The United States Strategic Bombing Survey

Japan's Struggle to End the War

Chairman's Office

1 July 1946


The United States Strategic Bombing Survey was established by the Secretary of War on 3 November 1944, pursuant to a directive from the late President Roosevelt. Its mission was to conduct an impartial and expert study of the effects of our aerial attack on Germany, to be used in connection with air attacks on Japan and to establish a basis for evaluating the importance and potentialities of air power as an instrument of military strategy, for planning the future development of the United States armed forces, and for determining future economic policies with respect to the national defense. A summary report and some 200 supporting reports containing the findings of the Survey in Germany have been published.

On 15 August 1945, President Truman requested that the Survey conduct a similar study of the effects of all types of air attack in the war against Japan. The officers of the Survey in Japan, who are all civilians were:

The Survey's complement provided for 300 civilians, 350 officers, and 500 enlisted men. The military segment of the organization was drawn from the Army to the extent of 60 percent, and from the Navy to the extent of 40 percent. Both the Army and the Navy gave the Survey all possible assistance in furnishing men, supplies, transport and information. The Survey operated from headquarters established in Tokyo early in September 1945, with subheadquarters in Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, and with mobile teams operating in other parts of Japan, the islands of the Pacific, and the Asiatic mainland.

It was possible to reconstruct much of wartime Japanese military planning and execution engagement by engagement and campaign by campaign, and to secure reasonably accurate statistics on Japan's economy and war-production plant by plant, and industry by industry. In addition, studies were conducted on Japan's over-all strategic plans and the background of her entry into the war, the internal discussions and negotiations leading to her acceptance of unconditional surrender, the course of health and morale among the civilian population, the effectiveness of the Japanese civilian defense organization, and the effects of the atomic bombs. Separate reports will be issued covering each phase of the study.

The Survey interrogated more than 700 Japanese military, Government, and industrial officials. It also recovered and translated many documents which have not only been useful to the Survey, but will also furnish data valuable for other studies. Arrangements have been made to turn over the Survey's files to the Central Intelligence Group, through which they will be available for further examination and distribution.

The present report was prepared by the Chairman's Office under the editorship of Commander Walter Wilds, USNR.


Japan's Struggle to End the War

Foreword iii
Preface 1
I. Some Properties of the Political Target 1
II. Behind the Collapse of Tojo 2
III. The Koiso Government 3
IV. The Suzuki Cabinet 6
V. The Political Target Under Assault 9
Appendix A. Japanese Documents:  
    1. Estimate of Japanese National Strength at Outbreak of Greater East Asia War (December 1941) 14
    2. Survey of National Resources as of 1-10 June 1945 16
    3. Comparison of Military Strength of Japanese and the United States at the Outbreak of Hostilities 18
    4. Comparison of Estimated Japanese and American Military Resources at the End of the War 19
    5. Memorandum of Konoye Conversation with Hirohito, February 1945
Appendix B. Biographies of Japanese Leaders 23



While the impact of Allied air operations in the entire Pacific war bore directly upon the enemy's military and economic capabilities for resisting, only by translating these military and economic effects into political events could our announced war aim of unconditional surrender be realized. Japan's acceptance of defeat without invasion while still possessed of 21/2 million combat-equipped troops and 9,000 Kamikaze airplanes in the home islands, reveal how persuasively the consequences of our operations were translated into political results. The nature of Japanese politics and its vulnerability and responses to air assault constituted therefore a major and significant line of inquiry for the Survey.

The "political target" comprised a ganglion of Army, Navy, Government, and Imperial household factions which together decided major questions of national policy. Fortunately, most of the pertinent questions relating to how Japan was brought to acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration find their answers in the simple chronology of events which can now be narrated in some detail for the period from the collapse of Tojo in July 1944, to the imperial rescript of 15 August 1945. The evidence is chiefly in the testimony obtained by Survey interrogation of the Army, Navy, Government, and Imperial household leaders who participated or were influential in the struggle within Japan over whether to continue the war or to accept surrender. The inquiry might have benefited from testimony of certain key figures who were not available to the Survey. Tojo, Koiso, Togo, and a few others impounded for trial as war criminals could not be interrogated. A few, notably General Anami, the War Minister in the Suzuki cabinet, had committed suicide. Since the Emperor's participation in the crucial events of the period preceding surrender had been revealed and corroborated by other participants, an interview with Hirohito would not have been productive. It is felt that the general picture of the course of events would not have been changed materially had these persons been available for interrogation.

I. Some Properties of the Political Target

To assess the events of surrender requires a capsule reminder of the interrelated pressures, the interlocking mechanism of Japanese politics. The starting point is that Japan was governed largely by a consensus among the oligarchy of ruling factions at the top. No major decisions of national policy could be reached until such a consensus had been obtained. This process inevitably took time and involved complicated pressures and struggles of will among those of differing opinions.

A flow-chart of the chief pressures would show the Lord Privy Seal (Marquis Koichi Kido throughout the war period) as the Emperor's political agent, an observer and estimator of the current Government's problems and its capabilities for coping with them. To one side, clear of responsibility or authority, but in this instance with pipe lines into the Government which informed them of the true state of affairs, were the senior statesmen or Jushin. These ex-premiers could not enforce their views, but did apply persuasive and informed pressure on the Privy Seal and other Government leaders. The Jushin also had interlocking membership with the Privy Council which approved important decisions in foreign policy, and individual Jushin were frequently close to the Emperor. Then there was the Cabinet, which once formed could perpetuate itself so long as it was strong and successful. An important test of its strength and success was its ability to absorb or modify the views and policies of the Army and Navy, who named their own Cabinet ministers, whose ministers and chiefs of staff had direct access to the Emperor, and who were influenced until the end by the fanaticism of the majority of Army officers and younger Navy officers. One important wartime innovation


to this flow-chart, the Supreme War Direction Council or Inner Cabinet, will be explained in a later section dealing with Koiso's time.

This political mechanism had several special characteristics which were peculiar to our eyes and important to these events: (1) the Lord Privy Seal was the custodian of the Emperor's political powers and chief protector of the "national polity" or Tenno system; (2) the Japanese had a fine penchant for diffusing political responsibility; (3) politicians and ardent militarists, as did the Japanese people themselves, viewed the Emperor and sacred homeland through an emotional and reverent haze; (4) the system of Government afforded enormous areas wherein personal judgments and estimates of a small group determined ultimate policy; (5) opinions and attitudes of the general public had significance only as a single and subsidiary factor in the considerations of the leaders.

II. Behind the Collapse of Tojo

In the period between the Pearl Harbor attack and June 1944, Japan's defeats at Midway, in the Solomons, New Guinea, and the Marshalls, coupled with the crippling effects of her shipping losses, produced political consequences which were apparent in frequent cabinet shuffles, Tojo's increase of personal authority through the multiple Cabinet jobs he assumed, and tightened controls intensifying the Government's efforts to program military output for a protracted war. The first definitive break in the political coalition which began the war occurred following our success at Saipan. Ten days thereafter, on 18 July 1944, the cabinet headed by Gen. Hideki Tojo fell, after being continuously in office since 20 October 1941.

This marked a significant turn in the course of Japan's wartime politics, the importance of which in retrospect is difficult to overstress. It was not merely the result of an immediate crisis. Even at that early date, there were symptoms that opposing elements had finally found means of applying pressure against the fanatic exponents in Japan's militarist clique. It revealed in clear trace the effective, though still undercover, intervention of factions which had either opposed war before Pearl Harbor, or gone along, or "retired" in the first phases of the conflict.

To explain the dilemmas and activities of those leaders who felt in the spring of 1944 that Japan was facing certain defeat or at least that the time had come for positive steps to end the war, it is useful to restate briefly the basis on which Japan began the war in December, 1941. Japan entered the war securely in the hands of the radical military clique that originally rose to power in Manchuria and was led and symbolized by Tojo. This group had already achieved a police state and the controlling position in Japanese policy during its uneasy coalition with the conservatives in the two preceding Konoye governments. It is noteworthy that the clique took Japan to war without concrete minimum or maximum objectives nor any clear conception as to how the war could be brought to a close. The decision to attack was roughly calculated as a two-way gamble. If the European Axis defeated Soviet Russia, Japan would require chips to play on the winning side at the peace settlement with the United States and Britain that might well follow. On the other side, and independent of European events, a quick drive to the Southern Resources Area accompanied by a series of stunning and crippling defeats of the United States forces would redress Japan's relative strength and create a situation in which the United States might be willing to negotiate a peace by trading out the issues on terms favorable to Japan. Great confidence was put in the eventual superiority of Japan's fighting spirit over the potential material superiority of the United States. This calculation, whatever its other shortcomings, obviously contained at least two serious misreadings regarding the United States, first, in failing to appreciate the tenacious and passionate finality with which America would prosecute the war, and second, in underestimating the military importance of the enormously greater economic potential with which the United States would create and bring to bear a technically superior force.

The risks involved were understood and asserted by some leaders in the debates which preceded Pearl Harbor. Their original concern gave them a basis for recognizing as early as spring, 1944, that Japan was facing ultimate defeat. By that time United States determination to fight and her ability to mount successful thrusts in the Pacific even before opening the second European front, had already been demonstrated for all who knew the true situation to see. The political problem of those who saw the situation was to discover and circulate among other leaders in retirement or outside the government a true picture of the war, and then to unseat the Tojo government in favor of one which would bring the


war to an end. Prime illustrations of such moves at this time were the operations of Talkagi and Sakomizu.

Rear Adm. Soichi Takagi, who was attached to the ministerial secretariat of the Naval General Staff, made a study between 20 September 1943 and February 1944, of the war's battle lesson up to that time. He conclude that Japan could not win and verbally presented his findings in March 1944 to Admiral Mitsumasa Yonai and Vice Adm. Seibi Inouye. Takagi's study, interestingly enough, was undertaken at the end of the second year of the war--the time beyond which, the Japanese Navy's top command had estimated before hostilities, Japan could not fight a successful war. Takagi's estimate was based on an analysis of fleet, air, and merchant ship losses suffered to date, the serious difficulties in acquiring essential imported materials, the internal confusion in Japan, and a growing feeling among the "intelligentsia" that Tojo should be let out. It seemed clear to Takagi that potential long-range air at- tacks on the home islands and Japan's inability to import essential materials for production had created a situation which dictated that Japan should seek a compromise peace. In Takagi's view Japan at this time should have envisaged withdrawing from China and giving up both Korea and Formosa as part of the peace terms. His study in any case documented the fears Yonai and others held before the war and lent support to the increasing but still carefully guarded concern of their fellow Jushin that all was not well with Tojo's prosecution of the war.

Hisatsune Sakomizu is another early example of a connecting link between the unpleasant facts of the war and the senior statesmen outside the Government. As a member of the Cabinet Planning Board in 1943-44, he had given information as to the unfavorable war situation to his father-in-law, Admiral Keisuka Okada, who retailed it to Kido among others. Okada also had word sent to Tojo that it would be best for him to resign.

All this was not only educational as to Japan's true condition, but indirectly helped to build up political pressure for the fall of Tojo. Among important examples of the way this pressure worked were: (1) Tojo had to reconstruct his cabinet just before the Marianas campaign (Saipan was invaded on 15 June 1944), when Shinsuka Kishi, the Commerce and Agriculture Minister, and Mamoru Shigemitsu, the Foreign Minister, threatened to withdraw; (2) Yonai, supported by the Jushin, refused Tojo's request that he join the cabinet as minister-without-portfolio; and (3) the resignation of Shigetaro Shimada, the Navy Minister, which helped to force out Tojo 3 days afterward, had been actively assisted by the senior statesmen.

These steps give the pattern of the behind-scenes talks and illustrate the combined efforts of (1) those who already knew that Japan, facing defeat, should save itself by accepting Allied terms, (2) those who believed Japan should take active steps to end the war, hoping to achieve terms better than unconditional surrender, and (3) those who realized Japan's situation was desperate, but thought improved resistance could be achieved only by dropping Tojo.

III. The Koiso Government

The loss of Saipan, followed by Tojo's collapse, marked a major turning point of the war and brought forth the Cabinet of Kuniaki Koiso, a retired Army general who was known as a Tojo critic. This government was a disappointment to the more zealous peacemakers and conceivably an inept choice of that ever-cautious political litmus paper, Marquis Kido. Nevertheless, Koiso's government broke the grip of the Tojo clique as the ruling faction, took important and necessary steps toward peace, and may even have been an unavoidable step in the transition from Tojo to the surrender Cabinet of Admiral Suzuki.

When designated to succeed Tojo, Koiso received an Imperial admonition to give Japan's situation a "fundamental reconsideration" looking to the termination of the war. If this murky injunction was intended to seek peace, it early became clear that the new government as a whole by no means understood its mission since the "reconsideration" resulted in a decision to continue the war with renewed vigor and further sacrifice.

At this time, in the late summer of 1944, intensive air assault on the home islands had not yet begun. But output of a number of essential items had already passed the peak, shipping losses had reduced imports of essential materials below the needs of the existing industrial plant capacity. Japan faced a declining output of such war necessities as aircraft, oil, transport, steel, and coal. Although public confidence in the war remained high, morale of the leaders and "intelligentsia" was falling, principally as knowledge of previous defeats and difficulties became more


generally spread to the further discredit of the military factions.

Among the first moves of the new Koiso government was the creation of the Supreme War Direction Council. On 5 August, 1944, 3 weeks after the fall of Tojo, this new Inner Cabinet was formed. Announced purpose of the Council was "to formulate a fundamental policy for directing the war and to adjust the harmonization of the combined strategy for politics and war". It comprised six regular members--the Premier, Foreign Minister, Army Minister, Navy Minister, Army Chief of Staff, and Navy Chief of Staff--who could, however, bring in any other Cabinet minister as a regular member when necessary. In addition, the two deputy chiefs of staff attended meetings but did not vote, and the Council had a secretariat. The group was formed originally as a liaison between the military and the Cabinet, but its composition and dominant role made it in practice an inner war cabinet concerned with the highest policies and plans such as measures to maintain fighting strength, central economic decisions, whether to continue the war, etc. The agenda originated within the Council itself. Its decisions had to be ratified by the full cabinet before becoming final. It also bad direct access to the Emperor and the Emperor could himself initiate meetings with the Council. The Council, like the Cabinet, did not work on majority votes, but on general agreement or "unity". Important issues on which unity was lacking were presented to the Emperor usually in the form of alternatives for his choice. To one acquainted with the Japanese talent for divided authority and controls, piecemeal responsibility and decisions, and considering the past failures to cope administratively with the necessities of total war, the Council may be taken as an outstanding accomplishment.

Nor is it possible to exaggerate the central importance of this committee, for certainly from early May of 1945 until the August surrender the enemy's principal problem was to give expression to its political decision to end the war. During that period the military and economic and morale effects of our operations were significant chiefly as they bore directly upon the top political decision already made and the struggle between those political leaders who had already determined to find a way out of the war and the militarists who were determined to continue it. Cumulative difficulties and defeats bred further determination among the peace seekers who increasingly opposed the intransigency of the militarists.

