National Spiritual Mobilization Movement
The National Spiritual Mobilization Movement was an organization established in the Empire of Japan as part of the controls on civilian organizations under the National Mobilization Law by Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe. Representatives from 74 nationalist organizations were assembled at the Prime Minister's residence in October 1937, were told that their organizations were now part of the "Central League of the Spiritual Mobilization Movement," headed by Admiral Ryokitsu Arima and under the joint supervision of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Education; the purpose of the Movement would be to rally the nation for a total war effort against China in the Second Sino-Japanese War. Konoe ordered another 19 nationalist organizations to join the League; this movement and other policies were part of "New Order", promulgated on 3 November 1938, a holiday marking emperor Meiji's birthday. Apart from public calls for increased patriotism, the National Spiritual Mobilization Movement spanned some concrete programs like Boosting Production service to the Nation, Increasing Crops Service to the Nation and Student Volunteers Corps Service to the Nation.
It was moreover part of a general move made by the Shōwa regime to control the information which had begun in 1936 with the establishment of the Cabinet Information Committee which launched two official magazines: the Shūhō in November 1936 and the Shashin Shūhō. The purpose of these was "to ensure that the content and purport of the policies inaugurated by the Government are disseminated to the general citizenry and understood by them". Konoe's successor, Prime Minister Kiichiro Hiranuma, turned the movement over to General Sadao Araki in January 1939, who revitalized it by having it sponsor public rallies, radio programs, printed propaganda and discussion seminars at tonarigumi neighborhood associations. Famous public figures were recruited to provide lectures on the virtues of thrift and hard work, to disseminate a sense of national pride in the Japanese kokutai; the League was abolished on 20 December 1945 by the American occupation authorities after the surrender of Japan. League of Diet Members Believing the Objectives of the Holy War Imperial Rule Assistance Association SourcesBuckley, Sandra.
Encyclopedia of Contemporary Japanese Culture. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-14344-6. Duus, Peter; the Cambridge History of Japan. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-22357-1
Flag of Japan
The national flag of Japan is a rectangular white banner bearing a crimson-red disc at its center. This flag is called Nisshōki, but is more known in Japan as Hinomaru, it embodies the country's sobriquet: Land of the Rising Sun. The Nisshōki flag is designated as the national flag in the Law Regarding the National Flag and National Anthem, promulgated and became effective on August 13, 1999. Although no earlier legislation had specified a national flag, the sun-disc flag had become the de facto national flag of Japan. Two proclamations issued in 1870 by the Daijō-kan, the governmental body of the early Meiji period, each had a provision for a design of the national flag. A sun-disc flag was adopted as the national flag for merchant ships under Proclamation No. 57 of Meiji 3, as the national flag used by the Navy under Proclamation No. 651 of Meiji 3. Use of the Hinomaru was restricted during the early years of the Allied occupation of Japan after World War II; the sun plays an important role in Japanese mythology and religion as the Emperor is said to be the direct descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu and the legitimacy of the ruling house rested on this divine appointment and descent from the chief deity of the predominant Shinto religion.
The name of the country as well as the design of the flag reflect this central importance of the sun. The ancient history Shoku Nihongi says that Emperor Monmu used a flag representing the sun in his court in 701, this is the first recorded use of a sun-motif flag in Japan; the oldest existing flag is preserved in Unpō-ji temple, Kōshū, older than the 16th century, an ancient legend says that the flag was given to the temple by Emperor Go-Reizei in the 11th century. During the Meiji Restoration, both the sun disc and the Rising Sun Ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy became major symbols in the emerging Japanese Empire. Propaganda posters and films depicted the flag as a source of pride and patriotism. In Japanese homes, citizens were required to display the flag during national holidays and other occasions as decreed by the government. Different tokens of devotion to Japan and its Emperor featuring the Hinomaru motif became popular during the Second Sino-Japanese War and other conflicts; these tokens ranged from slogans written on the flag to clothing items and dishes that resembled the flag.
Public perception of the national flag varies. Both Western and Japanese sources claimed the flag was a powerful and enduring symbol to the Japanese. Since the end of World War II, the use of the flag and the national anthem Kimigayo has been a contentious issue for Japan's public schools. Disputes about their use have led to lawsuits; the flag is not displayed in Japan due to its association with ultranationalism. To some Okinawans, the flag represents the events of World War II and the subsequent U. S. military presence there. For some nations that have been occupied by Japan, the flag is a symbol of aggression and imperialism; the Hinomaru was used as a tool against occupied nations for purposes of intimidation, asserting Japan's dominance, or subjugation. Several military banners of Japan are based including the sunrayed naval ensign; the Hinomaru serves as a template for other Japanese flags in public and private use. The exact origin of the Hinomaru is unknown, but the rising sun seems to have had some symbolic meaning since the early 7th century.
