Plunge Pontificates

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Monday, May 30, 2005

Bitter Asian Men

This site is truly funny. If you are a cute girl, white, black, brown, whatever, and like Asian guys, drop these folks a message. They are begging to find you!

Of course, it was probably one of these bastards that made nasty comments to me... Oh well...

France Surrenders!

It's official.

The Price of Freedom

Please don't miss Chief Wiggles' post this Memorial Day.

Flying Yangban has a wonderful picture up for this day.

"In Rememberance of a Life Well Lived" Thoughts for Memorial Day

I wanted to share these wonderful words given by Lloyd D. Newell, May 29, 2005:
Memorials and monuments have been erected in rememberance of great people since the beginning of time. Stateues, walls, and obelisks are put in place to memorialize those who paid the ulitimate price in defending their counry, who lifted the downtrodden, who brought the light of peace, and who rescued others in political or spiritual bondage.

Unfortunately, all the people worthy of our acknowledgement have not had large stone monuments erected in their memory. For many quiet heroes, a simple marker may lie unheralded in the grass of a city cemetery. For others, no memorial exists at all except in the hearts of those who recall their acts of service and sacrifice.

Perhaps the greatest monuments ever built are monuments of love, put together piece by piece through individual deeds of kindness. Such memorials are created by selfless caregivers who sit by a sickbed through a long and painful night, by helpful neighbors who love enough to notice a need and then willingly lend a hand, and by anonymous helpers who offer everything from a passing smile to a substantial sum to rescue those in distress.

Public recognition is not the real memorial for tender acts of kindsness or worthy deeds of service. The freedoms won, the opportunities given, the hearts that were touched are the most enduring tributes. Whether for the Unknown Soldier or the well-known hero, the sheer number of people who remember is not the criterion which will, in the end, determine the importance of a good deed. The most enduring memorial is the sincere appreciation which rises to the heavens in testament of a life well lived.
Here's wishing you a happy, heartfelt Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Death of Pacifism in Japan

There have been various articles and the like talking of the resurgence of militarism in Japan. It continues and the latest proclaims that not only is pacifism on the decline, it is dying.

Forged in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Japan's defeat in World War II 60 years ago this August, the pacifist movement has long pushed for a nonaligned, internationalist Japan that would stand forever for world peace.

But over the past decade, the country's pacifists have faced painful reversals; friendly left-leaning parties have shrunk with the end of the Cold War, and Tokyo has become more assertive and militarily active in world affairs.
Despite protests to the contrary, what I and others have been saying seems to coming to pass. Japan is dispensing with its pacifistic ways and force will be the watch word of the future.

Interestingly, the last bastion of pacifism is Okinawa. If this article is correct, that will be the place and people to watch. When pacifism dies in Okinawa, it will be dead in Japan.

Japan's depravity worsens

Starting with this posting on problems in the US, things continue their downward spiral. Luckily, the articles below aren't from the US.

Home alone one weekend afternoon, Mr. Suzuki wanders into his teenage daughter's room and spots a magazine named EGG on her dressing table. Cracking EGG open, he finds a "Special Section on Sex" whose headline reads, "Key studies into the missionary position, on top, and doggy style!"

Suzuki's eyes bulge from their sockets. His face reddens. Even before reaching sweet 16, his little girl appears to be prepping for her initiation into sex -- if she hasn't graduated already.

EGG, reports Shukan Gendai, is the most popular of about 10 magazines for teenage girls, with a circulation of around 300,000. While contents feature stories on hair styles and makeup, each issue incorporates a section on sex.

"According to reader surveys, it's the mag's first or second most popular section," says an EGG contributor. "Girls know that being skilled at sex is the best way to get the attention of boys they like. And the more graphic the stories, the better."

Yeah, this is what our daughters need to be reading. While I haven't found a magazine this bad in the US geared towards young girls, what we have isn't great. Still, I was shocked to read this.

Among EGG's recent headlines were "The sexual world of men that women don't know. Part I: Erections" and "Ways to enjoy doing it in his car."

"Nuts" -- another teen zine (which sells 100,000) -- recently featured "I can't cook and hate cleaning, but I wanna get married! The complete shotgun wedding manual."

The June issue of "Ranzuki," (200,000 circulation) meanwhile, has "10 pieces of advice for when he sticks it in." (Examples: "Don't bellow out loud. No matter how good it feels, keep your voice down or you'll get a reputation for being a slut." And "Don't dig your nails into his back until he bleeds. But gentle pressure will excite him.")

I wonder what things I'll find next, it just keeps getting worse and worse.

I thank the Lord everyday for sending me a wonderful daughter, one with moral standards and a sense of decency.

The editors of the magazines above should be disgusted with themselves.

60% of Japanese tell Koizumi to NOT visit Yasukuni

Wow, this is a huge, huge shift.

Nearly three in five Japanese responding to a Kyodo News poll said Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi should not visit war-related Yasukuni Shrine this year, according to results released Saturday.

Those who gave that answer totaled 57.7 percent, marking an increase of 16.9 percentage points from a survey conducted in December, while those who said he should pay a visit decreased by 16.7 points to 34.3 percent.

Asked about their views on the Japanese government's efforts at improving ties with China that have been seen as being marred by the Yasukuni issue, 50.8 percent said they do not think sufficient efforts are being made, far outpacing the 11.5 percent who said efforts are adequate.

More and more, it is looking like the people of Japan have decided it is time for a change. I see this as a huge positive for the nation and for Asia. Let's hope this is only the beginning!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

China on the rise

Time for everyone to mosey on over to Gypsy Scholar and read his piece on China's Rising Power. Good links, good thoughts.

Japanese Apologize for Murdering Queen Min!

This was unexpected:

Two Japanese descendants of hired assassins who killed a Korean empress in 1895 have traveled to Seoul to apologize for their ancestors' deed.

Kawano Tatsumi and Leiri Keiko were among a delegation of 10 who visited the grave of the queen and her husband King Gojong, Channel NewsAsia reported Wednesday.
Unexpectedly, the arrived at the grave site while ancestors of the Korean royalty were there.

"I have come to apologize for what my grandfather did," Kawano said.

Descendants of the Korean royal family happened to be performing ancestral ceremonies at the tomb when the Japanese delegation arrived. Though they did not initially welcome the Japanese, they later allowed them to take part in the ceremony.
Now, maybe the rest of Japan could follow their example.

Question on Military Service

Quick question for anyone in the know, if a Korean male joins the US military, does that exempt him from serving in the Korean military?

What about if they join the Guard?

Any restrictions?

Thanks.

US to invade and occupy..............South Korea!

In bizarr-o-world North Korea, the have uncovered the truth! The truth that the US is getting ready to occupy South Korea!

North Korea on Saturday criticized Washington's alliance with Seoul as a facade to cover up a U.S. plan to occupy South Korea by force.

"The United States is pretending to be a protector of South Korea ... but it is definitely an aggressor, an occupier," said a spokesman at the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.

Washington has a "wicked intent to strengthen its colonial rule and militarist occupation of South Korea and to make South Korea a victim of the U.S. scheme to wage a war of aggression," the unidentified spokesman was quoted as saying by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency.
All of you that actually live there, get ready to run for the hills!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Two steps forward, three steps back...

