On the 78th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle stands in solidarity with the Japanese people in their fight for justice and continued resistance against US imperialism and its war crimes.
On August 6, 1945, during World War II, the world’s first deployed atomic bomb America B-29 was dropped over Hiroshima, Japan. The explosion killed an estimate of 80,000 people instantly, 95 percent of them civilians. Another 100,000 died slowly from burns and the effects of radiation. Three days later, a second B029 bomber was dropped over Nagasaki, killing an estimated 40,000 people.
Towards the end of World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union found themselves in a protracted ideological and economic struggle that lasted for decades. The US has fortified its standing through military production and draining of resources from its imperial rivals. On the other hand, the Soviet Union endured the loss of over 20 million of its people in the war, yet emerged as the principal power across the Eurasian landmass.
For the people of Japan, the summer of 1945 was a time of unspeakable horror. Sixty-six of their largest cities had been burnt to the ground by napalm bombing, and in Tokyo alone, a million civilians were left homeless and 100,000 people had been killed. Major General Curtis LeMay, who was in charge of the fire-bombing operations, savagely boasts that the victims have been “scorched and boiled and baked to death.”
While the Hiroshima devastation failed to elicit immediate Japanese surrender, however, Japan eventually found its military and economy on the brink of disintegration. The bombs destroyed the towns of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, caused the defeat of Japanese forces, threatened the Chinese revolutionaries, and laid down the grounds for America’s imperial ambitions in Asia. As a desperate means to stave off total annihilation, the Japanese military leadership finally pursued a peace agreement as the only option to cease the relentless bombings on its cities – which have inflicted over 900,000 casualties.
Years after this unprecedented devastation and immense suffering of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear arms proliferation manifests until today as the US continues to drive arms race in different parts of the world.
The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings are a poignant reminder of the acts of terrorism perpetrated by the most powerful alliance of the West which is led by the US until today. The grim consequences of the US-led nuclear warfare and militarism have continued to threaten the people’s quest for just peace and social liberation.
To add insult to injury, just this May 19-23, 2023, the Western Imperialist block called the Group of Seven (G-7) held its 49th Leaders Summit in Hiroshima, Japan. Leaders of these countries possessing nuclear powers even had the gall to hold a deceptive ceremony of visiting the Atomic Bomb Museum in Hiroshima. The G-7 has extended its interest to embrace economic, foreign and security policies that would not only ensure their political hegemony but would also cast grave implications of war and militarism over vulnerable countries.
This comprehensive alliance and patronage created by the US over other imperialist countries also built the US hooks of control on Japanese politics, economy, and military. To fulfil its militarist agenda, Japan now is taking a crucial role in warmongering against China’s growing power in the Asia Pacific region.
Recently, Japan and Australia, both US allies, have been discussing their strategic collaborations for nuclear-powered submarines through the AUKUS (Australia, United States, United Kingdom) pact – which is part and parcel of the US open Indo-Pacific Strategy. Under this, the Biden administration has strengthened military alliances with other countries and it has repeatedly held joint military exercises with these countries’ forces in different areas of the region.
In December 2022, Japan’s Kishida administration announced its new security strategy that aims to further integrate the US and Japanese forces, and reinforce the US military base in Japan. On the other hand, there is also rapid military tension over the Korean Peninsula, brought about by massive war exercises held by the US, Japan, and South Korea.
The circumvention of Japan’s pacifist peace constitution has also been marred with mass demonstrations and public outcry as the Japanese government deems nuclear weapons as a better alternative than expanding the country’s collective self-defense. The Japanese government rely on the US nuclear umbrella provided through the US-Japan military alliance.
The crux of the Japanese people’s outcry comes from the fact that they are the only people in history to be attacked by nuclear weapons. This crime against humanity continues to scar the survivors and their descendants until today while the US administration has never apologized for it.
As the contradictions between imperialist powers become even sharper, the crisis of monopoly capitalism continues to drive the lucrative weapons industry. The US, with the rise of China as an imperialist rival, scrambles to consolidate its military footholds across the world.
Today, we remember the events of August 1945 and all the innocent people who perished. We also pay tribute to the heroism of revolutionaries who fought against imperialist wars during World War II. The worsening imperialist crisis creates fertile conditions for the peoples of the world to advance the struggle for social liberation, defeat imperialism, and build a socialist future.#
Down with imperialism!
End US military wars of aggression!
Long Live International Solidarity!