In 607, an official correspondence that began with "from the Emperor of the rising sun" was sent to Chinese Emperor Yang of Sui. Japan is referred to as "the land of the rising sun". In the 12th-century work, The Tale of the Heike, it was written that different samurai carried drawings of the sun on their fans. One legend related to the national flag is attributed to the Buddhist priest Nichiren. During a 13th-century Mongolian invasion of Japan, Nichiren gave a sun banner to the shōgun to carry into battle; the sun is closely related to the Imperial family, as legend states the imperial throne was descended from the sun goddess Amaterasu. One of Japan's oldest flags is housed at the Unpo-ji temple in Yamanashi Prefecture. Legend states it was given by Emperor Go-Reizei to Minamoto no Yoshimitsu and has been treated as a family treasure by the Takeda clan for the past 1,000 years, at least it is older than 16th century; the earliest recorded flags in Japan date from the unification period in the late 16th century.
The flags belonged to each daimyō and were used in battle. Most of the flags were long banners charged with the mon of the daimyō lord. Members of the same family, such as a son and brother, had different flags to carry into battle; the flags served as identification, were displayed by soldiers on their backs and horses. Generals had their own flags, most of which differed from soldiers' flags due to their square shape. In 1854, during the Tokugawa shogunate, Japanese ships were ordered to hoist the Hinomaru to distinguish themselves from foreign ships. Before different types of Hinomaru flags were used on vessels that were trading with the U. S. and Russia. The Hinomaru was decreed the merchant flag of Japan in 1870 and was the legal national flag from 1870 to 1885, making it the first national flag Japan adopted. While the idea of national symbols was strange to the Japanese, the Meiji Government needed them to communicate with the outside world; this became important after the landin
Agriculture in the Empire of Japan
Agriculture in the Empire of Japan was an important component of the pre-war Japanese economy. Although Japan had only 16% of its land area under cultivation before the Pacific War, over 45% of households made a living from farming. Japanese cultivated land was dedicated to rice, which accounted for 15% of world rice production in 1937. After the end of the Tokugawa shogunate with the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Japanese agriculture was dominated by a tenant farming system; the Meiji government based its industrialization program on tax revenues from private land ownership, the Land Tax Reform of 1873 increased the process of landlordism, with many farmers having their land confiscated due to inability to pay the new taxes. This situation was worsened by the deflationary Matsukata Fiscal Policy of 1881-1885, which depressed rice prices, leading to further bankruptcies, to large scale rural uprisings against the government. By the end of the Meiji period, over 67% of all peasant families were driven into tenancy, farm productivity stagnated.
As tenants were forced to pay over half their crop as rent, they were forced to send wives and daughters to textile mills or to sell daughters into prostitution to pay for taxes. In the early Meiji period, landowners collected a high rate of rent in kind, rather than cash and played a major role in the development of agriculture, since the tenant farmers found it difficult to obtain capital. With the development of cash crops to supplement the mainstay of rice, the growth of capitalism in general from the turn of the twentieth century onwards, agricultural cooperatives and the government took over the role by providing farm subsidies and education in new agricultural techniques; the first agricultural cooperatives were established in 1900, after their creation was debated in the Diet of Japan by Shinagawa Yajirō and Hirata Tosuke as a means of modernizing Japanese agriculture and adapting it to a cash economy. These cooperatives served in rural areas as credit unions, purchasing cooperatives and assisted in the marketing and sales of farm products.
The Imperial Agricultural Association was a central organization for agricultural cooperatives in the Empire of Japan. It was established in 1910, provided assistance to individual cooperatives through transmission of agricultural research and facilitating the sales of farm products; the Imperial Agricultural Association was at the peak of a three tier structure of national-prefectural-local system of agricultural cooperatives. This organization was of vital importance after nationwide markets were consolidated under government control in the aftermath of the Rice Riots of 1918 and increasing economic crisis from the late 1920s. Increasing tenant farmer disputes and issues with landlordism led to increasing government regulation. After the Rice Riots of 1918, many peasants came under the influence of the urban labor movement with socialist, communist and/or agrarian ideas, which created a serious political issues. Not only were the Imperial Family of Japan and the zaibatsu major landowners, but until 1928, an income tax requirement limited the right to vote, limiting seats in the Diet of Japan only to people of wealth.
