Letter: Japan had a choice in 1945

Professor emeritus of Kanazawa University Mikoso Iwasa (2nd

Professor emeritus of Kanazawa University Mikoso Iwasa (2nd R), who was exposed to the atomic-bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, 1.2 km away from the hypo center, shakes hands with Clifton Truman Daniel (L), a grandson of former US president Harry Truman, who authorised the atomic bombing of Japan during World War II. (April 4, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

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President Harry S. Truman's grandson attended a memorial service for the victims of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima ["Truman grandson at A-bomb memorial," News, Aug. 5].

It is symbolic of how we as Americans feel the need to apologize and want to make friends with our enemies past and present. But let us keep some perspective before the revisionists rewrite history. Let us not forget that the dropping of the A-bomb ended a war started by Japan's sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.

After the successful A-bomb test in the American desert, Truman sent a message through diplomatic channels to the Japanese government that the United States now had in its possession a weapon of mass destruction heretofore unknown. America was willing to use it unless Japan surrendered. Japan dismissed the warning.

After the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, America once again offered Japan the opportunity to surrender. The Japanese again refused and a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, bringing an end to a terrible war. One can argue that the Japanese, by refusing to surrender, were responsible for the deaths at Nagasaki.

There is a stigma associated with the United States' use of a nuclear weapon, but tens of thousands died in the massive Allied bombings of German cites.

Michael Genzale, Shoreham

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