The Council accordingly was on one hand a symbol and test of how far Japan's original war- making coalition had been discredited and liquidated, and on the other hand a successful reintegration of the ruling factions which could act with authority and purpose in solving their dilemma. The magnitude of this last point can be shown by citing the following considerations. First, the two chiefs of staff (and their deputies) who formerly had been not merely responsible for executing operational plans but also almost autocratically capable of formulating them, were now drawn into discussions of over-all national policy, matters of economic capability, the political realities, etc.; the military were finally harnessed and joined to political, economic, and civilian requirements. Second, the Council afforded a few key ministers who were determined on peace a more effective and enhanced basis for achieving it through domination of a small group, working in the greatest secrecy, with direct and official access to the Emperor.

Early in September 1944, Yonai, who had become Vice Premier and Navy Minister under Koiso, directed Takagi to resume his secret studies of steps to get out of the war. Working with Yonai and the Navy Vice Minister, Vice Adm. Seibi Inouye, Takagi considered such questions as (1) how to get Army agreement to end the war; (2) issues involved in possible Allied terms such as demands on Japan after the war, reparations, protection of the "national polity"; (3) the problem of public opinion and morale in the event of peace; (4) how to reach the Emperor and work through him to accomplish their purpose. As these studies progressed, private briefing sessions were held with Prince Fumimaro Konoye, Kido, Marquis Tsuneo Matsudaira, the Imperial Household Minister, Okada, and a number of others. Sometime later Admiral Koshiro Oikawa, the chief of naval staff, and Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa, the deputy chief of naval staff, were informed of these maneuvers. Contacts were also established with Army people. Takagi testified that quite a number of them were convinced and some, in fact, brought pressure upon the Army minister. This served, however, only to stiffen the Army's attitude against all peace moves and many on the Army side recanted for reasons of discipline and personal safety.

In these conversations some differences of opinion


emerged as to peace terms--some favored giving up all occupied territories, whereas others thought Formosa and Korea were required for food. It was generally agreed that the only way to reach the public was through the Emperor, if conformity to a peace decision were to be secured and a possible military coup avoided. Okada approached Kido frequently on this subject. Takagi reported that Konoye had already made up his mind along similar lines before these talks began. Takagi further stated that as a result of these activities they were prepared to carry through toward peace in the face of Army opposition, if need be even to the point of withstanding an Army revolt.

Although the peacemakers were well represented in the Koiso government, the cabinet's decision was taken to continue and renew the war effort hoping for an improved position from which to seek a compromise peace. The validity of the peacemakers' estimates was demonstrated by further attrition of air forces and shipping, a declining basic industrial production and a seriously lowered civilian livelihood. In the mean- time, the initial air raids on the Empire coupled with loss of the Philippines had a deepening effect upon these attitudes. The leaders especially feared the threat to production, the decline in public morale, and a break-up of Japan as Germany even then was breaking up.

By December 1944 private conversations among the top ruling factions, including Kido, Konoye, Yonai, Okawa, Baron Kiiehiro Hiranuma, etc., were addressed to problems created by urgent need for peace. The Emperor on his own initiative in February 1945 had a series of interviews with the senior statesmen whose consensus was that Japan faced certain defeat and should seek peace at once.

Discussed at least, during March 1945, was the plan to initiate peace steps through the mediation of China. Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni was the chief advocate of this scheme, and it received some consideration and support among the Jushin and at the foreign office. Choice of China as Allied negotiator was based in part on the ingenuous notion that since "she was a neighbor and fellow member of the co-prosperity sphere", her mediation would be more suitable than direct approaches to the United States. Terms were to be based on Japan returning to her pre-1931 boundaries. There is no clear evidence available to the Survey as to how far the plan was carried, but what is significant here is that at least by March 1945, a specific peace overture was under cabinet discussion.

In this desperate situation, and since important elements both within the government and among the leaders outside were favoring and initiating peace moves, it is legitimate to ask why the Koiso cabinet did not end the war in the fall of 1944. Members of Japan's original war-making coalition, though no longer in full control, still had great strength within the top Army command, the middle ranks of both services, and the bureaucracy of the Government. They constituted a distinct threat of revolt or a coup in the estimate of the civilian and Imperial household leaders. Certain general and psychological factors also determined the further conduct of the war and the central decision by the Koiso regime: (1) It is clear that the Japanese leaders entered the war deeply convinced that they were fighting for their very national existence and life, whereas the United States they believed was merely pressing for economic advantages and a set of principles, but not for vital security. (2) Japan had no specific plan other than negotiation for ending the war she began. A predilection for negotiation--demonstrated in terminating the Russo-Japanese war, efforts to enlist the United States in bringing the China Incident to a close, etc.--maintained a hope that Japan could trade it out with the Allies. (3) The Casablanca statement and the Cairo Declaration setting forth Allied terms for unconditional surrender were still considered by Japan's leaders to be just declarations, not actual final terms to be imposed. (4) The desire to save face, to preserve the Tenno system, and fear of the military and the police at this period helped the factions favoring continued resistance. (5) The information policy of minimizing United States successes and capabilities, while distorting their own losses and exaggerating their ability to con- duct effective operations, had left the people ignorant of the fact of Japan's actual military situation at this time. Some Government factions feared internal chaos, "communistic revolts and disorganization" if the true situation became known.

Thus so nicely balanced were the ruling factions and cliques that their interrelation conditioned the expression of policy as well as its formation, and accounts in part at least for the unusual time-lapse between the top civilian political decision to accept defeat and the final capitulation. The


result in the Koiso cabinet at least was a temporary stalemate.

The Okinawa landings on 1 April were quickly followed by Koiso's fall on 8 April and the designation of Admiral Baron Kantaro Suzuki as Premier.

IV. The Suzuki Cabinet

Kido's estimate affords the best guide to the political situation which produced the Suzuki government. The Lord Privy Seal stated to the Survey that Japan's situation called for a man who could think fundamentally, had deep convictions and great personal courage. Although many among the peacemakers had long favored a stronger man than Koiso, Kido at least was convinced that so long as Germany remained in the war Japan would be in danger of a military coup in the event firm and positive steps were taken immediately to end the war. In any case the hopes for positive steps under Koiso's aegis were not fulfilled, primarily because he was not strong enough to stand up to the military. When Suzuki was named Premier, Kido stated the question was not whether to end the war, but by what means and how quickly.

Suzuki informed the Survey that when he assumed office "it was the Emperor's desire to make every effort to bring the war to a conclusion as quickly as possible, and that was my purpose". This created a position Suzuki described as difficult. On the one hand he had instructions from the. Emperor to arrange an end to the war; on the other hand any of those opposing this policy who learned of such peace moves would be apt to attack or even assassinate him. Thus with the general staffs, Government in general, and the people, he advocated increased war effort and determination to fight, whereas "through diplomacy and any other means available" he had to negotiate with other countries to stop the war.

Almost immediately, Suzuki ordered his chief cabinet secretary, Sakomizu, to make a study of Japan's fighting capabilities and whether they were sufficient to continue the war. Sakomizu concluded in. May that Japan could not continue the war, basing his estimate on Japanese studies as to the inability to produce aircraft, losses and damage to shipping, the precarious food situation and the antiwar sentiments of the people. (A copy of this estimate came into Survey hands from Yonai in November 1945, and is appended in translation as "Survey of National Resources as of 1-10 June 1945.") Suzuki, who agreed with the estimate, presented it to the Emperor. Con- currently he asked ex-Premier Koki Hirota to sound out the Russian ambassador to Tokyo, Yakov A. Malik, privately as to the Russian attitude toward interceding with America.

Early in May (prior to the 18th according to a statement of Navy Chief of Staff, Admiral Soemu Toyoda) the Supreme War Direction Council began to discuss ways and means of ending the war. Concurrently other meetings of the Council were going on with the view of obtaining Russia's services at an opportune time. Foreign Minister Togo was leader of this. While Hirota was talking with Malik, Ambassador Sato had been instructed in Moscow to prepare the way for a Japanese emissary to discuss improvement of Soviet-Japanese relations and Russia's intercession to end the war. Specific terms for ending the war apparently did not come up at this time, but the Council was prepared that whatever the result they "would be worse than prewar conditions". The Potsdam Declaration had not been issued, but it was felt that the Cairo Declaration terms would not actually be applied; it was looked upon as a declaration only, whose terms could be reduced by negotiating and by being in a position to exact "heavy sacrifices" if the war continued.

Thus during the forepart of May two separate but interrelated topics were before the Inner Cabinet, one dealing with Japan's inability to continue the war, the other initiating talks with Russia for intercession. Shortly after the end of the European war, 8 May, the War Minister. General Korechika Anami, asked the Cabinet for an Imperial conference to decide the "fundamental principle of the war," that is whether to continue it. This action, while not indicating that the army was ready to quit (on the contrary the war minister and army chief of staff urged continuance of hostilities), did confirm Kido's belief that the Army would permit open consideration of the question within the Cabinet only after Germany's collapse. Perhaps even more important it was an affirmative test of the wisdom in selecting Anami as War Minister. For even though he held out to the last against unconditional surrender (Anami committed suicide on 15 August), at no time did he obstruct the positive peace steps which were being taken by Suzuki and the others, although by resigning he might have forced the Suzuki government out of office. This negative support of the peace moves by


certain Army leaders would have afforded an interesting line of inquiry had Anami been available to the Survey for questioning. The Navy of course was divided, with Yonai among the foremost advocates of peace and Admiral Soemu Toyoda, the Navy Chief of Staff, siding with the Army. But Toyoda also was restrained in his opposition to Cabinet peace councils; he testified:

Only two persons in all of the Navy had any knowledge of the discussions relating to intervention of Russia, the Navy Minister and the Chief of the Navy General Staff. It may be (Toyoda continued) that since frequent conferences were being held some of the others high up in the Navy Ministry might have had some suspicions, and because I felt that such might be the case I stated to my deputy chief of staff that although conversations were being carried out relative to the conclusion of the war, that was not an affair with which officers should be concerned * * * I believe that a similar situation prevailed in the Army, that only two officials had definite knowledge of these discussions.

From June until the close of the war, the narrative of political events in Japan is clear and rather detailed from the testimony of Yonai, Toyoda, Suzuki, Umezu, and Sakomizu, corroborated by Kido, Konoye, Hiranuma, and others. After Anami's request for an Imperial conference Sakomizu prepared a statement for that occasion which opened by saying that the war should be "accomplished", and the Emperor's reign and the homeland kept intact. This was followed by the details of Sakomizu's estimate prepared shortly after Suzuki assumed office. On 6 June the six regular members of the Council discussed what steps should be taken to prosecute the war. Also at the meeting were the chief cabinet secretary, the chief of the Navy's military affairs bureau, the chief of the Army bureau of military affairs, the head of the Cabinet Research Bureau and the Minister of Agriculture and Commerce. The conclusion was that unless some radical measure could be adopted to arouse the people, the Nation's war power was bound to decline very rapidly. At this session, as Toyoda explained,

No one expressed the view that we should ask for peace--when a large number of people are present it is difficult for any one member to say that we should so entreat.

On 8 June the six regular members of the Council conferred with the Emperor. The statement was read by the Emperor who made no comment at this meeting. Each of the others expressed his own official opinion, but none as yet expressed his real feelings. On 20 June the Emperor on his own initiative called the six council members to a conference and stated that it was necessary to have a plan to close the war at once, as well as a plan to defend the home islands. He asked what the council thought of that idea. The Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Navy Minister stated that they fully concurred with the Imperial view and that such steps were then being taken to that end. Then the Emperor in turn asked when the ministers expected they would be able to send a special ambassador to Moscow. The reply was that it was uncertain but they hoped he could be sent before the Potsdam conference. Sakomizu testified that after this expression from the Emperor, Suzuki decided he could stop the war; when he returned from the conference he told Sakomizu "Today the Emperor said what everyone has wanted to say but yet was afraid to say."

After that the Government redoubled its talks with Russia and decided to send Prince Konoye to Moscow if he were persona grata. On 10 July the Emperor called Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo and said, "As it is now early July should not our special ambassador be dispatched to Moscow without delay?" Since Soviet Ambassador Malik was ill in Tokyo and the conversations there were not progressing, Sato was again instructed to put the matter directly to the Vice Commissar for Foreign Affairs in Moscow. Russia asked for more details concerning the mission and Sato was directed to explain the mission as follows: (1) to make an improvement in relations between Russia and Japan (in view of Russia's denunciation of the neutrality pact), and (2) to ask Russia to intercede with the United States in order to stop the war. The Soviets replied on 13 July that since Stalin and Molotov were just leaving for Potsdam no answer could be given until their return to Moscow. On 12 July meanwhile the Emperor had called in Konoye and secretly instructed him to accept any terms he could get and to wire these terms direct to the Emperor. Konoye also testified that when Sato was sounding out the Russians he reported the Russians would not consider a peace role unless the terms were unconditional surrender, and that this reply had a great influence on the Emperor.

In the days before the Potsdam Declaration, Suzuki, Togo, and Yonai became pessimistic about the Russian negotiations. They expected eventually that they would have some answer; but


if it were unfavorable they concluded that their only recourse would be to broadcast directly to the United States.

On 26 July the Potsdam Declaration was issued. In their deliberations on that statement, which began immediately, no member of the Inner Cabinet had any objections to ending the war. Suzuki, Togo, and Yonai felt that the declaration must be accepted as the final terms of peace at once, whether they liked it or not. The War Minister and the two chiefs of staff on the other hand felt that the terms were "too dishonorable". Discussion centered around first the future position of the Emperor, second the disposition of war criminals, and third the future form of Japan's "national polity".

On 6 August in the midst of these discussions an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Early reports to Tokyo described very great damage, but the military did not think it was an atomic bomb until President Truman's announcement and a mission of Japanese scientists sent to Hiroshima confirmed it. On the morning of 7 August Suzuki and Togo conferred and then reported the news to the Emperor, stating that this was the time to accept the Potsdam Declaration. The military side still however could not make up their minds to accept it.

These differences continued to be examined and hope of favorable word from Russia had been all but abandoned when very early in the morning of 9 August the news arrived that Russia had declared war. Although considerable pessimism had prevailed regarding the outcome of the negotiations, the Government was not prepared for war with the Soviets, nor the military capable of any effective counter-plan. Suzuki calculated that he had a choice of resigning or taking immediate positive action, which could be either declaring war on Russia and continuing until the whole Nation was destroyed or accepting the Potsdam Declaration. He conferred with the Emperor around 0700 and after a couple of hours decided to accept the Potsdam terms, with which decision the Emperor agreed. A meeting of the six regular members of the Supreme War Direction Council was called for .1000. After two gloomy hours it remained deadlocked as before on the two opposing opinions: (1) To accept the Potsdam Declaration outright, with the understanding that it did not alter the Emperor's legal position; (2) to accept the declaration with the following conditions: (a) that the Allied forces would not occupy the homeland; (b) that the Japanese military and naval forces abroad would be withdrawn, disarmed and demobilized by Japan itself; (c) that all war crimes should be prosecuted by the Japanese Government.