In 1922, the Nihon Nomin Kumiai was formed for collective bargaining for cultivator rights and reduced rents. By the 1930s, the growth of the urban economy and flight of farmers to the cities weakened the hold of the landlords; the interwar years saw the rapid introduction of mechanized agriculture, the supplementation of natural animal fertilizers with chemical fertilizers and imported phosphates. With the growth of the wartime economy, the government recognized that landlordism was an impediment to increased agricultural productivity, took steps to increase control over the rural sector through the formation of the Central Agricultural Association in 1943, a compulsory organization under the wartime command economy to force the implementation of government farming policies. Another duty of the organization was to secure food supply to the military, it was dissolved after World War II. Farmed land in 1937 was 14,940,000 acres, which represented 15.8% of the total Japanese surface area, compared with 10,615,000 acres or 40% in Ohio, or 12,881,000 acres or 21% in England.
The proportion of farmed land rose from 11.8% in 1887 to 13.7% in 1902, 14.4% in 1912 to 15.7% in 1919. This fell to 15.4% in 1929. There were 5,374,897 farmers at an average 2.67 acres per family, in comparison with any American farmer family with 155 acres. These were larger in Karafuto and reduced by 2 acres in southwest area; the intense culture and scientific development, raised the yield to 43 bushels per acre in 1936. In some parts of southern Japan, the subtropical climate favored a double harvest. Other important cereals were wheat, rye, millet barley; the sparsely populated Chishima Islands had an inclement climate for anything other than small-scale agriculture. Karafuto had a severe climate made cultivation difficult, along with unsuitable podzolic soils. Small scale farming was developed in the south, were land was suitable for potatoes, rye and vegetables. Only 7% of Karafuto was arable; the livestock raising was quite important. Farming experiments with rice were successful. Through government policies, capable farmers from Hokkaidō and northern Honshū received 12.5 acres to 25 acres of land and
Japanese nationalism is the nationalism that asserts that the Japanese are a monolithic nation with a single immutable culture, promotes the cultural unity of the Japanese. It encompasses a broad range of ideas and sentiments harbored by the Japanese people over the last two centuries regarding their native country, its cultural nature, political form and historical destiny, it is useful to distinguish Japanese cultural nationalism from political or state-directed nationalism, since many forms of cultural nationalism, such as those associated with folkloric studies, have been hostile to state-fostered nationalism. In Meiji period Japan, nationalist ideology consisted of a blend of native and imported political philosophies developed by the Meiji government to promote national unity and patriotism, first in defense against colonization by Western powers, in a struggle to attain equality with the Great Powers, it evolved throughout the Taishō and Shōwa periods to justify an totalitarian government and overseas expansionism, provided a political and ideological foundation for the actions of the Japanese military in the years leading up to World War II.
During the final days of the Tokugawa shogunate, the perceived threat of foreign encroachment after the arrival of Commodore Matthew C. Perry and the signing of the Kanagawa Accord, led to increased prominence to the development of nationalist ideologies; some prominent daimyō promoted the concept of fukko. The terms were not mutually exclusive, merging into the sonnō jōi concept, which in turn was a major driving force in starting the Meiji Restoration; the Meiji Constitution of 1889 defined allegiance to the State as the citizen's highest duty. While the constitution itself contained a mix of political Western practices and traditional Japanese political ideas, government philosophy centered on promoting social harmony and a sense of the uniqueness of the Japanese people; the extreme disparity in economic and military power between Japan and the Western colonial powers was a great cause for concern for the early Meiji leadership. The motto Fukoku kyōhei symbolized Meiji period nationalistic policies to provide government support to strengthen strategic industries.
Only with a strong economic base could Japan afford to build a strong, modern military along Western lines, only with a strong economy and military could Japan force a revision of the unequal treaties, such as the Kanagawa Accords. Government policies laid the basis of industrialist empires known as the zaibatsu; as a residue of its widespread use in propaganda during the 19th century, military nationalism in Japan was known as bushidō. The word, denoting a coherent code of beliefs and doctrines about the proper path of the samurai, or what is called generically'warrior thought', is encountered in Japanese texts before the Meiji era, when the 11 volumes of the Hagakure of Yamamoto Tsunetomo, compiled in the years from 1710 to 1716 where the character combination is employed, was published. Constituted over a long time by house manuals on war and warriorship, it gained some official backing with the establishment of the Bakufu, which sought an ideological orthodoxy in the Neo-Confucianism of Zhu Xi tailored for military echelons that formed the basis of the new shogunal government.
