Date(s) - 23/09/2019
17:00 - 19:00
On 23 September Professor emeritus Tsuyoshi Hasegawa of the University of California, Santa Barbara will discuss whether the atomic bombings of Japan in 1945 can be justified.
The prevailing view is based on two premises: first, the use of the atomic bombs was the only option available to the US government without launching a costly homeland invasion; and second, the atomic bombings had an immediate and direct impact on Japan’s decision to surrender. Dr. Hasegawa rebuts both assumptions.
Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, a US citizen who was born in Japan, has taught in both countries. Applying his specialized knowledge of Russian history to an analysis of the US decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan, he challenges the prevailing American view that the US decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was justified.
He sets out the third – and often hidden – justification for dropping the bombs, namely, America’s sense of revenge. He argues that, even before the atomic bombings, the United States had already crossed the moral high ground that it had held. He views the US use of atomic bombs to be a war crime.
But he asserts that this action must be understood in the context of Japan’s responsibility for starting the war of aggression and committing atrocities in the Asia–Pacific War.
The event will be in room GSG22 of the Graham Sutherland Building, Ground Floor, Coventry University.