Marking the 60th anniversary of the first atomic explosion, Spiked published a re-jigged version of Mick Hume's Hiroshima:The White Man's Bomb, in which the author claims that the decision to nuke the Japanese was taken in the face of an explicit understanding that they were already on the verge of surrender.
There's a difference however between the judgements based on after-the-event research and the sentiments at the time. You'd be falling into the same trap if you stated that everyone in the coalition knew that there were no WMDs in Iraq before the invasion began. That knowledge might have existed as a diffuse suspicion at very senior levels, but probably not to the point of absolute certainty across the whole decision-making apparatus.
That the Americans had strategic, post-war objectives in mind when they dropped the bomb and wished to realise with maximum impact the $2bn they had invested in the Manhatten Project, shouldn't come as a huge surprise nor should it stand as a full explanation for what happened.
Fom conversations with my own parents though I'd say that Hume is right to bring our attention to the dimension of racial politics. It did (and does) bother the old colonialists that these Asiatics used their prisoners as 'coolies' thereby reversing the traditional race roles in the Orient. They do still demand compensation for this, even though far fewer white men died in these POW camps than say Russians or Germans did in each other's.
It's interesting to watch the current tensions in the media surrounding the portrayal of Islamic extremists. Like the Japanese they have a number of physical characteristics that could lend themselves to damning caricature - yet the lack of state encouragement of this demonisation has meant that it has thus far remained an undercurrent. With the Germans our government managed to separate out the hateability of the Nazi elite from the ordinary Germans and they are attempting to repeat this trick now with Al Qaeda and "ordinary muslims", but in both cases something of the 'beast' besmirched the wider group too.