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3 The Greater East Asia War and the A-Bomb 31 The Greater East Asia war Along with expansion of its role as a military city Hiroshima became a modern city After the Manchurian Incident the Shanghai Incident and the outbreak of the full-scale war between Japan and China the Japanese army and navy launched an attack on the northen Malay Peninsula and attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 8 1941 Japan time Japan rushed into the Greater East Asia War the Pacific War In Hiroshima a center of military affairs since the Sino-Japanese and the Russo-Japanese wars military installations were expanded and various heavy industries developed rapidly In 1942 a Marine headquarters under the command of Lieutenant General Fumio Saeki was set up in Ujina and related units were placed on the coast around Hiroshima City Later when the atomic bomb was dropped these units located about 4 kilometers away from the city escaped destruction They sent out relief squads and took a very active part in aiding the wounded clearing the dead bodies and cleaning the streets 32 Preparations for the Decisive Battle on the Mainland After the outbreak of the war the air defense setup of the city was rapidly strengthened and was much stronger than in other cities However after Japan which had been victorious in the early stages of the war lost the battle of Guadalcanal in 1943 the military situation grew steadily worse and it appeared that the mainland of Japan would be turned into a battlefield The army hurriedly prepared for a decisive battle on the mainland With these preparations Hiroshima was to take on a new role Japan was divided into two parts the First General Headquarters was placed in Tokyo and the Second General Headquarters under the command of Marshal Shunroku Hata in Hiroshima where the headquarters of the Chugoku District Governor-General led by Isei Otsuka the highest administrative body commissioned
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