Emperor Hirohito blamed for war crimes and regrets it

Japanese Emperor Hirohito said during the years prior to his death that he wanted to die as soon as possible; only experiencing more sad events. Also, he was blamed for his role in the war.


The late chamberlain to the Emperor, Shinobu Kobayashi, revealed the aging emperor’s diary that he was haunted by talk of his wartime responsibility following the Sino-Japanese War and World War II.


Photo credit to: https://www.theguardian.com


The diary chronicle’s the emperor’s interjections he made to Kobayashi, who was 22 years younger, while Kobayashi was on duty at the emperor’s residence in Tokyo. The Imperial Household Agency at the time tried to reduce his overall work load.


The emperor was considered a God under the Meiji era and was endowed with supreme control of the army and navy. The emperor is now defined under the postwar Constitution in Japan as “the symbol of the state” with no political power.


Kyodo News borrowed Kobayashi’s diary and analyzed it with an expert in the history of the Showa Era. They also hired the help of nonfiction writer Masayasu Hosaka.


The rare document on the recent Showa Era brings to light the emperor’s anguish at a time when his son, Emperor Akihito, will turn 85 this December and is preparing to leave his post in 2019, bringing to an end the current Heisei Era.


The diary entry dated May 27, 1980, said the emperor wanted to convey his regret over the Sino-Japanese War to visiting Chinese Premier Hua Guofeng but other senior officials of the Imperial agency dislike the idea as nationalists would cause trouble.


Whoever talked about the emperor’s responsibility wasn’t mentioned in any of the diaries and although in March 1986 there was a fierce exchange of words between the late Seiji Masamori, a Japan Communist Party lawmaker at the House of Representatives, and then Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone.


Reference: Emperor Hirohito in anguish in final years over blame for war


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