America could have targeted a non-civilian or low population area to demonstrate the power of this new weapon to the Japanese forces, instead they chose to drop the bomb on two highly populated urban areas without warning. The intent can only have been to observe the damage caused on a real life population of a city. That makes the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki more reminiscent of a weapons test, as they could have equally followed earlier military thinking of dropping these bombs on famous uninhabited Japanese land marks, such as Mt. Fuji. The cover up of the scale of the bombing in Japan for decades after the War is a further demonstration of American guilt and recognition of the scale of this unacceptable war crime.
Hiroshima shockingly demonstrates this, it had not been targeted during the conventional bombing of the US Air Force, and was regarded as a suitable place to test the effects of an atomic bomb. According to Alex Wellerstein, historian at the Stevens Institute of Technology, "Hiroshima is compact, if you put a bomb like this in the middle of it, you end up destroying almost the entirety of the city" . At the time of the atomic bombing Nagasaki was the site of an Allied prisoner of war camp. Targeting this area with an atomic bomb shows not only the American’s appetite for destruction but also the complete lack of empathy and disregard for the Allied captive soldiers. Nagasaki was otherwise a major port and site of engine and torpedo manufacture, but not to the scale of Hiroshima or Kokura. Even Japan has since compensated British POW’s for their experience during the atomic bombing, when will America stand up on this issue?
Yokohama on the other hand was removed from the atomic bombing shortlist, as it had been heavily damaged following a conventional firebombing campaign. America wanted to see the effects of this new weapons for what they were and this would be difficult in heavily damaged cities. Under the pretence, and propaganda, of saving lives by discouraging Japan from continuing the war, America purposefully tested atomic bombs on civilians in cities unscathed by the war, willing to completely eradicate the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The US even sent observing planes to detail the destruction, this was clearly a weapons test, definitely a war crime and arguably genocide, this should be remembered as such by all sides, and reparations should be made.