In the public library here in Matusmoto, there is an exposition on the bombing of Hiroshima; photos, articles and all (though not that large a collection at all). The point is quite clear, it was a crime to humanity, as any war effort event is. What might be perhaps a bit unexpected by non-locals (and/or non-Japanese) is the immediately nearby exposition on the dug-out chambers of a hill in northern Nagano. It was to be used as a kind of last ditch headquarters for parts of the government. (Nagano is a very central place, naturally blocked from the West by the Japan Alps along a long stretch, with no clear in-road from the Japan Sea (East Sea), much less the Pacific Ocean.) Korean men (mostly, from what I have gathered) were used in forced labor to dig out that tunnel system by hand--and let me be quick to mention here, at no concern for loss of life while doing so
Many good comments and 'spot on' (as far as my limited knowledge in this matter goes) have been posted above. One thing that can be said to stand out between the Hiroshima and Nagasaki 'experiments' (so to speak) and the Tokyo fire bombing raids (which took far more lives more immediately) has been the long-term affect of radiation on those who touched, their off-spring, and the area for some time.
My personal stance, as mentioned above, is that all activities of war are crimes against humanity--for whatever reason
.① The battle in Okinawa was tremendous. The hunt for, and discovery of so many skeletons left in various places (those of the citizens--some of who, by the way had little more information available than to not believe some military personel who had given them handgrenades and suggested they blow themselves up) is saddening. The common folk were in training (we still have pictures (the house I live in is old, the gate house dates back to the Edo period, and I have found newspaper articles of the boming of Singapore, and an Asahi magazine on the invasion of Shang Hi (sp?))) to fight off the red-haired devil with sharply pointed bamboo poles--the death toll would have been a nightmare even worse, we could rightly imagine, than the two atomic bombs (except no aftermath of radiation sickness and ill health going on and on, for some time).
, it's history. We should not forget, neither side, but we should not make use of it as though it were some barganing chip on world politics, or something. We should not hold grudges against our fellow H. sapiens for ills commited by our grandparents, now, in today's world. And, I do not feel that we should try to place value judgements on it. . . it happened . . . it was negative in outcome in some ways, positive in out come in others... that's it. (and that's my view) KJ
① Thus the instigation of war is the fault. If someone broke into my house at night, and tried to injure me or any member of my family, I would of course fight back. This is, like it or not, nature--but we bigger brained animals should surely have learned by now, one would think . . . alas. . . we read the news. . .