Truman Warns Japan to Surrender

The above was filmed on June 7, 1945.  In July the Army Air Corps dropped sixteen million leaflets on Japanese cities warning the Japanese to evacuate their cities.  The leaflets varied, but the message in Japanese on the leaflets was substantially as follows:

“Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or friend. In the next few days, some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs. These cities contain military installations and workshops or factories which produce military goods. We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique which they are using to prolong this useless war. But, unfortunately, bombs have no eyes. So, in accordance with America’s humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives. America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique which has enslaved the Japanese people. The peace which America will bring will free the people from the oppression of the military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan. You can restore peace by demanding new and good leaders who will end the war. We cannot promise that only these cities will be among those attacked but some or all of them will be, so heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately”.


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  1. Gee, I wonder if Tokyo Rose reported that they really said that the USA is asking to surrender to the Imperial forces, or was she hi-tailing it to her country estate?

    What a striking difference in cultures back then–this warning versus Pearl Harbor’s sneak attack.

    Could we air-drop a few million of these types of thing on our inner-city Planned Parenthood warriors against the innocent?

  2. “If I’m not mistaken, Tokyo Rose was a composite.”

    Gee, does that then serve as evidence that Bruce Jenner had a soul mate way back then?

  3. My Father, who taught and studied history told us that Japan was ready to surrender as long as their Emperor could be left in office. Truman said no and dropped the Bombs.
    A Song for Nagasaki (The Story of Takashi Nagai) by Paul Glynn is a book well worth reading. It is the true story of Takashi Nagi, a pioneer in radiology research ,and convert to The Catholic Faith.

  4. The nerve of posting this war criminal and mass muderer on your so called “catholic” . Your site and your Vatican 2 religion was conceived like in that synagogue of satan member Truman and his gang of devil worshipers. His compassionate leaflets were just toilet paper his ABomb was very real conceived by his fellow freemasons
    Remove catholic from your diabolical site.

  5. I did a little research on the referenced people – Takashi Nagai and Paul Glynn – in Carolann’s comment. Takashi Nagai had a sane attitude about atomic energy in the aftermath of the dropping of the atomc bombs on Japan. At the end of “Atomic Bomb Rescue and Relief Report,” he writes:
    “We should utilize the principle of the atomic bomb. Go forward in the research of atomic energy contributing to the progress of civiization. A misfortune will then be transformed to good fortune. The world civilization will change with the utilization of atomic energy. If a new and fortunate world can be made, the souls of so many victims will rest in peace.”
    Paul Glynn on the other hand is a different matter. Like most Australians, he appears to be reflexively anti-nuclear energy (much too the benefit of Australia’s coal industry which ironically releases more radioactivity in the form of uranium, radium and thorium naturally occurring in coal than any nuclear power plant releases). Glynn’s Marist Australia web site says that Takashi Nagai died of atomic disease. Having worked in naval and commercial nuclear energy for 30+ years, I have no idea of what atomic disease is, nor even after radiation exposure throughout my 3 decade long atomic career have I ever been afflicted with anything that could be construed as such a disease. So some more research revealed that Nagai died of leukemia which can occur from a variety of causes many of which are non-nuclear in origin (e.g., chemical toxin exposure, genetic anomaly, etc). Now perhaps Nagai’s leukemia may have been caused by acute radiation over-exposure (e.g., > 100 rads); I do not know. But Glynn seems to have a tendency towards sensationism instead of the reasoned thought process that Nagai embodied. Perhaps otherwise he is a good priest. I do not know the man. Yet when it comes to this topic – atomic energy – hysteria mongering needs to be refuted and revealed for what it is at every opportunity. A nuclear power plant is no more a nuclear bomb than a gasoline station is a napalm weapons factory.
    And yes, President Truman was right and correct to order the dropping of the two atomic bombs on Japan. That decision ended the war and prevented far more caualties on both sides – Japanese and American – than would otherwise have occurred. And yes again, I support a strong and powerful American nuclear arsenal because we have enemies – communist China, Russia, North Korea and a would-be-nuclear-armed Iran – against whom we must defend ourselves. But to all those opposed to “the bomb”, why do you NOT support recycling all that weapons-grade plutonium and uranium in commercial nuclear reactors (as Nagai would advocate) so that it will forever be unusuable for bombs? Could it be that your protests are all the hot air of inflated ego and moral self-righteousness as what you support enriches fossil fuel corporate executives?

