miguelito21 wrote: oralloy wrote:
Japan was not being asked to surrender unconditionally
Walter already quoted point 13 of the Potsdam Declaration:
"We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces"
6. There must be eliminated for all time the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest, for we insist that a new order of peace, security and justice will be impossible until irresponsible militarism is driven from the world.
7. Until such a new order is established and until there is convincing proof that Japan's war-making power is destroyed, points in Japanese territory to be designated by the Allies shall be occupied to secure the achievement of the basic objectives we are here setting forth.
10. [...] The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people.
The Potsdam Declaration makes no mention of the Emperor, but anyone greatly concerned with the survival of the imperial institution could
easily see the terms of this declaration as a great threat to it.
The fact remains: It was a list of generous surrender terms.
Unconditional surrender is when someone surrenders without
Quoting more from the Zuberi article:
On August 9 the Japanese War Council was discussing the terms of surrender they should pursue when it received the news of the Nagasaki bombing, which didn't change the situation much. At the end of the meeting: "Nine voted for acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration with a proviso regarding kokutai,
That was the faction that was willing to surrender so long as we guaranteed Hirohito's unlimited dictatorial power.
four wanted the three additional conditions to be fulfilled, and three were undecided"
Note: the three additional conditions were: (a) voluntary withdrawal of Japanese forces overseas under their own commanders; (b) no Allied occupation of Japan; and (c) those responsible for the war to be tried by the Japanese themselves.
That was the faction that wanted to end the war in a draw. They were dominant until the Emperor overruled them in favor of the other faction.
After meeting with the Emperor, on August 10, "Togo proposed acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration "with the understanding that it did not comprise any demand which prejudices the prerogatives of His Majesty as a Sovereign Ruler."
Hirohito's "prerogatives as a sovereign ruler" included unlimited dictatorial power unconstrained by any law.
The American response:
"Stimson and Leahy said the emperor's help would be needed in obtaining surrender of scattered Japanese troops. It was of vital importance for Stimson to get Japan under American control "before the Russians could put in any substantial claim to occupy and help rule it." Byrnes, however, still feared a backlash. The demand for unconditional surrender was made before the two bombs were dropped and before the Soviet Union was a belligerent. "If any conditions are to be accepted", he insisted, "I want the United States and not Japan to state the conditions."
That has things a bit out of order. The US did indeed state the conditions. But we did that weeks before the bombs, with the Potsdam Proclamation.
Stalin's armies were racing across Manchuria; there was no time to lose. Truman asked Byrnes to draft a reply to the Japanese surrender offer. The carefully drafted reply contained the sentence: "From the moment of surrender the authority of the Emperor and the Japanese Government to rule the state shall be subject to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers who will take such steps as he deems proper to effectuate the surrender terms." This assurance implied the retention of the emperor."
It also told them that the Emperor was going to be subordinate to MacArthur.
miguelito21 wrote: oralloy wrote:
Nonsense. The condition that Japan asked for was rejected. And there was no ambiguity whatsoever.
Japan asked us to guarantee that Hirohito would retain unlimited dictatorial power as Japan's living deity. And we replied that Hirohito would be subordinate to MacArthur.
I disagree. As I said, the Potsdam Declaration could
be seen as a great threat to the existence of the emperor. Now at least he is explicitly mentioned, and stating that his authority will be "subject to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers" logically implies that it will continue to exist - subordinate as it may be.
That doesn't change the fact that "our statement that Hirohito would be subordinate to MacArthur" was a direct rejection of "Japan's request that Hirohito retain unlimited dictatorial power".
His prerogatives may be affected, depending on the outcome of the surrender and the peace talks,
May??? His unlimited dictatorial power was outright abolished.
but it's not as if it would be the first time Japan had a sacred ruling emperor with limited effective power.
True, but Japan was still asking that Hirohito retain unlimited power with no constraints. And we still told them no.
At least he remains, and Japan could save face, which the emperor apparently managed to do.
But without the unlimited dictatorial power that Japan wished to have preserved.
miguelito21 wrote: oralloy wrote:
Not very likely. Japan was dead set on trying to end the war in a draw with the aid of the Soviets.
What do you mean by "in a draw" ?
Picture the way the Korean War later ended.
Specifically I am referring to the "three additional conditions" you quoted above.
It would have allowed Japan to simply call off the war, pack up, and go home.
They were actively seeking Soviet intercession to manage better surrender terms for themselves.
Terms that don't require you to actually lose the war are certainly better.
But it would be a stretch to call that surrender.
"Kido was the central figure in the group of Japanese leaders seeking negotiated peace. Foreign Minister Togo was pressing Ambassador Naotake Sato in Moscow to request the Soviet government to use its good offices to obtain modification of the Allied terms of surrender.
Sato's primary job in this scheme was to secure permission for Prince Konoye to come and talk to the Soviet government. Sato wasn't delivering proposals himself.
All that was needed was an assurance regarding the retention of the emperor.
If that is the case, why did Togo wire Sato that "surrender with the sole condition of a guarantee for the Emperor" was just another form of unconditional surrender?
Remember, the faction that wanted to end the war in a draw (those three additional conditions) held sway over Japan's government at this time. The "one condition" faction did not become dominant until Hirohito directly expressed his preference for them.
It was proposed that Prince Konoye be sent as an envoy to Mosocw. The Togo-Sato messages were quickly decoded because the US navy cryptographers had broken the Japanese codes."
Yes. Mr. Grew (the same guy who is often cited for his request that the Potsdam Proclamation include a sort of a promise regarding the Emperor) assessed that Japan was likely just trying to get out of the war without surrendering.
He was right.
From History professor Dennis Wainstock's The Decision to Drpo the Atomic Bomb (1996):
Conclusion (to the introduction)
"By the end of July 1945, if not before, Japan was militarily defeated. Fire raids had ravaged its major cities; its best troops were killed or missing in East Asia and the South Pacific, and many were still fighting in China. Twenty-two million Japanese were homeless, and the US naval and air blockade had cut off imports of fuel, food and raw materials from Japan's conquests in China, Korea, and Manchuria. US submarines roamed Japanese waters sinking tankers and freighters that tried to run the blockade. Japan's Navy had ceased to exist, and Air Force was severely diminished. US battleships and cruisers were shelling port installations and military compounds within gun range of the Japanese shores. At the same time, carrier-based fighters and bombers flew with near-impunity over the islands, bombing targets of opportunity - railway tracks and trains, motorized troop convoys, factories and air fields.
A fair assessment.
Despite all that, Japan at the time refused to surrender.
After April 1945, Japan's leaders sought a diplomatic solution to end the war.
Ouch! That was written by a history professor?
It was only in July that Japanese leaders started trying to end the war in a draw. The key motivation for the change in policy seems to have been the ease with which we overran Okinawa (which Japan had believed impregnable).
So I don't understand how ending the war in this situation could be considered ending it "on a draw".
Well look at those three additional terms.
There would be no occupation of Japan.
Instead of surrendering and being disarmed, Japanese soldiers would simply pack up and return home.
Japan would be in charge of all trials for Japanese war criminals.
The three terms (especially when combined with Hirohito retaining unlimited dictatorial power) amount to just calling off the war without Japan being defeated.