Last week marked 75 years since the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is the only time in history that nuclear weapons were used in warfare – and it resulted in Japan’s surrender, bringing the end to World War II.
Seventy-five years later the international community looks back on these events – with organizations, such as the United Nations calling for a recommitment to nuclear disarmament, citing next year’s upcoming Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, as an opportunity to prevent events like these in the future.
But as the international community reflects on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a recent YouGov Poll finds Americans are divided on the event. According to the poll, 39 percent of Americans say the United States was right to use nuclear weapons on the two cities, compared to 33 percent who say it was wrong, and a quarter (25%) who don’t know if it was right or wrong.
The data also finds Republicans (64%) are more likely than Independents (35%) and Democrats (43%) to say it was right to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
About two in five (41%) Americans say the United States should not apologize to Japan for the use of the atomic bomb during World War II, compared to 34 percent who say the US should apologize.
Young Americans are more likely to say the country should apologize to Japan. About half (52%) of Americans ages 18 to 24 say the United States should apologize, compared to 45 percent of 25-to 34-year-olds, two in five (41%) Americans between 35 and 44, 29 percent of 45-to 54-year-olds, and one in five (21%) Americans over the age of 55.
Methodology: The YouGov polls are based on the interviews of 6,313 US adults aged 18 and over. All interviews were conducted online between August 6 – 7, 2020 and results have weighted to be nationally representative.