  6. “My Father, who taught and studied history told us that Japan was ready to surrender as long as their Emperor could be left in office. Truman said no and dropped the Bombs.”

    Carolann, the story is more complicated than that.

    First, Japan was NOT ready to surrender. There were elements in the Japanese government that were. That is not the same thing. The attempted military coup in Tokyo on August 12-15 1945 proves this to be so.

    Second, there were some backchannel communications between the two countries, but the heads of government were not involved (so Truman can’t be blamed). The Japanese asked “Can we keep the emperor?” to which they were told “The fate of the emperor will be up to the Japanese people to decide”. So the Americans in American-speak said “Yes” and the Japanese heard “No”. One can wonder if things would have been different if the answer were not lost in translation.

  7. Paul, The thought was that Takashi Nagai died of constant exposure of radiation from the X-ray machine he used to diagnose his patients. If I remember correctly, he did not use a protective lead apron thereby risking his own life.
    However, you are correct. Leukemia can occur from exposures to chemicals. My niece suffered from AML Leukemia with no known risk factors.
    Before someone accuses me of being a leftwing nutcase, I happen to support our military and honor them. It’s the killing of innocent women and children that sickens me to the core.
    President Truman was WRONG on dropping those bombs. This is NOT only an opinion. Please check out–THe Real Reason America Used Nuclear Weapons Against Japan – (Oct 14, 2012).
    One snippet: U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey group ASSIGNED by President Truman to study the air attacks on Japan produced a report in July of 1946 concluded (52-56)

    “Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is The Survey’s opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945 and in all probability prior to 31 December 1945, Japan would have SURRENDERED even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war,and even if no invasion had been plannned or contemplated.”

    General (and later president) Dwight Eisenhower-then Supreme Commander of all Allied Forces said “The Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn”t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.” –Newsweek 11/11/63.

    There’s lots more from Admiral William leahy-highest ranking member of the U.S. Military (1942-1949) Also quotes from General Douglas MacArthar and many more.

    The most important thing is THE TRUTH. If Pres. Truman had no choice in dropping the bomb, that would be horrible, but perhaps necessary. However, from reading the above and more it seemed not to be the case.

    Viva Cristo Rey!

  8. Carolann, have you read Hell to Pay: Operation Downfall and the Invasion of Japan 1945-1947? Published in 2009, it is far more up to date than any previous study on the subject. It makes for very grim reading. It completely negates the argument made by the Strategic Bombing Survey.

    Was Truman morally wrong to drop the bomb? Of course he was. Then again, any course the U.S. would have taken during this time would have been immoral (we’ve had this debate on these pages before). A blockade would have horribly killed more Japanese by starvation. A “cease-fire” would have allowed the Japanese to continue the killing hundreds of thousands in their subjected lands. Hell to Pay accurately describes the casualties to be expected in an invasion. The only really moral choice was in Japanese hands, and that was surrender.

  9. Carolann, thank you for the correction on the possible cause of Takashi Nagai’s leukemia. As for lead aprons, the tenth thickness of lead is 2 inches. In other words, to reduce radiation exposure to one tenth the incident level, a lead apron two inches thick is required. The equation is:
    A = Ao * (e^-(u*x))
    Where A = exposure rate in R/hr with shield in place
    Ao = exposure rate in R/hr without the shield
    e = 2.71828
    u = shiled thickness in cm
    X = linear attenuation coefficient in cm^-1
    Using that equation, one can see that a lead apron to be effective in shielding would be far to heavy and cumbersome to wear. Any lead apron offers minimal protection because of the thinness of the lead in the apron. Therefore, I question whether wearing an apron at all would do much to protect. However, x-rays are at a lower energy level than gammas. Nevertheless, in all my experience, x-ray technicians seclude themselves behind lead-shielded barriers during x-ray machine activation and not by wearing lead aprons. That said, if you have ever been at an airport, you would be routinely in the vicinity of x-ray machines (as are the TSA guards who operate the machines). Indeed, for a past employer I had worked as an Instrumentation and Controls technician, one of whose duties was in the maintenance of x-ray machines for the plant security department at a commercial nuclear power plant. I still do not have leukemia and if I ever contract the disease, then it will likely be a delayed after-effect from a mis-spent youth engaged in proscribed inebration activities.
    As for President Truman, I am not a historian. However, he ordered the bombs dropped and the war ended, the killing stopped. That is history (unless the Democrats try to change that as they are the history of their part in the US Civil War and subsequent civil rights movement a century afterwards). (Ironically, wasn’t Truman a Democrat?)

