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More than 70% of American young people think nuclear weapons are unnecessary

  • August 4, 2020
  • , NHK
  • JMH Summary

NHK reported that its Hiroshima bureau conducted an online survey of people aged 18 to 34 in Hiroshima, all prefectures other than Hiroshima, and the United States as this year marks the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings. The survey targeted 1,000 individuals from each group. According to the network, about 85% of the Japanese respondents, both in Hiroshima and other prefectures, and more than 70% of the Americans said nuclear weapons are unnecessary. The reason cited by most of them was that the weapons can “kill and injure many people.” The second most frequently cited reason was that nuclear weapons are “too destructive.” When asked about the U.S. atomic bombings 75 years ago, 41.6% of Americans said they were unforgivable, while 31.3% said they were necessary. The network said although the results cannot be simply compared because of the survey methods were different, a survey conducted by Pew Research Center five years ago found that 47% of Americans aged 18 to 29 thought the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were justified.


Meiji Gakuin University Professor Takahara reportedly said: “People in the United States have long subscribed to the myth that the atomic bombings helped end the war, and this is still accepted today. However, as a result of education, that notion has been gradually changing mainly among the young generation in the U.S. over the last ten years.” When asked whether they want to learn more about the nuclear bombings, 76.5% of people in Hiroshima, 68.7% of people in other prefectures, and 80.5% of Americans said yes. When asked whether they have ever heard the accounts of hibakusha, 75.4% of people in Hiroshima, 47% of people in other prefectures, and 34.8% of Americans said they have. More than half of Americans who said they have heard the accounts of hibakusha said they had heard them on the Internet. Meanwhile, the network said more than 60% of Americans who said they had never heard accounts by hibakusha said they wanted to hear them, adding that the young generation in the U.S. is more interested in the atomic bombings than the young generation in Japan.

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