An important early role was played by Yamaga Sokō in theorizing a Japanese military ethos. After the abolition of the feudal system, the new military institutions of Japan were shaped along European lines, with Western instructors, the codes themselves modeled on standard models adapted from abroad; the impeccable behaviour, in terms of international criteria, displayed by the Japanese military in the Russo-Japanese War was proof that Japan had a modern army whose techniques and etiquette of war differed little from that of what prevailed among the Western imperial powers. The Imperial Rescript for Seamen and Soldiers, presented Japan as a "sacred nation protected by the gods". An undercurrent of traditional warrior values never wholly disappeared, as Japan slid towards a cycle of repeated crises from the mid-Taishō to early Shōwa eras, the old samurai ideals began to assume importance among more politicized officers in the Imperial Japanese Army. Sadao Araki played an important role in adapting a doctrine of seishin kyōiku as an ideological backbone for army personnel.
As Minister of Education, he supported the integration of the samurai code into the national education system. In developing the modern concepts of State Shintoism and emperor worship, various Japanese philosophers tried to revive or purify national beliefs by removing imported foreign ideas, borrowed from Chinese philosophy; this "Restoration Shintōist Movement" began with Motoori Norinaga in the 18th century. Motoori Norinaga, Hirata Atsutane, based their research on the Kojiki and other classic Shintō texts which teach the superiority of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu; this formed the basis for State Shintōism, as the Japanese emperor claimed direct descent from Amaterasu. The emperor himself was therefore sacred, all proclamations of the emperor had thus a religious significance. After the Meiji Restoration, the new imperial government needed to modernize the polity and economy of Japan, the Meiji oligarchy felt that those goals could only be accomplished through a strong sense of natio
Statism in Shōwa Japan
Shōwa Statism was a political syncretism of Japanese extreme right-wing political ideologies, developed over a period of time from the Meiji Restoration. It is sometimes referred to as Shōwa nationalism or Japanese fascism; this statist movement dominated Japanese politics during the first part of the Shōwa period. It was a mixture of ideas such as Japanese ultranationalism and state capitalism, that were proposed by a number of contemporary political philosophers and thinkers in Japan. With a more aggressive foreign policy, victory over China in the First Sino-Japanese War and over Imperial Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, Japan joined the imperialist powers; the need for a strong military to secure Japan's new overseas empire was strengthened by a sense that only through a strong military would Japan earn the respect of Western nations, thus revision of the "unequal treaties" imposed in the 1800s. The Japanese military viewed itself as "politically clean" in terms of corruption, criticized political parties under a liberal democracy as self-serving and a threat to national security by their failure to provide adequate military spending or to address pressing social and economic issues.
The complicity of the politicians with the zaibatsu corporate monopolies came under criticism. The military tended to favor dirigisme and other forms of direct state control over industry, rather than free market capitalism, as well as greater state-sponsored social welfare to reduce the attraction of socialism and communism in Japan; the special relation of militarists and the central civil government with the Imperial Family supported the important position of the Emperor as Head of State with political powers, the relationship with the nationalist right-wing movements. However, Japanese political thought had little contact with European political thinking until the 20th century. Under this ascendancy of the military, the country developed a hierarchical, aristocratic economic system with significant state involvement. During the Meiji Restoration, there had been a surge in the creation of monopolies; this was in part due to state intervention, as the monopolies served to allow Japan to become a world economic power.
The state itself owned some of the monopolies, others were owned by the zaibatsu. The monopolies managed the central core of the economy, with other aspects being controlled by the government ministry appropriate to the activity, including the National Central Bank and the Imperial family; this economic arrangement was in many ways similar to the corporatist models of European fascists. During the same period, certain thinkers with ideals similar to those from shogunate times developed the early basis of Japanese expansionism and Pan-Asianist theories; such thought was developed by writers such as Saneshige Komaki into the Hakkō ichiu, Yen Block, Amau doctrines. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles did not recognize the Empire of Japan's territorial claims, international naval treaties between Western powers and the Empire of Japan, imposed limitations on naval shipbuilding which limited the size of the Imperial Japanese Navy at a 10:10:6 ratio; these measures were considered by many in Japan as refusal of by the Occidental powers to consider Japan an equal partner.