Suzuki, Yonai, and Togo favored the first opinion, whereas Anami, Umezu, and Toyoda supported the second. When this three-to-three split could not be resolved, the full. Cabinet was called in, and after an explanation by Togo, nine voted for unconditional acceptance, three voted for the conditional acceptance and three others favored intermediate positions. After a session lasting until 2000 without achieving unity, the cabinet declared an intermission. In this impasse Suzuki decided to request an Imperial conference for the Inner Cabinet at which the conflicting views could be presented and the Emperor's own decision sought. At 2330 on the 9th the conference was held, with chief cabinet secretary Sakomizu and Hiranuma, the Privy Council president, also attending. The Potsdam Declaration was first read to the Emperor, then Togo expressed his opinion, followed by all of the others who stated their views. Around 0300 on the 10th Suzuki announced (as paraphrased by Sakomizu's testimony):

We have discussed this question for a long time and everyone has expressed his own opinion sincerely without any conclusion being reached. The situation is urgent, so any delay in coming to a decision should not be tolerated. I am therefore proposing to ask the Emperor his own wish and to decide the conference's conclusion on that basis. His wish should settle the issue, and the Government should follow it.

The Emperor then stated his own view (again paraphrased by Sakomizu),

I agree with the first opinion as expressed by the foreign minister. I think I should tell the reasons why I have decided so. Thinking about the world situation and the internal Japanese situation, to continue the war means nothing but the destruction of the whole nation. My ancestors and I have always wished to put forward the Nation's welfare and international world peace as our prime concern. To continue the war now means that cruelty and bloodshed will still continue in the world and that the Japanese Nation will suffer severe damage. So, to stop the war on this occasion is the only way to save the Nation from destruction and to restore peace in the world. Looking back at what our military headquarters have done, it is apparent that their performance has fallen far short of the plans expressed. I don't think this discrepancy can be corrected in the future. But when I think about my obedient soldiers abroad and of those who died or were wounded in battle, about those who have lost their property or lives by bombing in the homeland, when I think of all those sacrifices, I cannot help but feel sad.


I decided that this war should be stopped, however, in spite of this sentiment and for more important considerations.

Suzuki then said,

The Imperial decision has been expressed. This should be the conclusion of the conference.

Immediately thereafter the full Cabinet resumed its meeting and ratified unanimously a decision to accept the Potsdam terms provided they did not alter the Emperor's prerogatives. This was cabled to the United States through the Swiss around 0700 the 10th. The United States reply was received from the San Francisco broadcast about 0400 on the 12th and officially about 0700 the 13th. The broadcast reply was immediately studied by the Inner Cabinet and the official documents put before the full Cabinet meeting around 1300 on the 13th. Acceptance was favored by 13 ministers, but 3 were opposed. Early in the evening the Cabinet recessed. Toyoda, the Navy Chief of Staff, stated the objections as follows:

On the question of the Emperor's position, the American reply made no direct statement but did state that the powers of the Emperor and the Japanese Government would be subject to the authority of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. The main point . . . had to do with the Emperor's position since it was the conviction of the Japanese people that the Emperor was a living god above whom there could be no earthly being. It was feared that the Japanese people would not readily accept the wording of the reply which placed the Emperor in a subordinate position . . . So the suggestion was made to query the Allied Governments as to whether it would not be possible to have the orders and instruction of the Supreme Commander go directly to the Japanese Government and those orders passed on by the cabinet to the Emperor who . . . would carry out the work connected with the termination of the war.

It is not clear whether this objection arose from a sincere endeavor to preserve the Tenno system through a typically Japanese concern with semantics, or a last-ditch effort to void the decision for peace, or fear of a military coup if the Emperor's position were not meticulously preserved. In any case, it is significant that the two chiefs of staff refused that evening to sign the document, with the Premier, which was required for the Government to request a conference with the Emperor. The two chiefs of staff stayed up all night with the Foreign Minister, pressing him to ask the American Government for a more "exact" answer. The Foreign Minister refused, insisting that it would be construed as a refusal of the terms offered and thus disrupt the slim string of communications between the two countries. The next morning, about 0800 the 14th, Suzuki decided to go to the Emperor privately and ask him to call an Imperial conference, which the Emperor could do at any time, but the Government could not without the consent of the two chiefs of staff.

The terminal conference was held before the Emperor at 1000. Present were the 16 Cabinet ministers, the two chiefs of staff, Hiranuma representing the Privy Council, the chiefs of the bureaus of military and naval affairs, and the chief cabinet secretary, Sakomizu. Suzuki announced that the Emperor had called the meeting to consider the American reply in his presence, so that everyone who had an opinion should express it freely. Anami, Umezu, and Toyoda stated that the American reply was insufficient, that they favored asking again for a more concrete answer, or if that were impossible the war should be continued. All the others favored acceptance. Then the Emperor, as quoted by Sakomizu, said:

"It seems to me that there is no other opinion to sup- port your side (the military's). I shall explain mine. I hope all of you will agree with my opinion. My opinion is the same as the one I expressed the other night. The American answer seems to me acceptable."

He then asked the Government to draft an Imperial rescript to stop the war, and offered to broadcast the decision to the people. The Cabinet returned to their office and formally accepted unconditional surrender.

V. The Political Target Under Assault

From the foregoing calendar it remains first to outline the nature of the political target presented by Japan and second to assess various factors which contributed to the success of the assault on the enemy's will to resist.

A. To those who thought of Japanese resistance as typified by a fanatical Japanese soldier who fought until rooted out of his last-ditch foxhole, the possibility of forcing a surrender appeared to be remote. Our aim in the Pacific war was, nevertheless, to induce responsible Japanese leaders to admit defeat. Compelling such an admission at the earliest moment constituted the objective of our attack.

In total war the nature of the political target is linked to the political structure and the spirit of the enemy. In the case of Japan that spirit differed as between the general populace and the top ruling elements. This separation of public from leaders was an important consideration.


Japan had long been conditioned to oligarchic rule. Rigid police controls allowed the ideas and spirit of the leaders to form separately from those of the people. Popular morale therefore became just another factor in the reckonings of the ruling group. At the war's opening and throughout its early stages, the spirit of both leaders and people was chauvinistic, aggressive, expansionist. After the defeats at Midway, Port Moresby, and Guadalcanal, Japan went on the strategic defensive. Though her advance had been stemmed, she had won an empire and needed only to consolidate her conquest. Thereafter, under the pressure of our counter-offensive which eventually exposed her home islands to direct attack, seriously reduced her fleet and air forces, and blockaded her already inadequate economy, the early hope of victory was replaced by fear of defeat. Finally, a desperate determination to resist remained.

Japan's will to resist, the core target of our assault, was supported mainly by military potential, production potential, morale of the people, and such political considerations of the leadership as the preservation of the Tenno system, etc. So long as these factors supported resistance they operated, of course, as impediments to surrender. Thus affecting the determination of Japan's leaders to continue the war was not alone the actual loss of an air force capable of defending the home islands, but the loss of hope that this air force could be replaced, let alone enlarged. It was not necessary for us to burn every city, to destroy every factory, to shoot down every airplane or sink every ship, and starve the people. It was enough to demonstrate that we were capable of doing all this--that we had the power and the intention of continuing to the end. In this fashion, those responsible for the decision to surrender felt the twin-impact of our attack which made them not only impotent to resist, but also destroyed any hope of future resistance.

The will of the political leaders to resist collapsed well before the will of the people as a whole. The leaders were, however, unwilling to move too far in advance of public opinion. At the time of surrender, even though there was little pressure toward surrender from the people, their confidence in victory had been thoroughly undermined and they accepted the Imperial rescript, perhaps with surprise, but not with active resistance as some of the leaders had feared.

One further point should be developed and stressed here. The political objective which existed in Japan lay exposed and vulnerable to attack, which fact goes far toward explaining the true basis for unconditional surrender without invasion of the home islands. That vulnerability to air attack derived in part from the basic character of the war in its decisive phases. It turned out to be essentially a war to win air control over the Japanese homeland. This concept was not, merely central to much of the strategy guiding our operations, but was thoroughly understood and feared by an effective sector of Japanese leaders who sought and achieved political power to terminate the war. By the summer and fall of 1944, and throughout the remainder of the war, the validity of their fear was being persuasively demonstrated by the application of our air power in its several roles. Loss of fleet and air forces, without which, as the leaders knew, no effective defense could be mounted, was almost entirely the result of our air superiority. Vital perimeter bases were lost when our air forces neutralized them, sealed off both the air and sea reinforcement, and gave direct local support to our occupying operations. Japan's limited war production, already starved for materials through shipping lost to our submarines, was further depleted by air interdiction of sea communications as new bases eventually permitted almost complete blockade day and night. Heavy bomber and carrier raids against cities, military and industrial installations, further depleted her remaining resources, productivity and transport, lowered morale, and brought the true war situation home to the Japanese people. Thus the Japanese leaders lost both power and hope of resistance as our air weapons exploited air control over the home islands.

B. By relating them to the narrative set forth in the first sections of this report, it is possible to treat separately the principal contributions to surrender made by various factors which bore on the terminal events of the war.

1. Blockade of Japan's sea communications exploited the basic vulnerability of an island enemy which, with inherently second-power resources, was struggling to enlarge its capabilities by milking the raw materials of a rich conquered area. Acute dependence upon imports of such basic items as oil, iron ore, coal, bauxite, food, etc., caused Japan's shipping position even in the fall of 1941 to appear deficient to several members of the Jushin, whose opinions were declared to Tojo before the Pearl Harbor attack. These fears were


well-founded, at least for long-term fighting, since Japan began the war with 6,000,000 tons of merchant shipping, which were barely sufficient for estimated minimum requirements. Her capacity to build was quickly exceeded by losses. Eighty-eight percent of Japan's total merchant shipping available during the war was sunk. United States submarines sank 55 percent of the total lost. Our Navy and Army air forces made important contributions by sinking 40 percent of Japan's total shipping lost, by interdiction of sea routes, and by an aerial mining program carried out by B-29s in the last months of the war which sealed off the vital Inland Sea and disrupted every major home island port. The blockade prevented exploitation of conquered resources, kept Japan's economy off balance created shortages of materials which in turn limited war production, and deprived her of oil in amounts sufficient to immobilize fleet and air units and to impair training. These effects were intimately associated with the political conditions culminating in the fall of Tojo and Koiso. The direct military and economic limitations imposed by shortages created virtually insoluble political as well as economic problems in attempting to achieve war production adequate for the defense of Japan. The special feeling of vulnerability to blockade, to which a dependent island people are ever subject, increased and dramatized, especially to the leaders, the hopelessness of their position and favored the growing conviction that the defeat was inevitable.

2. While the blockade was definitive in strangling Japan's war mobilization and production, it cannot be considered separately from the pressure of our concurrent military operations, with which it formed a shears that scissored Japan's military potential into an ineffectual remnant. In the early engagements that stemmed the Japanese advance and in the subsequent battle for bases, the application of our air power against vital forces which Japan committed piecemeal in defense of these perimeter positions enabled us largely to destroy her navy and reduce her air forces to impotence before the home islands could be brought under direct air attack. Throughout these operations we were employing air power effectively and potently in ways the. Japanese leaders understood and feared, and had no adequate defense to withstand. Although a core of bitter-end resistance lay in Japan's army and navy until the Imperial rescript was signed, it should be noted that Tojo's collapse and the introduction of peace-making factions into the succeeding Koiso government quickly followed the loss of Saipan in July 1944. Also, after the costly and vitiating defeats in the Palaus, Philippines, and at Iwo Jima, Koiso was in turn succeeded shortly after our Okinawa landings of I April 1945 by the Suzuki cabinet, which was formed with the specific mandate to terminate the war. In these campaigns, dictated by our need for air mastery arid won by immediate air control, while Japan's loss of effective naval and land-based air forces was over- whelming, her military attrition was not complete, since our operations used up by no means all of her ground and Kamikaze forces. Japan's principal land armies were in fact never defeated, a consideration which also supported the military's continued last-ditch resistance to the surrender decision. It nevertheless appears that after the loss of the Marianas in July-August 1944, the military commands, though unconvinced of final victory, viewed defense against our subsequent operations as affording an opportunity for only a limited success, a tactical victory which might, so they hoped, have created a purchase from which to try for a negotiated peace under terms more favorable than unconditional surrender.

3. Fear of home island bombing was persuasive to the political leaders even before its direct effects could be felt. News of the B-29 and its intended, capabilities reached Japan in 1943. B-29 raids on Kyushu and southern Honshu targets began from China bases on 15 June 1944. With the loss of Saipan in early July 1944, many leaders became wholly convinced of Japan's eventual defeat, one factor being that from Marianas bases the homeland would be brought under the kind of intensive, shattering air assault even then being administered to their German partner. The timing of the strategic bombing attack affected its role in the surrender decision. After the Marianas were lost but before the first attacks were flown in November 1944, Tojo had been unseated and peacemakers introduced into the Government as prominent elements. The war economy had already passed its peak, fleet and air forces had been critically weakened, confidence of the "intelligentsia" in the Government and the military had been deflated, and confidence of the people in eventual victory was weakening. By mid-1944 shortages of food and civilian supplies were reflected in reduced living standards. Therefore the actual physical destruction wrought by strategic bombing assumed the role of an accelerator, to assist and


expedite forces already in motion. It added a tremendous quantitative in weight to those forces. Since the means of resisting direct air attacks had already been largely destroyed, it represented the full exploitation of air control by an air weapon. These attacks became definitive in the surrender decision because they broadened the realization of defeat by bringing it home to the people and dramatized to the whole nation what the small peace party already knew. They proved day in and day out, and night after night, that the United States did control the air and could exploit it. They lowered morale by demonstrating the disadvantages of total war directly, added a vital increment of both actual and clearly foreseeable future production loss by both precision and area attacks, and applied pressure on the surrender decision by eliminating the hope of successful final resistance.

When Japan was defeated without invasion, a recurrent question arose as to what effect the threat of a home-island invasion had bad upon the surrender decision. It was contended that the threat of invasion, if not the actual operation, was a requirement to induce acceptance of the surrender terms. On this tangled issue the evidence and hindsight are clear. The fact is, of course, that Japan did surrender without invasion, and with its principal armies intact. Testimony before the Survey shows that the expected "violation of the sacred homeland" raised few fears which expedited the decision to surrender beforehand. Government and Imperial household leaders felt some concern for the "destruction of the Japanese people", but the people were already being shattered by direct air attacks. Anticipated landings were even viewed by the military with hope that they would afford a means of inflicting casualties sufficiently high to improve their chances of a negotiated peace. Preparation of defenses against landings diverted certain resources from dispersal and cushioning moves which might have partially mitigated our air blows. But in Japan's then depleted state, the diversion was not significant. The responsible leaders in power read correctly the true situation and embraced surrender well before invasion was expected.

5. So long as Germany remained in the war that fact contributed to the core of Japanese resistance. Slight evidence exists that some hope was held for a long-promised German miracle weapon. A telegram received on 6 May in the German embassy at Tokyo revealed that Hitler was dead, the promised new weapon had failed to materialize and that Germany would surrender within a matter of hours. Kido believed, presumably on Japanese Army representations, that the Army would not countenance peace moves so long as Germany continued to fight. It is not clear whether this was a face-saving position, designed to avoid a prior Japanese surrender. In any case on 9 May 1945, immediately after the Nazi capitulation, General Anami, the War Minister, asked the Cabinet for an Imperial conference to reconsider the war situation. The significant fact, however, is that Japan was pursuing peace before the Nazis collapsed, and the impoverishment and fragmentation of the German people had already afforded a portent of similar consequences for an intransigent Japan.

6. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs did not defeat Japan, nor by the testimony of the enemy leaders who ended the war did they persuade Japan to accept unconditional surrender. The Emperor, the Lord Privy Seal, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, and the Navy Minister had decided as early as May of 1945 that the war should be ended even if it meant acceptance of defeat on allied terms. The War Minister and the two chiefs of staff opposed unconditional surrender. The impact of the Hiroshima attack was to bring further urgency and lubrication to the machinery of achieving peace, primarily by contributing to a situation which permitted the Prime Minister to bring the Emperor overtly and directly into a position where his decision for immediate acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration could be used to override the remaining objectors. Thus, although the atomic bombs changed no votes of the Supreme War Direction Council concerning the Potsdam terms, they did foreshorten the war and expedite the peace.Events and testimony which support these conclusions are blue-printed from the chronology established in the first sections of this report:

(a) The mission of the Suzuki government, appointed 7 April 1945, was to make peace. An appearance of negotiating for terms less onerous than unconditional surrender was maintained in order to contain the military and bureaucratic elements still determined on a final Bushido defense, and perhaps even more importantly to obtain freedom to create peace with a minimum of personal danger and internal obstruction. It seems clear however that in extremis the peacemakers


would have peace, and peace on any terms. This was the gist of advice given to Hirohito by the Jushin in February, the declared conclusion of Kido in April, the underlying reason for Koiso's fall in April, the specific injunction of the Emperor to Suzuki on becoming premier which was known to all members of his cabinet.

(b) A series of conferences of the Supreme War Direction Council before Hirohito on the subject of continuing or terminating the war began on 8 June and continued through 14 August. At the 8 June meeting the war situation was reviewed. On 20 June the Emperor, supported by the Premier, Foreign Minister, and Navy Minister, declared for peace; the Army Minister and the two chiefs of staff did not concur. On 10 July the Emperor again urged haste in the moves to mediate through Russia, but Potsdam intervened. While the Government still awaited a Russian answer, the Hiroshima bomb was dropped on 6 August.

(c) Consideration of the Potsdam terms within the Supreme War Direction Council revealed the same three-to-three cleavage which first appeared at the Imperial conference on 20 June. On the morning of 9 August Premier Suzuki and Hirohito decided at once to accept the Potsdam terms; meetings and moves thereafter were designed to legalize the decision and prepare the Imperial rescript. At the conclusive Imperial conference, on the night of 9-10 August, the Supreme War Direction Council still split three-to-three. It was necessary for the Emperor finally to repeat his desire for acceptance of the Potsdam terms.

(d) Indubitably the Hiroshima bomb and the rumor derived from interrogation of an American prisoner (B-29 pilot) who stated that an atom bomb attack on Tokyo was scheduled for 12 August introduced urgency in the minds of the Government and magnified the pressure behind its moves to end the war.

7. The sequence of events just recited also defines the effect of Russia's entry into the Pacific war on 8 August 1945. Coming 2 days after the Hiroshima bomb, the move neither defeated Japan nor materially hastened the acceptance of surrender nor changed the votes of the Supreme War Direction Council. Negotiation for Russia to intercede began the forepart of May 1945 in both Tokyo and Moscow. Konoye, the intended emissary to the Soviets, stated to the Survey that while ostensibly he was to negotiate, he received direct and secret instructions from the Emperor to secure peace at any price, notwithstanding its severity. Sakomizu, the chief cabinet secretary, alleged that while awaiting the Russian answer on mediation, Suzuki and Togo decided that were it negative direct overtures would be made to the United States. Efforts toward peace through the Russians forestalled by the imminent departure of Stalin and Molotov for Potsdam, were answered by the Red Army's advance into Manchuria. The Kwantung army, already weakened by diversion of its units and logistics to bolster island defenses in the South and written off for the defense of Japan proper, faced inescapable defeat.

There is little point in attempting more precisely to impute Japan's unconditional surrender to any one of the numerous causes which jointly and cumulatively were responsible for Japan's disaster. Concerning the absoluteness of her defeat there can be no doubt. The time lapse between military impotence and political acceptance of the inevitable might have been shorter had the political structure of Japan permitted a more rapid and decisive determination of national policies. It seems clear, however, that air supremacy and its later exploitation over Japan proper was the major factor which determined the timing of Japan's surrender and obviated any need for invasion.

Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.




  1. General

    In a greatly changing world situation, the policy adopted by the Japanese Empire is to attain a position of self-sufficiency based upon national strength which it can maintain independently. In determining the over-all policy of war or peace, it is always necessary to make a proper estimate of the Nation's strength.However, because of extreme difficulty in obtaining complete data and because of the many complicated and unpredictable factors in the changing material resources situation, an estimate of the actual, strength of the Empire is not a simple matter. Thus, it is a dangerous practice to translate national strength into mathematical terms and use them without hesitation as the criteria in deciding on war or peace.

  2. Scarce Items Preventing Complete Self-sufficiency

    1. Rice.
    2. Fuel.
    3. Essential war materials.
    4. Transport capacity.
  3. Examination of Principal Resources

    1. Rice.-- Supplies of rice must be obtained from French Indochina and Thailand, and these supplies can be had if transport space is made available.

    2. Fuel estimates: oil.--

      1. Amount stored as of 1 October 1941: 9,050,000 kiloliters.

      2. Estimated consumption: 5,500,000 kiloliters per year after the outbreak of war.

          Navy, 2,500,000 kiloliters.
          Army, 600,000 kiloliters. Civilian requirements, 2,400,000 kiloliters.
      3. Estimated supply.

        Table 1
        [TN: Quantities given in kiloliters]
        Source of supply Domestic output Synthetic oil Oil output of occupied territories Total
        First year 200,000 300,000 300,000 800,000
        Second year 200,000 700,000 2,440,000 3,340,000
        Third year 400,000 1,500,000 2,770,000 6,670,000
      4. Shipping capacity.-- The total transport capacity for the fiscal year 1941 was 53,000,000 tons. At the outbreak of war, Japan will have ships totalling 6,100,000 tons at her disposal. The total estimated transport capacity for the fiscal year 1942 is approximately 85 percent of the 1941 total or 45,000,000 tons.

      Table 2. Anticipated Damage and Replacement of Ships
      [TN: Quantities given in tons]
        First year of war Second year of war Third year of war
      Anticipated damage 800,000-1,100,000 700,000-800,000 700,000-800,000
      Replacement 300,000 500,000 600,000

      Estimated (shipping) situation after the third year of war:

      Total tonnage on hand   5,250,000
        Tonnage required by the Army and Navy 2,400,000  
        Tonnage required for civilian use 2,850,000  
    3. Iron.-- Annual requirements if military preparations progress at the present rate and current production capacity is expanded: Tons Military requirements 2,200,000 Production expansion 1,600,000 Civilian requirements 1,500,000 Miscellaneous 1,200,000 Total 6,500,000 The iron ore for the above requirement could be supplied from Japan, Manchuria, China (including Hainan Island) and French Indochina.

    4. Nickel.-- The shortage is great and there are


Table 3.--Annual Requirements and Supply of Essential Materials
Material Unit of quantity Total requirements Supply Remarks
Potential Supply Stockpile--
Prospective Supply
Domestic production Manchuria China French Indochina Thailand Total Dutch Indies Philippines British possessions
Iron ore Metric tons 10,000,000 3,950,000 300,000 2,700,000 70,000
0 7,002,000
3,000,000 0 2,000,000 1,400,000 Although shipping is lacking wartime, 4,000,000 metric tons of steel can be supplied.
Manganese ore do. 300,000 200,000 0 0 0 0 200,000 250,000 27,000 30,000 32,000 Increase production and economize in consumption.
Tungsten ore do. 8,200 5,500 0 700 500 300 7,000 1,000 50 0 1,300 Amount from China can be increased.
Molybdenum ore do. 2,000 300 400 0 0 0 700 500 0 0 0 Domestic production and amount from Manchuria can be increased.
Nickel ore do. 21,250,000 0 0 0 0 0 60,000
60,000 200,000 0 0 Economize in nickel consumption; secure Celebes source of supply.
Cobalt ore do. 100,000 40,000 0 0 0 0 40,000 30,000 0 0 10,000 Control food [Sic. Possibly typographical error]; limit use.
Copper do. 200,000 80,000 0 0 0 0 80,000 70,000
0 3300,000 0 Limit use; reclaim, secure Philippines source of supply.
Lead do. 170,000 28,000 1,200 0 0 0 29,200 32,000
0 0 2,500 Limit use; increase domestic and Manchurian production.
Zinc do. 80,000 70,000 3,000 0 600 0 79,000 8,000 0 380,000 3100,000  
Tin do. 12,300 2,000 0 0 300
10,500 3,000
0 500
Figures in parentheses represent production.
Antimony ore do. 4,000 200 60 200 40 0 500 1,000 0 0 50 Secure Chinese output.
Mercury do. 450 155 0 0 5 0 160 300 0 0 0 Limit use.
Bauxite do. 480,000 50,000 0 0 0 0 50,000 330,000 350,000 0 100,000  
Asbestos do. 9,000 2,500 2,300 400 200 100 57,000 571,000 0 0 0 Increase domestic and Manchurian production; limit use.
Mica do. 800 200 50 500 0 0 665 100 12 0 0  
Crude rubber do. 65,000 0 0 0 40,000
65,000 0 (400,000) (1,000) (400,000) Figures in parentheses represent production.
Industrial salt do. 1,500,000 150,000 400,000 800,000 80,000
1,500,000 7100,000 150,000 0 0  
Rice 1,000 koku8 100,000 94,000 0 0 4,000 2,000 1,000,000 ------ 0 0 0  
1. Parenthesized 100,000 not explained.
2. First digit blurred.
3. Ore.
4. Reclaimed.
5. May be 7,000. Figures blurred.
6. Second digit not clear. Possibly 220,000.
7. Possibly 110,000.
8. 1 koku=4.96 bushels.


      no measures for obtaining supplies within our present sphere of influence. It must be obtained from occupied territories in the south.
    1. Crude rubber.--On the basis of an economic agreement, the amount expected from Thailand and French Indochina is 45,000 tons. Domestic requirements are 65,000 tons and the amount on hand is less than 500 tons. Unless the amount procured from French Indochina and Thailand is increased, or a supply of over 20,000 tons is secured from the Netherlands East Indies, the shortage will have a great effect upon domestic industry and especially upon the progress of military preparations.

    2. Tin.--Unless a supply of about 10,000 tons annually is procured from Thailand and French Indochina, not only would it be impossible to meet national requirements, but even peacetime military preparations would come to a standstill. After 2 years of war, present stockpiles would be completely depleted.

    3. Copper.--Supplies on hand will soon be cut in half if the present trend continues. Thus, it will be necessary to develop sources in the Philippines for supplies of copper.

    4. Lead.--If the present situation continues, the supply will be halved. If more lead can be obtained from Burma, the supply will be sufficient.

    5. Cobalt.--Cobalt must be procured from the Netherlands East Indies.

Appendix A-2. Survey of National Resources as of 1-10 June 1945

  1. General

    The ominous turn of the war, coupled with the increasing tempo of air raids is bringing about great disruption of land and sea communications and essential war production. The food situation has worsened. It has become increasingly difficult to meet the requirements of total war. Moreover, it has become necessary to pay careful attention to the trends in public sentiment.

  2. National Trends in General

    Morale is high, but there is dissatisfaction with the present regime. Criticisms of the government and the military are increasing. The people are losing confidence in their leaders, and the gloomy omen of deterioration of public morale is present. The spirit of public sacrifice is lagging and among leading intellectuals there are some who advocate peace negotiations as a way out. It is necessary at this time to make careful preparations to cope with public reactions in case the Okinawa campaign results in a disaster and to provide proper indoctrination against such an eventuality. Moreover, it is to be expected that in the future the enemy's psychological warfare will intensify.

  3. Manpower

    1. As compared with material resources, there a relative surplus of manpower, but there is no efficient exploitation of it. Although distribution and mobilization of manpower do not respond to shifting of production, there is still room for increasing war potential depending on its efficient application. On the other hand, the case of military mobilization does not permit optimism.

    2. The physical standard and birth rate of the people are on the down grade.


      1. Surplus manpower:

          Industry 2,000,000
          Commerce 500,000
          Others 500,000

        There is a reserve of 3,000,000. At present, effort is being made to apply this surplus to agriculture and transportation where shortages exist.

      2. Mobilization and distribution of manpower.--Workers available for various industries in December 1944 (between the ages of 16 to 60):

          Males 20,300,000  
          Female 24,000,000  
          Total 44,300,000 (37,500,000 already engaged in industries and armed forces).
      3. Rate of population increase per 1,000.--After 1940, there is a yearly increase of approximately 1,000,000:

        1940, 12.7; 1941, 15.2; 1942, 14.2; 1943, 13.8; 1944, figures unknown; it is estimated that since birth rate decreased and infant mortality increased, the figure is lower than that of the previous year.

  4. Transportation and Communications

    1. Transportation and shipping.--The volume of available shipping space was sharply reduced and at present comes to a total of 1,000,000 tons. Transportation is faced with insurmountable difficulties because of fuel shortages, mounting fury of enemy attacks on our lines of communications, and insufficient manpower in cargo handling.

      The question of whether or not we can maintain communication with the continent will greatly depend upon the results of the Okinawa campaign. If the campaign turns to our disadvantage, we cannot hope to maintain planned communication after June. For the same reason, the cargo-


      carrying capacity of vessels will drastically decrease.


                  Gross tons
      December 1941           5,500,000
      December 1942           4,600,000
      December 1943           3,700,000
      July 1944           3,100,000
      April 1945           1,250,000
      Actual losses
      Previous average           7-10
      This year           23

    1. Transportation and railways.--Transport capacity of the railways will drop to half that of the previous year due to the intensified enemy air attack and our inability to maintain construction and repairs on an efficient level. It is feared that railway transportation will become confined to local areas, especially after the middle of this year.

      Shuttle transports (trucks, wagons, etc.) and cargo handling have become the bottleneck of land and sea transportation, because of the scarcity of fuel and labor.


      Railway transport capacity
      1941           150,000,000
      1942           160,000,000
      1943           180,000,000
      1944           190,000,000
      1945           190,000,000
      1. Projected.

    2. Communications.--Maintenance of communication will be exceedingly difficult after the middle of this year, because of enemy air-raid damage and shortages of materials and personnel.

  1. Material Resources

    1. Steel.--Shipping of iron ore has become difficult. The total production is about one-fourth that of the same period of the previous year. Construction of steel ships cannot be expected after the mid year. Even a shift to the use of existing materials would mean overcoming numerous obstacles before the plan could be executed.


      Steel production
      1941           4,200,000
      1942           4,100,000
      1943           4,200,000
      1944           2,700,000
      1945           1270,000
      1. Projected for first quarter.

    2. Coal.--Accompanying the increasing severity of air raids and reduction in transport capacity and production, there is a strong possibility that a considerable portion of the various industrial areas will have to suspend operation for lack of coal.

    3. Industrial salts.--Shipping from the continent has decreased and production of chemicals, which is dependent on soda, is falling off at an alarming rate. After the middle of this year, we will be confronted with a shortage of basic salts. For this reason, not only will there be difficulty in producing light metals and synthetic oil, but also in producing explosives.


      Aluminum production
      1941           73,000
      1942           110,000
      1943           140,000
      1944           110,000
      1945           19,000
      1. Projected for first quarter.

