Monday, August 30, 2010

Chinese High Schoolers and the A-Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

"Were the U.S. atomic bombings that defeated Japan in World War II necessary?" was the question posed "in two 40-minute classes delivered to a total of 240 students in the junior and senior high schools attached to Peking University" — Students in China learn about Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. From the report:
    In a survey at the beginning of the class, 48 percent of the students said they "quite agreed" or "agreed" with the statement: "The atomic bombing was a natural result of Japan's fascism."

    After the class, more students thought dropping the atomic bomb was wrong. Nearly seven in 10 of the students, or 68 percent, said they "quite agreed" or "agreed" with the opinion: "Atomic bombing is against humanity and threatens the ecosystem. It was a great mistake."
Interesting. The Nanking Massacre has been cited by readers of this blog as justification for the American a-bombs. Not so for these Chinese students, for whom "[s]tandard Chinese school textbooks only devote a couple of lines to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings."

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Blogger setnaffa said...

And the opinions, 65 years after the fact, of a group of Chinese children taught by one of America's current enemies, is relevant in what way?

Japan had to be defeated. And the President made that choice in the middle of a ghastly war. It really was fewer dead Japanese as a result. And obviously fewer Allied troops.

So those who want to complain about it can do so; but they ought to explain why that was wrong but an invasion that might have killed as many as 1,000,000 Allied troops and 8,000,000 Japanese would have been a better choice. And the length of time it would have taken would undoubtedly have allowed the Soviets to completely occupy Korea and part of Japan itself.

War is a terrible thing; but those who started it can't complain about the way it finishes just because they get a bloody nose. And those who (like Mao's political descendants) stole a country with weapons given them to fight the Japanese should probably be trying to remove the rafter from their own eye before stabbing at our dust motes...

11:16 PM  
Blogger JLTan said...

I agree. This is a tricky and a sensative subject.

Allow also for the possibility that what is written in children's history books carry the political bias of the national leaders of the nation.

10:46 AM  
Blogger nazareth priest said...

As an American, I must admit shame and absolute horror;
I've heard all of the "rationalizations"; but what moved me most was a video on the apparition of Akita where the history of the Catholic Church in Japan was given; ground zero was the Catholic population in Nagasaki; the heroic witness of Dr. Nagai (sp?) moved me most profoundly, as well as the whole story there.
I read "The Bells of Nagasaki".
Dear Jesus and Mary, help us now and always!

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Abdul Alhazred said...

Golly gee -- students in the communist police state of China being taught anti-U.S. stuff -- what a surprise.

I'm sure they'd much rather think it was the heroic efforts of the Maoists that ended the Pacific War -- not the dropping of A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

(For the record, it was the Chinese Nationalists who did most of the fighting against the Japanese in China -- Mao was too busy saving his energy for the 1945-49 civil war.)

After 100 million dead between 1917-1991, I'd say communism has been the bigger threat to "humanity" than atomic bombs -- and China's pollution the biggest threat to the "ecosystem".

On the other hand, perhaps the U.S. did make a mistake in attacking Japan -- perhaps we should've let Japan have its way in China...

12:52 PM  

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