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xerxes
15 Mar 07,, 15:56
Hello friends, in light of several threads regarding war crims, I like to dedicate this thread on a single subject. Wether, you think the Emperor of Japan was a war criminal, not a war criminal, should have been prosecuted, was partialy responsbile, or that Emperor was not guilty but other Imperial family members should have been prosecuted.

As we all know the Tokyo trial were generally meant to seperate the Imperial familly and the Generals and Admirals.

Officer of Engineers
15 Mar 07,, 17:22
Hirehito was in on the war from the start. There were some key decisions that he've made, especially concerning China and Korea. He was guilty, no question, and not just because he was the Head of State.

dave lukins
15 Mar 07,, 18:50
Hirehito was in on the war from the start. There were some key decisions that he've made, especially concerning China and Korea. He was guilty, no question, and not just because he was the Head of State.

I have often wondered why only the losing side, in All Wars or Conflicts are charged with War crimes. In War"crimes" are commited on all sides. We fight in the best way to win...all's fair in love and war....Having said that the particular methods used by Japan and the brutality shown to civilians as well as servicemen goes beyond the call of Duty to the Emperor..GUILTY AS CHARGED

leib10
15 Mar 07,, 21:52
I have often wondered why only the losing side, in All Wars or Conflicts are charged with War crimes. In War"crimes" are commited on all sides. We fight in the best way to win...all's fair in love and war....

Victor's justice is a biitch.

wkllaw
15 Mar 07,, 23:23
Hirohito was guilty, he did killed Chinese, Koreans and others because he wanted to further Japan's power and wanted the whole of south pacific to Japan. Hirohito knew of everything that was going on and he didn't care. I asked someone this question and he said Hideki Tojo was in charge, but Hirohito said Tojo was his loyal servant. Hirohito was seen by some as a wise ruler, but he only stop the war when he heard the Imperial family would be protected. He would continue if they didn't agree to protect him and not execute him as a war criminal. If you say Hirohito is innocent then in my opinion, you might as well be saying that Hitler was innocent of killing and what he did was justified.

Amled
16 Mar 07,, 08:30
Guilty as hell!
Take the Japanese surrender as a case in point. It was only when the Emperor went on the radio and pronounced a surrender that the fighting stopped.
Every member of the armed forces swore an oath of allegiance to him as the embodiment of Japan.
His word was law. The Fuehrer Principe with religious overtones.
As a small addendum, take a look at his attire.
From the time of the ascendancy of the militarists in Japan, he was always dressed in a uniform. Was he forced to wear it, I for one doubt it?
It was an oblique; an unspoken but highly visible, reminder to all who saw him as to whom he favoured...the military and their agenda.

xerxes
16 Mar 07,, 18:16
Hirehito was in on the war from the start. There were some key decisions that he've made, especially concerning China and Korea. He was guilty, no question, and not just because he was the Head of State.

Could you be a little more specific regarding key decisions concerning China and Korea. Because if I remember correctly Hiro-hito was not emperor when Korea was annexed prior to the Great War. and even if he was in power when Korea was annexed, the reduction of Empire of Korea into vassalage is no different then the outcome of American-Spanish War, which yielded Philippines.

As far as him being head of state, I think in my opinion that is quite irrelvent, considering the fact that Emanuel III, the head of state and king of Italy was in on the war and the expansion of influence of Italy at the expense of others. and willingly he bore upon his head the crown of king of Albania and the crown of emperor of Ethiopia. So i dont agree with you ... If I remember correctly even the consitutional monarch Edward VII of Great Britian at one point in a discussion with Lord Fisher sanctioned as pre-emptive strike against the German High Seas Fleet, prior to 1914. I think even in a hypotethical German victory in WWI and/or WWII, the victorious German would have never dared to try the British monarchs (heads of state) as war criminals. Again, another example would be kingdom of Romania, ruled by a weak consititutional monarch while governed by iron hand Antoniscu as premier. and yes, I am aware that these monarchs are constitutional monarch compared to demi-god of Japan. but neverthelss Hiro-hito did not rule, because personallity wise, he was not a ruler but someone who reigned.

xerxes
16 Mar 07,, 18:20
Hirohito was guilty, he did killed Chinese, Koreans and others because he wanted to further Japan's power and wanted the whole of south pacific to Japan. Hirohito knew of everything that was going on and he didn't care. I asked someone this question and he said Hideki Tojo was in charge, but Hirohito said Tojo was his loyal servant. Hirohito was seen by some as a wise ruler, but he only stop the war when he heard the Imperial family would be protected. He would continue if they didn't agree to protect him and not execute him as a war criminal. If you say Hirohito is innocent then in my opinion, you might as well be saying that Hitler was innocent of killing and what he did was justified.


Then why, the king of Italy was not tried as war criminal as well. I have yet to meet someone who is WWII enthiaist, but that is aware that Italy was monarchy ruled by a king. In case of Japan, we could say that there was no one-guy like Mussoulini, but rather a shadow expansionist government with Tojo as its helm.

xerxes
16 Mar 07,, 18:21
From the time of the ascendancy of the militarists in Japan, he was always dressed in a uniform. Was he forced to wear it, I for one doubt it?
It was an oblique; an unspoken but highly visible, reminder to all who saw him as to whom he favoured...the military and their agenda.

This is true in most monarchies, even the constitional ones. Again, i will bring up the example of king of Italy who willingly sat on the throne of Ethiopia and Albania, both conquered nations by force of arms. Why he was not tried as a criminal.

Officer of Engineers
16 Mar 07,, 18:31
Oh please! He had the power to surrender. He had power to declare war. He knew exactly what he was doing in both cases. And in neither case was a gun pointed to his head.

gunnut
16 Mar 07,, 19:56
I have often wondered why only the losing side, in All Wars or Conflicts are charged with War crimes.

See, there's a very important lesson to be learned here.

DON'T LOSE THE WAR!!!

:biggrin:

Jan
16 Mar 07,, 20:12
Hello friends, in light of several threads regarding war crims, I like to dedicate this thread on a single subject. Wether, you think the Emperor of Japan was a war criminal, not a war criminal, should have been prosecuted, was partialy responsbile, or that Emperor was not guilty but other Imperial family members should have been prosecuted.

As we all know the Tokyo trial were generally meant to seperate the Imperial familly and the Generals and Admirals.

War criminal? The term is relative. Was "Bomber" Harris a war criminal? Truman? Churchill wanted to use poison gas in WW2 but was overruled.

Prosecuted? No, it was the price of keeping the peace and obtaining the cooperation of the Japanese people.

