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Author Topic: THE DEATH OF HIROHITO: 7 JAN 1989  (Read 316 times)
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« on: January 06, 2019, 09:55:02 am »

The longest ruling Emperor of Japan dies on 7 JAN 1989. Having served as the Regent since 1921, Hirohito [Actually Showa Tenno Hirohito] came to the throne in 1928. Ironically the name he chose for his reign, 'Showa', meant 'Peace'. There wouldn't be much of that during the first two decades of his rule.

Hirohito's grandfather, Meiji, who led to the restoration of the Emperor's primacy over the Daimyo [removing the Shogun from actual rule], drafted a Constitution that did little to establish anything near democratic rule. And by the time Hirohito took the throne, one of the less savory aspects of the government was that the military ministers, Army and Navy, could topple a government merely by refusing to send a minister to join the Cabinet. On top of that, Japanese politics became increasingly extremist, with several high profile assassinations. Ominously they tended to be carried out by military officers.

Hirohito reacted to these events only once, shortly after he took the throne, when Japanese Army troops occupied Tokyo. But when the Japanese invaded Manchuria in 1931, he did nothing. Japan withdrew from the League of Nations while he ruled. he did nothing When the Army started the Sino-Japanese war by invading China, he did nothing. When, through the good offices of Adolf Hitler, his army was able to occupy French Indochina, he did nothing.When the Rape of Nanking occurred, he did nothing.

What he did do was attend countless troop reviews and naval reviews in uniform [he wouldn't appear out of uniform, for the most part until after Japan's surrender], while both his Army and Navy expanded, and began their attempt to conquer Asia.

No one knows for certain how much Hirohito Knew about things being done by his military. But one of his brothers served with Matsui in Nanking. He had to be 'read in' on the Pearl Harbor operation. He issued an imperial rescript approving the war. But of the butchery, the horrendous treatment of prisoners, from their murder in Malaya by the Imperial Guards division, to the Bataan Death March, to the Bridge on the River Kwai, to the barbarity of Unit 731 in Manchuria [also involved in biological warfare], there's no 'smoking gun.

The one constant in the man was his desire to maintain his station in power. It was a constant from his intervention in the Tokyo rebellion through the destruction of his country. His government made it the only condition in Japan's "unconditional surrender" that Hirohito keep his throne. Since he would be supervised by Douglas MacArthur, we agreed. In a sense, the Shogunate had returned to Japan.

Hirohito spent the rest of reign in a three piece suit and a fedora, traveling Japan, leading rallies and studying sea life. IMHO, he should have been hanged.

You can get more with a smile, a handshake and a gun than you can with a smile and a handshake - Al Capone
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