The latter brought about the May 15 Incident. On the basis of national security, these events released a surge of Japanese nationalism and resulted in the end of collaboration diplomacy which supported peaceful economic expansion; the implementation of a military dictatorship and territorial expansionism were considered the best ways to protect the Yamato-damashii. In the early 1930s, the Ministry of Home Affairs began arresting left-wing political dissidents in order to exact a confession and renouncement of anti-state leanings. Over 30,000 such arrests were made between 1930 and 1933. In response, a large group of writers founded a Japanese branch of the International Popular Front Against Fascism, published articles in major literary journals warning of the dangers of statism, their periodical, The People's Library, achieved a circulation of over five thousand and was read in literary circles, but was censored, dismantled in January 1938. Ikki Kita was an early 20th-century political theorist, who advocated a hybrid of state socialism with "Asian nationalism", which thus blended the early ultranationalist movement with Japanese militarism.
His political philosophy was outlined in his thesis National Policy and Pure Socialism of 1908 and An Outline Plan for the Reorganization of Japan of 1928. Kita proposed a military coup d'état to replace the existing political structure of Japan with a military dictatorship; the new military leadership would rescind the Meiji Constitution, ban political parties, replace the Diet of Japan with an assembly free of corruption, would nationalize major industries. Kita envisioned strict limits to private ownership of property, land reform to improve the lot of tenant farmers, thus strengthened internally, Japan could embark on a crusade to free all of Asia from Western imperialism. Although his works were banned by the government immediately after publication, circulation was widespread, his thesis proved popular not only with the younger officer class excited at the prospects of military rule and Japanese expansionism, but with the populist movement for its appeal to the agrarian classes and to the left wing of the socialist movement.
Shūmei Ōkawa was a right-wing political philosopher, active in numerous Japanese nationalist societies in the 1920s. In 1
Ministry of the Army
The Army Ministry known as the Ministry of War, was the cabinet-level ministry in the Empire of Japan charged with the administrative affairs of the Imperial Japanese Army. It existed from 1872 to 1945; the Army Ministry was created in April 1872, along with the Navy Ministry, to replace the Ministry of War of the early Meiji government. The Army Ministry was in charge of both administration and operational command of the Imperial Japanese Army. However, with the creation of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office in December 1878, it was left with only administrative functions, its primary role was to secure the army budget, weapons procurement, relations with the National Diet and the Cabinet and broad matters of military policy. The post of Army Minister was politically powerful. Although a member of the Cabinet after the establishment of the cabinet system of government in 1885, the Army Minister was answerable directly to the Emperor and not the Prime Minister. From the time of its creation, the post of Army Minister was filled by an active-duty general in the Imperial Japanese Army.
This practice was made into law under the "Military Ministers to be Active-Duty Officers Law" in 1900 by Prime Minister Yamagata Aritomo to curb the influence of political parties into military affairs. Abolished in 1913 under the administration of Yamamoto Gonnohyōe, the law was revived again in 1936 at the insistence of the Army General Staff by Prime Minister Hirota Kōki. At the same time, the Imperial Japanese Army prohibited its generals from accepting political offices except by permission from Imperial General Headquarters. Taken together, these arrangements gave the Imperial Japanese Army an effective, legal right to nominate the Army Minister; the ability of the Imperial Japanese Army to refuse to nominate an Army Minister gave it effective veto power over the formation of any civilian administration, was a key factor in the erosion of representative democracy and the rise of Japanese militarism. After 1937, both the Army Minister and the Chief of the Army General Staff were members of the Imperial General Headquarters.
With the surrender of the Empire of Japan in World War II, the Army Ministry was abolished together with the Imperial Japanese Army by the Allied occupation authorities in November 1945 and was not revived in the post-war Constitution of Japan. Under-Secretary of the Army Military Affairs Bureau Personnel Bureau Weapons Bureau Army Service Bureau Administration Bureau Intendance Medical Judicial Bureau Economic Mobilization Bureau Aeronautical Department Economic Mobilization The Army Ministry and Imperial General Headquarters were located in Ichigaya Heights, now part of Shinjuku, Tokyo. Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office Edgerton, Robert B.. Warriors of the Rising Sun: A History of the Japanese Military. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-3600-7. Harries, Meirion. Soldiers of the Sun: The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Japanese Army. Random House. ISBN 0-679-75303-6. "Foreign Office Files for Japan and the Far East". Adam Matthew Publications. Accessed 2 March 2005
Mokusatsu is a Japanese word meaning "ignore", "take no notice of" or "treat with silent contempt". It is composed of two kanji characters: 黙 and 殺, it is one of the terms cited to argue that problems encountered by Japanese in the sphere of international politics arise from misunderstandings or mistranslations of their language. It was the adoption of this term by the government of Japan that first gave rise to the prominence of the word abroad. Mokusatsu was used in a response to the Allied demand in the Potsdam Declaration that Japan surrender unconditionally in World War II, it was understood to mean that Japan had rejected those terms, a perceived outright rejection that contributed to President Harry S. Truman's decision to carry out the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, implying that, in spurning the terms, Japan had brought down on its own head the destruction of those two cities; the Allies were aware that within the Japanese government an attempt to reach a negotiated termination of hostilities had been underway via diplomatic contacts with Moscow, still neutral.
