【PART 3】 The Mystery of the Security Treaty Village (1): The Showa Emperor and the Constitution of Japan

 

【12】 Beginning of governing Japan through use of the Emperor

 

As I explained earlier, the U.S. had a potent scenario to control post-war Japan by making use of the Showa Emperor, and Reischauer also proposed to make a “puppet regime with Hirohito” in Japan after the Allied victory.

Such an attempt to govern Japan through use of the Emperor started right after Japan was defeated on August 15th, 1945. When an emissary (Torashiro Kawabe, Army Vice Chief General) was summoned by MacArthur to Manila to initiate formal surrender proceedings on August 21st, he brought back three documents listed below–all, of course, written in English.

(1) Instrument of Surrender

(2) General Order No.1

(3) Emperor’s Declaration

(1) is an official document of surrender through Japan’s acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration. About two weeks later, on September 2nd, the war came to a cease-fire officially (virtually the end of the war) at the signing of the Instrument of Surrender by the Japanese government and representatives of the military on the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Following the formal surrender, (2) specifically instructed how the Japanese army and navy should surrender and disarm.

And (3) is a statement that the U.S. asked the Emperor to issue at the same time as the signing of the Instrument of Surrender on the battleship Missouri. It stated as below.

I accepted the declaration announced by heads of the U.S., Britain, and China in Potsdam (Potsdam Declaration) which the Soviet Union took part in later, and ordered the Japanese government and the Imperial General Headquarters (military) to sign the instrument of surrender proposed by GHQ on behalf of me and to give a general order to army and navy following the instruction of GHQ. I order Japanese people to stop hostility, throw away the arms and carry out faithfully all the articles of the instrument of surrender and the general order by the Japanese government and the Imperial General Headquarters. (Re-translation of Occupation of Japan 1: Emperor System (1990)/ Ohtsuki shoten)

 

The U.S. ordered the Japanese government to accept the Potsdam Declaration in order to surrender officially, to issue the statement under the Emperor’s name at the same time, and to order–under the authority of the Emperor–the smooth disarmament of the Japanese military.

So Japanese translated the statement written originally in English and the Showa Emperor issued it as told. That was how the U.S. began the Occupation of Japan.