Letters to the Editor

Tough choices ended World War II and brought us generations of peace

By August 1945, more than 100,000 people per month were dying in occupied lands under Japanese rule. The Japanese War Ministry ordered all allied POWs to be executed in case of invasion. Time was running out for their captives. The war had to end as soon as possible. But how?

Unlike D-Day in Europe, the Japanese knew there were only three beaches that could support an allied invasion, and they heavily reinforced them. Our Navy doubted the wisdom of an invasion and considered withdrawing their support.

Though divided, the Japanese cabinet agreed that better negotiations would result from hitting the Americans hard on the beach, a position they held even after the Hiroshima bombing. Only after the Nagasaki bombing and USSR invasion of Manchuria, was the emperor asked to intervene. Fortunately, the emperor chose to end the war. When he explained his decision, the emperor spoke of the enemy’s use of a “new and most cruel bomb …” He did not specifically cite the Soviet invasion, our blockade or our conventional bombardment. He specifically cited the atomic bombs.

Our leaders made tough choices that ended the war and gave us three generations of peace with Japan. Thus, no apology is necessary.

Mick Bondello, Arroyo Grande

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