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One Thousand Letters That Saved The Emperor

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Chapter Summary

The survival of Hirohito and of the imperial system was not simply fortuitous. A series of wars and revolutions had swept numerous monarchies from the face of the earth, and shortly after the Second World War it seemed as if the old joke that 'soon the only kings that will be left are the King of England and the King of Spades' would become a reality. In the recently declassified papers of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East in the National Archives in Washington, there is a file labelled 'Emperor Hirohito'. The United States government had sternly cautioned General MacArthur against any independent action on his part with regard to the issue of the emperor or the imperial system. It was MacArthur and the influence exerted upon him by the anonymous masses of the Japanese people that reversed this trend in the direction of an abdication.

Keywords: General MacArthur; Hirohito; imperial system; International Military Tribunal; Second World War; United States

10.1163/ej.9781905246359.i-272.58
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