Over the years, there has been a great deal of debate about whether the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or the Soviet Union’s entrance into World War ii against Japan was a more decisive factor in bringing about a Japanese surrender. This debate often has focused on the days between the bombing of Hiroshima (6 August 1945) and the Soviet declaration of war (first learned in Japan on 9 August 1945) and whether there is convincing evidence of Tokyo moving toward surrender during this time period. To date, this debate in general has not touched on the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s order to destroy its documents, though it issued the directive on 7 August 1945. This research note assesses the importance of this document, concluding that its contents suggest that the atomic bombing prompted Japan’s Foreign Ministry to take concrete actions anticipating an end to Japanese belligerence.
Journal of American-East Asian Relations – Brill
Published: Feb 13, 2019