Was he partially responsible? Yes. What does he have in his defence? A few couplets from a supposedly pacifist haiku questioning <why are the seas are so trubulent> ? In fact it was haiku from the meiji period condoning the march to war.

xerxes
16 Mar 07,, 22:09
Oh please! He had the power to surrender. He had power to declare war. He knew exactly what he was doing in both cases. And in neither case was a gun pointed to his head.

Comeon man, I am just being a fair judge pointing out the facts in a neutral way. There are some similiarties between Emanual III and Hiro-hito, and i just pointed them out, just for the sake of discussion.

xerxes
17 Mar 07,, 00:24
I have often wondered why only the losing side, in All Wars or Conflicts are charged with War crimes. In War"crimes" are commited on all sides. We fight in the best way to win...all's fair in love and war....Having said that the particular methods used by Japan and the brutality shown to civilians as well as servicemen goes beyond the call of Duty to the Emperor..GUILTY AS CHARGED

The Japanese were extremely brutal, but if you are talking about Nanjing and Shanghai during their military strikes ... I will point out the fire-bombing of Tokyo and many other cities, that consumed and burned people alive .. they were both part of terror campaign aimed at terrorizing the population.

The major difference is that, while the Japanese soldiers got their hands dirty by having games of whose going to be the first to cut open 100 Chinese open with their swords. The American airmen were harmfully just dropping without knowing the inferno that was unleashed beneath of them. Therefore, not getting their hands dirty.

Ofcourse, I, as a human being, consider Japanese act in Nanging and Shanghai to be extremely barbaric then the US flame-war. But, if you step back and have a look in a fiar way, you will see that the barbarity and the ruthlessness of the two are the same. Now should Harry Truman/FDR be tried for unleashing hell upon Japan?? ... NO they should not. Therefore, Hiro-hito should not tried as well for the atrocities in China, no more than Harry Truman/FDR should be tried for the atrocities in Japan.

Who should be tried?? .... the commanding officer of the Shangai Expeditionary Force. The person-in-charge who let that happen.

Needless to say, a Chinese or an American will probably be extremely offended by my view. But that is to be fair. Had the Japanese won the war and had they tried Harry Truman as war criminal, then I would have offended them by telling them the samething in a Japanese forum, by letting them to know that their holy emperor is no less guilty as any US president. and yes they would be offended.

wkllaw
17 Mar 07,, 01:08
Then why, the king of Italy was not tried as war criminal as well. I have yet to meet someone who is WWII enthiaist, but that is aware that Italy was monarchy ruled by a king. In case of Japan, we could say that there was no one-guy like Mussoulini, but rather a shadow expansionist government with Tojo as its helm.

The Japanese leadership in the military were incredibly loyal to Hirohito, they would not do anything that angers him. The Japanese saw Hirohito as their god and how would they do anything that displeases their god. You can't say the samthing about the Italian leadership.

Officer of Engineers
17 Mar 07,, 02:36
Comeon man, I am just being a fair judge pointing out the facts in a neutral way. There are some similiarties between Emanual III and Hiro-hito, and i just pointed them out, just for the sake of discussion.

Hirehito had the balls to overrule his Generals in his unconditional surrender which meant two things.

1) He knew exactly what he was doing.
2) He had the power to do what he did.

And this translate directly that he is 100% responsible for everything that he signed his name to.

astralis
17 Mar 07,, 03:09
from what i got,

i think what hirohito envisioned was a smaller, more "winnable" war. however, despite his own private envisioning, he was loath to brush aside a rather fanatical military until it became crystal-clear that japan was about to get beaten into dust.

otherwise, while the military was winning, he certainly didn't feel the need to intervene in the war.

however, again, doesn't detract from the fact that he had grave responsibilities and he failed.

Amled
17 Mar 07,, 03:30
The Japanese were extremely brutal, but if you are talking about Nanjing and Shanghai during their military strikes ... I will point out the fire-bombing of Tokyo and many other cities, that consumed and burned people alive .. they were both part of terror campaign aimed at terrorizing the population.

The major difference is that, while the Japanese soldiers got their hands dirty by having games of whose going to be the first to cut open 100 Chinese open with their swords. The American airmen were harmfully just dropping without knowing the inferno that was unleashed beneath of them. Therefore, not getting their hands dirty.

Ofcourse, I, as a human being, consider Japanese act in Nanging and Shanghai to be extremely barbaric then the US flame-war. But, if you step back and have a look in a fiar way, you will see that the barbarity and the ruthlessness of the two are the same. Now should Harry Truman/FDR be tried for unleashing hell upon Japan?? ... NO they should not. Therefore, Hiro-hito should not tried as well for the atrocities in China, no more than Harry Truman/FDR should be tried for the atrocities in Japan.

Who should be tried?? .... the commanding officer of the Shangai Expeditionary Force. The person-in-charge who let that happen.

Needless to say, a Chinese or an American will probably be extremely offended by my view. But that is to be fair. Had the Japanese won the war and had they tried Harry Truman as war criminal, then I would have offended them by telling them the samething in a Japanese forum, by letting them to know that their holy emperor is no less guilty as any US president. and yes they would be offended.
Xerxes to put the matter in a black and white perspective, the Japanese in all their military adventures were the aggressors; both in China/Manchuria and later in the Pacific theatre, there can hardly be any doubt about this.
Therefore the emperor Hirehito as his nations leader was responsible for actions carried out in his name.
And he was his nations leader, the government leaders reported directly to him, the armed forces were oath bound to obey him. Disobedience to any decree he promulgated would not only be considered treason, but also sacrilege as he was considered by the populace as divine.
Comparing him to Il Duces puppet Emanual III is ludicrous. The Italian king was a figurehead for Mussolini without any power of decision. Whereas the Japanese Emperor had both authority and the power to back up his decisions.
Case in point is as OoE said when he said stop the fighting stopped, this in spite of the military’s wishes to the contrary.

zraver
18 Mar 07,, 03:19
Hohiro was spared in order to have a stable occupation with out having to exterminate half the Japanese race. There had been enough death. A million dead Americans and 10 million+ dead Japanese wouldn't undue a single crime and might have led to many more. By keeping Hohiro on the throne and having an orderly transistion form militarism to pacifism Asia enjoyed realative peace comapre dot the 100 years prior to 1945.