And relations continue to deteriorate. While I think Koizumi is an idiot, the one thing he is, is consistent. Unlike the wishy washy President Roh.

Koizumi is determined to put a good face on relations between Japan and its neighbors.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi Friday said there is no change on the policy of insisting on China-Japan friendship.

According to Jiji News, Koizumi made the remarks in a meeting with Tsutomu Takebe, secretary general of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Bilateral ties between China and Japan is the most important ties for both sides, Koizumi said, adding that China-Japan ties is influential to peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the world.

"No matter what happens, the policy will not change," the premier was quoted as saying.

One thing with Koizumi, you will normally know where you stand.

Unfortunately, he has to deal with others in his government saying exactly the wrong things. This doesn't help on the heels of his visiting Yasukuni.

...Masahiro Morioka, parliamentary secretary for health, labor and welfare, said Thursday that Class-A war criminals convicted by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East after World War II are no longer regarded as criminals in Japan.

China's biggest complaint to Japan is Koizumi's visits to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors 14 Class-A war criminals along with 2.5 million war dead. China views visits by Japanese leaders to the shrine as an action that glorifies its militarist past.

Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori also made a potentially explosive remark when he said Thursday that China and South Korea are "nothing but niggling" when they criticize a Japanese history textbook they say is glossing over Japan's militaristic past.

So, for ever couple of steps taken to heal the rift, there are three or for more idiotic things that happen.

UPDATE: Please read this post on Coming Anarchy. Not so much for the post but the comments that follow, don't miss Jing's comment. I'm sure anyone who has been reading my writings the short time I've been blogging will know where I lean in the discussion.

UPDATE II: Some more has been coming out on the problems inside the Diet. The issue of Yasukuni is being to divide members.

Meanwhile, New Komeito Secretary General Tetsuzo Fuyushiba said at a Diet members meeting Thursday that Koizumi should refrain from visiting Yasukuni Shrine, which enshrines the country's war dead including Class-A war criminals.

"I wonder if Japan should do something that China and South Korea don't like," he said. "We should take into consideration the sentiment of the people [in those countries] who were victimized in the war."

New Komeito leader Takenori Kanzaki and Fuyushiba talked about the matter Tuesday. They reportedly agreed at a press conference that Koizumi should refrain from visiting the shrine because the party's supporters said they want the government to clarify its stance on the issue.

Also, more has been released on the comments of Morioka.

Masahiro Morioka, parliamentary secretary of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry criticized the Chinese government for demanding Koizumi stop visiting the shrine. "Class-A war criminals are treated as bad people because of fear of China," Morioka said. "War criminals were categorized as Class-A, Class-B and Class-C at the Tokyo Tribunal of War Criminals. They were categorized by a one-sided tribunal led by the Occupation forces at which crimes against peace and humanity were created."

"A war is part of politics, and it is in line with an international law. The Diet unanimously agreed to pay pensions to the families of Class-A war criminals who have died. They're not seen as criminals in the country," he said. (emphasis added by me)

I had no idea about the last part. Do other countries pay pensions to the families of convicted Class A war criminals?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Major Japanese Figure Calls For War Criminals to be Removed From Yasukuni

Despite all the Japnophiles and their continued blathering about how Japan has apologized (not) and how others shouldn't be concerned about visits to Yasukuni, more movers and shakers in Japan are beinging to realize what a problem it truly is to their neighbors.

Japan may need to reconsider the interment of convicted war criminals in the Yasukuni Shrine, one of the country's most venerated religious sites, said the chairman of the nation's most powerful business lobby.

...
``The issue isn't visiting the Yasukuni, but to recognize that the war criminals are there,'' said Hiroshi Okuda, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, at a press conference today in Tokyo.

Yes! He gets it! Get rid of the war criminals, get rid of the controversy! For those of you that don't know, not only is Hiroshi Okuda the chairman of the Japan Business Federation, he is also the chairman of Toyota Motor Corp.

I hope more start to echo his words.

UPDATE: Other's are starting to talk.

Ruling coalition New Komeito party Secretary General Tetsuzo Fuyushiba cautioned a party lawmaker Thursday for telling the Diet that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to war-related Yasukuni Shrine are akin to a German leader's visit to Adolf Hitler's grave, party lawmakers said.

Fuyushiba orally cautioned House of Councillors member Junichi Fukumoto for being careless and inappropriate for making the remark, they said.

Fukumoto criticized the premier's repeated visits during an upper house Budget Committee session last Friday, saying, "It's just like offering prayers at a grave of Hitler."


UPDATE II: Takashi Tsujii also realizes the position that Japan has put itself in. While writing on why he feels Japan is not ready to be part of the UN Security Council he writes:

It is also questionable whether Japan is doing its share as a responsible member of the international community.

Some people argue that it is unreasonable to distinguish between victors and vanquished nations 60 years after the end of World War II.

Although I won't completely deny such vague feelings as wrong, we must also squarely face the reality that 60 years after the war, Japan still has no Asian friends who trust it.

In other words, Japan has yet to settle its history that led to World War II.

Also in this regard, Japan is completely different from Germany, which has positively made an effort to reconcile with its neighbors. The fact that China and South Korea are opposing Japan's bid to become a permanent member of the Security Council is also a sign that Japan is not ready for the post.


Another Gold Medal For Korea!

This time in the time honored sport of gluttony!

I found this quite humorous.

Sonya Thomas is thin. At 5 feet 5 inches and 99 pounds, the Alexandra, Va., resident is one of those people about whom you think, "She must eat like a bird." And, in fact, she does, but only because birds supposedly eat twice their body weight in food.

Not surprisingly, her name notwithstanding, Thomas is Korean.
Amazing, that small and America's number one ranked female professional eater. Here is a list of her accomplishments:

-- March 20, 2005 -- 46 dozen (552) oysters in 10 minutes. -- Feb. 12, 2005 -- 25 grilled cheese sandwiches in 10 minutes. -- Jan. 22, 2005 -- one 9-pound burger with cheese in 48 minutes, 10 seconds. -- Nov. 27, 2004 -- 52 hard-boiled eggs in five minutes. - Sept. 29, 2004 -- 48 soft-shell chicken tacos in 11 minutes. - Sept. 5, 2004 -- 5.09 pounds of buffalo wings (162 wings) in 12 minutes -- Aug. 21, 2004 -- 9.76 pounds of lobster meat (38 soft-shell lobsters) in 12 minutes. -- July 4, 2004 -- 32 Nathan's hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes, a new women's world record (and American record)
Read the whole thing for yourself. It is quite long and indepth, I never knew so much went into the 'sport' of eating.

You go girl!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

What is this world coming to?!?

I guess I'm out of the majority, but this REALLY disgusts me. How in the world could they market a book like this to 14 year olds and up!?!?

I'm just getting sick of the moral degeneration in society today. I'm glad I have a daughter who seems to understand this as well.

Thanks to Michelle for pointing this out! If you read her article, be careful which links you click on. Some of them are NSFW, yet, for some reason, people feel it is safe for our children.

