Did The United State Commit War Crimes Against Japan During Ww Ii?

940 words - 4 pages

Part A- Plan:
This investigation will evaluate the question, to what extent did the United States of America commit war crimes against Japanese civilians and POWs during their Pacific campaign in World War II? This question is important because it raises present day controversy that the United States did not commit war crimes, when evidence may prove otherwise. The scope of this investigation focuses on the United States entry into World War II and the events during the war, specifically the war with Japan in the Pacific during 7 December 1941 – 2 September 1945. One method used during this investigation will be the analysis of the non-fiction book Anguish of Surrender by Ulrich Straus. The source will be used to see evidence about the life of Japanese POWs in American camps, and raise information of any war crimes committed against any Japanese POWs. Another method employed during the investigation is watching the documentary The Fog of War, which gives first hand perspectives on the USA’s Pacific campaign from the perspective of the secretary of defense Robert S. McNamara, and an overview of war crimes committed by the USA.
Word Count: 185

Part B- Summary of Evidence

Historical Context:
-The Pacific War began on December 7, 1941 with the bombings of Pearl Harbor.
-Battle of Midway between the United States and Japan began on June 4, 1942.
-First United States firebombing of Japan took place on March 10, 1945

War Crimes Against civilians:
-After the U.S. Marines landed in a village on the Motobu Peninsula the marines “mopped up” the entire village, but found no signs of Japanese forces, they then proceeded to start “hunting for women”. (Toshiyuki pg 111)
- It has been claimed that U.S. soldiers raped Okinawa women at the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. (Schrijvers pg 212)
- There were 1,336 reported rapes during the first 10 days of the occupation of Kanagawa Prefecture, after the Japanese surrender. (Schrijvers pg 212)

Murder of Non-Combatants:
-Curtis LeMay decided to use firebombs against Japan in 1945. (The Fog of War 36 minutes)
-Robert McNamara stated how he felt he was part of a mechanism that recommended the use of firebombs in Japan. (The Fog of War 34 minutes)
-Firebombs set fire to and burned to death 100,000 Japanese civilian children and women in Tokyo. (The Fog of War 34 minutes)
-Quote from McNamara “I think the issue is not so much incendiary bombs. I think the issue is: in order to win a war should you kill 100,000 people in one night, by firebombing or any other way? LeMay’s answer would be clearly “Yes.” (The Fog of War 34 minutes)
- Firebombs killed up to fifty to ninety percent of people in sixty seven Japanese cities during the firebombing of Japan. (The Fog of War 41 minutes)
-Quote from LeMay “If we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals”. (The Fog of War 42 minutes)
-Quote from McNamara “LeMay and I were behaving as war criminals”. (The Fog...

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