The itlaian King Emauel III was not prosecuted becuase he was an ally. While his nation started the war among the agresors, Italy offically switched side sin 1943 when the King fired Mussolini and entered into talks with the allies before surrendering and switching sides.

xerxes
18 Mar 07,, 18:21
Zraver,

I most familiar with the king of italy, the Duce, Grand Fascist Council, Count Ciano etc. etc. and I know why Hirohito was spared, indeed why the entire Imperial Family was spared.

But my point was very clear. If the charges are savargy and brutallity in war, then that is no different the fire-bombing of Japan. If the charges are that he was the head of state, then he is responsbile then so was the King of Italy, or you forget that he willingly placed upon his head the Crown of emperor of Ethiopia and that of King of Albania, when both nations were conquered in wars of aggression. OOE, makes a point by saying that Hirohito let things happen when things were looking good, but at then end when he found out that Japan will go to dust, he yielded. OOE is absolutly correct. But so did the king of Italy. He went along with the whole affair, but when things werent looking so good, he was too glad to accept the Prime Minister resgination. I only demand fairness in people's judgment. That is all. I say JAPAN was guilty of crimes of aggerssion against Peace. Therefore, the ringleaders of that shadow government should be tried, including members of the Imperial Familly - Prince Konoyo, Prince Kanin. But not Hirohito.

You said: "The itlaian King Emauel III was not prosecuted becuase he was an ally." ... that directly implies that trials were Victors' justice.

xerxes
18 Mar 07,, 18:28
Xerxes to put the matter in a black and white perspective, the Japanese in all their military adventures were the aggressors; both in China/Manchuria and later in the Pacific theatre, there can hardly be any doubt about this.
Therefore the emperor Hirehito as his nations leader was responsible for actions carried out in his name.
And he was his nations leader, the government leaders reported directly to him, the armed forces were oath bound to obey him. Disobedience to any decree he promulgated would not only be considered treason, but also sacrilege as he was considered by the populace as divine.
Comparing him to Il Duces puppet Emanual III is ludicrous. The Italian king was a figurehead for Mussolini without any power of decision. Whereas the Japanese Emperor had both authority and the power to back up his decisions.
Case in point is as OoE said when he said stop the fighting stopped, this in spite of the military’s wishes to the contrary.

That is a good point and you will find no disagrement from me on that issue. Except the fact that in my view, the Japanese Emperor reigned and did not rule. That is something that goes beyound one's divinity or the consitution. One can be an absolute ruler by consitution (de jure power) and be a demi-god by the divine right, yet be feeble, weak and indecisive, because of his human characteristic. That why I say, hirohito reigned and did not rule because of his personal characteristics. Whereas, Emanual III reigned because that was his role.

Just for clarification, Emanual III was not a puppet, he was the consitutional monarch of that kingdom, therefore he was no more puppet than George V was to Lloyd George of England.

Officer of Engineers
18 Mar 07,, 22:08
There's a big difference between Emanual III and Hirehito. Had Emanual III tried to go against Mussolini, he would have died very conveniently. Had Hirehito stopped the war earlier, Tojo would have swallowed a sword through his belly button.

With authority comes responsibility, that is the most profound military command axiom there is and Imperial Japan was militaristic. Hirehito had the authority and the responsibility to act. He is responsible for his actions and there is no one to blame but himself. He IS responsible for declaring war - no one else, not even Tojo. And he cannot escape that.

Amled
18 Mar 07,, 23:23
That why I say, hirohito reigned and did not rule because of his personal characteristics. Whereas, Emanual III reigned because that was his role.
What do you base this assumption on, that he only reigned and did not rule?
Do we even know what his true feelings about Japanese expansionism were? I seriously doubt it, at best we probably have 2nd. or 3rd. hand hearsay.
That Tojo and others were the public face of Japanese expansionism and militarism is irrelevant, because Hirohito had the power to curtail them and he didn’t, and for that alone if for nothing else; that is if this had been a perfect world and pragmatism and realpolitik had not been the keyword, he should have paid the price.

zraver
19 Mar 07,, 03:47
xerxes

You said: "The itlaian King Emauel III was not prosecuted becuase he was an ally." ... that directly implies that trials were Victors' justice.

Of course they were victors trials. Stalin was never tried for the invasion of Poland, or his anexing of the baltics, or his bullying of Romania ect. Italy ended the war on the Allied side and so all of its misdeeds were forgiven, although she did lose her colonial outposts.

xerxes
19 Mar 07,, 04:27
Of course they were victors trials. Stalin was never tried for the invasion of Poland, or his anexing of the baltics, or his bullying of Romania ect. Italy ended the war on the Allied side and so all of its misdeeds were forgiven, although she did lose her colonial outposts.

Behold, first time that we are in aggrement.


There's a big difference between Emanual III and Hirehito. Had Emanual III tried to go against Mussolini, he would have died very conveniently. Had Hirehito stopped the war earlier, Tojo would have swallowed a sword through his belly button.

With authority comes responsibility, that is the most profound military command axiom there is and Imperial Japan was militaristic. Hirehito had the authority and the responsibility to act. He is responsible for his actions and there is no one to blame but himself. He IS responsible for declaring war - no one else, not even Tojo. And he cannot escape that.

I can see why you hold him responsible, sense he is a head of state and by divine right he is the only man whose responsible for Japan's action. Though, a small clarification on the issue of Emanual III, he did turn upon the Duce.


What do you base this assumption on, that he only reigned and did not rule?
Do we even know what his true feelings about Japanese expansionism were? I seriously doubt it, at best we probably have 2nd. or 3rd. hand hearsay.
That Tojo and others were the public face of Japanese expansionism and militarism is irrelevant, because Hirohito had the power to curtail them and he didn’t, and for that alone if for nothing else; that is if this had been a perfect world and pragmatism and realpolitik had not been the keyword, he should have paid the price.

My readings on Japan point that way, and i have done great many and I have read plenty on the 30s as well as 40s. Hirohito was a feeble and weak charater. Though, you or OOE might question that assumed-fact. and let it be known that his desicion to end the war, was more like a backing that was given to already pro-peace government of Baron Suzuki that had some obvious hardline elements such Anami, the war minister. The Army was extremely powerfull in Japanese politics. The war with the United States was the result of Axis victory in the West that paved way for the extremist and topple the moderate government of Admiral Yonai. The emperor had no saying in these matters. Had he had an input, you will probably see succesive Japanese generals as premiers. That was not the case. The Navy was against war. A strong faction within the army favoured a southern expansion, with Prince Konyo (somewhat), Prince Kanin and General Tojo as ring leaders. While another faction within army favoured a western expansion deeper into Mongolia at expense of USSR. The second army faction was derailed and toppled after Khalkhin'gol/Molotoc-Ribbentrop Pact. In January 1940, the emperor gave his backing to Admiral Yonai to get the premiership. Admiral Yonai deeply oppose alliance with Germany and Italy. Soon after, the pro-Axis warminister resigned forcing the Yonai cabinet to collapse. The Navy faction was thus derailed after the Germany victories in spring 1940. That left the strong army-based faction in power - Prince Konoyo who chose General Tojo as his war minister. That was the dawn of extremists (soutern expansiom) in the Japanese politics. Ofcourse, once the tripartie pact was signed. Japan was effectively sealed. The emperor was powerless. It was not only the very politically powerfull Japanese army but also the members of the Imperial familly itself such Prince Konoyo and Kanin, with deep influence on the young emperor. At the end Konoyo himself was overwhlem and squizzed out by the army, and Tojo became premier/war minister/interior minister.

