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70 years ago

Here’s a propaganda leaflet that was dropped over Japanese cities following the destruction of Hiroshima on August 6th 1945. The original text and a translation are shown below.

Let’s hope this sort of thing never happens again.

Leaflet AB-12












Attention People Of Japan!!

— Evacuate your cities immediately —

The content of this leaflet is of the utmost importance, so please read it carefully.

The Japanese people are facing a grave situation.

Your military leaders were given the opportunity to stop this futile war by accepting the thirteen conditions of the Potsdam Declaration, but have ignored it.

As a result, the Soviet Union has declared war on Japan.

Furthermore, the United States has invented a formidable atomic bomb, which has already been used. Just one atomic bomb carries the destructive force of 2,000 B‑29 Superfortress bombers, as you can see for yourselves by witnessing the destruction caused by a single bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

All military forces involved in prolonging this futile war will be destroyed by these atomic bombs. The United States hopes that you will petition the Emperor to end the war before many more of these weapons are used. The president of the United States urges you to agree immediately with the thirteen generous conditions previously set forth, and to start building a new, more peace-loving Japan.

Accordingly, the Japanese people must surrender immediately.

Otherwise, the United States is resolved to use atomic bombs and other advanced weapons to force this war to a rapid conclusion.

— Evacuate your cities immediately —

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Header image: Maple leaves and bamboo stems in autumn at Tenryū-ji garden (天龍寺庭園) in Kyoto. Photo: Frank Gualtieri.

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