    4. Liquid fuel.--Hereafter, Japan, Manchuria, and China will have to depend upon their own sources for fuel oil. With oil reserves on the verge of exhaustion and the delay in plans for increased output of oil, we are faced with an extreme shortage of aviation fuel. This, of course, will have a serious effect on the planning of future operations, especially after the mid-year.


      [Unit: 1,000 kl.]

      Year Production Storage
      Various types of fuel processed Crude oil Period Various types of fuel processed Crude oil
      1941 3,470 1,570 April 1941 4,457 3,562
      1942 3,020 1,256 April 1942 4,115 1,963
      1943 3,460 1,969 April 1943 2,940 1,220
      1944 2,053 734 April 1944 1,822 558
      1945 1,362 330 April 1945 752 779

    5. Modern weapons with aircraft as a nucleus.--It is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain production of aircraft due to the ever-increasing tempo of air raids, the destruction of transportation systems and production facilities, and the lack of raw materials and fuels.



      Production of aircraft
      1944, monthly production           2,230
      1945, April           1,800
      1945, May           1,600

  1. National Living Conditions

    1. Foodstuffs.--The food situation has grown worse and a crisis will be reached at the end of this year. The people will have to get along on an absolute minimum of rice and salt required for subsistence considering the severity of air raids, difficulties in transportation, and the appearance of starvation conditions in the isolated sections of the nation. It is apparent that the food situation will become further aggravated this year.

    2. Living conditions.--From now on prices will rise sharply bringing on inflation which will seriously undermine the wartime economy.


      Anticipated supply and demand of rice of 1945 (estimate made 1-10 June)

      [TN: 1 koku=4.96 bushels]

      (a) Estimated supply, Japan proper           77,165,000
      (b) Estimated demand           84,258,000
      (c) Estimated imports from Manchuria and Korea           4,250,000
      (It will become increasingly difficult to realize this figure depending upon air raids.)

      Deficiencies will be alleviated with military rice and by placing restrictions on rice distributions.

Appendix A-3. Comparison of Military Strength of Japan and the United States at the Outbreak of Hostilities

(Compiled from memory by individual concerned at that time)
  1. Main Strength of the Imperial Navy in December 1941

    1. Surface strength:

        Battleships           10
        Aircraft carriers           9
        Heavy cruisers:            
              First class           8
              Second class           10
        Light cruisers           16
        Destroyers           110
        Submarines           64
        Seaplane tenders           15
        Submarine tenders           3
        1. Including 2 converted seaplane tenders.
    2. Air strength:

        Fighter planes           500
        Carrier-based bombers           180
        Carrier-based attack planes           300
        Land-attack planes           350
        Reconnaissance seaplanes           340
        Flying boats           15
  2. Japanese Navy Estimates of Allied Naval Strength at Beginning of War

    Table 1.--Estimate of Disposition of Main Surface Forces

      United States British Dutch
    Hawaii area Philippines area West coast, United States Aleutian area Atlantic area Malay area Indian
    Ocean area
    East and
    Australian area Strength
    for transfer to
    Far East
    Battleships 8   2   4 2 12   (2)  
    Aircraft carriers 3   1   2   2-3   (2)  
    Converted aircraft carriers         2       (2)  
    Heavy cruisers 12 2     4 2     (2)  
    Light cruisers 5   4       6   (2)  
    Small cruisers 2 2 2   4 2 310 6 (2) 4
    Destroyers 330 15 350 310 3150 310 315 5 (2) 8
    Submarine (4) 315 310 (4) 340       (2) 15
    Others (4)       (4) (4) (4)   (2) (4)
          Subtender   1             (2)  
          Seaplane tender   1             (2)  
          Others   (4)             (2)  

    1. Plus 4 (?).     2. No reserve strength available for some time.     3. Approximately.     4. Several.


    1. Total United States strength:

        Battleships   13
        Aircraft carriers   6
        Converted aircraft carriers   2
        Heavy cruisers:    
            First class   18
          Second class   9
        Light cruisers   10
        Destroyers   250
        Submarines (exclusive of coastal subs)   35
    2. Estimated Additions During War:

      1. United States:

          Year ending Dec. 1942--1 battleship, 2 aircraft carriers.
          Year ending Dec. 1943--4 battleships, 2 aircraft carriers.
      2. England: No increase of strength in Far East until war situation in Europe improves.

      3. One cruiser, 1 destroyer, and several submarines moved to England from Holland and under construction may be added to strength in Far East by mid-1942.


    Table 2.--Estimates of Disposition of Allied Air Strength

    [TN: All figures are approximate]

      United States British Dutch
    Hawaii area Wake-Midway Philippines area Aleutian area Strength available for transfer to Far East Malay area Burma area India area Australia
    Fighter planes 200 112 10   1,000 85       80
    Large planes (4 engines) 40   40   60          
    Medium planes (2 engines) 100       200 90        
    Small attack planes 150                 100
    Reconnaissance and observation planes 35   20     130 50 200 400  
    Reconnaissance seaplanes     10             80
    Flying boats 110 16
    35 12 250 15       40
    1. Wake             2. Midway.

    1. Estimated increase in United States first-line planes:

        Army and Navy first-line planes:
            1941             2,600
            1942             7,100
            1943             16,200
      1. Fighter planes:

            1941             900
            1942             2,600
            1943             5,480
      2. 4-engine bombers:

            1941             100
            1942             300
            1943             2,600
    2. Estimates of potential United States aircraft production:

        Estimated planes on hand, December 1941:    
          Army   40,000
          Navy     30,000
                Total   70,000
        Estimated planes on hand, December 1943   120,000
        Estimated production, 1941   19,300
        Estimated production, 1942   47,000
        Estimated production, 1943   85,000

Appendix A-4. A Comparison of (Estimated) Japanese and American Military Resources at the End of the War

  1. Estimated American Military Resources Near the End of the War

    1. Main Naval Forces (1945):

      Type of ship End of July End of August Notes
      Aircraft carriers 25/28 26/28 1. This table is based on figures published in the United States at the end of April, modified by the results achieved by the operation for defense of Okinawa. (The last figure represents total, the first represents the number assigned to operations against Japan.)

      2. Of ships and vessels badly damaged in the operation for the defense of Okinawa, about half were made operational during the period from February to March, while the other half were rendered operational from March to April.

      3. New aircraft carriers became operational as follows: Antietam, end of June, Tarawa, end of July, and Boxer, end of August. The Saratoga and Ranger used in training, are not included.

      4. Escort carriers transferred to England and those lost prior to the Okinawa operation are included in figures for total escort carriers.

      Escort carriers 70/85 74/89
      Battleships 23/23 24/24
      Cruisers 35/64 36/64
      Destroyers 244/324 254/331


    1. Air Forces (1945):

      Area End of
      End of
      End of
      Northern area:      
            Alaska 400 400 400
            Aleutians 300 300 300
            Ellis-Gilberts-Samoa Area 150 150 150
            Marshalls 200 200 200
            Marianas 1,000 1,000 1,000
      Central Pacific:      
            Peleliu; Ulithi 250 250 250
            Iwo Jima 500 500 500
            Hawaii 900 1,200 1,500
            Transport planes 200 200 200
            (Philippine Islands) 3,100 4,100 5,100
      Ryukyu Islands (Nansei Shoto) 600 650 870
      New Guinea-Australia Area:      
            Eastern New Guinea 300 300 300
            Western New Guinea 600 600 600
            Australia 250 250 250
      South Pacific:      
            Solomon Islands 200 200 200
            New Caledonia; Espiritu Santo 300 300 300
            Fiji 100 100 100
            New Zealand 100 100 100
      India-Burma Theater 1,500 2,000 2,000
            American Air Force 700 800 800
            American-Chinese Air Force 150 150 150
      India-China transport planes 400 400 400
      Fleet Air Forces   3,700   3,800   3,800
      Totals 16,000 17,850 19,370
      NOTE.--It is anticipated that some of the forces now in the European Theater of Occupation will make their appearance in these theaters starting about the end of July.

      Supplementary Table (on Planes (1945))

      Area End of
      End of
      End of
      Marianas (Islands) area B-29s 850 No change. No change.
      Total 1,000
      Iwo Jima B-29s 50 No change. Not known whether B-29s are being replaced with B29s [sic]. No change.
      B-24s 150
      P-51s 250
      P-61s 30
      Others 10
      Total 500
      Ryukyu Islands (Nansei Shoto) P-47s, P-51s, and P-61s 300 P-47s, P-51s, and P-61s 300 P-47s, P-51s, and P-61s 400
      Carrier planes 100 Carrier planes 100 Carrier planes 100
      B-24's 150 B-24s 200 B-24s 300
      PVs 30 PVs 30 PVs 30
      PBYs 40 PBYs 40 PBYs 40
      Total 600
      Total 650
      Total 870
      Philippines area Fighters 1,500 Fighters 2,000 Fighters 2,500
      Bombers (including 300 B-29s, B-17s, etc., an increase of 70 B-24s) 1,000 Bombers (including 400 B-29s; others same as preceding [sic]) 2,000 Bombers (including 500 B-29s; others same as preceding [sic]) 2,000
      Others 50 Others 100 Others 100
      Total 2,550 Total 4,100 Total 5,100

    2. Ground forces (1945):

      Branch or Arm End of
      End of
              Infantry Divisions 53/90 70/90
              Armored Divisions 7/22 10/22
              Airborne Divisions 3/10 4/10
              Cavalry Divisions 1/2 1/2
      Total 64/134 85/134
      Marine Divisions 7/10 8/10
      Total 71/144 93/144


      a. The figures in this table are based on the following estimates:

      1. Since May, 2 divisions per month have been sent from the United States to participate in operations against Japan.

      2. About one-half of the approximately 60 divisions assigned to the western European Theater of Operations have been redeployed against Japan, as shown below:

        Military strength (number of divisions) Departed
        European Theater
        of Operations
        Arrived Philippine Islands area Ready for operations
        (1) About 10 Middle to end of May. End of July. End of August.
        (2) About 20 June. End of August. End of September.

        Explanation: Equipment necessary for redeployed forces and munitions required for operations have been shipped to the Philippines area directly from the United States.

        (b) In the monthly figures in the main table above, the second figure represents the total number of divisions; the first represents the number assigned to operations against Japan.

  1. Japanese Military Resources Near the End of the War

    Japan's national power has grown progressively weaker with the loss of the Philippine Islands and Okinawa. All of our existing aircraft are being converted (to suicide planes). We are concentrating on the conversion (to defense of the homeland) of a large part of the special submarine attack forces, which can be turned out with comparative east. We plan to enhance our military resources through increased production of such items as twin-engine, twin-boom cargo planes (KI 115). Nevertheless, a certain amount of apprehension is still felt.

    1. Air forces:

      Fighters 1,170
      Night fighters 125
      Small bombers 636
        Fighter bombers 60  
        Bombers 310  
        Attack planes 266  
      Medium bombers 352
        Medium land-attack planes 197  
        Land bombers 155  


      Seaplanes 398
        Reconnaissance seaplanes 348  
        Flying boats 10  
        Seaplane bombers 40  
      Single engine reconnaissance planes (MYRT) 70
      Other serviceable planes     75
      Subtotal   2,826
        Medium trainers 1,900  
        Shiragiku (reconnaissance trainers)     318  
      Subtotal   2,218
      Grand total 5,044
    1. Special attack forces:

      Underwater demolition units 100
      Surface suicide boats (torpedo equipped) 300
      Manual torpedoes 120
      Suicide boats (with bomb for explosion) 2,000

    2. Ships and small craft:

      Ships and small craft are not being stressed, because in view of the present state of the fuel supply, they can be used only as harbor antiaircraft defense ships.

  1. Enemy Losses Expected in the Operation for the Defense of the Homeland

    1. Estimate of the number of transports it would be possible to destroy in the event of an American attack on the homeland.

      Estimate for the coming attack on the Kyushu Area in about September.

        Total number of transports, about 2,000
        Probable number which would be sunk, about 470
        (Basis for calculation omitted,)

      Thus, with about three-fourths able to make a landing, it would be difficult to defeat American plans through annihilation on the sea.

    2. If there should be successive delays in the attack, it would appear profitable from a purely tactical point of view to build up gradually the submarine special attack forces. It will be difficult to maintain our air power unless, despite intense air raids, production levels can be maintained, and special measures devised to increase the production of fuels so that a monthly output of about 30,000 tons of aviation gasoline is assured.

Appendix A-5. Memorandum of Konoye Conversation With Hirohito, February 1945.

Early in February 1945 the Emperor initiated a number of private interviews with the elder statesmen and his intimates to solicit their views on Japan's war situation and advice concerning the immediate future of the Empire. On 14 February 1945 Prince Konoye had such an interview with the Emperor. In advance of that, Prince Konoye prepared a memorandum of his views which were verbally presented to the Emperor. An English translation of the memorandum, prepared by T. Ushiba, Konoye's long-time private secretary, is reproduced below. Copies of the translation and the original memorandum were given to the Survey at Karuizawa on 30 November 1945.

Parts of the following translation are not literal renditions of the original Japanese but represented an accurate summary of salient points. The method of summarization employed by the translator, Mr. Ushiba, consists of omitting the less important examples cited by Konoye in support of conclusions. For instance, the examples of alleged Russian political infiltration in France, Jugoslavia, Belgium, etc., have been omitted from the second paragraph. In all cases the conclusions remain intact. It is believed that the omission of minor supporting arguments in a few instances does not detract sufficiently from the import of the document as a whole to justify a literal translation of the original in its entirety.

*       *       *       *       *

I think that there is no longer any doubt about our defeat. A defeat is, of course, a serious stain on our history, but we can accept it, so long as we can maintain our Tenno system. Public opinion in America and Britain on the whole is not yet, at least, so bad as to demand a fundamental change in that system. What we have to fear, therefore, is not so much a defeat as a Communist revolution which might take place in the event of defeat.

Conditions, internal as well as external, point to the danger of such revolution. In the first place, there has been a notable ascendancy of Soviet Russia in world politics. In the light of her recent activities in Europe, we must judge that she has not abandoned the hope of bolshevising the whole world. She is prosecuting such a policy vis a vis the Far East, and I fear interference in our domestic affairs.

With regard to internal affairs, potentially dangerous factors include the rapid deterioration of the people's living conditions, increase in the voice of the laboring classes,rise of pro-Soviet feelings as enmity against America and Britain increases, attempts by an extremist group in the


military to achieve radical changes in internal politics, activities of younger bureaucrats sympathetic with that group, and disguised activities of the Communists behind both the military and bureaucrats.

A majority of younger officers seem to think that the present form of Japanese Government is compatible with Communism--a conception which, in any opinion, constitutes the basis of the radical thought of the military. The Communists are influencing them with the theory that, even under communism, Japan can maintain the Tenno system. I have now come to seriously doubt whether the whole series of events from the Manchurian Incident to the present war have not been what they have purposefully planned. It is a well-known fact that they openly declared the aim of the Manchurian war was to achieve drastic reforms in domestic affairs. A central figure of theirs also declared that the longer the China Incident continued, the better, for otherwise, the intended reform would not be accomplished. Of course, the "reform" aimed at by the military may not necessarily be a Communist revolution, but the group of bureaucrats and civilians (both left and right) who are in a close collaboration with the military are definitely intending to bring about such a revolution. In the light of this conclusion, I now realize that I have, during the last ten years, come across many events the meaning of which I did not then fully appreciate. Prime Minister twice during that period, and over-eager to bring about national unity by accepting as much as possible of the doctrine advocated by those radical elements, I failed to perceive the true intentions hidden behind their arguments. I do not pretend to find any excuse for my short-sightedness, but I feel responsible for it.

