Posted August. 13, 2008 07:05,
A journal written by Hideki Tojo, Japans war-time prime minister in 1941, has been discovered.
His writings express delusion and regret over Japans defeat and efforts to legitimize and gloss over Japans war of aggression.
The Japanese dailies Nihon Keizai Shimbun and Asahi Shimbun yesterday said the National Archives of Japan confirmed the authenticity of a 30-page journal written in pencil by Tojo dated Aug. 10-14, 1945.
The journal starts with a meeting of high-ranking officials the day after Japans decision to accept the Allies` demand for unconditional surrender. Then Prime Minister Suzuki Kantaro presided over the meeting to get advice from senior Japanese officials, including former prime ministers.
He explicitly expressed his grievance over the unconditional surrender, saying it was a humiliating peace and capitulation. Our leaders were disheartened by atomic bombs and frightened by the Soviet Unions participation in the war, he said.
The writing ignored who started the war, instead blaming a weak-willed public and government for the surrender.
On the situation of the war, he said, Japan hasnt exercised its full capacity," which shows he was optimistic over winning the war.
The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, however, said Japans surrender was inevitable after the defeat at the Battle of Okinawa, the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Soviet Union`s participation in the war.
Documentary writer Masayasu Hosaka, who wrote the book Tojo Hideki and the Era of the Emperor, said, The journal clearly reveals how narrowsighted the leaders were at the time of the war.
If Japan had continued the war following Tojos judgment, the world wouldve suffered the worst calamity in history.
Tojo also implied his intent to commit suicide, saying, Standing trial in the enemys court is an unimaginable thing for a Japanese. He attempted suicide in Sept. 1945.
He was found guilty of war crimes by the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal and executed in December 1948.