August 17, 1945
New York Times.
Yesterday [Thursday] I received an imperial mandate to form a new Cabinet, and I immediately set forth to carry out the imperial command.
Today I submitted a roster of the Cabinet to His Majesty. Upon approval of His Majesty, the investiture was held. Thus have I undertaken the duty to solve the present difficulties as the head of the new Cabinet. At this time I wish to say a few words so that we may muster together great courage to overcome all hardships
Yesterday, when His Imperial Majesty issued the imperial mandate, His Majesty voiced his wish saying, "have special respect for the Constitution, regard the imperial rescript of 1908 as the basic principle, strive to control the armed forces and maintain order, and give efforts to cope with the crisis," it was indeed most awe-inspiring.
My sole aim in the policies on the formation of the Cabinet and on future administration has been to conform to His Imperial Majesty's wishes.
In retrospect, we see that the Greater East Asia war was ended by an extraordinary measure in accordance with the world situation and our immediate state of affairs. There are no words with which to apologize to His Imperial Majesty that things came to such a head. At the same time, however, there has never been a time when we have appreciated our national polity as much as now. We are so deeply moved we are unable to stop our tears.
But once the imperial decision has been granted, the subjects all must forget self to comply with His Imperial Majesty's wishes. This is the essence of our national polity.
Looking back, we see that ever since the war situation became disadvantageous the cry for the protection of our national polity became particularly loud. The people must bear in mind that to manifest the true state of our national polity is the first and last step in protecting our national polity.
His Imperial Majesty admonished the people, stating that he understood just how the people felt, but to guard against emotional outbursts and individual decisions. I convey these words to you of the military, Government officials and the people in all seriousness.
It goes without saying that no action or words in violation of His Imperial Majesty's instructions is to be permitted any one of his subjects. I faithfully believe that there is no one who will deviate from His Majesty's instructions, however little.
When we the people obey the wishes of His Imperial Majesty, expressed in his rescript, and when we forge ahead toward the surmounting of the crisis with sturdy steps, the entire world will cast eyes of admiration at the greatness of our national polity.
The true value of our national polity will be manifested more and more during this time of great difficulties. In obedience to His Majesty's instructions, I would like to make it the fundamental policy of administration to comply with the Imperial will, thus aiming to surmount this unprecedentedly difficult situation.
Every word, every phrase of His Majesty's rescript is truly august. I have been giving my efforts, small as they were, in compliance with His Majesty's wishes of sharing the co-prosperity of the world, and hereafter I am determined to give my greatest efforts to this end.
Particularly at this time, by bringing to a close the regrettable relations of the past with China, which brought words of anxiety from His Imperial Majesty, and by marching together, hand in hand, we would like to tread the path of constructing a new social order, removing inveterate evils.
Hence, when we give our efforts in recognizing the mutual situations, I believe that there will not be any need of repeating the unhappy struggle. Then the great sacrifices of both sides in the eight years of the China incident will be atoned for with more to spare. This I believe will be the result of complying well with His Imperial Majesty's wishes.
This will not be limited to just Japanese-Chinese relations, but will affect our proclamation which stressed the liberation of East Asia. In the future we must encourage each other in the development of East Asia. Thus I hope we will be able to contribute to the world peace.
Next in the Imperial rescript there is an instruction calling upon us to unite our "total strength to be devoted to the construction for the future." In the construction for the future we must concentrate all our knowledge, and even though materially our nation has become smaller than before the war we would like to develop and cultivate our culture to the highest degree.
In order to carry this out it will be necessary that a positive, vigorous will toward reconstruction surge up from among our countrymen. As reason depends greatly on active debate and imparted public opinion, I am desirous of encouraging energetic and open discussion and recognizing the freedom of wholesome association.
Needless to say, the immediate and most important task before the Government at present is to carry out negotiations relative to the execution of the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration.
As His Imperial Majesty has stated in the imperial rescript, we are faced with the grave problems concerning the nation's welfare, especially regarding foodstuff, clothing and housing. It is the determination of the Government to provide every means possible to meet these problems. I hope unceasingly that everyone of our people will concern himself about caring for and helping one another, and also give utmost efforts to lighten future burdens.
At the same time, I express my heartfelt appreciation to those who, for the sole purpose of preserving the honor of our nation, held their own lives as nothing and in the fifteen years since the outbreak of the Manchurian incident gave their lives to become the spirits which guard our empire. I also believe that there must be something which will fully compensate the families of these dead as well as those who have served and worked with true loyalty on the home and fighting fronts.
There is no doubt that the carrying out of the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration entails anguish and suffering to our people. There also is no doubt that the shortage of commodities for daily living will prove distressing.
However, His Imperial Majesty personally has stated firmly that we must suffer the insufferable and endure the unendurable. Real future progress together with contribution to world culture, will be fostered in this life of stoicism.
We must not forget that the greater the suffering, the finer and better the new Japan will be.
The upholding of our national polity also is further strengthened through the maintenance of friendly relations with other foreign nations.
Whether the future of Japan will be in enemy hands depends on whether our countrymen will endure that which is difficult to endure. This we must impress upon our mind.
I am relying heavily on every one of our citizens to endure the innumerable difficulties in order that the tradition of the Yamato race, which will surely rise, can be preserved and the wishes of His Imperial Majesty will be fulfilled.