In the last few months, the slogan "Hundred Million Die Together" has become increasingly louder, seemingly among the right-wing people, but has its real basis in the activities of the Communists.

Under such circumstances, the longer we continue the war, the greater will be the danger of revolution. We should therefore stop the war as soon as possible.

The greatest obstacle to ending the war is the existence of the military group which has been "propelling" the country into the present state ever since the Manchurian Incident--the group which, having already lost all hope of successfully concluding the war, nevertheless insists on its continuation in order to save face. If we try to stop the war abruptly, these military extremists together with both the right and left wings, might attempt anything--even a bloody internal revolt, and thereby nullify our efforts. The prerequisite to the conclusion of the war, therefore, is to wipe out the influence of these dangerous people and reform the Army and Navy. I must urge Your Majesty to make a serious decision to that end.



ANAMI, Korechika
21 Feb 1887 -- Born, Oita prefecture.
1907 -- Graduated, Military Academy.
1918 -- Graduated, Army War College.
  -- Army General Staff.
1934 -- Director Military Affairs Bureau, War Ministry.
Mar 1938 -- Lt. General.
Oct 1939 -- Vice Minister of War (under General Hata, Sunroku, in Abe and Yonai cabinets and under General Tojo, Hideki, in second Konoye and Tojo cabinets.)
Apr 1941 -- Commander of an Army Corps on China Front.
10 Apr 1943 -- General.
1 Dec 1943 -- Commander of 2nd Army.
26 Dec 1944 -- Inspector General of Military Aviation; Supreme War Councilor and Director of Army Aviation Headquarters.
7 Apr 1945 -- War Minister in new Suzuki cabinet.
30 Apr 1945 -- Adviser to the War Relief Association.
14 Aug 1945 -- Committed suicide with Japan's surrender and the fall of the Suzuki Cabinet.
16 Aug 1945 -- Funeral services held at the War Ministry.

HIGASHIKUNI, Naruhiko, Prince
3 Dec 1887 -- Born, Kyoto.
Nov 1906-- Established House of Higashikuni by order of the late Emperor Meiji.
1908-- Graduated from the Military Academy.
1914-- Graduated, Army War College.
1915-- Commander of Twenty-ninth Infantry Brigade; captain.
Jul 1918-- Major; battalion commander of Seventh Infantry Division.
Apr 1920-- Lived in France, studied military tactics.
1926-- Honorary President of Japan Newspaper Association.
Dec 1929-- Major general staff officer, General Headquarters.
1930-- Commander of Fifth Infantry Brigade.
Aug 1934-- Lieutenant general; commander of Fourth Army Division.
Dec 1935-- Appointed Supreme War Councilor.
Aug 1937-- Chief of Military Aviation Department.
Apr 1938-- Commander of Second Army; took part in China mainland fighting.
Jan 1939-- Supreme War Councilor.
Aug 1939-- General.
1940-- Again served in China; awarded the Order of the Golden Kite, First class.
Dec 1941-- Commander in Chief of Home Defense Headquarters and concurrently Supreme War Councilor.
Jul 1944-- Resigned as Commander in Chief, Home Defense Headquarters.
18 Aug 1945-- Commanded to form a new cabinet.
5 Oct 1945-- President of Diet structure investigation council.

Personal background:

Higashikuni was an Imperial Prince who had been little more than a figurehead in any of his army posts. Early in 1942 he was reported to have been associated with Prince Konoye in organizing the Showa. Kenkyu Kai for the purpose of overthrowing the TOJO regime and getting a peace with the United States while Japan still had vast empire and before the United States could rearm. In December 1944, it was again reported that he was active in organizing a party to overthrow the present regime, especially if the United States were to invade Japan proper.


HIRANUMA, Kiichiro, Baron
28 Sep 1865 -- Born, Okayama prefecture.
1888 -- Graduated, Tokyo Imperial University, Law school; entered Justice Ministry.
1890 -- Judge of Tokyo Imperial Court. Judge and Department Director of Tokyo Court of Appeals Councilor of Justice Ministry.
1905 -- Director of Civil and Criminal Affairs Bureau, Justice Ministry.
1906 -- Went to Europe and America.
1907 -- Received LL. D.
Aug. 1911 -- Vice Minister of Justice in second Saionji cabinet, serving under Justice Minister Matsuda.
1912 -- Appointed Procurator General, Vice President of Privy Council.
1918 -- Referred to as head of Tokyo Imperial University.
1921 -- Appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
1923-1924 -- Minister of Justice in second Yamamoto cabinet.
1924 -- Imperial nominee to the House of Peers.
  -- Appointed to the Privy Council.
  -- Lecturer at Tokyo Imperial University.
  -- President of Kokuhonsha, a rightist organization.
  -- President of Shuyodan, youth auxiliary of Kokuhonsha.
1926 -- Appointed Vice President of the Privy Council.
1927 -- Made a baron.
  -- President of Nihon University.
1936 -- Elected President of the Privy Council and resigned as president of Kokuhonsha and Shuyodan.
Jan 1939 -- Premier, succeeding Konoye when it became clear the Konoye could not liquidate the China War.
1940 -- Minister-without-portfolio, then Home Minister in second Konoye cabinet.
Jul 1941 -- Appointed Minister-without-portfolio in third Konoye cabinet.
Mar 1941 -- Brought about drastic changes in the IRAA, and opposed totalitarian reform of Hoshino, Naoki the president of the Planning Board and forced him to resign in April 1941.
Jul 1941 -- Forced out Matsuoka in Cabinet shake-up.
Aug 1941 -- 2 attempts on his life; on August 14 wounded badly.
Aug 1942 -- Went on official visit to Nanking.
30 Jun 1945 -- Chairman of Council of Home Defense League.
7 Aug 1945 -- President of Privy Council, succeeding Suzuki who became Premier.
2 Dec 1945 -- Ordered arrested as a war criminal.

Personal background:

After World War I, Baron Hiranuma lent his support to various patriotic societies, the purpose of which was to combat Leftist tendencies among the students. Together with the leaders of these societies he formed a group to carry on nationalistic propaganda beyond the university. This group formed the basis for the Kokuhonsha. As CHairman of the House of Peers in 1924 and Vice President of the Privy Council in 1926, under his guidance this institution restrained even the insignificant attempts of the Kato and Wakatsuki cabinets to introduce reforms. Finally in the conflict arising with the Wakatsuki cabinet over the question of granting aid to the Bankrupt Bank of Taiwan, Hiranuma secured the fall of the Wakatski cabinet and the assumption of the premiership by the leader of the most reactionary wing of the Japanese bourgeoise, Gen. Giichi Tanaka. When he became Premier in 1939 his extreme reactionary views toned down.The attempts on his life in 1941 were instigated by Nakano, Seigo, of the Tokokai, in collaboration with certain members of the German Embassy. He was reported opposed to the war with the United States. Five members of his cabinet were in Koiso's cabinet. Koiso's Justice Minister Matsuzaka, Hiromasa, wa a protege of Hiranuma.

Until General Tojo took over full power in October 1941, Baron Hiranuma was unquestionably the most powerful and influential figure in Japanese politics. As Minister-without-Portfolio in the second Konoye cabinet, he was in effect the


de facto Premier. Lt. General Heisuke Yanegawa (ret.), Justice Minister in the second Konoye Cabinet, was also one of Baron Hiranuma's proteges, and it was through him that Hiranuma attempted to effect drastic reforms in the IRAA to curb extreme reactionary activities.

Ideologically, Baron Hiranuma was an arch-fundamentalist. He did more than any other single individual to popularize nationalistic Shinto and the politico-religious concept of Kodo, or the Imperial way. His fundamentalism, however, did not keep pace with the more extreme forms of nationalism and reaction which developed under the guidance of the Tojo clique, and by 1941 Hiranuma found himself on the defensive. He was particularly concerned that the new totalitarian principles expressed by the Tojo group would tend toward a dictatorship in which the theoretically omnipotent position of the Emperor would be jeopardized. Hiranuma also strongly opposed the conclusion of the Axis alliance, partly out of fear that too close association with Germany would further encourage such totalitarian developments in Japan.

1878 -- Born Kukuoka-ken.
1905 -- Graduated, Tokyo Imperial University, politics; entered the foreign service, served in Peking.
1909 -- Served in London.
1918 -- First Secretary, Washington.
1922 -- Subdirector, Intelligence Bureau.
1926 -- Minister to Netherlands.
1932 -- Ambassador to Russia.
1936 -- Foreign Minister in Saito and Okada cabinets.
Mar 1936 -- Premier until February 1937.
Jun 1937 -- Foreign Minister until May 1938.
5 Feb 1938 -- Spoke before the Diet about the progress of the China War and relations with the United States.
24 Feb 1938 -- Busy defending the National Mobilization Bill.
26 Feb 1938 -- "Japan plans to halt Naval Race."
4 Mar 1938 -- "Sorry for America if she fortifies Hawaii", etc.
5 Mar 1938 -- Urged abolition of capital ships.
5 Mar 1938 -- Said Japan would behead Chiang Kai-Shek. Said peace offers to Chiang had been rejected.
Jun 1942 -- Appointed special emissary to Thailand.
23 Oct 1943 -- Assisted in the organization of the Peace Society Heiwa Kai to promote friendly relations with the Southern Regions.
14 Jan 1944 -- Attended a meeting sponsored by Tokama, Misturu; later was chairman for committee for funeral of Tokama.
14 Sep 1945 -- Removed from list of Black Dragon members wanted for questioning. No explanation given.
2 Dec 1945 -- Ordered arrested as a war criminal.

Personal Background:

A liberal, broad-minded, and able diplomat. It is believed that the Army was behind his appointment in replacing Uchida in 1933 in order to avert hostilities with Russia. Hirota was a protégé of Tokama, Mitsuru; was also presiding officer at direction meeting of the Black Dragon Society. Stated that the war with the United States had best begin in December or February of 1941.

INOUE, Shigeyoshi, Admiral
1889 -- Born.
1909 -- Graduated, Naval Academy.
1910 -- Ensign.
1921 -- Lieutenant commander. Graduated, Higher Naval College.
1924 -- Military Affairs Bureau; Naval Technical Council.
1927 -- Naval attaché, Rome, Paris, and Berne.
1929. -- Captain.
  -- Shipbuilding and ordnance inspector, Technical Department; ordnance inspector, Aviation Department.
1930 -- Instructor, Higher Naval College.
1932-1933 -- Chief, First Section, Military Affairs Bureau; Naval Training College.
  -- Commanding officer, BB Hiei.
1935 -- Chief of staff, Yokosuka Naval District
15 Nov 1935 -- Rear admiral.
1936 -- Navy General Staff and Navy Department.


15 Nov 1937 -- Director, Military Affairs Bureau; Board of Admirals.
Oct 1939 -- Chief of staff, China Area Fleet.
15 Nov 1939 -- Vice admiral.
1940 -- Director, Naval Academy.
Nov 1942 -- Commander in Chief, Fourth Fleet.
5 Aug 1944 -- Succeeded as Director, Naval Academy, by Vice Admiral Okochi, Denshichi; Navy Vice Minister, succeeding Vice Admiral Oka, Takazumi; Board of Admirals (Imperial Headquarters.)
6 Nov 1944 -- Chief, Naval Technical Department, relieving Vice Admiral Sugiyama, Rokuzo.
18 Nov 1944 -- Relieved of above post by Vice Admiral Shibuya, Ryutaro.
1 May 1945 -- Chief Naval Aviation Headquarters (concurrent).
15 May 1945 -- Admiral. Supreme War Councillor. Succeeded as Navy Vice Minister by Vice Admiral Tada, Takeo: Succeeded as Commander in Chief, Naval Aviation Headquarters, by Vice Admiral Wada, Misao.
15 Oct 1945 -- Relieved of posts in demobilization of Navy personnel.

KIDO, Koichi, Marquis
1889 -- Born, Yamaguchi Prefecture.
1915 -- Graduated, Kyoto Imperial University (law and politics).
1917 -- Inherited title.
  -- Secretary, Emergency Industrial Inspection Bureau, Agricultural and Commerce Ministry.
  -- Councilor, Agriculture and Commerce Ministry.
1917 -- Secretary, Fishery Bureau.
  -- Chief, Industrial Section, Industrial Bureau, Agriculture and Commerce, Ministry.
  -- Chief, Accounts and Documents Sections, Commerce and Industry Ministry.
1917 -- Chief, First Section, Emergency Industrial Rationing Bureau.
1929 -- Delegate to Berlin International Parliamentary Trade Congress.
1930 -- Chief Secretary to Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal.
1937 -- Education Minister.
  -- Director, Bureau of Peerage and Heraldry, Imperial Household Ministry.
1938 -- Concurrently, Welfare Minister.
1939 -- Home Minister.
  -- House of Peers.
1940 -- Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal.
Jul 1944 -- Active in selecting Premier Koiso to succeed Tojo.
      Dec 1944 -- Reported to be one of group secretly plotting to overthrow present regime and to set up new government headed by Hih, Prince Higashikuni, Naruhiko, and to ask United States for peace terms./td>
6 Dec 1945 -- Ordered arrested as war criminal.


A member of the Tokyo aristocracy, he had long been associated politically with Prince Konoye, Fumimaro, and was backed by the latter and by the Army for the post of Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal, to replace Yuasa, Kurahei, whom the Army considered too liberal an adviser to the Emperor.

KISHI, Shinsuke (Nobusuke)
      Nov 1896 -- Born.
1920 -- Graduated, Tokyo Imperial University (law).
  -- Secretary, Industry Department, Industry Rationalization Unemployment Problems Committee.
  -- Director,Industry Bureau, Manchukuo Industry Department.
1937-39 -- Vice Minister of Industry Department, Manchukuo.
  -- Director, Patent Bureau, Manchukuo.


Mar 1939 -- Assistant director, General Affairs Board, State Council, Manchukuo.
  -- Returned to Japanese Government to assume post as Vice Minister, Commerce and Industry.
1943 -- Relieved of post as Commerce and Industry Minister. Post assumed concurrently by Premier Tojo.
  -- Minister-without-portfolio and Vice Minister of Commerce and Industry.
Nov 1944 -- Member, House of Representatives.
16 Sep 1945 -- Taken into custody as a war criminal.

Kishi and Lt. General Teiichi Suzuki drafted the Munitions Company Act for the Tojo cabinet, which later caused much friction between Army and industrialists. Kishi was a civilian member of the so-called Manchurian clique and his political and economic ideas were to a good extent shaped by experiences with state planning under the aegis of the Kwantung Army.

