Japan's slide into war chronicled in Emperor Hirohito's memoir

From Reuters - December 5, 2017

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Japans Emperor Hirohito did not veto his advisers decision to declare war on the United States in 1941 because he feared triggering an internal conflict that would destroy his country, he said in an account dictated to an adviser.

Set for auction in New York on Wednesday, the handwritten document throws light on Japans role in World War Two, as it records events dating from the 1920s, such as Hirohitos resolve not to oppose future cabinet decisions, even if he disagreed.

He realized that if he wanted to be in power, he had to do what they wanted, Tom Lamb, director of the books and manuscripts department at auction house Bonhams, told Reuters.

And that is an interesting fact, since, throughout the late 1930s and through the 1940s, military decisions were made, which he could not contest, he said.

The auctioneers have put an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000 on the manuscript, which consists of two browning twine-bound notebooks written in pen and pencil by Terasaki Hidenari, an interpreter and adviser to the emperor, in 1946.


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