MORE:

I thought I would continue to write some more on this. After being to QOAE's site and reading her wonderful posting on parental notification before an abortion and from there to Vista on Current Events for an article on Planned Parenthood saying saran wrap can be used for safe oral and anal sex for 8th graders! What in the BLOODY HELL IS GOING ON?!?!

I like how the article brings out a point from the FBI's pamphlet, "A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety" where they are discussing how pedophiles work:
These individuals attempt to gradually lower children's inhibitions by slowly introducing sexual context and content into their conversations.”
Isn't this what we are doing with all this crap in our schools and on TV and in the movies and music and everything else?!?

Call me a prude, whatever. I have a sweet, wonderful 13 year old daughter. She and I discuss nearly everything together and, luckily, she knows she can ask me anything. I won't be embarrassed, at least not that she will know, and I'll do my best to answer any question open and honestly. She also knows I'll listen to her thoughts and feelings. This is where these discussions belong! They belong at home, with the family! I resent others butting in, thinking that they should be the ones to decide how to properly raise my daughter and what her standards and morals should be.

I'll end my rant, at least for now.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Japan Will Never Learn

There are consequences to every action, but it seems that Japan just doesn't want to see this.

Ms Wu cut short her visit and flew home before a planned meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

The visit was meant to improve the countries' strained relations.

But China said it was "extremely unsatisfied" at Japanese comments about the shrine, which honours Japan's war dead, including some war criminals.

"To our regret, during Vice-Premier Wu Yi's stay in Japan, Japanese leaders repeatedly made remarks on visiting the Yasukuni shrine that go against the efforts to improve Sino-Japanese relations," foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

It is frustrating. I'm one of those that believes if Japan just recognized its past and dealt with it, it could be THE major power in Asia. Many might say it is now, but with the continuous problems it has with its neighbors over past crimes, Japan will never reach its full potential. They are just too stiff-necked to acknowledge what needs to be done.

I also can never agree with those that say it is a private matter and really shouldn't involve other countries. It isn't a private matter. Once someone takes a high office, everything they do is of public interest, both to their citizens and to those abroad that they interact with.

I'll say it again, if Koizumi had any decency, he would end his visits to the shrine. He would join the Emperor and Prime Ministers before him who understood just how wrong it is to deify war criminals. He would find another way to honor those who fought for Japan. But, the man has no shame. His legacy will be an embarrassment to Japan, a man that set relations with his neighbors back decades.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Leaving the Left -- Must read article

Again, mostly putting this here for myself. An eloquently written piece.

I'm leaving the left -- more precisely, the American cultural left and what it has become during our time together.

I choose this day for my departure because I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity with oppressed populations everywhere -- reciting all the ways Iraq's democratic experiment might yet implode.

My estrangement hasn't happened overnight. Out of the corner of my eye I watched what was coming for more than three decades, yet refused to truly see. Now it's all too obvious. Leading voices in America's "peace" movement are actually cheering against self-determination for a long-suffering Third World country because they hate George W. Bush more than they love freedom.

Read the entire thing.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Atomic Bomb Section 5 Conclusion


Table of Contents

Over the intervening years, the dropping of the atomic bomb has been argued, debated, sliced and diced. It was good, it was bad. It was moral, it was immoral. It was to end the war, it was to warn the Soviets, it was to justify the cost; just about every argument has been made. Yet, when we take a look at the facts, we look at them without prejudice, it is easy to see the proper decision was made.

Historians throughout the years have agreed. Even some Japanese at the time were grateful. Okura Kimmochi, the president of the Technological Research Mobilization Office said:

As far as I am concerned, I think it is better for our country to suffer a total defeat than to win a total victory in the present Greater East Asian War. During the past ten years the military domination of our country has been flagrant, and the reins of government have been totally controlled by the military. What would happen if Japan were to win the war in such a situation? Inevitably Japan would come under both internal and external attacks and the nation would go to pieces. On the other hand, in case of Japan’s total defeat, the armed forces will be abolished, but the Japanese people will rise to the occasion during the next several decades to reform themselves into truly a splendid people….I believe that the great humiliation [of the atomic bomb] is nothing but an admonition administered by Heaven to our country.

In 1986, Toyoda Toshiyuki wrote:

The explosion of a uranium bomb over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and of a plutonium bomb over Nagasaki three days later gave a tremendous shock to Japan’s wartime rulers. After studying the report of the Japanese scientists who surveyed the devastated cities, the leaders realized the extraordinary power of the atomic bomb: a single shot could instantly obliterate an entire city. They moved quickly to surrender in order to avoid a third use of this awesome and inhumane weapon on another Japanese city.

Others have written similar as well. The atomic bomb was the reason that Japan surrendered when they did. Without, the war would have drug on.

Some have felt that it was immoral to drop the bomb. There are certain types of weapons that are considered ‘inherently’ evil because of the horror that is produced by their use. Poison gases and biological weapons are part of these forbidden weapons. Nuclear weapons are part of this group. But, at the time, their destructive power was truly unknown. They were just a new weapon with no inherent evilness or goodness. It was only later, after their use, after the effects of radiation became known, the massive devastation they can cause became known that the bombs became the demons they are today. Albert Einstein said:

It should not be forgotten that the atomic bomb was made in this country as a preventive measure; it was to head off its use by the Germans, if they discovered it. The bombing of civilian centers was initiated by the Germans and adopted by the Japanese. To it the Allies responded in kind—as it turned out, with greater effectiveness—and they were morally justified in doing so.

There really is not much more to add. There are many more historians that could be quoted, statesmen, and other leaders. But that doesn’t make much difference. We all have to decide for ourselves. It was a unique situation in a horrific war; one that had never been faced before. Yes, a horrifically devastating weapon came to being, the power of which should made anyone shudder. Yet, at that time, its use was justified. More than one soldier who would have had to have invaded Japan has made the following or similar remark. A remark that might be hard to understand today, but to those hundreds of thousands who would have had to make the invasion, it is easily understandable. “Thank God for the atom bomb.” I would add, “Thank God for the brave men who made a difficult decision and in the end, saved millions of lives.”

Atomic Bomb Section 6 FAQ – Separating Myth from Reality

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

25 years since the Kwangju Massacre / Incident

Amazing that it has been that long. You can read a short summary here from ABC news.

I've yet to find a website that I feel acurately portrays what happened, they all have a strong agenda and I haven't been able to find one that shows the American side of things very well. So, I'll recommend some books, each with their own strong agenda, but maybe by reading them all you'll get a better feeling for what happened. My wife has requested that I do NOT write about what happened that day, so I will be on the look out for a website that deals fairly with the incident.

First: Korea on the Brink
Then: Contentious Kwangju
Finally: Kwangju Diary

A sad chapter in Korea's history.

UPDATE: Marmot has a good daily summary going of the events of what happened in Kwangju. Again, please remember that there will be disputes as to what actually occured.
Day 1, Day 2, Day3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6 & 7,

(some changes made to above text thanks to comments in the comment section)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Letter to George Lucas From Someone Who Understands Communism, Arthur Chrenkoff

I've always been rather rabid in my anti-communist views, something that has brought me grief at times. So, imagine my chagrine when I read what George Lucas was saying about StarWars and how the Evil Empire was actually a representation of the US and the USSR as I had always thought.

