August 18, 1945
New York Times.
The situation confronting us at present is indeed regrettable to us who devoted our efforts to prosecuting the Greater East Asia war. Through the granting of His Majesty's gracious decision, however, our national policy, which is the foundation of our nation, is safe. Thinking of this, I am moved to tears of gratitude.
Today, when the imperial decision had been granted, the way has become clear. There is need for renewed efforts, without any misconception of loyalty and treason, for the future construction of a new Japan. It goes without saying that it is necessary to change speedily our way of thinking. The price that must be paid for this defeat in battle is very high, but as the consequence of such an all-out war, that cannot be helped.
We cannot, however, build a future Japan if we are overoptimistic now. We must have the courage to face the present severe situation. Have we Japanese not been over-optimistic in the past in our foreign policy? Can we say there have never been any errors in the prosecution of the war caused by over-optimistic thinking? If we are lax at this time when we are face to face with defeat, it will be impossible to pave our way to a better future.
There is need to investigate thoroughly the conditions of the Potsdam Declaration and to understand the terms.
With regard to the high price of the war, I would like to discuss whether or not it was worth the price. I shall not go into details but will consider it only from the diplomatic standpoint. This war has proved that Japan, on the basis of maintaining friendly relations with the nations of the world, can rebuild herself by peaceful, though strenuous, efforts. Racial spirit, respecting each other's position based on friendship among the Greater East Asia nations, has been established. These have been the great results of the war.
From the establishment of such a spirit and faith in the spirit are born the great efforts to plunge into the future.
From what then, does the reconstruction for the future begin? The first thing is to face the present crisis and launch forth with courage on the path of moral principles. To carry out the terms of the Potsdam Declaration manfully and with good grace, is, I believe, the first step toward building the future.
We cannot say that there have been no examples in our history wherein the way for the nation's future was opened by surmounting troubles both at home and abroad. This is not an identical example, but at the time of the Meiji Restoration, when reverence of the Emperor and expulsion of the barbarians was debated, an imperial decision was granted, whereby through the policy of a foreign nation, Japan's future was laid open in a day.
Reflecting how in the Meiji Restoration, the people united together under His Imperial Majesty to face the troubles both within and without and made way for Japan's future by cooperating with foreigners, there is no need to harbor gloomy thoughts over the present situation. If we carry on with perseverance and with clear understanding, Japan's future is sure to brighten.