Japan’s Surrender

Japan’s Surrender





Q1.What was the proposal from Under-Secretary of State Joseph Grewregarding the Emperor? What justifications did he have for hisposition?


JosephGrew wanted the U.S. to preserve the emperor’s political office,demilitarize Japan’s political factions, and accepting an earlyJapanese surrender to avoid Russia’s role in the postwar period(Eiji,2002).Grew Joseph thought that the monarch had power to prevent Japan fromadopting either Communism or fascism and would assure futurecooperation with U.S. authority. Demilitarization of the entireJapanese system was necessary to avoid further aggression.

Q2.As argued by the author, what were some of the unstated “certainother matters” that were taken into account &amp preventedPresident Truman from formally adapting Grew’s ideas?


PresidentTruman did not adapt Grew’s ideas because of certain other matterslike the entry of Russia to the war against Japan. Stalin andChurchill who spearheaded the ‘Operation Downfall’ invasion toforce Japan to surrender influenced Truman’s decisions (Eiji,2002).Moreover, Truman wanted to use the atomic bomb to defeat Japaninstead of accepting unconditional surrender terms without disclosingthe information.

Q3.As approved by President Truman &amp his cabinet, what argumentswere made in the Stimson version of the Postdam Proclamation (Article12)?


Stimson’sproclamation sought for an entire defeat, removal of emperor, andinstitution of a responsible constitutional leadership that wouldshun aggression.

Q4.After July 1945, why was there a stronger &amp more vocal group ofcritics against Stimson’s Article 12? What were some of thecritics’ arguments against that text?

Answer 4

Criticsagainst Stimson’s text argued that Article 12’s interpretationwas ambiguous since it supported either the retention or the removalof the Japanese Emperor. Equally, the British wanted to spare theEmperor’s Throne while the U.S. wanted office scrapped.

Q5.Summarize some of the key changes/alterations supported by theBritish (which went counter to U.S. ideas) regarding finalized draftof the Potsdam Proclamation.

Answer 5

TheBritish altered the Potsdam Proclamation and asserted that theJapanese political system was mandated to ensure democracy. It calledfor the Japanese armed forces and government to surrender, but notthe people. The British version required limited occupationalcontrol.

Q6.Explain the significance of Yoshida Shigeru &amp theAnti-War/Yoshida Group.


YoshidaShigeru &amp the Anti-War/Yoshida Group represented a liberal groupof Japanese elites that were opposed to the Allies occupation.Yoshida approached the Emperor to stop the war since he observed thatJapan was disintegrating into militarism and Communism.

Q7.What was the greatest military fear of the Imperial Way Faction?


Thegreatest military fear of the Imperial Way Faction was that Russiawas the cause of war of destruction in Japan and there was a need toprotect the Monarch from disintegrating to avoid falling into theCommunist trap.

Q8.What were the Emperor`s ideas regarding whether or not to continuefighting against the Allies? Explain his thinking/rationale.

Answer 8

TheEmperor wanted to win the war to save the Throne from ridicule by thepublic. However, the events of the war forced him to accept defeatand accept the Potsdam conditions.

Q9.Summarize Navy Minister Admiral Yonai Mitsumasa`s Yonai Plan.

Answer 9

TheYonai Plan wanted the Allies to spare the Throne, the ImperialGeneral Headquarters be mandated to demilitarize all forces,assurance of Japanese sovereignty from Allies’ occupation, and thatonly Japan would punish war crimes.

Q10.Summarize the debates that took place amongst members of the SupremeCouncil for the Conduct of the War for the period discussed in thesections you read.

Answer 10

Themembers of the Supreme Council for the Conduct of the War crashed asto whether to accept the Potsdam surrender terms or act to save theThrone only. Togo wanted Japan to surrender without negotiation. Onthe other hand, the Foreign Minister was interested in the retentionof the monarchy.

Q11.Define the concept of seidan &amp how it relates to Japan`s wareffort.

Answer 11

Seidanis “the Emperor’s sacred decision”, which is a final word forany Japanese action (Eiji,2002).Moreover, the seidan was required before Japan upheld the Potsdamrequirement to surrender.

Q12.Using Kase Toshikazu (Foreign Ministry) as a starting point, how didthe Japanese government couch/position their official response to thePotsdam Proclamation – when surrendering?

Answer 12

TheForeign Minister insisted that Japan would surrender on conditionthat the Emperor remained in control of Japan, and the Allies were towork with the Throne.

Q13.How did the Americans respond to #12?

Answer 13

TheU.S. accepted Grew and Japan’s intention to use its power structureto rule as long as all policies passed through the Allies command.However, the U.S. mandated the Supreme Commander to control theThrone and all government agencies.

Q14.What did the U.S. do on August 14th to help push their hand in thenegotiation process? How did this play into official Japanese fears?


TheU.S. dropped leaflets that revealed that the Emperor’s authoritywas under pressure and weak to fight against the Allies. TheJapanese-American communication exchange made the Emperor vulnerablesince Allies aircraft dropped leaflets containing the information tothe public in Tokyo, which forced Hirohito to accept the Potsdamsurrender terms.


Q1.How does Feller describe the Emperor of Japan?


Fellers(1945) asserts that the Japanese Emperor remains an ancestralrepresentation of positive attributes and is free of wrongdoing. Asthe “incarnation of national” spirituality, all Japanese must beloyal to the emperor (Fellers, 1945). The emperor control politicaland religious functions to maintain his absolute mandate over people.

Q2.What does Feller have to say about the Imperial War Rescript?

Answer 2

Fellers(1945) emphasize that although the Emperor issues the Imperial WarRescript, which declared war on Britain and America, the way in whichthe Tojo Hideki applied the declaration was wrong.

Q3.According to Feller, why was it a good idea to retain the Emperor?


TheEmperor represents the identity of the Japanese people and as asymbol of culture. Therefore, he has the power to unite the entirecountry to avoid future aggression as he did in 1945. Moreover, thesurrender terms indicated the retention of the Japanese politicalstructure.

Q4.According to Feller, what would have happened if the Emperor weretried as a war criminal?

Answer 4

Thesupposed trial of the Emperor would contravene the Potsdam surrenderterms that promised to keep the Japanese political structure intact.The trial ridicules the Emperor’s symbol of power as a god.Furthermore, the action might cause civil unrest and bloodshed inJapan.

Q5.In your opinion, &amp based upon Chapter 5 &amp Feller`sMemorandum, should the Emperor have been tried as a war criminal?Explain your position.

Answer 5

Inmy opinion, the Emperor should not be tried for war-related crimessince he acted as a leader by signing the Imperial War Rescript toprotect the Japanese people. Besides, he prevented further loss oflife and property in Japan, Asia and America by accepting tosurrender. As a leader, the emperor acted according to his mandatedconstitutional right to design and execute a war strategy that wouldprotect Japan from the encroaching Communism.


Eiji,T. (2002). TheAllied Occupation of Japan. Chapter 5: The Genesis of Reform.New York, NY: Continuum. Retrieved fromhttps://talon.kirkwood.edu/content/enforced/19397-HIS_135_ATW11_2015FA/Occupation_CH5_Reform.pdf?_&ampd2lSessionVal=uGZgzSDe6Fjf5wEDv6R8Bifav

Fellers,B. (1945). Memorandum to the commander-in-chief. KirkwoodCommunity College.Retrieved fromhttps://talon.kirkwood.edu/content/enforced/19397-HIS_135_ATW11_2015FA/B.Fellers_Memo_to_MacArthur_Oct_2_1945.pdf?_&ampd2lSessionVal=uGZgzSDe6Fjf5wEDv6R8Bifav