Ask yourself this who was the dictator of Germany following the July Bomb Plot? it was not Hitler ... it was Himmler.

Officer of Engineers
19 Mar 07,, 04:31
Though, a small clarification on the issue of Emanual III, he did turn upon the Duce.

You mean when it was safe to do so.

xerxes
19 Mar 07,, 04:34
You mean when it was safe to do so.

YES :biggrin:

Amled
19 Mar 07,, 13:50
...The emperor was powerless. It was not only the very politically powerfull Japanese army but also the members of the Imperial familly itself such Prince Konoyo and Kanin, with deep influence on the young emperor. At the end Konoyo himself was overwhlem and squizzed out by the army, and Tojo became premier/war minister/interior minister.

The question of Hirehito’s guilt or innocence of war crimes hinges not on whether he had weak or vacillating character, his assumed character flaws have no bearing on his guilt or innocence in the accusations of war crimes.
You yourself agree that he had both the power and authority to have stepped in and stopped the slaughter, well the hand-wringing protestations of “I didn’t know” didn’t work in Nuremberg and it won’t work here.
Apropos, weak and vacillating, in the last days of the war when Anami and his cronies still dominated; not only the government but the Privy Council and wished to fight to the end, he showed enough backbone to override them, not the trait of the weak and vacillating person you portray.
As for:

Ask yourself this who was the dictator of Germany following the July Bomb Plot? it was not Hitler ... it was Himmler.
Both Hitler’s and Himmler’s crimes prior to the von Stauffenberg bomb on July 20th., were legion, and they would both have swung for them if they hadn’t taken the cowards way out.

Blademaster
19 Mar 07,, 16:17
I don't really think that Hirohita really had the power to sweep away the war hawks in the cabinet and sue for peace. It was only after when the warhawks "lost their face" and thus lost any significant support.

If you recall, there was a serious assassination attempt on Hirohita before he was to issue his acceptance to unconditional surrender. That shows how precarious his position was.

Officer of Engineers
19 Mar 07,, 17:03
Not that I trust Wiki to be end all but the testimonies are damning


From Hirohito - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hirohito)
Entering World War II

Prior to what is formally known as "World War II", Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931 and the rest of China in 1937 (the Second Sino-Japanese War). The primary sources reveal that Emperor Shōwa never really had any objection to the invasion of China in 1937, which was recommended to him by his chiefs of staff and prime minister Fumimaro Konoe. His main concern seems to have been the possibility of an attack by the Soviets in the north and his questions to his chief of staff prince Kan'in and minister of the army Hajime Sugiyama were mostly about the time it could take to crush the Chinese resistance.

According to Akira Fujiwara, the emperor even personally ratified the proposition of his army to remove the constraints of international law on the treatment of Chinese prisoners on August 5.[3] Moreover, the works of Yoshiaki Yoshimi and Seiya Matsuno, show that he authorized by specific orders (rinsanmei) the use of chemical weapons against the Chinese. [4] For example, during the invasion of Wuhan, from August to October 1938, the emperor authorized the use of toxic gas on 375 separate occasions,[5] despite the resolution adopted by the League of Nations on May 14 condemning the use of toxic gas by the Japanese Army.

During World War II, ostensibly under Emperor Shōwa's leadership, Japan formed alliances with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, forming the Axis Powers. The emperor, who had a predilection for England, was reluctant to form this alliance. In July 1939, he even had a bad quarrel on this subject with one of his brothers, Prince Chichibu, who was visiting him three times a week to support the treaty, and reprimanded the army minister Seishiro Itagaki,[6] but he finally gave his consent after the success of the Wehrmacht in Europe.

On September 4, 1941, the Japanese Cabinet met to consider the war plans prepared by Imperial General Headquarters, and decided that:
“ Our Empire, for the purpose of self-defence and self-preservation, will complete preparations for war ... [and is] ... resolved to go to war with the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands if necessary. Our Empire will concurrently take all possible diplomatic measures vis-à-vis the United States and Great Britain, and thereby endeavor to obtain our objectives ... In the event that there is no prospect of our demands being met by the first ten days of October through the diplomatic negotiations mentioned above, we will immediately decide to commence hostilities against the United States, Britain and the Netherlands. ”

The "objectives" to be obtained were clearly defined: a free hand to continue with the conquest of China and Southeast Asia, no increase in US or British military forces in the region, and cooperation by the West "in the acquisition of goods needed by our Empire".

On September 5, Prime Minister Konoe informally submitted a draft of the decision to the emperor, just one day in advance of the Imperial Conference at which it would be formally implemented. On this evening, Emperor Shōwa had a meeting with chief of staff of the army Sugiyama, chief of staff of the navy Osami Nagano and Konoe. The emperor then questioned Sugiyama about the chances of success of an open war with the Occident. As Sugiyama answered positively, the emperor scolded him:
“ —At the time of the Shina [China] incident, the army told me that we could make Chiang surrender after three months but you still can't beat him even today! Sugiyama, you were minister at the time.
—China is a vast area with many ways in and ways out, and we met unexpectedly big difficulties.
—You say the interior of China is huge; isn't the Pacific Ocean even bigger than China? Didn't I caution you each time about those matters? Sugiyama, are you lying to me?[7] ”

Chief of Naval General Staff Admiral Nagano, a former Navy Minister and vastly experienced, later told a trusted colleague, "I have never seen the emperor reprimand us in such a manner, his face turning red and raising his voice."

According to the traditional view, Emperor Shōwa was deeply concerned by the decision to place "war preparations first and diplomatic negotiations second", and he announced his intention to break with tradition. At the Imperial Conference on the following day, he directly questioned the chiefs of the Army and Navy general staffs, a quite unprecedented action.