Then, today while reading The Indepundit, I read this posting which sent me to an open letter to George Lucas from the esteemed Aruthur Chrenkoff.
Dear Mr Lucas

This might be a good opportunity to thank you for many hours of entertainment that your two "Star Wars" trilogies have provided for me with. I'm not one of the "Star Wars" fanatics, but I've watched the five films so far several times over the years. I most fondly remember watching the first trilogy in the late 1970s and the early 80s at the movies, when I was a boy living in the then communist Poland. Your space saga of Luke Skywalker and his fight against Darth Vader, the Empire and the Dark Side has proved as big a hit on the other side of the Iron Curtin as it did in the West.

You might be aware that all of us who saw the "Star Wars" trilogy throughout the communist world saw it as an entertaining, yet still nonetheless powerful commentary on the current world events. We simply couldn't escape the conclusion that the militaristic and freedom-crushing Empire with its legions of stormtroopers is a futuristic version of the Soviet Empire, which had conquered and enslaved hundreds of millions of people like myself. For us, of course, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and all the others fighting to restore the Republic were brave oppositionists and freedom fighters in the truest sense of the word. Like the Western movie goers, we too cheered when the Death Star was destroyed (twice), but whereas for our counterparts in the Free World this was just a great cinematic climax, for us it embodied the hope ("A New Hope", if you pardon the pun) that one day the specter of totalitarianism will vanish and we will be free again.

Apparently, however, we were wrong - we didn't read your movies correctly...
Thank you Arthur. You said it better than I ever could have with a perspective I'll never have. You lived it, I have only read about it.

UPDATE: Some more good comments over at Dean's place.

Koizumi Opens His Lips Even Wider

I think he wants to be able to insert not only his foot but his hands as well.

Maybe I have that wrong, maybe this is him:



Yeah, that's it.

Here is his latest screed:

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi urged Japan's Asian neighbors Monday "not to interfere" with its internal affairs by denouncing his visits to Yasukuni Shrine.

"Every country wants to mourn their war dead, and other countries should not interfere in the way of mourning," Koizumi told the House of Representatives Budget Committee.

"I still don't understand why it's inexcusable to pay homage and express (our) gratitude for the war dead as a whole," he said in response to a question by Yoshito Sengoku, the Democratic Party of Japan's policy affairs chief.

Followed by:

"As in the teachings of Confucius, it is the offense -- not the offenders -- that should be condemned," Koizumi said.

He also rejected Sengoku's claim that his repeated visits to Yasukuni remind other Asian nations of Japan's militarist past.

Criticism linking the Yasukuni visits to militarism "should not be taken seriously," Koizumi argued, saying Japan won its name in the international community as a pacifist country in the 60 years since the war.

Is he for real? Does he truly believe this or is he just trying to placate the right wing fanatic nut job portion of the government? Whatever the truth is, it is sad. He is either a complete idiot with no international relations savvy or he is a dupe for fascist nut job.

Way to go Koizumi. Hopefully Japan will get a decent Prime Minister next time.

UPDATE: Welcome to Dean Esmay readers. For more on this subject, here is my previous post when it was announced he was going to visit the shrine this year. Here is my post on why I believe Japan should apologize. Finally, my post on how I believe Japan should go about apologizing.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Newsweek screw up

I posted about this over on the Chief's site.

Dean Esmay probably has the best coverage on it. Start here, then go here, and end here.

All I'll say here is that I am thoroughly and completely disgusted.

Koizumi to visit Yasukuni again this year

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi indicated Monday he will visit Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine again this year despite China's protests against his visits to the shrine, which it views as evocative of Japan's militaristic past.

Koizumi has again decided to show that his 'apologies' for past war crimes aren't worth the air used to make them. His political acumen is nonexistent as is his sense of decency.

I find it humorous that the article focuses only on China's protest. It isn't just China, it is any decent individual with a sense of history. It amazes me that the US felt it had to be so careful of Japanese sensibilities back in 1995 during the abortive attempt at an Enola Gay exhibit when you see just how insensitive Japan is towards others concerning their war atrocities.

"Other countries should not interfere with the ways countries pay tribute to the war dead," Koizumi said in response to a call by opposition Democratic Party lawmaker Yoshito Sengoku for the premier to stop the visits due to opposition from China and South Korea.

This is the Prime Minister of a nation that wants to have a seat on the security council of the UN? Good luck with that. If you can't find a way to get along with two of the most important nations to yours when it comes to economic concerns, regional concerns and security concerns; how in the world do you think you can handle the problems of the world?

Also, when your nation waged a war of imperialistic expansion that caused the deaths of 10s of millions of innocent people, I would think you might just want to listen to your neighbors when they are concerned with how you pay tribute to those who started that war. But, yes, who cares that your war criminals retarded the growth and prosperity of Korea for nearly 50 years. Who cares that you raped their women and used their men as slave labor and cannon fodder. Who cares that you slaughtered the citizens of China.

"The Chinese side says we should show our reflections on war by action, but Japan has shown our reflections on war by following the words that we would coordinate with the international community and never wage war," he said.

Ah yes, you see, forget our past crimes; crimes that are less than 60 years gone, crimes that have scared nations and people, people still living today. We haven't done it lately, isn't that all that matters? Whose concern is it if I go and worship at a shrine the deifies war criminals?

My contempt for Mr. Koizumi knows no limits. He isn't fit to wash the feet of a former "comfort woman." His actions again prove just how hollow Japan's so-called apologies have been. His actions remind me of so many criminals in today's world. He's isn't sorry for past war crimes and atrocities, he is just sorry they lost the war and were caught. He isn't apologizing out of any true sense of regret and remorse, he apologizes because it is politically expedient.

Go visit your shrine. Go show the world how little decency you have.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Atomic Bomb Section 4 Why did this have to happen, wasn’t Japan Trying to Surrender?

Table of Contents

Was Japan trying to surrender before the atomic bomb was dropped? This question and variations of it are asked by everyone that has opposed the dropping of the atomic bomb. Following that is the question “Was the second bomb necessary?” The question is also asked if the US was asking for too difficult of a surrender by asking for an unconditional surrender. These are all wonderful and important questions. They all need good, solid answers, something I will try to give.

I want to start with the question about unconditional surrender. There are many that say if the US had not asked for an unconditional surrender, Japan would have capitulated much earlier. They also say that the US, in the end, did not get the unconditional surrender that they were asking for since Japan kept their emperor, so we gained nothing dragging the war out so long.

I will state here, asking for an unconditional surrender was an absolute necessity. The people of the United States would accept nothing less. But what is an unconditional surrender? It means that the side surrendering can not set any conditions for their surrender. This is basically what the US got from Japan. Yes, the emperor was allowed to remain. Allowing him to remain made for a far smoother transfer of power and allowed for a far easier disarming of the massive Japanese military. He remained as a figurehead only, completely and totally under the direction of the UN Supreme Commander. Yet, his being there was a comfort to the people of Japan during a time of complete turmoil and change.

