During the final stage of World War II, the United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively. The US dropped the bombs after obtaining the consent of UK, as required by the Quebec Agreement. The two bombings killed at least 129,000 people, most of whom were civilians. They remain the only use of nuclear weapons in the history of warfare.
The effects of the bombings
The entire infrastructure of the cities) was completely destroyed.
Even after five years, many citizens suffered and died from radiation exposure and other diseases related to the radiation. The excessive radiation emitted from the explosion also caused genetic mutation and people today are still suffering from its effects.
Why could Japanese progress?
The effect of the World War II on Japan was extreme. The Japanese decided that ‘war will never happen again’ and committed themselves to salvaging the nation from the disaster. Every citizen cooperated with the government and local administration to rebuild the nation.
Hiroshima was an important city. It was the center of war operations and there were a lot of manufacturing plants located at a distance from the city, which fortunately faced less damage. Rebuilding the city from the ravages of the atom bomb was a herculean task and the Mayor of Hiroshima vowed “I would like to make a peaceful, beautiful, international city’. With a goal of rebuilding Hiroshima City, he took charge and even defined the philosophical direction of Hiroshima’s reconstruction.
The city faced many challenges. There was shortage of funds and electricity.
However the spirit and resilience of the people has seen the cities bounce back.
The strong manufacturing industry in Hiroshima and Nagasaki which included companies like Nippon Steel Works, Mitsubishi Industries Vehicle Manufacturing Plant contributed to the economic redevelopment of the cities.
The Japanese Economy today
The economy of Japan is a highly developed and market-oriented economy. It is the third-largest in the world by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP) and is the world’s second largest developed economy.
Japan is the world’s third largest automobile manufacturing country, has the largest electronics goods industry, and is often ranked among the world’s most innovative countries leading several measures of global patent filings. Facing increasing competition from China and South Korea, manufacturing in Japan today now focuses primarily on high-tech and precision goods, such as optical instruments, hybrid vehicles, and robotics.