Mixer: Dropping the A-bomb, 70 years ago

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MixerBannerThis week marks 70 years since the United States dropped two atomic bombs – within three days of each other – on two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The heat and radiation from those bombs incinerated both cities, and caused untold thousands of others to develop cancer and other diseases.

Japan surrendered, and World War II ended.

The American government and military explanation has always been that those bombs – which killed more than 200,000 people upon impact – were necessary to avoid even bigger casualties among U-S and allied troops fighting Japan.

It was a trade-off. A horrible trade-off.

One that’s still being talked about decades later.

Junji Sarashina is a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic blast. He lives in Orange County, and he’s active in anti-war efforts, and spoke at a vigil at the Chain Reaction sculpture in Santa Monica earlier this week.

He also helps organize medical check-ups for other survivors, known as hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors), here in Southern California, every couple of years.

Here in Los Angeles County and surrounding areas there are more than 100 survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Susan Southard is author of the new book “Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War.” You can read an excerpt here.

Both joined us for the Mixer.