Let’s take a look at “unconditional” surrenders. Before WWII, the foreign wars that the US was involved in always ended in negotiated armistices. There had been unconditional surrenders in US involved wars, but it involved the Civil War. Roosevelt was determined to push for an unconditional surrender from Japan, Germany and Italy because of his experiences during and after World War I.

At the end of World War I, Roosevelt was the assistant secretary of the navy, a post he held from 1913-1920. In this position he was witness to General John Pershing who demanded the complete destruction of the German armies. He pushed Wilson to proclaim this and, under his pressure, Wilson tried to demand a full surrender. In this though, the Allies prevailed and an armistice was granted. Pershing wrote:

Instead of requiring the German forces to retire at once, leaving material, arms and equipment behind, the Armistice terms permitted them to march back to their homeland with colors flying and bands playing, posing as the victims of political conditions…The surrender of the German armies would have been an advantage to the Allies in the enforcement of peace terms and would have been a greater deterrent against possible future German aggression.

Pershing felt this was a huge mistake and his later words to a friend proved to be quite prescient. He later told a friend, “They never knew they were beaten in Berlin. It will all have to be done all over again.” On his eighty-third birthday in 1943, he said, “Today brings forcibly to mind that you wanted to go through to Berlin in 1918.”

Franklin Roosevelt was in complete agreement with Pershing. In 1918, as acting secretary of the Navy, it was his position to recommend the disposition of the remaining German fleet. He recommended that the entire fleet be surrendered instead of just being interned. He won that battle, small one that it was. In the end, the German army was allowed to retreat back to Berlin able to blame its defeat on “politics,” leaving them to feel unbeaten on the battlefield.

From the end of World War I, much thought and study was put into how the war and armistice was handled. It was the center of much debate, debate that had its answer only a short time later. On April 8, 1942, Grayson Kirk, professor of government at Columbia University and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, presented a paper, “The Armistice Negotiations, 1918.” It read in part:

It is clear that if, instead of an armistice, there had been an unconditional surrender including, as implied, a speedy conclusion of a military settlement of the war, recovery might have been expedited, the peace conference would not have had hanging over it the fear of a renewal of hostilities by Germany, and German resentment over military aspects of the settlement might not have been so intense or prolonged.

This paper was quite influential. It went through various government committees including the State Department Advisory Committee on Postwar Foreign Policy, headed by one Norman H. Davis. On May 20, 1942, Davis told the rest of the committee that he had spoken with Roosevelt, the topic of their discussion being surrender. He told them that Roosevelt agreed with their position, that being unconditional surrender was a necessity.

Roosevelt discussed this with the Joint Chiefs of Staff before the Casablanca Conference where he was to meet with Churchill. The minutes from that meeting on January 7, 1943 state:

The President said he was going to speak to Mr. Churchill about the advisability of informing Mr. Stalin that the United Nations were to continue on until they reach Berlin, and that their only terms would be unconditional surrender.

At Casablanca, Roosevelt and Churchill discussed the surrender terms and agreed upon them. Mr. Churchill suggested that Italy be included in the public statement on surrender with which Roosevelt readily agreed. The statement given read:

The President and the Prime Minister, after a complete survey of the world war situation, are more than ever determined that peace can come to the world only by a total elimination of Germany and Japanese war power. This involves the simple formula of placing the objective of this war in terms of an unconditional surrender by Germany, Italy and Japan. Unconditional surrender by them means a reasonable assurance of world peace, for generations. Unconditional surrender means not the destruction of the German populace, nor of the Italian or Japanese populace, but does mean the destruction of a philosophy in Germany, Italy and Japan which is based on the conquest and subjugation of other peoples.

Unfortunately, Roosevelt decided to wing it and what came out was a reasonably coherent statement about what the policy of unconditional surrender could mean and what it might not mean.

After that conference, much has been written about who first came up with the idea of unconditional surrender and how it was proposed. Luckily, we have the minutes from previous Roosevelt meetings as well as the text that Roosevelt should have read at the conference. Roosevelt and Churchill both seemed to like to embellish on this subject so accurate records have been salvation for those studying the surrender.

The Japanese in particular were uncertain as to the meaning and intention of Roosevelt’s unconditional surrender announcement. On December 1, 1943 at the Cairo Conference, clarity was brought to the issue with the following declaration:

The three great Allies are fighting this war to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan. They covet no gain for themselves and have no thought or territorial expansion. It is their purpose that Japan shall be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the First World War in 1914, and that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China. Japan will also be expelled from all other territories which she has taken by violence and greed. The aforesaid three great powers, mindful of the enslavement of the people of Korea, are determined that in due course Korea shall become free and independent.

The leaders at this time also went out of their way to clarify the difference between the leaders of the Axis nations and their populace. In 1943 Roosevelt said, “The people of the Axis-controlled areas may be assured that when they agree to unconditional surrender they will not be trading Axis despotism for ruin under the United Nations. The goal of the United Nations is to permit liberated peoples to create a free political life of their own choosing and to attain economic security.” Churchill made similar statements, including this one to the House of Commons in 1944:

The term “unconditional surrender” does not mean that the German people will be enslaved or destroyed. It means however that the Allies will not be bound to them at the moment of surrender by any pact or obligation. There will be, for instance, no question of the Atlantic Charter applying to Germany as a matter of right and barring territorial transferences or adjustments in enemy countries. No such arguments will be admitted by us as were used by Germany after the last war, saying that they surrendered in consequence of President Wilson’s fourteen Points. Unconditional surrender means that the victors have a free hand…If we are bound, we are bound by our own consciences to civilization…

Unconditional surrender had nearly universal acceptance in the US and among the allies. There were those that opposed unconditional surrender feeling that it went too far and would cost too many lives to enforce such a condition. Namely, there were two groups that opposed this form of surrender, one Japanophiles motivated by their ideology and the military. While some might be surprised at the second group, they were very concerned with what they saw as the massive number of causalities it would take to invade Japan, something they figured was inevitable to force such a surrender. Japanophiles were looking to the future and felt a strong Japan was needed to counter the soon to come onslaught of communism. They assumed that if Japan was not strong, the USSR would end up controlling all of Asia.

As the war continued, the surrender discussion was never far away. The military began to push harder to modify the surrender terms. General George Strong, an army planner, submitted two separate surrender documents that would have modified the terms being demanded of Japan. They were not accepted as being too weak.

From the end of January to mid February of 1945, military leaders from the US and Britain discussed the problems of fighting the war in the Pacific. By this point, they were well versed in the difficulties of fighting in the Pacific and the high cost in human life it would take to invade the home islands. Even Churchill was in favor of modifying the surrender terms. He said this “would be worthwhile if it led to the saving of a year and a half of a war in which so much blood and treasure would be poured out.” With the collapse of Germany, Churchill wanted to reissue an ultimatum to Japan, retaining the “unconditional surrender” wording but changing the definition to allow the emperor to remain. Remember, unconditional surrender just means that the party that wins gets to set the terms of the surrender. Churchill wanted to set one of the terms early.

