【PART 3】 The Mystery of the Security Treaty Village (1): The Showa Emperor and the Constitution of Japan
【17】 The birth of the Security Treaty village― the Showa Emperor earned MacArthur’s trust
It seems certain that MacArthur’s impression of the Showa Emperor at the first talk was very good. I do not speak in defense of the Emperor, but generally in such a case heads of state make a bad impression because they seek asylum outside of their home countries. Wilhelm II of Germany defected to the Netherlands after WW1, and during WW2, Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy defected from Rome to South Italy, leaving the citizens behind.
The Department of State estimated very carefully the possibility of defection of the Emperor, and considered what to do if the Emperor exiled himself, whether they should enthrone another member of the imperial family, and what to do if the Emperor went into hiding, as in November 1944, one year before the end of the war.
At any rate, according to MOFA’s record mentioned earlier, the Showa Emperor told MacArthur during the first talk, “I would like to do my best to build a new Japan based on peace from now,” and “I will execute the Potsdam Declaration without fail.” Probably MacArthur had anticipated this from the “press conference” two days before, but it must have been a great reassurance to MacArthur to hear the Showa Emperor’s resolution of “giving the U.S. full cooperation” coming directly from him.