Nevertheless, all speakers at the Imperial Conference were united in favour of war rather than diplomacy. Baron Yoshimichi Hara, President of the Imperial Council and the emperor's representative, then questioned them closely, producing replies to the effect that war would only be considered as a last resort from some, and silence from others.

At this point, the sovereign astonished all present by addressing the conference personally, and in breaking the tradition of Imperial silence left his advisors "struck with awe". (Prime Minister Konoe's description of the event.) Emperor Shōwa stressed the need for peaceful resolution of international problems, expressed regret at his ministers' failure to respond to Baron Hara's probings, and recited a poem written by his grandfather, Emperor Meiji which, he said, he had read "over and over again":
“ Methinks all the people of the world are brethren, then.
Why are the waves and the wind so unsettled nowadays? ”

Recovering from their shock, the ministers hastened to express their profound wish to explore all possible peaceful avenues. The emperor's presentation was in line with his practical role as leader of the Shinto religion.

At this time, Army Imperial Headquarters was continually communicating with the Imperial household in detail about the military situation. On October 8, Sugiyama signed a 47-page report to the emperor (sōjōan) outlining in minute detail plans for the advance in Southeast Asia and, on the third week, gave him a 51-page document, "Materials in Reply to the Throne", about an operational outlook on the war.[8]

As the war preparations continued, however, Konoe found himself more and more isolated and gave his demission on October 16. He justified himself to his chief cabinet secretary, Kenji Tomita :
“ Of course His Majesty is a pacifist, and there is no doubt he wished to avoid war. When I told him that to initiate war was a mistake, he agreed. But the next day, he would tell me : You were worried about it yesterday, but you do not have to worry so much. Thus, gradually, he began to lead toward war. And the next time I met him, he leaned even more toward. In short, I felt the emperor was telling me : my prime minister does not understand military matters, I know much more. In short, the emperor had absorbed the view of the army and navy high commands.[9] ”

The army and the navy recommended at this point the candidacy of prince Higashikuni, one of the emperor's uncles. According to the Shōwa "Monologue", written after the war, the emperor then said that if the war were to begin while a member of the imperial house was prime minister, the imperial house would have to carry the responsibility and this he opposed.[10]

He thus chose the hard-line General Hideki Tōjō, who was known for his devotion to the imperial institution and asked him to make a policy review of what had been sanctioned by the imperial conferences. On November 2, Tōjō, Sugiyama and Nagano reported to the emperor that the review of eleven points had been in vain. Emperor Shōwa gave his consent to the war and then asked: "Are you going to provide justification for the war?"[11]

On November 3, Nagano explained in detail the Pearl Harbor attack plan to the emperor.[12] On November 5, Emperor Shōwa approved in imperial conference the operations plan for a war against Occident and had many meetings with the military and Tōjō until the end of the month. On December 1, an imperial conference finally sanctioned the "War against the United States, England and Holland". On December 8 (December 7 in Hawaii) 1941, in simultaneous attacks, Japanese forces struck at the US Fleet in Pearl Harbor and began the invasion of Malaysia. From this point, there was no turning back.

With the nation now fully committed to the war, Emperor Shōwa took a keen interest in military progress and sought to boost morale. According to Akira Yamada and Akira Fujiwara, the emperor even made major interventions in some military operations. For example, he pressed Sugiyama four times, on January 13 and 21 and February 9 and 26, to increase troop strength and launch an attack of Bataan. On February 9, March 19 and May 29, he ordered the Army Chief of staff to examine the possibilities for an attack on Chungking which led to operation Gogo.[13]

As the tide of war gradually began to turn (around late 1942 and early 1943), some people argue that the flow of information to the palace gradually began to bear less and less relation to reality, while others suggest that the emperor worked closely with Prime Minister Tōjō, continued to be well and accurately briefed by the military, and knew Japan's military position precisely right up to the point of surrender. The chief of staff of the General Affairs section of the Prime Minister's office, Shuichi Inada, remarked to Tōjō's private secretary, Sadao Akamatsu:
“ There has never been a cabinet in which the prime minister, and all the ministers, reported so often to the throne. In order to effect the essence of genuine direct imperial rule and to relieve the concerns of the emperor, the ministers reported to the throne matters within the scope of their responsibilities as per the prime minister's directives... In times of intense activities, typed drafts were presented to the emperor with corrections in red. First draft, second draft, final draft and so forth, came as deliberations progressed one after the other and were sanctioned accordingly by the emperor.[14] ”

In the first six months of war, all the major engagements had been victories. However, as the tide turned in the summer of 1942 with the battle of Midway and the landing of the American forces on Guadalcanal and Tulagi in August, the Emperor immediately recognized the potential danger and pushed the navy and the army for greater efforts. When informed in August 1943 by Sugiyama that the American advance through the Solomon islands could not be stopped, he asked his chief of staff to consider other places to attack : "When and where on are you ever going to put up a good fight? And when are you ever going to fight a decisive battle?" [15] On August 24, he reprimanded Nagano for the defeat of Bela Bela and on September 11, he ordered Sugiyama to work with the Navy to implement better military preparation and give adequate supply to soldiers fighting in Rabaul. [16]

Throughout the following years, the sequence of drawn and then decisively lost engagements was also reported to the public as a series of great victories. Only gradually did it become apparent to the people in the home islands that the situation was very grim. U.S. air raids on the cities of Japan starting in 1944 made a mockery of the unending tales of victory. Later that year, with the downfall of Hideki Tōjō's government, two other prime ministers were appointed to continue the war effort, Kuniaki Koiso and Kantaro Suzuki—again, with at least the formal approval of the emperor, but whether he agreed with their policies is still disputed. Both were unsuccessful and Japan was nearing defeat.

Clearly, he was not the rubber stamp as some made him out to be. The man was intimately aware of each and every decision to goto war. His decision was sought after and he gave it. This is not an example of an ignorant, powerless figurehead, but an emperor fully aware and involved in the war decision making. He had the final go-no-go decision; not the war cabinet.

Any more doubt about his guilt?

ExNavyAmerican
19 Mar 07,, 17:35
Posted by Amled-
the armed forces were oath bound to obey him.

