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Diary reveals Hirohito war doubts
BBC ^ | Friday, March 9, 2007 | Steve Jackson

Posted on 03/09/2007 12:39:39 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu

Emperor Hirohito

Did Hirohito play an active part in planning and conducting the war?

Japanese emperor Hirohito expressed doubts about going to war with China in the 1930s and 40s, extracts from a diary of one of his advisers reveal.

They show Hirohito was afraid the Soviet Union would intervene.

The diary by Kuraji Ogura, who worked as a chamberlain to Hirohito in World War II, was found recently and parts have been published in Japan's media.

The full text may help solve the debate about how much responsibility the emperor had for Japan's wartime action.

South Pacific visit

The document is 600 pages long and includes an account of Ogura's experiences between 1939 and 1945.

According to a diary entry in October 1940, Hirohito expressed concern that the Japanese army had underestimated China when it launched a full-scale invasion in 1937.

A later extract quotes Hirohito as saying he had not wanted the war with China to begin, because he was afraid the Soviet Union would intervene.

However, in another section of the diary - more of which is due to be published on Saturday - Hirohito appeared to be more optimistic.

He said he hoped to visit the South Pacific after the war, a region he believed would by then be part of Japanese territory.

Hirohito never spoke to the public until the Japanese surrender in 1945, so his assistant's diary does shed some interesting light on his views.

The full text may reveal whether he was carried along by his advisers and the military or played an active part in the planning and conduct of the war.





TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; Japan; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: asia; atrocities; chamberlain; china; diary; emperor; hirohito; history; imperial; imperialjapan; japan; japanese; meiji; militaryhistory; neasia; northeastasia; pacific; pacifictheater; pacifictheatre; secondworldwar; showa; showaera; sovietunion; theater; theatre; ussr; warcrimes; worldwar; worldwar2; ww2

1 posted on 03/09/2007 12:39:40 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu
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To: Admin Moderator

The author of the article is a "Steve Jackson." Sorry for not posting it in the posting article form thing.


2 posted on 03/09/2007 12:43:02 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Admin Moderator

The author of the article is by a "Steve Jackson." Sorry for not posting it in the posting article form thing.


3 posted on 03/09/2007 12:43:11 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

He say it was quagmire?.............


4 posted on 03/09/2007 12:43:18 PM PST by Red Badger (Britney Spears shaved her head............Well, that's one way of getting rid of headlice.........)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

Another "recently found" diary by a principal in WW2... ho, hum. No, it won't serve to exculpate the Emperor of the Sun. He's lucky it was MacArthur who got to him first.


5 posted on 03/09/2007 12:43:18 PM PST by Snickersnee (Where are we going? And what's with this handbasket?)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

It says interesting things about Imperial Japan that more than 60 years after the war, people still are not sure if the country's leader was in favor of the war his country started.


6 posted on 03/09/2007 12:43:24 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (Enoch Powell was right.)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

Interesting. Thanks for posting.


7 posted on 03/09/2007 12:47:44 PM PST by PGalt
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To: PGalt

Sure thing.


8 posted on 03/09/2007 12:52:23 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: ClearCase_guy

It also suggests that ordinary Japanese might be getting the hint that the rest of the world wants them to finally own up for their part in World War 2.


9 posted on 03/09/2007 12:53:52 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Snickersnee

MacArthur was supposed to be lenient toward the Japanese? (an actual question).


10 posted on 03/09/2007 12:55:22 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
This Steve Jackson?



NFL star during the season, historian during the offseason. Nice.
11 posted on 03/09/2007 12:55:55 PM PST by Cyclopean Squid (Patron Saint of Mediocrity)
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To: Cyclopean Squid

Could be......though guessing not.


12 posted on 03/09/2007 12:57:51 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

I choose to believe it is. :)


13 posted on 03/09/2007 12:58:37 PM PST by Cyclopean Squid (Patron Saint of Mediocrity)
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To: ClearCase_guy

This could be another case like the Hitler Diaries.


14 posted on 03/09/2007 1:08:41 PM PST by Bringbackthedraft
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

Hirohito was a big part of the problem. Next question, puhlease....


15 posted on 03/09/2007 1:15:27 PM PST by TexanToTheCore (If it ain't Rugby or Bullriding, it's for girls.........................................)
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To: ClearCase_guy
" ... was in favor of the war his country started."

Which war was that?

If you meant World War Two ... then your "start" date would be September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland.

16 posted on 03/09/2007 1:37:45 PM PST by jamaksin
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To: ClearCase_guy
" ... was in favor of the war his country started."

Which war was that?

If you meant World War Two ... then your "start" date would be September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland.

17 posted on 03/09/2007 1:37:46 PM PST by jamaksin
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To: ClearCase_guy
It says interesting things about Imperial Japan that more than 60 years after the war, people still are not sure if the country's leader was in favor of the war his country started.

To use the honorable vernacular of the American GI circa 1944, "Too late now, you nipponese M---F---."

18 posted on 03/09/2007 2:09:03 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: jamaksin
If you meant World War Two ... then your "start" date would be September 1939, when Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland.

