Debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is more concerned on the ethical, legal and military controversies surrounding the United States. The bombings caused the Japanese surrender, preventing massive casualties on both sides in the planned invasion of Japan whereby Kyushu was to be invaded in October 1945 and Honshu five months later (Oh 2000). The U.S side had anticipated losing many soldiers in the planned invasion of Japan even though the number of expected fatalities and wounded is subject to some debate. After the U.S war president Truman stated that he was advised that U.S casualties could range from 250,000 to one million men. A joint study done by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in April 1945, the figures developed were 7.45 casualties per 1000 man-days and 1.78 fatalities per 1000 man-days. Thus the planned campaign to conquer Japan would cause 1.6 million U.S. casualties, including 380,000 dead (Nathalie Ettzevoglou-Hoyer, Hammond and Mueller 2000). In addition to this fact, millions of Japanese military and civilian casualties were expected as a result of such action1. According to an Air Force Association history of the 21st century, millions of old men, boys and girls had been trained to resist by such means as attacking with bamboo spears, strapping explosives to their bodies and throwing themselves under advancing tasks. The Japanese cabinet also approved a measure to extend the draft to include men from ages fifteen to sixteen and women from seventeen to forty-five.
There was an order given by the Japanese War ministry on 1 August 1944, ordering for the disposal and execution of allied prisoners of which was numbering to over 100,000 if an invasion of the Japanese mainland had taken place (Nathalie Ettzevoglou-Hoyer, Hammond and Mueller 2000). To have waited for the Japanese to surrender would have cost a lot of lives. In each of the ninety seven months between July and August 1945 around 100,000 and 200,000 persons perished in China with the vast majority being noncombat. Famine in Vietnam caused a lot of deaths in Asia especially in 1945. According to Newman, each month that the war continued would have produced the deaths up to 250,000 people. Fire bombing that were taking place in Tokyo had killed over 100,000 people in Japan since the beginning of the war either directly or indirectly (Nathalie Ettzevoglou-Hoyer, Hammond and Mueller 2000). Nuclear physicist Karl T. Compton in his defensive article said that if the atomic bomb had not been used, there would have been more deaths and destruction in enormous scale. Japanese government promulgated a National Mobilization Law and waged total war. They ordered many civilians to work in factories and militaries offices and to fight against any invading force. Hiroshima was mostly used as the headquarters of the Fifth Division and the 2nd General Army. It was a communication center, an assembly area for troops; it had military factories and was also used as a storage point2. Nagasaki on the other hand was very much important because of its industrial activity which included the production of ordinance, ships, military equipment and other war materials (Oh 2000). Fumio Kyuma the defense minister of Japan stated that bombing caused great tragedy but he does not resent the U.S.