KOISO, Kunikai, General
Mar 1880 -- Born, Yamagata-ken.
1901 -- Second lieutenant.
1901-31 -- Commander of Fifty-First Infantry REgiment; Director of General Affairs Section, Aviation Headquarters; member of General Staff.
1931 -- Director of Military Affairs Bureau during the Manchurian Incident; War Vice Minister.
1932 -- Chief of Staff of Kwantung Army.
1934 -- Commander of Fifth Division (Hiroshima).
1935 -- Commander of Korean Army.
Nov 1937 -- General, attached to Army General Staff.
7 Apr 1939 -- Assumed office of Overseas Minister, relieving Hatta, Yoshiaki. Held this post through Hiranuma and Yonai cabinets.
29 May 1942 -- Governor General of Korea.
19 Jul 1944 -- Retired as Governor General, Korea, in order to accept job of forming new cabinet.
22 Jul 1944 -- Formed new cabinet with himself as Premier.
10 Feb 1945 -- Reorganized his cabinet as the result of pressure from the Imperial Rule Assistance Association and other malcontent elements, and made changes which represented a personal loss rather than a change of great political significance.
19 Feb 1945 -- Chairman of wartime Price Investigation Committee.
2 Apr 1945 -- Commander in Chief of Volunteer Corps which was to be established on a national basis under a central headquarters.
5 Apr 1945 -- Resigned with entire cabinet the same day Russia renounced Neutrality Pact with Japan. Emperor immediately named Suzuki to form a new cabinet.
19 Nov 1945 -- Ordered arrested as a war criminal.

Personal background:

Strongly pro-Axis and anti-Russian. At the time of his appointment as overseas minister in 1939, his outspoken and positive views were expected to bring an immediate strengthening of Japan's continental policy. An intimation of his character may be obtained from his nickname "the Tiger of Korea" and the fact that he had claimed to be a staunch believer that all problems could be solved by the "Imperial Way". He was one of the most out-spoken of the politically minded in the Army; was closely associated with the single party movement; and had worked in the Kokuhonsha with Baron Hiranuma. Lieutenant General Kimura, Haruo, stated that Koiso gave the order to invade French Indochina. He was alleged also to have been a member of the Black Dragon Society. He was a member of the Japanese Imperial Headquarters while he was Premier in order to have status equal to that of the Army and Navy Chiefs of Staff, an unprecedented action sanctioned by Hirohito. Other evidence indicates that there was considerable personal friction between Koiso and Tojo.


KONOYE, Fuminaro, Prince
1891 -- Born.
1904 -- Succeeded to title.
1916 -- House of Peers
1917 -- Graduated, Kyoto Imperial University (law, political science).
1918 -- Entered Home Ministry as non-regular staff member, stationed in Europe.
1919 -- Delegate to Paris Peace Conference, in suite of Prince Saionji.
1924 -- Councilor, Bureau of Peerage and Heraldry.
1926 -- Cultural Investigation Committee.
1927 -- Chief Commissioner of the Imperial Coronation; charged with program of the accession to the throne of the present Emperor.
1931-1933 -- Vice President, House of Peers.
1933 -- President, House of Peers.
1934 -- Travelled to the United States to promote friendly relations.
Jun 1937
Jan 1939
-- Premier, First Konoye Cabinet.
Jan 1939
Jun 1940
-- President, Privy Council.
Jan 1939
Jul 1940
-- Minister-without-Portfolio, Hiranuma Cabinet.
Jul 1940
Jul 1941
-- Premier, second Konoye cabinet.
Jul 1941
Oct 1941
-- Premier, Third Konoye cabinet.
1940 -- Founded Imperial Rule Assistance Association.
1942 -- Active in organization and work of Showa Kenkyu Kai.
1943 -- Adviser to IRAA.
1944 -- Representative of the Koa Dantai Rengokai in the Greater East Asia Ministry.
  -- Representative of the Daitoa Remmei
Jul 1944 -- Active in organization of Koiso cabinet.
Apr 1945 -- Active in organization of Suzuki cabinet.
16 Aug 1945 -- Named Minister-without-Portfolio in Higashikuni cabinet.
9 Oct 1945 -- Named adviser to the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal.
23 Nov 1945 -- Relieved as special adviser to Lord Privy Seal after he submitted recommendations revising the Japanese constitution.
Dec 1945 -- Committed suicide.

Konoye has been labeled at various times radical, moderate, totalitarian. He was president of the Far East, Siam, Indo-China, Japan-Nei, and South Seas Association, and would seem to have been fundamentally nationalistic, whatever his temporary political attitude. He was considered friendly to the United States, and sent his son to Princeton.

In 1942, he was active in the organization and work of Showa Kenyu Kai, an anti-Tojo organization, and in late 1944 he was reported to be one of a group secretly planning the overthrow of the present regime in favor of a new government headed by Prince Higashikuni, Naruhiko, should Japan proper be invaded by the United States. This move included the possibility of asking the United States for peace terms.

Prince Konoye also enjoyed close connection with some of the more extreme patriotic societies. This was probably a heritage of the father's close personal friendship with the late Mitsuru Toyama, head or sponsor of some of the most violent societies, including the famous Black Dragon Society. Although his father, Prince Atsumaro Konoye, died in his 40's, he had promise of becoming an outstanding political figure and may be regarded as one of the first "nationalistic liberals" in Japanese politics.

      Apr 1877 -- Born, Tokyo.
1902 -- Graduated, Tokyo Imperial University (political science.) Attached to Legation in Peking.
1907 -- Third Secretary, Embassy in London and Paris.
1910 -- Second Embassy Secretary.
  -- Second Secretary, Legation in Peking.
1914 -- Consul General, Tientsin.
1918 -- Councilor, Embassy in Washington, D.C.
1914-1920 -- Chief, Diplomatic Commission, Siberian Expeditionary Force.


Sep 1923 -- Vice Foreign Minister.
  -- Concurrently Director Intelligence Department.
1924 -- Ambassador to Washington.
1929-1930 -- Delegate to Tenth and Eleventh League of Nations Conferences, Geneva.
1929 -- Delegate to London Naval Conference.
1931 -- Delegate, Geneva Disarmament Conference.
1932 -- Delegate to League of Nations Conference at Genera.
until 1936 -- Ambassador to Court of St. James, London.
Mar 1936 -- Minister of Imperial Household.
30 Apr 1945 -- Adviser to Sensai Engokai (Wartime Relief Association).
4 Jun 1945 -- Resigned as Imperial Household Minister Because of bombing of Palace.

Matsudaira was the very epitome of the so-called "liberal, pro-American, pro-British" clique which allegedly surrounded the Throne and which was the prime target of the young officers and other patriotic assassins. Matsudaira's daughter married Prince Chichibu, the present Emperor's eldest brother.

OIKAWA, Koshiro, Admiral
1883 -- Born, Iwate prefecture.
1903 -- Graduated Naval Academy.
1913 -- Higher Naval College.
1915 -- Graduated Higher Naval College; aide to Crown Prince, served as aide-de-camp for 7 years.
1919 -- Commander.
1922 -- Commanding officer, Fourteenth Destroyer Division.
1923 -- Captain.
1924 -- Commanding officer, CL Tama.
  -- Navy General Staff and Naval Training College.
1926 -- Chief instructor and discipline officer, Naval Academy.
1928 -- Rear Admiral, Chief of Staff, Kure Naval District.
Jul 1932 -- Aide to special inspector appointed by Emperor.
Nov 1932 -- Commanding Officer, First Air Flotilla of First Fleet.
15 Nov 1933 -- Vice Admiral.
Dec 1935 -- Commander in Chief, Third Fleet.
Dec 1936 -- Director, Naval Aviation Department.
Apr 1938 -- Commander in Chief, Third Fleet.
15 Nov 1939 -- Admiral. Commander in Chief, Yokosuka Naval District.
1 Jan 1940 -- Commander in Chief, China Area Fleet.
Sep 1940 -- Navy Minister.
20 Oct 1941 -- Supreme War Councilor.
Nov 1942 -- Director, Higher Naval College.
1943 -- Supreme War Councilor.
17 Nov 1943 -- Reported to be Commander in Chief, Grand Surface Escort.
9 Aug 1944 -- Chief, Navy General Staff, relieving Admiral Shimada, Shigetaro.
29 May 1945 -- Supreme War Councilor; succeeded as Chief, Navy General Staff by Admiral Soemu Toyoda.

Personal Background:

He was supposed to have had influence with the Emperor due to a close personal connection during Emperor's adolescence. Considered to be one of ablest Japanese naval officers. A strong proponent of southward expansion, but tended to favor diplomatic and covert naval pressure in place of overt military action.

OKADA, Keisuke, Admiral (retired)
      Jan 1867 -- Born, Fukui prefecture.
  -- Graduate, Naval Staff College.
  -- Director, Torpedo School.
  -- Commander, 2nd Squadron.
  -- Commanding Officer, 1st and 3rd Torpedo Squadron.
  -- Director, Personnel Bureau, Navy Ministry.
  -- Director, Sasebo Naval Arsenal.
  -- Director, Construction Bureau, Navy Ministry.
  -- Chief, Naval Construction Headquarters.
  -- Vice Minister, Navy.
  -- Supreme War Councilor.


  -- Commander in Chief, First and Combined Fleets.
  -- Same, Yokosuka Naval Station.
1927 -- Navy Minister.
      1932-34 -- Same, SAITO cabinet.
1934-36 -- Premier.

Personal background:

Okada was reported in December 1944 to be one of a group secretly organizing a party to overthrow the regime, set up a new government headed by Prince Higashikuni, and ask the United States for peace terms. Hisatsune Sakomizu married Okada's second daughter, Manki. In April 1945 Sakomizu became chief cabinet secretary in the SUZUKI cabinet. As a retired premier, or Jushin, Okada wielded considerable political influence. Today he is unquestionably one of the Emperor's closest personal advisers.

OZAWA, Jizaburo, Admiral
1886 -- Born.
1909 -- Graduated, Naval Academy.
1 Jan 1935 -- Commanding officer of CA Maya.
1 Jan 1936 -- Commanding officer of BB Haruna.
1 Dec 1936 -- Rear admiral.
1 Jan 1937 -- Instructor, Higher Naval College.
1 Jan 1939 -- Director, Torpedo School; Naval Training College.
1 Jan 1940 -- Commanding officer, First Air Flotilla.
Nov 1940 -- Vice admiral.
Sep 1941 -- Director, Higher Naval College.
2 Jan 1942 -- Commander in Chief, First Southern Expeditionary Fleet.
14 Jul 1942 -- Navy General Staff.
11 Dec 1942 -- Commander in Chief, Third Fleet.
1 Mar 1944 -- Commander in Chief, First Mobile Fleet; Commander in Chief, Third Fleet.
18 Nov 1944 -- Vice Chief, Navy General Staff; Director, Higher Naval College.
29 May 1945 -- Commander in Chief, Combined Fleet.
  -- Commander in Chief, Over-all Naval Command.
  -- Commander, Naval Escort Command.

SAKOMIZU, Hisatsune
Aug 1902 -- Born, Kagoshima prefecture.
1926 -- Graduate, Tokyo Imperial University (law).
  -- Joined Finance Ministry.
1930 -- Financial Attaché, New York.
       1934-36 -- Private secretary to Premier Okada.
  -- Director, Financial Planning Section.
  -- Chief, General Affairs Bureau, Financial Ministry.
  -- Staff, Cabinet Planning Board under Tojo and Koiso.
  -- Chief cabinet secretary, Suzuki cabinet.
1946 -- Candidate for Diet from Kagoshima.

Personal Background:

Sakomizu is the son-in-law of former Premier Okada. This important family connection gave him considerable influence despite his age.

SATO, Naotake
30 Oct 1882 -- Born, Osaka.
1904 -- Graduate, Tokyo Higher Commercial School.
  -- Entered Foreign Service.
1906 -- Attaché, Embassy in St. Petersburg.
1914 -- Consul-General, Harbin.
1921 -- Minister to Poland.
1927 -- Director, Japanese Office, League of Nations, Paris.
1930 -- Ambassador to Belgium.
1933-1937 -- Ambassador to France.
Mar-June 1937 -- Foreign Minister.
Sep-Oct 1938 -- Advisor, Foreign Office.
Aug 1943 -- Ambassador to Moscow.
8 Aug 1945 -- Received notification of Russia's declaration of war.
  -- Interned in the Embassy at Moscow.

Sato favored friendly relations with Russia, was considered liberal and an internationalist and was reported to have stated in 1942 that the war between Japan and the United States was a regrettable mistake, but "we cannot stop now."


29 Jul 1887 -- Born, Oita prefecture.
1911 -- Graduate, Tokyo Imperial University (law).
  -- Entered Foreign Service.
1911 -- Germany.
1914 -- England.
1916 -- Third Secretary, London.
1918 -- Consul in Poland.
1919 -- Germany.
1920 -- Secretary, Foreign Office.
1923-24 -- Chief, First Secretary, Treaty Bureau.
1925 -- First Secretary, China.
1927 -- Counsellor, Germany.
1929-30 -- Consul-General, Shanghai and Embassy secretary.
1931 -- Minister to China.
1933 -- Vice Foreign Minister.
1933-34 -- Chief, Research Bureau, Foreign Office.
1936 -- Ambassador to Russia.
1938 -- Ambassador to England.
1939 -- First Ambassador to Nanking Government.
1941 -- Named Foreign Minister after fall of Konoye Cabinet.
1943 -- Foreign Minister in Tojo Cabinet.
27 Jul 1944 -- Foreign Minister, Koiso Cabinet.
  -- GEA Minister.
8 Apr 1945 -- Cabinet Minister privileges granted by Emperor.
16 Aug 1945 -- Foreign Minister and GEA Ministry in Higashikuni Cabinet.
18 Sep 1945 -- Resigned his post as Foreign Minister.

SHIMADA, Shigetaro, Admiral
1883 -- Born, Tokyo.
1904 -- Graduated, Naval Academy.
1924 -- Captain, graduated from higher Naval College.
  -- Naval attaché, Rome; Navy General Staff.
1925 -- Instructor, Higher Naval College.
1927 -- Commanding officer, Seventh Sub Division.
1928 -- Navy General Staff.
1929 -- Commanding officer, CL Tana.
  -- Commanding officer BB Hiei.
30 Nov 1929 -- Rear Admiral.
1930 -- Chief of Staff, Second Fleet.
1931 -- Chief of Staff, Combined and First Fleets.
1932 -- Director, Submarine school.
  -- Chief of Staff, Third Fleet.
1933 -- Chief, Third section. Navy General Staff; Naval Training College.
1934 -- Chief, First section, Navy General Staff; Naval Training College.
15 Nov 1934 -- Vice Admiral.
1936 -- Vice Chief, Navy General Staff.
Dec 1937 -- Commander in Chief, Second Fleet.
Nov 1938 -- Commander in Chief, Kure Naval District.
1940 -- Commander in Chief, China Area Fleet.
Nov 1940 -- Admiral.
1941 -- Commander in Chief, Yokosuka Naval District.
16 Oct 1941 -- Navy Minister in Tojo cabinet.
21 Feb 1944 -- Concurrently, Chief Navy General Staff, succeeding Admiral Nomura, Naokumi.
17 Jul 1944 -- Resigned as Navy Minister, succeeded by Admiral Nomura, Naokumi.
2 Aug 1944 -- Relieved as Chief Navy General Staff by Admiral Oikawa, Koshiro.
20 Jan 1945 -- Placed on reserve list at own request.
13 Sep 1945 -- Arrested as war criminal.

SUZUKI, Kantaro, Admiral Baron
             1867 -- Born, Chiba prefecture.
1887 -- Graduated Naval Academy.
1894 -- Lieutenant, commanding officer, Torpedo Boat No. 6, during Sino-Japanese War.
1895 -- Sank two Chinese warships blockaded in Weihaiwei.
1896 -- Graduated Naval Staff College.