There, fixed it.

19 posted on 03/09/2007 2:10:44 PM PST by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Championship U)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
MacArthur was supposed to be lenient toward the Japanese? (an actual question).

Yes. Read some history. MacArthur was more lenient than the Japanese had any right to expect.

20 posted on 03/09/2007 2:12:16 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: dfwgator
Um ... a bit off on the timing.

Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. France and Great Britain, via treaty obligations, declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939 ... World War Two starts ...

USSR invades Poland ... September 17, 1939 ... so Uncle Joe "joined" in AFTER the war had started two weeks earlier.

21 posted on 03/09/2007 2:24:59 PM PST by jamaksin
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To: jamaksin

But the agreement to invade was made before the Nazis rolled, so the Soviets are jointly responsible.


22 posted on 03/09/2007 2:26:09 PM PST by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Championship U)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
MacArthur was supposed to be lenient toward the Japanese?

He was given a free hand, and turned out to have been far more generous and conciliatory that anyone thought would be the case. In August 1945, 90% of the American people wouldn't have objected to mass sterilization of the Japanese people, if not outright elimination. That we two nations have overcome all that in sixty years' time is largely attributable to MacArthur's occupation policies, which he mostly devised himself.

23 posted on 03/09/2007 2:26:37 PM PST by Snickersnee (Where are we going? And what's with this handbasket?)
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To: Snickersnee

Appreciated.


24 posted on 03/09/2007 2:39:31 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: hinckley buzzard

Manners.


25 posted on 03/09/2007 2:40:06 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: jamaksin

Nope. That would be Japan, when it invaded Manchuria.


26 posted on 03/09/2007 2:40:40 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: dfwgator
Notwithstanding the German-USSR non-aggreesion pact (executed on August 23, 1939), the question was event which "started" World War Two.

It was not the signing of the said non-aggression pact, nor Japanese actions, but rather German troops crossing the Polish frontier.

27 posted on 03/09/2007 2:42:46 PM PST by jamaksin
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To: hinckley buzzard

Too bad Mac wasn't in charge of dealing with Germany post-WW1. Hitler would quite likely have never risen to power.


28 posted on 03/09/2007 4:23:53 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Cheney X -- Destroying the Liberal Democrat Traitors By Any Means Necessary -- Ya Dig ? Sho 'Nuff.)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
That was actually considered a "regional" conflict and not the start of a World War.

The same could be said of the USSR invasion of Finland.

29 posted on 03/10/2007 2:33:20 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: Snickersnee

Why do I think Paul Bremer never read much about MacArthur, or Maxwell Taylor and the other American military proconsuls in Germany?


30 posted on 03/10/2007 3:02:35 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: jamaksin; Jedi Master Pikachu

OK, you've picked that nit to death.

The Winter War did not extend into WWII.

In the case of the Japanese in China, here you had one of the world's top militaries invading the world's most populous country, in a massive effort that dwarfs what the Soviets did in Finnland. Attempting to equate the two is just borderline absurd.

Yes, it wasn't considered "WWII" in 1937. But yes, it became part of WWII, and was part of what led Japan to defeat in 1945. And from the likely perspective of the Japanese, and not Western historians, the war started in 1937. It just got materially bigger in 1941, but was already in-progress.


31 posted on 03/10/2007 3:10:36 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: FreedomPoster
Finland "dust up" ... simply example of regional conflict; perhaps you read "too much" into that.

Again, timing ... Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931, Manchuko resulting. So, extending your logic, for Japan WWII started then?

32 posted on 03/10/2007 3:34:42 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: jamaksin

As to when World War II "officially" started. Insofar as this article is about *Japan's* involvement, one should bear in mind that MOST of Japan's war effort (at least as far as troop strength is concerned) was directed against CHINA, which it had been fighting since it had precipitated the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937.


33 posted on 03/10/2007 3:46:16 AM PST by alexander_busek
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To: alexander_busek
And Manchuria was not considered a part of CHINA in 1931?

By Japanese lights, then, when did WWII begin?

And, also, by "western" lights, when did WWII begin?

Perhaps better, what specific event(s) initiated those beginnings?

And, after these many decades since, are these questions considered settled? If yes, by whom? If, not, so what?

34 posted on 03/10/2007 3:56:15 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: jamaksin

Yes, yes, jamaksin... I am aware that Japan's aggression against China didn't first start in 1937 - but that is generally agreed upon as the year in which Japan geared up its activities and moved against China *in earnest*. It is not my intention to instigate a dispute with anyone over the actual starting date of World War II - I just think it rather western-centric to focus so much on the European theatre of war and September of 1939 when the article was about *Japan* and its military aggressions in Eastern Asia.


35 posted on 03/10/2007 4:13:40 AM PST by alexander_busek
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To: alexander_busek
A recent text:

"Origins of the Pacific War", Keiichiro Komatsu, St. Martin Press, New York, 1999, [ISBN 0-312-17385-7], (from his PhD dissertation taken at Oxford).

A Japanese perspective perhaps worth a quick scan.

36 posted on 03/10/2007 4:45:11 AM PST by jamaksin
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