It was shortly after this, April 12th, that Truman became President. Truman understood why Roosevelt wanted an unconditional surrender and during his first address to Congress on April 16th, reaffirmed this position. He later wrote, “There were many indications of approval of what I said. I was applauded frequently, and when I reaffirmed the policy of unconditional surrender the chamber rose to its feet.” While others might have wanted a lesser surrender, the US Congress and the people of the US would not stand for it.

Yet, the military continued to push for modification. While Truman refused to change the wording, he did give a more broad definition to what he felt unconditional surrender meant. In his V-E Day press conference, he said the following:

Just what does the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Japan mean for the Japanese people? It means the end of the war. It means the termination of the influence of the military leaders who brought Japan to the present brink of disaster. It means provision for the return of soldiers and sailors to their families, their farms and their jobs. And it means not prolonging the present agony and suffering of the Japanese in the vain hope of victory. Unconditional surrender does not mean the extermination or enslavement of the Japanese people.

These discussions continued unabated. Each side of the issue wanted to be heard. The sticking point was whether or not the emperor was to be maintained. Truman refused to commit to the retention of the emperor. The US public, at the time, would not stand for it. A survey taken during this time still had 33% of Americans wanting the emperor of Japan to hang for war crimes. 32% wanted him imprisoned for life. Another hefty percentage wanted him exiled from Japan. Less than 10% of the American public felt that he should not be punished and that only the military leaders of Japan should be punished. Even if the position on the emperor was changed, there was no way it would be made public. It was during this time that the Potsdam Declaration was made.

Below is the Potsdam Declaration. When read carefully it let the Japanese people know the terms of the “unconditional surrender” before ever having to surrender. I will post it in full putting my comments in italics and bolded.

Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender
Issued, at Potsdam, July 26, 1945


1

We-the President of the United States, the President of the National Government of the Republic of China, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, representing the hundreds of millions of our countrymen, have conferred and agree that Japan shall be given an opportunity to end this war.


2

The prodigious land, sea and air forces of the United States, the British Empire and of China, many times reinforced by their armies and air fleets from the west, are poised to strike the final blows upon Japan. This military power is sustained and inspired by the determination of all the Allied Nations to prosecute the war against Japan until she ceases to resist.


3

The result of the futile and senseless German resistance to the might of the aroused free peoples of the world stands forth in awful clarity as an example to the people of Japan. The might that now converges on Japan is immeasurably greater than that which, when applied to the resisting Nazis, necessarily laid waste to the lands, the industry and the method of life of the whole German people. The full application of our military power, backed by our resolve, will mean the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland.

Not only is this saying what will happen to Japan if it does not surrender, but what will NOT happen if they do. Their industry and other means of life, farms, etc. will be left intact. Not only that, but they will be able to make a living. They will not be enslaved.


4

The time has come for Japan to decide whether she will continue to be controlled by those self-willed militaristic advisers whose unintelligent calculations have brought the Empire of Japan to the threshold of annihilation, or whether she will follow the path of reason.

The blame is being put fully on the military. Not the civilian government, not the people.


5

Following are our terms. We will not deviate from them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay.


6

There must be eliminated for all time the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest, for we insist that a new order of peace, security and justice will be impossible until irresponsible militarism is driven from the world.

Again, blame is only being put on military leaders, the people will not suffer.


7

Until such a new order is established and until there is convincing proof that Japan's war-making power is destroyed, points in Japanese territory to be designated by the Allies shall be occupied to secure the achievement of the basic objectives we are here setting forth.

There will be an occupation, but it will be limited in scope and duration. Of course, some feel that occupation continues today.


8

The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine.

Japan will retain their sovereignty and will control what was their before their expansionism began. Maybe those that continue to claim Tokdo should read this part again.


9

The Japanese military forces, after being completely disarmed, shall be permitted to return to their homes with the opportunity to lead peaceful and productive lives.

The soldiers will not be punished. They too were duped by their leaders. They can go to their families and being their lives over.


10

We do not intend that the Japanese shall be enslaved as a race or destroyed as a nation, but stern justice shall be meted out to all war criminals, including those who have visited cruelties upon our prisoners. The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established.

This is a very important part of the declaration. Japan is being promised freedoms! They will have their own government. They will have a democratic government. They will have freedom of speech, religion and thought and they shall have the guarantee of human rights. These are HUGE measures to be promised when demanding an unconditional surrender.


11

Japan shall be permitted to maintain such industries as will sustain her economy and permit the exaction of just reparations in kind, but not those which would enable her to re-arm for war. To this end, access to, as distinguished from control of, raw materials shall be permitted. Eventual Japanese participation in world trade relations shall be permitted.

Japan will be able to grow and prosper. They will have the ability to become part of the international community.


12

The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there has been established in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible government.

Again, the occupying forces will leave, they will not be permanent.


13

We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction.

Another VERY IMPORTANT paragraph. Please read it carefully. They are calling for the unconditional surrender of the JAPANESE ARMED FORCES, not Japan itself! This is HUGE and lets the people of Japan know, again, they are not to be blamed for the war. It is the military.

This was an amazing document. It gave Japan a way out, if only the military leaders would listen. It was published in Japan, after much discussion, and was widely accepted as the best way out. But, the people of Japan did not have control. The civilian government in Japan did not have control. Not even the emperor. The military controlled what would happen and they refused to surrender. The war would continue if only for a short time longer.

I want to explain the government and how it was controlled in Japan at the time. It is crucial to understand this if one is to understand why there was no surrender. It is also important to understand this to realize that even if the continuation of the emperor had been guaranteed, Japan would still not have surrendered until AFTER Nagasaki was bombed. Let me restate that, JAPAN WOULD NOT HAVE SURRENDERED UNTIL AFTER NAGASAKI WAS BOMBED. One of the leading arguments made by “Hiroshima victim wannabes” and “Truman the war criminal” advocates is that if we had made it known early on that the emperor system would be maintained, Japan would have surrendered months earlier. This is a fallacy. It is completely false. It is untrue. AGAIN, JAPAN WOULD NOT HAVE SURRENDERED UNTIL AFTER NAGASAKI WAS BOMBED. I will be justifying that statement in a bit. Heck, lets say that for a third time, this time bolded and italicized. JAPAN WOULD NOT HAVE SURRENDERED UNTIL AFTER NAGASAKI WAS BOMBED. It should also be noted that even after two atomic bombs and the USSR entering the war against Japan, it still almost didn’t end. If the Japanese military had its way, the war would have continued.

Because a full explanation of the government of Japan during the time of war is a topic that a large book could be written about, we will only discuss the basics. While discussing this, we will also discuss surrender and why it took two atomic weapons to make it happen. There has been much research done on this in recent time, research that gives good insight into that time period. This is important because the Japanese government has done its best to destroy any and all records dealing with that time period. That is what has made it so difficult to research atrocities and the actions of war criminals of that time. But I digress.

The government of Japan at that time consisted of civilian leaders, military leaders and the emperor. While three groups were involved, the real power lay with the military. This comes as a shock to many who, because of the emphasis placed on the importance of the emperor, feel that he was in complete control. While his input was important and his influence real, he had to be careful to use it at the right time and place to keep him from being put into ‘protective’ custody and being made into little more than a puppet by the military.

