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

 

【14 Disarmament went well by means of the Emperor’s statements to the Japanese people

 

That is how GHQ began the occupation of Japan. It was a full surrender to the U.S. at first, as anyone can see from reading the Instrument of Surrender and the Emperor’s Declaration. There was no choice but following the U.S. command. To translate the Emperor’s Declaration from English and issue it as directed was the first “cooperative work” between GHQ and the Showa Emperor during occupation period.

As I explained already, however, the Showa Emperor and his aides were not figures who would end up as mere puppets. I will explain later how they secured Japanese interests while meeting U.S. demands to the fullest. They created “post-war Japan”–or in other words, the Security Treaty village by going beyond MacArthur and having contact directly with the U.S. government itself.

Two statements by the Showa Emperor–the broadcast of the voice of the Emperor on August 15th (delivering the Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the War) and the Emperor’s Declaration to surrender on September 2nd–put the disarmament of the Japanese military smoothly on track. Under the Higashikuninomiya administration, which was the first Japanese imperial cabinet in history, the Japanese military of three million soldiers in Japan responded to disarmament without much confusion. This fact showed the high worth of the main scenario of “ruling Japan through use of the Emperor.”

It was under these circumstances that MacArthur arrived in Atsugi on August 30th. He opened his headquarters in the Dai-ichi Life Building (in front of the Imperial Palace) on September 15th in order to begin seriously establishing the policies of the occupation. The focus then became MacArthur’s meeting with the Showa Emperor and what to discuss at that time.