  10. No Tom D. I never read the book and probably won’t. We have enough grimness in our world today.
    Thank-you for the update. Many thanks to all. I’ve learned a lot .

  11. I had heard of Takashi Nagai, and I had the distinct impression that another problem was that there were very few radiologists available in Japan in comparison with other countries. In effect the cumulative lifetime dose of a conscientious practitioner in Japan was higher than that of his non-Japanese counterparts – with more radiologists the risk would have been better spread. These were really brave men who knowingly sacrificed themselves for their patients. One has to wonder if the Bushido mentality had something to do with it.

  12. “We have enough grimness in our world today.”
    I understand. Then again, I do think we have to face it as we each best can. There is a difference, after all, between a cross and a crucifix.

  13. It looks to me that the Wikipedia entry on Takashi Nagai has been expanded since I last looked at it. It is well worth a read: The man was amazingly prescient, he lived in no fantasy world.

    BTW, the article mentions that the wartime shortage of photographic film caused him to use fluoroscopes to make diagnoses, and that his was partly responsible for his leukemia diagnosis in April 1945.

  14. The atomic bombs were terrible weapons, but no more terrible that the firebombing that took place earlier in 1945.

    Quoting Ike about the Bomb is a nonstarter for me. Where did Ike serve in WWII? Oh, that’s right. He was in Western Europe. I don’t recall hearing any American servicemen based in the Pacific making quotes about how the Americans and British should have marched into Berlin, or not allowed the Red Army to occupy Czechoslovakia, or should have done more to help the Poles who were fighting in the Warsaw Uprising (the 71st anniversary of the Uprising took place on August 1, and only a few Americans of Polish descent likely remembered to commemorate the moment in any way in this country).

    Japan was a terrible enemy. Japan never bothered to sign or go through the motions of observing the Geneva Convention. Japan sought the Bomb. Japan committed terrible atrocities against civilian populations in the Phillipines and at Nanking to mention just two. What you do will come back to you.

    War is an awful thing, but not the most awful of things.

  15. Carolann, besides reading “Hell to Pay: Operation Downfall”, I suggest you also read “The Last Kamikaze”, the bio of Vice Admiral Matone Ugaki (by Edwin P. Hoyt, 1993).

    Chronicled there is the mindlessly furious death wish and death-grip that many like him, as well as Gen. Hideki Tojo, had on the Japanese people and even the Emperor until the very last days. We now have fairly full documentation of the plot to assassinate the Emperor Hirohito (Aug. 12-15, ’45): at that time, Hirohito expressed to his cabinet the need to accept the Potsdam declaration, even though he knew it would likely lead to his execution. Ugaki certainly shared a like-mind in the murder plot against Hirohito, although it hasn’t —yet—been proven he was an actual participant: however, he refused to sign the agreement (as did several high-ranking generals) to carry out the Emperor’s order to seek a surrender. As Vice-Admiral of the Imperial Navy, and #1 officer in charge of naval aviation, Ugaki should have been a signer: he was not. Ugaki was clearly, like so many other Japanese military, deranged, writing about this time to a colleague that: “Japan has 20 million people: it should be acceptable that ten million of them would be sacrificed for the Emperor and for Japan.” (i.e. in its home defense)

    Seeing all was for naught, on Aug. 15th, Ugaki took off, squeezing into a “Judy” 2-seater bomber (it already had its crew of 2 men) on one last flight, disregarding instructions that day on the radio-address by Hirohito for all military to surrender and lay down their arms, instead launching a final kamikaze attack on US forces in the vicinity of Okinawa. Fortunately, US forces were on high alert, anticipating rogue attacks: His plane was shot down, but not before the wrecked hulk was discovered by a US LST crew on the beach of an adjacent island.

    My point is: people like Ugaki were not stopped, even by their supposed oath of fealty to the Emperor, his last act in fact one of mutiny and insubordination. Your info about Japan’s leadership’s willingness to surrender is deeply flawed.

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