Understanding that the military was in control of the government when it came to decisions concerning the war makes it easier to understand why any efforts made by civilians to bring about a negotiated surrender was fruitless. Many talk of Japan trying to negotiate a surrender using Russia as the third party. This is true to a point, but because it did not have the blessing of the military, it was little more than hot air. All of this talk of early surrender trials is pointless when the final days before the surrender came are looked at in detail. Even with the massive destruction and all hope gone, it almost didn’t happen.

In order to discuss these final days, it is important to understand the players. Those trying to surrender are known as the “Peace Party.” They consisted of Emperor Hirohito, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal Kido Koichi, Foreign Minister Togo Shigenori, Navy Minister Yonai Mitsumasa and a bit waveringly, Prime Minister Suzuki Kantaro. They were opposed by the military leaders, Army Minister Anami Korechika, Chief of he Army General Staff Umezu Yoshijiro and Chief of the Naval General Staff Toyoda Soemu, Anami being the most vocal and the leader opposing any surrender. It was this group, both military and politicians, the formed the cabinet. A unanimous agreement among the members of the cabinet was necessary for any major decision, like that of surrender, to be made. Even a single opposing vote would keep surrender from happening. This will be important.

On August 7, 1945, President Truman announced over the radio that the first atomic bomb had been dropped on Hiroshima. Togo heard this via shortwave and immediately tried to get confirmation from the military. The military denied that an atomic bomb had been dropped and said that only a very powerful conventional bomb had been used. Still, Togo was not convinced remembering the Potsdam Declaration and its statement that Japan would be destroyed if they did not capitulate. Togo called an immediate emergency meeting of the cabinet that afternoon.

During the cabinet meeting, Togo quoted the radio broadcasts that continued to come from America. America was stating that it had a new weapon and would continue to use this weapon unless Japan surrendered. Togo tried to reason with the military leaders by saying that while the military was strong and had done nothing wrong, they couldn’t compete against this new and devastatingly powerful weapon. Unfortunately, the military continued to deny its existence. Because of this, the military was unable to come to any kind of decision.

While the cabinet was meeting, Kido met with the Emperor. By this time, reports were coming in saying approximately 130,000 people were dead and the city was completely destroyed. The emperor was very concerned, having a science education; he understood better than many the potential of this new weapon. He was also upset that the military was not providing him with more specific, detailed information. During this meeting, the emperor supposedly told Kito, “Now that things have come to this impasse, we most bow to the inevitable. No matter what happens to my safety, we should lose no time in ending the war so as not to have another tragedy like this.”

Having had no luck during the cabinet meeting, Togo arranged to meet with the emperor on the morning of August 8th, 1945. During this meeting, Togo repeated what he had discussed with the cabinet as well as new information that was being learned via the American and British broadcasts. Hirohito agreed with Togo and said:

Now that such a new weapon has appeared, it has become less and less possible to continue the war. We must not miss a chance to terminate the war by bargaining for more favorable conditions now. Besides, however much we consult about terms we desire, we shall not be able to come to an agreement. So my wish is to make such arrangements as will end the war as soon as possible.

Togo left his meeting with the emperor and met with Suzuki to discuss what it would take to surrender. He requested a meeting of the Supreme War Council. This council was Japan’s inner war cabinet consisting of the six most important counselors, the prime minister, foreign minister, army and navy ministers and chiefs of the army and naval general staffs. While they wanted an immediate meeting, some of the military people were ‘unavailable’ and the meeting was postponed for 24 hours.

Until this time, Suzuki had been wavering back and forth in his support of surrendering and ending the war. Now, his support was firm. He said, “Now that we know it was an atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, I will give my views on the termination of the war at tomorrow’s Supreme War Council…” Even after war, Suzuki recalled that the dropping of the atomic bomb was what made him determine that all was lost and that surrender needed to be accomplished as soon as possible.

The next morning, Japan learned that the USSR had declared war against them and had attacked the Japanese army in Manchuria along a broad front. This was nearly the final straw. Japan had been trying to use the USSR to get favorable surrender terms from the Allies. They now realized this avenue was completely shut off to them. Suzuki felt they could hold out for 2 months or so against the USSR in Manchuria. Others disagreed and said the USSR would have Manchuria within 2 weeks.

Now, with both the atomic bomb being dropped and the USSR entering the war, the civilian leaders were firm in their decision to end the war. Emperor Hirohito confirmed this with Kido and Suzuki. They were in complete agreement that it was over.

At 10:30 AM on August 9th, 1945, the Supreme War Council convened. All of the members knew they couldn’t continue to fight much longer. The problem was reaching a unanimous decision to surrender. If the military refused, then either there would be no decision or the cabinet would be dissolved. Either way, a swift surrender would be out of the question.

Suzuki opened the meeting saying, “Just when we were smarting from the extremely great shock of the Hiroshima bomb, the Soviet Union entered the war. Continuation of the war is totally impossible, and whether willing or not we have no choice but to accept the Potsdam terms.” Togo agreed saying only that the Allies must accept the retention of the emperor. He informed the others that the emperor agreed that all was lost and that they must surrender. Amazingly, the military members of the council seemed not to agree. They questioned whether or not the US had any more atomic bombs to use. While they agreed that the damage had been extensive, they were not too worried as long as the US did not have the means to continue bombing them.

At precisely this moment, the time during which the military was questioning whether or not the US had any more bombs, word came of Nagasaki being bombed. It was just a little before 1:00 PM. Suzuki was devastated and feared that the US would cancel its invasion and just bomb Japan until there was nothing left. He felt confident that they could handle an invasion, but not the bombings.

It is here we can see the true value of the Nagasaki bombing. Until this point, the military had been able to suggest that the US had used its one and only atomic bomb. Everyone knew that an atomic bomb would be extremely difficult to produce and that the materials necessary to build it were rare and difficult to obtain. They felt it to be highly unlikely that the US would have enough material to produce more than one atomic bomb. Nagasaki proved that they did. It also planted the question into their minds of just how many bombs the US might have.

Unbelievably, the council could not come to a unanimous decision. In part, the military leaders were uncertain if officers below them would accept surrender. It might be the impetus for a coup attempt. They were also concerned for their own lives. They determined, even in the face of two atomic bombs and the USSR entering the war, that other conditions be met before surrender. These conditions were:

  • That there be no military occupation of the homeland by the Allies.
  • That the armed forces be allowed to disarm and demobilize themselves voluntarily.
  • That war criminals be prosecuted by the Japanese government.

These were non-negotiable, absolute conditions. Without them being met, the military members of the cabinet were adamantly against surrender. They were determined to fight on, even if it meant the destruction of Japan and millions being slaughtered.

The meeting ended in a 3-3 deadlock. At 2:30 PM on August 9th, they met again. Suzuki began the meeting by saying there was no way the Allies would accept these added terms for surrender. The meeting continued, but again, no decision could be reached. The meeting was adjourned for a short time.