Yeah... So what? And Bill Clinton swoar to uphold the constitution. ;)

The Japanese emperor would have been "removed" had he opposed "his" war-mongering government. He is not at fault: he was adamamantly opposed to war. We can infer this further from this poem he wrote to "his" ministers-

"If all men are brothers, why are the winds and the waves so restless?" -

He wrote this shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Officer of Engineers
19 Mar 07,, 17:41
Posted by Amled-

Yeah... So what? And Bill Clinton swoar to uphold the constitution. ;)

The Japanese emperor would have been "removed" had he opposed "his" war-mongering government. He is not at fault: he was adamamantly opposed to war. We can infer this further from this poem he wrote to "his" ministers-

"If all men are brothers, why are the winds and the waves so restless?" -

He wrote this shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

As shown by testimony of his Ministers, he was not afraid to belittle them and to demand answers to his war questions. The Imperial Office was flooded with reports and answers to satisfy him. Sorry, His opposition to the war and fear of removal is just a myth. He was in it on from the start.

xerxes
19 Mar 07,, 17:48
Asking war questions and supporting his ministers and military after the Preal Harbour is his job and his role. We are talking about prior to that, when the peace/moderate government capitulated to the hardliners. If the Emperor wanted war so much, I can assure you, you would have never seen a single Navy admiral serving as a Prime Minister in the 30s and 40s.

Officer of Engineers
19 Mar 07,, 17:51
Hmmm, yeah


On November 3, Nagano explained in detail the Pearl Harbor attack plan to the emperor.[12] On November 5, Emperor Shōwa approved in imperial conference the operations plan for a war against Occident and had many meetings with the military and Tōjō until the end of the month. On December 1, an imperial conference finally sanctioned the "War against the United States, England and Holland". On December 8 (December 7 in Hawaii) 1941, in simultaneous attacks, Japanese forces struck at the US Fleet in Pearl Harbor and began the invasion of Malaysia. From this point, there was no turning back.

What were you saying?

xerxes
19 Mar 07,, 18:03
My opinion of the events .....


Prior to what is formally known as "World War II", Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931 and the rest of China in 1937 (the Second Sino-Japanese War). The primary sources reveal that Emperor Shōwa never really had any objection to the invasion of China in 1937, which was recommended to him by his chiefs of staff and prime minister Fumimaro Konoe. His main concern seems to have been the possibility of an attack by the Soviets in the north and his questions to his chief of staff prince Kan'in and minister of the army Hajime Sugiyama were mostly about the time it could take to crush the Chinese resistance.
Nothing is wrong with asking any of the above questions. George V once asked Lord Fisher if a preemptive strike against German High Seas Fleet doable. and It is not that he had no objection, but rather that Japan as expansionist power in that period of time was meant expand to survive. Going against the wishes of Army was seen to be the death knell to Japan's future

According to Akira Fujiwara, the emperor even personally ratified the proposition of his army to remove the constraints of international law on the treatment of Chinese prisoners on August 5.[3] Moreover, the works of Yoshiaki Yoshimi and Seiya Matsuno, show that he authorized by specific orders (rinsanmei) the use of chemical weapons against the Chinese. [4] For example, during the invasion of Wuhan, from August to October 1938, the emperor authorized the use of toxic gas on 375 separate occasions,[5] despite the resolution adopted by the League of Nations on May 14 condemning the use of toxic gas by the Japanese Army.

Again. whats wrong with that?? Sir Winston Churchill, much like Saddam Hussein authorized using chemical warfare against Kurds in Iraq. After being critized he said: "i dont know what is the big fuss about gassing primitive tribesmen"

During World War II, ostensibly under Emperor Shōwa's leadership, Japan formed alliances with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, forming the Axis Powers.Incorrect, the Tripartite Pact was as the result of Germany victories and the capitualtion of the moderate/peace party as its result. None have anything to do with hirohito The emperor, who had a predilection for England, was reluctant to form this alliance. In July 1939, he even had a bad quarrel on this subject with one of his brothers, Prince Chichibu, who was visiting him three times a week to support the treaty, and reprimanded the army minister Seishiro Itagaki,[6] but he finally gave his consent after the success of the Wehrmacht in Europe.

On September 4, 1941,the date is 1941, with Tojo as warminister and Prince Konoye as premier .. not a moderate government the Japanese Cabinet met to consider the war plans prepared by Imperial General Headquarters, and decided that:
“ Our Empire, for the purpose of self-defence and self-preservation, will complete preparations for war ... [and is] ... resolved to go to war with the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands if necessary. Our Empire will concurrently take all possible diplomatic measures vis-à-vis the United States and Great Britain, and thereby endeavor to obtain our objectives ... In the event that there is no prospect of our demands being met by the first ten days of October through the diplomatic negotiations mentioned above, we will immediately decide to commence hostilities against the United States, Britain and the Netherlands. ”

The "objectives" to be obtained were clearly defined: a free hand to continue with the conquest of China and Southeast Asia, no increase in US or British military forces in the region, and cooperation by the West "in the acquisition of goods needed by our Empire". When the peace party had capitualted... ofcourse what remains is the hardline militiristics, and the emperor's lack of support would have been harmfull to his position. and I can assure you that Army would have achieve its objective, regardless of emperor's inclination

On September 5, Prime Minister Konoe informally submitted a draft of the decision to the emperor, just one day in advance of the Imperial Conference at which it would be formally implemented. On this evening, Emperor Shōwa had a meeting with chief of staff of the army Sugiyama hardliner, chief of staff of the navy Osami Nagano hardliner and Konoe. The emperor then questioned Sugiyama about the chances of success of an open war with the Occident. As Sugiyama answered positively, the emperor scolded him:
“ —At the time of the Shina [China] incident, the army told me that we could make Chiang surrender after three months but you still can't beat him even today! Sugiyama, you were minister at the time.
—China is a vast area with many ways in and ways out, and we met unexpectedly big difficulties.
—You say the interior of China is huge; isn't the Pacific Ocean even bigger than China? Didn't I caution you each time about those matters? Sugiyama, are you lying to me?[7] ”

Chief of Naval General Staff Admiral Nagano, a former Navy Minister and vastly experienced, later told a trusted colleague, "I have never seen the emperor reprimand us in such a manner, his face turning red and raising his voice."

According to the traditional view, Emperor Shōwa was deeply concerned by the decision to place "war preparations first and diplomatic negotiations second", and he announced his intention to break with tradition. At the Imperial Conference on the following day, he directly questioned the chiefs of the Army and Navy general staffs, a quite unprecedented action.

Nevertheless, all speakers at the Imperial Conference were united in favour of war rather than diplomacy. Baron Yoshimichi Hara, President of the Imperial Council and the emperor's representative, then questioned them closely, producing replies to the effect that war would only be considered as a last resort from some, and silence from others.