The Potsdam declaration presented one further occasion for mediation, but it was opposed by the War Minister General Korechika Anami, with backing from the army and navy chiefs of staff, all demanding that the Declaration be rejected with a broadcast containing a point by point rebuttal. The Army demanded that the public be kept unaware of the Declaration. In a compromise, the Foreign Minister Tōgō Shigenori gained a Cabinet consensus to have the Declaration translated and released to the public, but in a censored version that deleted mentions of an imminent "utter destruction of the Japanese homeland," "stern justice" for all war criminals, that disarmed soldiers would be allowed to return home to live constructive lives in peace, comments about "self-willed military cliques." The version given to the public was issued by the'tightly controlled press' through the Dōmei News Service. In this form it appeared in the morning edition of the Asahi Shinbun on July 28, 1945, to designate the attitude assumed by the government to the Potsdam Declaration.
This newspaper and others stated that the ultimatum, which had not only been transmitted to the Japanese government diplomatically via Swiss intermediaries and but to the Japanese public via radio and airdropped leaflets, was formally rejected by the Imperial Government. That day in a press conference, the Premier Suzuki Kantarō himself publicly used it to dismiss the Potsdam Declarations as a mere rehash of earlier rejected Allied proposals, therefore, being of no value. Suzuki's actual words were: My thinking is that the joint declaration is the same as the earlier declaration; the government of Japan does not consider it having any crucial value. We mokusatsu suru; the only alternative for us is to be determined to continue our fight to the end. Suzuki recognized that the Potsdam declaration flagged an intention to end a war which, in logistical terms, Japan was no longer capable of sustaining; however Article 6 stated that the militarists would be stripped of their authority and power forever, the Japanese army was resolutely opposed to its own thorough dismantlement, heavy pressure was brought to bear on the Prime Minister therefore to have him reject the declaration.
Suzuki's stating that the declarations terms would be literally'killed off by silent contempt' reflected this necessity of placating the extreme position of the army. John Toland argued decades that Suzuki's choice of the term was dictated more by the need to appease the military, hostile to the idea of "unconditional surrender", than to signal anything to the Allies. Although mokusatsu may not have been intended to communicate to the Allies a refusal to surrender, the Potsdam ultimatum allowed for only one acceptable answer: unconditional surrender. Any other answer would, as the declaration warned, cause "prompt and utter destruction", it was only after the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by atomic bombs, two assassination attempts on the Prime Minister Suzuki Kantarō, an attempted military coup against the Emperor, a declaration of war by the Soviet Union that the Emperor himself broadcast acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration, i.e. unconditional surrender, ending the Pacific War.
Some years after the war, it was claimed that it was questionable whether the Japanese press had acted on reliable government sources when they first announced the that the Declaration's terms had been rebuffed. This position was outlined in 1950 in an English article by Kazuo Kawai, who based his argument on notes and diaries written at the time, notes taken while he covered the discussions underway in Japan's Foreign Office regarding the Declaration. Kawai argued that both the choice of this term and the meaning given to it by Allied authorities led to a fatal'tragedy of errors' involving both Japanese bureaucratic bungling and a'deficiency in perception' by Japan's enemies. Kawai's point was taken up by William J. Coughlin in a read article for Harper's magazine three years later. In some reconstructions that espouse this interpretation, it is stated that it was Hasegawa Saiji, a translator for Dōmei Press, who translated this as: "The Japanese ignores this, we are determined to continue our fight until the end" and the foreign press picked this up, taking "ignore" to mean "reject".
The NSA Technical Journal published an article endorsing this view that the word's meaning was ambiguous in which readers are warned of the consequences of not making ambiguities clear when translating between languages. It concluded: Some years ago