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In the summer of 1945, following a series of decisive military and naval defeats by Allied forces, Japan was under increasing pressure to surrender and end the war in the Pacific rather than face an otherwise inevitable invasion of the Japanese mainland, with the likelihood of horrific casualties on both sides. The Japanese government, however, showed no indication of any intent to capitulate. On August 6, seven weeks after signing the United Nations (UN) charter, the United States exploded an atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima and, three days later, another over the city of Nagasaki. The dismaying results, with an estimated 140,000 people killed and another 94,000 injured, convinced Imperial Japan to announce its surrender on August 15, the instrument of which ...

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