At this point, the sovereign astonished all present by addressing the conference personally, and in breaking the tradition of Imperial silence left his advisors "struck with awe". (Prime Minister Konoe's description of the event.) Emperor Shōwa stressed the need for peaceful resolution of international problems, expressed regret at his ministers' failure to respond to Baron Hara's probings, and recited a poem written by his grandfather, Emperor Meiji which, he said, he had read "over and over again":“ Methinks all the people of the world are brethren, then.
Why are the waves and the wind so unsettled nowadays? ”

Recovering from their shock, the ministers hastened to express their profound wish to explore all possible peaceful avenues. The emperor's presentation was in line with his practical role as leader of the Shinto religion.

At this time, Army Imperial Headquarters was continually communicating with the Imperial household in detail about the military situation. On October 8, Sugiyama signed a 47-page report to the emperor (sōjōan) outlining in minute detail plans for the advance in Southeast Asia and, on the third week, gave him a 51-page document, "Materials in Reply to the Throne", about an operational outlook on the war.[8]

As the war preparations continued, however, Konoe found himself more and more isolated and gave his demission on October 16. He justified himself to his chief cabinet secretary, Kenji Tomita :
“ Of course His Majesty is a pacifist, and there is no doubt he wished to avoid war. When I told him that to initiate war was a mistake, he agreed. But the next day, he would tell me : You were worried about it yesterday, but you do not have to worry so much. Thus, gradually, he began to lead toward war. And the next time I met him, he leaned even more toward. In short, I felt the emperor was telling me : my prime minister does not understand military matters, I know much more. In short, the emperor had absorbed the view of the army and navy high commands.[9] ”

The army and the navy recommended at this point the candidacy of prince Higashikuni, one of the emperor's uncles. According to the Shōwa "Monologue", written after the war, the emperor then said that if the war were to begin while a member of the imperial house was prime minister, the imperial house would have to carry the responsibility and this he opposed.the stage is set, the pieces are moving[10]

He thus chose the hard-line General Hideki Tōjō, who was known for his devotion to the imperial institution and asked him to make a policy review of what had been sanctioned by the imperial conferences. On November 2, Tōjō, Sugiyama and Nagano reported to the emperor that the review of eleven points had been in vain. Emperor Shōwa gave his consent to the war and then asked: "Are you going to provide justification for the war?"[11]
the stage is set, the pieces are moving

On November 3, Nagano explained in detail the Pearl Harbor attack plan to the emperor.[12] On November 5, Emperor Shōwa approved in imperial conference the operations plan for a war against Occident and had many meetings with the military and Tōjō until the end of the month. On December 1, an imperial conference finally sanctioned the "War against the United States, England and Holland". On December 8 (December 7 in Hawaii) 1941, in simultaneous attacks, Japanese forces struck at the US Fleet in Pearl Harbor and began the invasion of Malaysia. From this point, there was no turning back.the stage is set, the pieces are moving

With the nation now fully committed to the war, Emperor Shōwa took a keen interest in military progress and sought to boost morale. According to Akira Yamada and Akira Fujiwara, the emperor even made major interventions in some military operations. For example, he pressed Sugiyama four times, on January 13 and 21 and February 9 and 26, to increase troop strength and launch an attack of Bataan. On February 9, March 19 and May 29, he ordered the Army Chief of staff to examine the possibilities for an attack on Chungking which led to operation Gogo.[13]the stage is set, the pieces are moving

As the tide of war gradually began to turn (around late 1942 and early 1943), some people argue that the flow of information to the palace gradually began to bear less and less relation to reality, while others suggest that the emperor worked closely with Prime Minister Tōjō, continued to be well and accurately briefed by the military, and knew Japan's military position precisely right up to the point of surrender. The chief of staff of the General Affairs section of the Prime Minister's office, Shuichi Inada, remarked to Tōjō's private secretary, Sadao Akamatsu:
“ There has never been a cabinet in which the prime minister, and all the ministers, reported so often to the throne. In order to effect the essence of genuine direct imperial rule and to relieve the concerns of the emperor, the ministers reported to the throne matters within the scope of their responsibilities as per the prime minister's directives... In times of intense activities, typed drafts were presented to the emperor with corrections in red. First draft, second draft, final draft and so forth, came as deliberations progressed one after the other and were sanctioned accordingly by the emperor.[14] ”the stage is set, the pieces are moving

In the first six months of war, all the major engagements had been victories. However, as the tide turned in the summer of 1942 with the battle of Midway and the landing of the American forces on Guadalcanal and Tulagi in August, the Emperor immediately recognized the potential danger and pushed the navy and the army for greater efforts. When informed in August 1943 by Sugiyama that the American advance through the Solomon islands could not be stopped, he asked his chief of staff to consider other places to attack : "When and where on are you ever going to put up a good fight? And when are you ever going to fight a decisive battle?" [15] On August 24, he reprimanded Nagano for the defeat of Bela Bela and on September 11, he ordered Sugiyama to work with the Navy to implement better military preparation and give adequate supply to soldiers fighting in Rabaul. [16]
the stage is set, the pieces are moving
Throughout the following years, the sequence of drawn and then decisively lost engagements was also reported to the public as a series of great victories. Only gradually did it become apparent to the people in the home islands that the situation was very grim. U.S. air raids on the cities of Japan starting in 1944 made a mockery of the unending tales of victory. Later that year, with the downfall of Hideki Tōjō's government, two other prime ministers were appointed to continue the war effort, Kuniaki Koiso and Kantaro Suzuki—again, with at least the formal approval of the emperor, but whether he agreed with their policies is still disputed. Both were unsuccessful and Japan was nearing defeat.

xerxes
19 Mar 07,, 18:05
Hmmm, yeah

What were you saying?

I am sorry I meant when the peace party had capitulated (1940) .. i shouldnt have to use the word preal harbour (1941).

Officer of Engineers
19 Mar 07,, 18:23
My opinion of the events .....

I don't understand what you're trying to show me. In every single case you've highlighted or commented on, Hirehito was extremely involved, and it was he who made the decisions he made.

You have NOT shown me once that he acted or directed against war preparations. The very fact that he scowled his Ministers; screaming at them red face with fist clenched and his Ministers COWED before him. Sorry, that is NOT a man following events. That is a man in charge and he knew it.

As for your comment, "the stage is set, the pieces are moving." Who set the stage and got the pieces moving? It was Hirehito. He signed the orders and he gave the approvals AFTER alot of consideration and thought.

glyn
19 Mar 07,, 19:04
You mean when it was safe to do so.


