Bomb had the benefit of showing a significant weapon that would change the world and act as the most important war deterrent that we've had in the last few decades, possibly ever. Moreover, Con should have argued why saving time (resources and lives) had a MORAL significance and emphasize the moral significance as WELL as highlight the very high cost (on the economy) of war. He also should have mentioned morale and the toll of the war all-together.

Pro should have argued that clearly Con's point that Japan would fight to "every last man, woman and child" is dead is incorrect, because there were still people living in Japan after the bombs dropped when they surrendered...
Posted by lannan13 4 months ago
lannan13
Tip for both debates in the future. In order to prevent broken links, put them in parentheses. Example (link) this will prevent it from becoming broken in this debate. :)

I enjoyed the debate, good job on both sides.
Posted by lannan13 4 months ago
lannan13
I'm going to see if I can get a vote in before the time expires.
Posted by Guardian66 4 months ago
Guardian66
A study performed by physicist William Shockley for the staff of Secretary of War Henry Stimson estimated that the invasion of Japan would cost 1.7-4 million American casualties, including 400,000-800,000 fatalities, and five to ten million Japanese deaths. That in and of its self shows that dropping the bombs served two purposes. Firstly it ended the war..QUICKLY. Finally more lives were spared in dropping two bombs than invading. The collateral in WW2 was astonishing mainly due to technology. Imagine carpet bombing all of Tokyo and the casualties it would have massed. Only option was to end it with a 1,2... literally....
Posted by Reigon 5 months ago
Reigon
Quoting you was also the best method of showing which part I'm rebuttal, I will be responding to the arguments against the points I have missed in round 2 as well.
Posted by Reigon 5 months ago
Reigon
I will be responding to your argument tomorrow, what rules would you like for the last round?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Danielle 4 months ago
Danielle
ReigonAmeliamk1Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Will post my RFD in the comments section ASAP
Vote Placed by lannan13 4 months ago
lannan13
ReigonAmeliamk1Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: This vote has been brought to you in part by, the DDO Voters' Union. The RFD can be located here. http://www.debate.org/forums/miscellaneous/topic/90830/1/#2530105
Vote Placed by MissLuLu 4 months ago
MissLuLu
ReigonAmeliamk1Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Both debaters had good S&G, good conduct, and used sources, which is great. However, Pro had the more convincing arguments. All I got from Con's arguments and rebuttals were restatements of "Japan had no intention of surrendering," even after conceding in R3 that "Japan would have surrendered." The issue was whether the dropping of the atomic bombs were justified, which they were not if Japan "would have" surrendered. Clearly this is the case, especially in the light of the more reasonable alternatives given by Pro. Con did not successfully refute Pro nor demonstrate a clear-cut and convincing argument.
Vote Placed by Codedlogic 5 months ago
Codedlogic
ReigonAmeliamk1Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Lot's of good back and forth. But Pros biggest failing was the assertion that we could not use Japans rhetoric as an accurate measure of Japans intentions. Pro failed to explain why Generals towing the party line isn't a good indicator of their intents - and Pro failed to provide a metric via which we could conclude the opposite. Con showed they did have the conviction of their claims by pointing out that even after the first bomb went off they still did not want to surrender.