At 6:00 PM, they members met again to continue the discussions and try to break the deadlock. Anami was determined to continue fighting unless those three conditions were met. He even said, “The appearance of the atomic bomb does not spell the end of the war…We are confident about a decisive homeland battle against American forces.” He also said, “given the atomic bomb and the Soviet entry, there is no chance of winning on the basis of mathematical calculation.” And went on to say, “there will be some chance as long as we keep on fighting for the honor of the Yamato race… If we go on like this and surrender, the Yamato race would be as good as dead spiritually.” Anami seemed to reflect the mood and attitude of the army officers under him. They were determined to fight to the bitter end.

Other military members of the council were beginning to soften their stance and to agree with the civilian members. Navy Minister Yonai came out saying that Japan did not have a chance. He pointed out that they had lost the battles for Saipan, Luzon, Leyte, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Even with this, Anami shot back saying the war was not over yet. He continued on saying that he could promise one massive blow against the invading American forces. He then felt that having done this, having caused massive casualties against the US, the US would then be willing to grant their added surrender demands. The other military leaders apparently listened to him and the vote was again 3-3.

Finally, knowing there was nothing else they could do; Suzuki requested an imperial conference to be held shortly before midnight. At that time, the Supreme War Council as well as the President of the Privy Council, met with the emperor. Dressed in his full, formal military attire, the emperor presided silently over the meeting. For 2 hours, Togo and Anami battled each other with words. Again, a 3-3 deadlock was the vote.

The Suzuki did something completely unprecedented. He stepped up to the emperor, bowed deeply and submitted the matter to him for an imperial decision. It shocked all assembled. Hirohito realized that he had to intervene if the situation was to be saved. Breaking the silence, he made what is now called the, “sacred decision.” Speaking quietly, he said he agreed with Togo, he then called for them to accept the Potsdam terms. He knew, with the addition of the atomic bomb, there was no hope left. At 2:30 AM on August 10, 1945, the “sacred decision” was made to accept the Potsdam terms with one condition, that being the retention of the emperor. The cabinet ratified the decision and it was immediately sent to American government via the Swiss and Swedish governments.

The Americans sent back their acceptance with a condition of their own. That condition being the emperor would be subject to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers. Again, the emperor had to intervene as Anami opposed accepting and demanded they prepare for a final battle with Allied forces. Anami accept the ruling of his emperor and at noon on August 15th, the emperor broadcast to the nation and to the world their surrender.

There is, of course, much more to this. Even with the emperor expressing his will, the army came close to ignoring it. The senior officers met and after a tense discussion, all signed a document stating their acceptance of their emperor’s will in the matter of surrender.

A group of lower level officers tried to stage a coup on the night of the 14th and took over the Imperial Palace. It was only because of the loyalty of General Tanaka who, when hearing of the coup, went to the palace and ended it. They had hoped to stop the public announcement by the emperor of the surrender from being broadcast on the 15th. The officers that staged the coup committed suicide on the steps of the palace. A little over a week later, on August 24th, Tanaka too committed suicide; he could not stand the shame of having enforced the surrender.

During this time, a loyal officer, Takeshita went to try and again urge Anami to join the coup. He found Anami writing what appeared to be his will. They talked and drank sake together. Then, Anami slashed his belly and throat committing suicide. On one of the papers he had written, “Believing firmly that our sacred land shall never perish, I—with my death – humbly apologize to the Emperor for the great crime.”

On August 15th, 1945, in a publicly broadcast announcement, Emperor Hirohito surrendered Japan to the Allies. It came as a huge shock. Those that knew the situation Japan was in and they were relatively few, thought the announcement would be to fight to the bitter end. Instead, a voice that few had heard, speaking an archaic form of Japanese that ordinary citizens could barely understand, announced the acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration. In part he said:

Despite the best that has been done by everyone—the gallant fighting of military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of Our Servants of the Stat and the devoted service of Our one hundred million people, the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest. Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is indeed incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives.

He continued on saying they were surrendering to prevent the complete obliteration of Japan and to prevent the extinction of human civilization. He thanked those that fought but said the only path for the future was peace. He also asked for the cooperation of all so that Japan could quickly recover. He ended, his words shocking a nation, a people that had no idea this was coming.

Even after this, it was difficult to enforce the surrender. The General in charge of the air force had to order all planes to be defueled and all bombs and ammunition removed to prevent fanatics from trying to use them against the allies. At one airfield, they defied orders and for days, dropped leaflets from the air calling on the people to revolt. The airfield was finally taken and the propellers were removed from all of the aircraft. These revolts were widespread and took weeks to finally end. Units on faraway islands and other areas took longer to learn of the surrender and even longer to finally accept it and stop the fighting.

Many Japanese government officials and others were interviewed not long after the war. They were asked about the dropping of the atomic bomb and how it affected their decisions. Kido said the following:

I surmise that the atomic bomb was dropped with the intention of posing a grave threat to the Japanese leaders and the people at large, forcefully compelling them to end the war. And certainly the bomb had that effect. However we of the peace party had already been scheming for a termination of the war, and it is not correct to say that we were driven by the atomic bomb to end the war. Rather, it might be said that we of the peace party were assisted by the atomic bomb in our endeavor to end the war.

He also said:

If military leaders could convince themselves that they were defeated by the power of science but not because of lack of spiritual power or strategic errors, this could save their face to some extent.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Sakomizu recalled:

The atomic bomb was a golden opportunity given by Heaven for Japan to end the war. There were those who said that the Japanese armed forces were not defeated. It was in science that Japan was defeated, so the military will not bring shame on themselves by surrendering.

Hayashi Saburo, military secretary to the minister of war Anami. He said this of the Nagasaki bombing:

...after a second bomb had been dropped upon Nagasaki. City dwellers were gripped with great fear that their own communities might become the next target. In Tokyo, when air raid warnings were sounded, not a soul was to be seen out of doors. In particular, the psychological effect upon the authorities conducting the war was tremendous. It could not be denied that sentiment for accepting the Potsdam Declaration was growing stronger.

There are many more quotes that I could include.

The war was basically over. Japan surrendered. Would Japan have surrendered without the bombs being dropped? Certainly. How long would that have taken? Who knows, 6 months, 9 months, a year or longer. Looking at just how belligerent the military leaders were, it would not have ended quickly.

Japan was responsible for untold millions of deaths. From that viewpoint, Pearl Harbor was a tiny drop in the bucket, insignificant really. Yet, that action literally brought the fires of hell down upon Japan. If you look at the time period between December 7, 1941 and August 30, 1945, there were about 10,000,000 deaths attributable to the Japanese. Over this period of 45 months, 200,000 – 300,000 people died each and every month. The worst being the final months as battle casualties climbed and starvation and disease began to take an even heavier toll. The treatment of POWs during these months grew worse and worse. It is entirely plausible that 250,000 or more would have died each month that this confrontation continued. Given what we know now about the difficulties we would have had invading, the war could have gone on for a year or more beyond August of 1945.

There can be little doubt the dropping of the atomic bombs saved millions of lives. Thank God for men of character like Harry Truman.

Atomic Bomb Section 5 Conclusion