How about "When it was sane to?" :) It would have been insane earlier!

xerxes
20 Mar 07,, 01:17
I don't understand what you're trying to show me. In every single case you've highlighted or commented on, Hirehito was extremely involved, and it was he who made the decisions he made.

You have NOT shown me once that he acted or directed against war preparations. The very fact that he scowled his Ministers; screaming at them red face with fist clenched and his Ministers COWED before him. Sorry, that is NOT a man following events. That is a man in charge and he knew it.

As for your comment, "the stage is set, the pieces are moving." Who set the stage and got the pieces moving? It was Hirehito. He signed the orders and he gave the approvals AFTER alot of consideration and thought.

You are right I have not shown proof as you said, I am not really that kind of person, whose going to delve too much in the web to get proof. What I said on this thread (infact whatever I say on WAB) is based on past readings, and I know that you consider Hirohito's position as a rubber stamp to be a myth, and I respect that, while fully disagreeing with it. However, I never questioned hirohito's role as the divine ruler of that holy land.

About, "the stage is set, the pieces are moving." it is a tribute to Gandalf ;), but I would say the stage was set not by the emperor but by the geopolitics of those fatefull years resulted by an overwhleming German victory in the West in 1940, a crushing defeat in 1939 at Khalkhin'gol + the molotov-ribbentrop pact that send shock waves to Tokyo, toppling the Anti-Soviet faction, Peace-moderate faction and giving rise to the southern expansionsm circle.

The emperor was just surfing on the waves harmlessly ...

zraver
14 Apr 07,, 23:54
Hirohito was pardoned to spare millions of lives. What ever his sins, the pardon he got stopped the war.

beansprout
30 Jan 08,, 11:59
Ofcourse, theres no answer to this question, hiroito should of been guilty afterall....and yet no charges were laid to him and shiro iishi

Triple C
30 Jan 08,, 16:36
Every member of the armed forces swore an oath of allegiance to him as the embodiment of Japan.
His word was law. The Fuehrer Principe with religious overtones.


Kind of an aside, but isn't it interesting that Japan tread on the same path with Germany after it copied the imperial German constitution during the Meiji period?

beka
06 Mar 08,, 05:23
Personally I don't like this statement because the current members of the imperial family have nothing to do with it. The Japanese Emperor Akikito and his wife are pacifists, who deeply fear their country has forgotten the horribliness of the past...

As for the emperor's "responsibilty" I'm not sure how much he was or wasn't responsible. I think the idea well they regarded the emperor as a god, so they'd do as he says is a little bit shallow. The Japanese idea of a living god and our idea of a living god is different. Plus, through a large part of Japanese history, the emperor was nothing more than a figurehead, confined literally to the palace, and "spiritual" things, with the shogun in charge. Sure the Meji restoration changed that, but I wouldn't assume that there weren't some lingering feelings which left their tension between the "war lords" and whoever was emperor.

Personally, I think not trying Hirahito was smart because it did help the Japanese surrender and led to a more peaceful Japan.

Officer of Engineers
06 Mar 08,, 16:08
The Japanese Emperor Akikito and his wife are pacifists, who deeply fear their country has forgotten the horribliness of the past... And yet, they do nothing about the Shrines.

glyn
06 Mar 08,, 16:58
And yet, they do nothing about the Shrines.

They are wise to avoid inflaming religious sensibilities though.:)

Triple C
30 Mar 08,, 09:56
Sirs,

From what I understand, the shrines were not under Japanese gov't control. It is ran by a civil committee that registered itself as a religious organization and therefore under the protection of the freedom of religion guaranteed by the Japanese constituition. Even if the Japanese government is inclined to remove the war criminals from the shrine they will not be at liberty to do so.

Personally, I believe that the emperor could stop the war because of the immense clout of his status as the supreme and divine ruler, even if his power is more symbolic than real.

Japanese empererors after the Meiji Restoration had done little or no actual governing of the state because the nitty gritty of politics was beneath their divinity, Hirohito still retained the power to summon or dismiss a cabinet at will. The sovereinty of the Japanese empire literally rested in the emperor's person and he is the fountainhead of legitmate power. In that sense the emperor's powers are very real, since his disapproval of any policy, if expressed publically, becomes law.

Dreadnought
22 May 08,, 21:26
Hirehito was in on the war from the start. There were some key decisions that he've made, especially concerning China and Korea. He was guilty, no question, and not just because he was the Head of State.

I'm with OOE on this. The Emperor was as guilty a war criminal to Japan as Hitler was to Germany and no doubt if we did what we should have he would have no doubt hung as a war criminal instead politics once again played its part and denied true justice from taking place at the trials.

As people hold the U.S. president accountable for our troops so should they be held accountable in the very same aspects for their troops.

navy namvet
26 Jul 08,, 22:45
the Army ran the war. not him. check this out. Unit 731


bAp8bSdE5MQ

Dreadnought
04 Nov 08,, 17:54
Sir,
I can understand your point. However the army and navy were both subservant to his wishes and if we were to quote certain conversations from him it would directly point out that he controlled both forces but allowed them to think for themselves. In much the same as a parent is responsible for their children IMO.

xerxes
05 Nov 08,, 01:42
The following is my opinion

Hirohito may have been divine by birth and by his office, but nevertheless he chose to reign rather to rule. He may have known things here and there, very much the sameway Edward VII might have a few things going within his own kingdom, but he certainly was not involved in the planning the wars of aggression as was the case of the autocratic ruler of Russia or that of the Kaiser. Besides, had the war went the other way (Axis victory), most probably the Axis would have brought same charges on FDR, in regards of conspiring to take his nation to war against Germany.

The above is my opinion


------------------------------------------------
so the questions boils down to the following:

Are we being fair?

Officer of Engineers
05 Nov 08,, 12:59
It's one or the other. Can't have it both ways. If he reigned, then he had no power to overrule his generals. That means that he had no authority to surrender, not even the decision to surrender.

If he ruled, then he has to accept responsibility for everything.

Repatriated Canuck
06 Nov 08,, 07:29
He is completely guilty of war crimes. The Emperor knew what he was doing and could have ordered anyone who disagreed to slit their belly and they would have even if it was under protest just for honours sake. He was not under lock and key held by the reigning Shogun like many before him.

Xerxes, you are continuing just for the hell of it now.

clyder
06 Nov 08,, 09:29
This is true in most monarchies, even the constitional ones. Again, i will bring up the example of king of Italy who willingly sat on the throne of Ethiopia and Albania, both conquered nations by force of arms. Why he was not tried as a criminal.
At least it was ensured that Italy became a republic!