1898 -- Staff, Naval Affairs Bureau.
  -- Staff, Naval Training Department.
  -- Instructor at Naval Training Department.
1903 -- Sent to Germany and appointed to bring home Kasuga.
1904 -- Commanding officer, Kasuga and Fourth Destroyer Flotilla in Russo-Japanese War.
1906 -- Instructor, Higher Naval College.
1907 -- Captain, commanding officer (OCL) Akashi and Soya.
1908 -- Captain, Akashi and Soya.
  -- Director, Naval Personnel Bureau.
1911 -- Director, Torpedo School.
1913 -- Rear Admiral. Commanding officer, Maizuru Torpedo Division.
  -- Commander, Second Squadron.
  -- Chief, Navy Personnel Bureau.
1914 -- Vice-Minister of Navy in second Okuma cabinet.
1916 -- Director, Personnel Bureau.
1917 -- Vice Admiral. Commander in Chief, Training Squadron.
31 Dec 1918 -- Director, Naval Academy.
1919 -- Director, Naval Staff College.
1921 -- Commander in Chief, Second and Third Squadrons and Kure Naval Station, First Squadron.
20 Feb 1922 -- Commander in Chief, Fifth Fleet.
31 Jul 1922 -- Commander in Chief, Kure Naval District.
1922 -- Commander in Chief, Sasebo Admiralty.
1923 -- Admiral.
Jan 1924 -- Commander in Chief, Combined and First Fleets.
1 Dec 1924 -- Supreme War Council.
15 Apr 1925 -- Chief, Navy General Staff.
  -- Supreme War Council.
  -- Grand Chamberlain to Emperor.
22 Jan 1929 -- Reserve. Grand Chamberlain; Privy Council.
26 Feb 1936 -- Seriously wounded.
Nov 1936 -- Resigned as Grand Chamberlain and granted rank of baron.
Jun 1940 -- Vice President, Privy Council.
10 Aug 1944 -- President, Privy Council succeeding late Hara, Yoshimichi; succeeded as Vice President by Shimizu, Toru.
7 Apr 1945 -- Premier, upon fall of Koiso Cabinet; concurrently Foreign Minister and GEA Minister. (Later Shigenori became Foreign Minister.)
10 Apr 1945 -- Succeeded as President, Privy Council, by Baron Hiranuma, Kiichiro. Succeeded as GEA Minister by Togo, Shigenori.
14 Apr 1945 -- To the amazement of the Japanese press, Suzuki expressed profound sympathy for Americans in their loss of President Roosevelt. He said: "I must admit that Roosevelt's leadership has been very effective, and has been responsible for the Americans' advantageous position today. For that reason I can easily understand the great loss his passing means to the American people, and my profound sympathy goes to them." The Japanese press remarked that these words give evidence of Suzuki's calibre, and show that he is sincerely contributing to "achievement of Japan's war aims and the welfare of all nations."
23 Apr 1945 -- For the first time since the assumption of his premiership, Admiral Suzuki met in a conference with senior statesmen including former premiers Baron Kiichiro Hiranuma, Admiral Keisuke Okada, Prince Kanoye, Gen. Hideki Tojo, Koki Hirota, and Gen. Kuniaki Koiso. The occasion was for an exchange of views of the current situation.
9 Jun 1945 -- The Tokyo radio reported that Premier Suzuki opened an extraordinary 2-day session of the Imperial Diet to consider the "present national crisis."
11 Jun 1945 -- The Japanese radio reported that the Lower Chamber of the Japanese Diet passed the wartime emergency bill today with slight amendments, giving Admiral Baron Suzuki, Japanese


    Prime Minister, Virtual authority to rule Japan by Imperial Decree.
 29 Jul 1945 -- The Tokyo radio said that Premier Suzuki at a press conference declared that Japan would ignore the Big Three surrender ultimatum and continue unswervingly the prosecution of the war.

Personal Background:

Quiet, amiable, energetic, and clever. A good administrator, very popular with subordinates. An authority on strategy and torpedo tactics. He has had duty in England and Germany; speaks good English and a little German. Upon his retirement in 1929, he became Grand Chamberlain and member of the Privy Council. In these two posts he became advisor to the Emperor. Later in 1929 he opposed the Tanaka Cabinet's efforts to saddle the Commander in Chief of the Kwantung Army with the entire responsibility for the mysterious death of Marshal Chang Tso-lin, the Manchurian war lord. Suzuki and other advisor of the Emperor insisted that the War Minister should also share the responsibility. This issue was partly responsible for the fall of the Tanaka Cabinet. In 1930, Suzuki was also responsible for securing the ratification of the London Naval Treaty against the strong opposition of the Naval General Staff, the Supreme War Council, and high military and naval leaders generally. These acts in opposition to the more militaristic policies of the armed services earned Suzuki the hatred of the rising young officer faction. In the military uprising of 26 February 1936, he was on the assassination list, and was severely wounded by three revolver shots.

In December 1936, upon his retirement as Grand Chamberlain, he was given the title "Baron." He continued to serve on the Privy Council although he remained in virtual retirement. In June 1940, he was named Vice President of the Privy Council and in 1944 became President.

While Grand Chamberlain, Suzuki was a close friend and colleague of such elder statesmen as Viscount Makino, Nobuaki, Lord Privy Seal, and Prince Saionji, Kimmochi, Japan's most distinguished liberal leader who attempted to foster the growth of parliamentary government.

TAKAGI, Sokichi, Rear Admiral
1893 -- Born, Kumamoto, Kyushu.
1915 -- Graduate, Naval Academy.
1928 -- Went to France to study.
1930 -- Assistant Adjutant and Chief Secretary to the Navy Minister.
1933 -- Instructor in Naval War College
  -- Commander.
1936 -- Member, Naval General Affairs Bureau, and research staff of same.
1937 -- Chief of research section, Naval General Affairs Bureau.
  -- Captain.
1939 -- Instructor of Naval Administration at the Naval War College.
1940 -- Once more Chief of research section of the Naval General Affairs Bureau; attached to the Ministerial Secretariat.
Jun 1942 -- Chief of Staff, Maizuru Naval Station.
1943 -- Attached to Naval General Headquarters.
  -- Rear admiral.
Mar 1944 -- Chief, Education Bureau, Navy Ministry.
Sep 1944 -- Again attached to Navy General Headquarters.
15 Sep 1945 -- Retired.

TOGO, Shigenori
      Dec 1882 -- Born, Kagoshima prefecture.
1908 -- Graduate, Tokyo Imperial University.
1912 -- Entered Foreign Service.
1913 -- Served at Hankow, Mukden.
1916 -- Switzerland.
1918 -- Second Legation Secretary.
1919 -- Germany.
1920 -- Second Embassy Secretary
1921-23 -- First Secretary, European and American Bureau, Foreign Office.
1925 -- First Secretary, Embassy in Washington, D.C.
1929 -- Councillor, Embassy in Berlin.


      Dec 1933 -- Director, European and American Bureau.
1934 -- Director, European and Asia Bureau.
1937 -- Ambassador to Germany.
1938-40 -- Ambassador to Russia.
Apr-Aug 1945 -- Foreign Minister and GEA Minister, Suzuki cabinet.

TOJO, Hideki, General
1884 -- Born, Tokyo.
1915 -- Graduate, Military Staff College.
1919 -- Aide-de-camp, War Office.
1922 -- Instructor, Military Staff College
1934-35 -- Chief, Mobilization Section.
  -- Commanding Officer, First Infantry Regiment.
  -- Commanding Officer, Twenty-fourth Infantry Regiment.
1937 -- Chief, Police Affairs, Kwantung Bureau
  -- Chief of Staff, Kwantung Army.
May-Dec 1938 -- War Vice Minister.
Dec 1938 -- Director-General, Military Aviation.
Sep 1941 -- Relieved Shigenori Togo as Foreign Minister until appointment of Masayuki Tani.
18 Oct 1941 -- Appointed Premier, War Minister and Home Minister.
20 Apr 1943 -- Relieved Kunihiko Hashida as Minister of Education until Viscount Okabe was appointed 23 Apr.
8 Oct 1943 -- Took over post of Commerce and Industry Minister.
21 Feb 1944 -- Chief of Army General Staff.
18 Jul 1944 -- Relieved as above by General Yoshijiro Umezu.
  -- Resigned with entire Cabinet. Also resigned as president of IRAA.
11 Sep 1945 -- Attempted suicide.
9 Nov 1945 -- Held at Omori Prison Camp awaiting trial as war criminal.
29 Dec 1945 -- Entered Sugamo Prison.

Tojo typifies the Kwantung Army and the Manchuria "continentalists." He has been backed by Gen. Juzo Nishio and Gen. Gen Sugiyama and has enjoyed considerable support form the more extremist patriotic societies.

TOYODA, Soemu, Admiral
1885 -- Born, Tokyo.
1905 -- Graduated Naval Academy.
1917 -- Lieutenant commander, Graduated Higher Naval College.
  -- Naval attaché to Great Britain.
  -- Naval attaché Germany.
1921 -- Commander, executive officer of CL Kuma.
1923 -- Military Affairs Bureau, Naval Training College.
1925 -- Captain, Naval General Staff; instructor, Higher Naval College.
1926 -- Commanding officer, CL Yura.
1927 -- Commanding officer of Seventh Sub Division.
1928 -- Chief of first section, Training Bureau; Staff of Special Inspector, appointed by the Emperor.
1930 -- Commanding officer, BB Hyuga.
1 Dec 1931 -- Rear admiral.
1932 -- Staff of Special Inspector appointed by the Emperor.
1933 -- Chief of Staff, Combined and First Fleets.
1934 -- Director, Training Bureau.
1935 -- Director, Military Affairs Bureau.
15 Nov 1935 -- Vice Admiral.
1937 -- Commander in Chief, North China Fleet, Fourth Fleet.
1938 -- Commander in Chief, Second Fleet.
1939 -- Director, Naval Technical Department.
1 Jan 1940 -- Board of Admirals; War Plans Reviewing Dept, Imperial Headquarters.
18 Sep 1941 -- Admiral, Commander in Chief, Kure Naval District.
10 Nov 1942 -- Supreme War COuncil. Relieved as Commander in Chief, Kure, by Vice Admiral Takahashi, Ibo.


21 May 1943 -- Commander in Chief, Yokosuka Naval District; Board of Admirals.
5 May 1944 -- Commander in Chief, Combined Fleet, succeeding Admiral Koga, Mineichi, who had been killed in action.
1 May 1945 -- Concurrently, Commander in Chief, Over-all Naval Command; Commander in Chief, Grand Surface Escort, succeeding Admiral Nomura, Naokumi.
29 May 1945 -- Chief, Naval General Staff, succeeding Admiral Oikawa, Kosiro.
8 Oct 1945 -- Requested by Baron Shidehara to serve as Navy Minister; Toyoda withheld consent pending sounding out of Allied opinion.
2 Dec 1945 -- Ordered arrested as a war criminal.

Personal Background:

Able and forceful, extremely nationalistic and anti-foreign. He is noted for his work as Commander in Chief of Tsingtao landing, and as leader of Kwangcho-wan landing, 1937-38.

UMEZU, Yoshijiro, General
Jan 1882 -- Born, Tokyo.
18 Mar 1904 -- Graduate, Military Academy.
1904-1905 -- Russo-Japanese War.
  -- Studied in Germany.
  -- Military attaché, Denmark.
Aug 1930 -- Major general.
1930 -- Commanding general, First Infantry Brigade, First Division, Tokyo.
Aug 1931 -- Chief, General Affairs Department, General Staff Headquarters.
  -- Instructor, Military Staff College.
1934 -- Commanding general, North China Garrison; author of Umezu-Ho Yingchin agreement.
1935 -- Commanding general, Second Division.
1936 -- Vice-Minister of War in Hayashi and Terauchi war cabinets.
1938 -- Commanding general, First Army North China.
Aug 1939 -- Commanding general, Kwantung Army, Governor, Kwantung leased territory, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Manchukuo Government,
1 Aug 1940 -- General.
18 Jul 1944 -- Chief of General Staff Headquarters.
1944 -- Succeeded General Tojo as Chief of General Staff Headquarters.
1945 -- Supreme War Councillor.
  -- Honorary Advisor, Concordia Society, Manchuria.
2 Sep 1945 -- Signed surrender on board the U.S.S. Missouri on behalf of the armed forces. Later attended rites reporting the end of the war to the Imperial ancestors.
15 Oct 1945 -- Relieved of position as Chief of the General Staff.

Alleged to be a member of the Black Dragon Society.

Like Tojo, Umezu is a typical product of the Kwantung Army.

YONAI, Mitsumasa, Admiral
1880 -- Born, Iwate prefecture.
1901 -- Graduated, Naval Academy.
1913 -- Graduated, Higher Naval College.
1916 -- Commander. Attached to Embassy in Russia for study.
1917 -- Sasebo Naval District.
1918 -- Navy General Staff.
1923 -- Commanding officer, OBB Kasuga; commanding officer, BB Iwate.
1923 -- Commanding officer, BB Mutsu.
  1 Dec 1925 -- Rear admiral.
1926 -- Chief of Staff, Second Fleet.
1927 -- Navy General Staff.
1928 -- Commander in Chief, First Expeditionary Fleet (Yangtze River).
1 Dec 1930 -- Vice admiral. Commander in Chief, Chinkai Guard District.
1932 -- Commander in Chief, Third Fleet.
1933 -- Commander in Chief, Sasebo Naval District.
1934 -- Commander in Chief, Second Fleet.


1 Dec 1935 -- Commander in Chief, Yokosuka Naval District.
1936 -- Commander in Chief, Combined and First Fleets; Naval Training College.
2 Feb 1937 -- Navy Minister (In Hayashi, Konoye, and Hiranuma cabinets, until 30 Aug 1939.)
1 Apr 1937 -- Admiral.
30 Aug 1939 -- Supreme War Councilor (with status as Cabinet Minister.)
14 Jan 1940 -- Premier. Imperial councilor.
20 Jul 1944 -- Named, with General Koiso, Kuniaki, to form new Cabinet on fall of Tojo.
22 Jul 1944 -- Vice Premier, and concurrently Navy Minister, in the New Koiso cabinet. Restored to active service for tenure of office as Navy Minister.
7 Apr 1945 -- Navy Minister in new Suzuki cabinet.
29 Apr 1945 -- Adviser to Sensai Engo Kai (War Relief Association).


YONAI is believed to have been responsible for making Hayashi dissolve the Cabinet on 31 May 1937. Grew [U.S. Ambassador to Japan], in Ten Years in Japan, tells how Yonai assured Dooman on 19 April 1`939 that Japan would not join the Axis and would cooperate with the Allies. Fleisher, in Volatile Isle, states that a reactionary plot attempted to assassinate Yonai and Imperial Household Minister Tsuneo Matsudaira, but was foiled by police with the arrest of 38 members of the troops. Reactionaries considered Yonai anti-Axis and against the New Structure. Col. Kingoro Hashimoto was believed to have been one leader behind the plot, but police failed to arrest him. Yonai's cabinet fell when War Minister Hata presented Army demands for strengthening the Nation internally and reorienting foreign policy. Yonai refused and Hata resigned as War Minister. The Army would not name a successor and the Yonai cabinet fell.


Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation