Sat, Jul 28, 2018 - Page 5 News List

Memo points to Hirohito’s support for ‘Pearl Harbor’

‘AT EASE AND UNSHAKABLE’:If then-prime minister Tojo’s account on the morning of the attack was accurate, Japan’s emperor authorized his Cabinet to go to war with the US


More decisive leadership might have ended the war earlier, he said.

“Tojo is a bureaucrat who was incapable of making his own decisions, so he turned to the emperor as his supervisor. That’s why he had to report everything for the emperor to decide. If the emperor didn’t say no, then he would proceed,” Furukawa said. “Clearly, the memo shows the absence of political leadership in Japan.”

Yuzawa wrote in the memo that he was “moved and honored to get involved in war preparations at the time of a crucial event that would determine the fate of the Imperial state.”

He was later promoted to minister of the interior. but turned critical of Tojo’s leadership and was dismissed from the Cabinet over a policy difference.

“He is a man of passion and loyalty,” Yuzawa wrote of Tojo in a notebook he kept. “But he is so narrow-minded and he has no philosophy as a political leader.”

Hatano, a longtime acquaintance of some of Yuzawa’s descendants, received the notebook and other items from family members when they wanted to make room in their apartment. He found the memo folded in half inside the notebook about a year later.

“When I recognized the date, Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, I knew it was something special,” he said.

He examined it repeatedly to try to make sense of the handwriting and archaic language.

“Then I spotted references to the emperor and prime minister Tojo,” he said.

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