THE PACIFIC WAR AND THE ATOMIC BOMB

Victims of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki

Emperor Hirohito. Hirohito did not want war with the U.S. Before the war began, he supported Prime Minister Konoye's efforts to reach a peaceful settlement with President Franklin Roosevelt. And, four years later, he intervened to persuade the highest-ranking military hardliners to support ending the war.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He said that the atomic bombing of Hiroshima was "completely unnecessary," and that "the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."

Justice Radhabinod Pal, India's judge on the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal. He said the tribunal was unfair and unjust. He voted for acquittal for all the defendants and wrote a 1,200-page dissent to support his position.

Victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima

Shigenori Togo, Japan's Foreign Minister when Japan surrendered. Togo was a moderate and played a key role in the moderates' efforts to end the war. However, the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal charged him with war crimes and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

General Carter Clarke, a senior officer in the U.S. Army's Military Intelligence Division. Regarding the decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan, he said, "We didn’t need to do it, and we knew we didn’t need to do it, and they knew that we knew that we didn’t need to do it. We used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs."

Koichi Kido, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal. He was the emperor's closest adviser and a consistent advocate for peace and moderation. At great personal risk, he played perhaps the most critical role in helping the emperor to get the military hardliners to agree to end the war. Yet, incredibly, the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal accused him of war crimes and sentenced him to life in prison.

Justice Bernard Roling, the Netherlands' judge on the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal. Roling noted that Japan was willing to surrender "long before" the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and he concluded that "the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by atomic bombs was wholly unnecessary."

A small part of the damage done to Nagasaki by the atomic bomb that was dropped on it