The Emperor’s Speech

Emperor Hirohito taping his speech

 

“To our good and loyal citizens,

After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining in our Empire today, we have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure.

We have ordered our Government to communicate to the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, China, and the Soviet Union that our Empire accepts the provisions of their joint declaration.

To strive for the common prosperity and happiness of all nations as well as the security and well- being of our subjects is the solemn obligation that has been handed down by our Imperial Ancestors, and we lay it close to the heart.

Indeed, we declared war on America and Britain out of our sincere desire to ensure Japan’s self-preservation and the stabilization of East Asia, it being far from our thought either to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations or to embark upon territorial aggrandizement.

The Emperor’s bunker

But now the war has lasted for nearly four years. Despite the best that has been done by everyone– the gallant fighting of the military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of our servants of the state and the devoted service of our 100 million people–the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest.

Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, it would not only result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.

Such being the case, how are we to save the millions of our subjects, or to atone ourselves before the hallowed spirits of our Imperial Ancestors? This is the reason why we have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the joint declaration of the powers.

We cannot but express the deepest sense of regret to our allied nations of East Asia, who have consistently cooperated with the Empire toward the emancipation of East Asia.

The thought of those officers and men as well as others who have fallen in the fields of battle, those who died at their posts of duty, and those who met with death and all their bereaved families, pains our heart night and day.

The welfare of the wounded and the war sufferers, and of those who have lost their homes and livelihood is the object of our profound solicitude. The hardships and suffering to which our nation is to be subjected hereafter will be certainly great.

We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of all you, our subjects. However, it is according to the dictates of time and fate that we have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable. Having been able to save and maintain the structure of the Imperial State, we are always with you, our good and loyal subjects, relying upon your sincerity and integrity.

The Emperor’s speech

Beware most strictly of any outbursts of emotion that may engender needless complications, and of any fraternal contention and strife that may create confusion, lead you astray and cause you to lose the confidence of the world.

Let the entire nation continue as one family from generation to generation, ever firm in its faith in the imperishable of its divine land, and mindful of its heavy burden of responsibilities, and the long road before it. Unite your total strength to be devoted to the construction for the future. Cultivate the ways of rectitude, nobility of spirit, and work with resolution so that you may enhance the innate glory of the Imperial State and keep pace with the progress of the world.

All you, our subjects, we command you to act in accordance with our wishes.”

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Military Humor – 

On Guam, this airman wasted no time in creating this enterprise.

One of Murphy’s Laws

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes –

flag image curtesy of Dan Antion

Leo J. Barlosky – Carbon County, PA; US Army, WWII, PTO, Cpl. # 6897692, 7th Chemical Co., KWC (Luzon, P.I.)

Julius C. Brooks – SC; US Army, WWII, ETO, Pvt. # 5751632, I Co./39/9th Infantry Division, radioman, KIA (Troina, ITA)

William F. Corbett – Selma, NC; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Sgt., B-29 gunner

Victor Hernandez – Fresno, CA; US Army, WWII, PTO, 129th Infantry Regiment

Leonard Leniewski – Milwaukee, WI;US Army, WWII, Signal Corps

Irene (Crimmins) Marsh – Yonkers, NY; US Army WAC, WWII, LT. / US Air Force, Korea

James McManaway – Roanoke, VA; USMC, Vietnam, Colonel (Ret. 30 y.)

Sue Pflepsen (100) – Amsterdam, NY; US Navy WAVE, WWII, PTO, Ensign, nurse

Cecil G. Richardson – San Angelo, TX; US Navy, WWII  /  US Air Force, Korea

Frederick R. Schrader – CA; US Navy, WWII, PTO/CBI, Lt. Comdr. # 0074896,Hellcat pilot, Carrier Group 11 on the USS Hornet, Distinguished Flying Cross, KIA (Formosa)

James R. Tash – MO; US Army, WWII, PTO, Pvt. # 17016200, F Co/2/31st Infantry Reg., Bronze Star, POW, KWC (Cabanatuan Camp, Luzon)

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About GP

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GP is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on October 17, 2022, in First-hand Accounts, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 173 Comments.

  1. I had not read the speech before. Thank you, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is my first reading of the whole message. Interesting that the emperor kept using the word “we”. I wonder if the people know who he was referring to.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing his speech. I could walk in the man’s shoes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, GP, for an important piece of history I had not read before. I’ve duly bookmarked it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you a lot for this story of history

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I know the Japanese treated people in Korea horribly. They thought their emperor was a god or like a god. I think a lot of Asian countries were happy they surrendered. I doubt they would surrendered without the bomb being used.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Being as the Prince had been trying for peace for years, I’m not certain how long it would have taken to end the war without the bomb. It did appear to save quite a few Allied lives though.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is impressive. With some, it is difficult to decipher if one has spoken using a great mind, a heart of depth, or the two combined.

    Like

  8. I always love your articles. It is a blessing you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Americaoncoffee

    Still I wonder why the atomic bomb was not dropped on Germany… 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

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