Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers
The Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers was the title held by General Douglas MacArthur during the Allied occupation of Japan following World War II. It issued SCAP Directive to the Japanese government, aiming to transform it into a non-terrorist nation. In Japan, the position was referred to as GHQ, as SCAP referred to the offices of the occupation, including a staff of several hundred U. S. civil servants as well as military personnel. Some of these personnel wrote a first draft of the Japanese Constitution, which the National Diet ratified after a few amendments. Australian, British and New Zealand forces under SCAP were organized into a sub-command known as British Commonwealth Occupation Force; these actions led MacArthur to be viewed as the new Imperial force in Japan by many Japanese political and civilian figures being considered to be the rebirth of the shōgun-style government which Japan was ruled under until the start of the Meiji Restoration. Biographer William Manchester argues that without MacArthur's leadership, Japan would not have been able to make the move from an imperial, totalitarian state, to a democracy.
At his appointment, MacArthur announced that he sought to "restore security and self-respect" to the Japanese people. One of the largest of the SCAP programs was Public Health and Welfare, headed by U. S. Army Colonel Crawford F. Sams. Working with the SCAP staff of 150, Sams directed the welfare work of the American doctors, organized new Japanese medical welfare systems along American lines; the Japanese population was physically badly worn down and medicines were scarce, sanitary systems had been bombed out in larger cities. His earliest priorities were in distributing food supplies from the U. S. Millions of refugees from the defunct overseas Empire were pouring in in bad physical shape, with a high risk of introducing smallpox and cholera; the outbreaks that did occur were localized, as emergency immunization, quarantine and delousing prevented massive epidemics. Sams, promoted to Brigadier General in 1948, worked with Japanese officials to establish vaccine laboratories, reorganize hospitals along American lines, upgrade medical and nursing schools, bring together Japanese, U.
S. teams that dealt with disasters, child care, health insurance. He set up an Institute of Public Health for educating public health workers and a National Institute of Health for research, set up statistical divisions and data collection systems. SCAP arrested 28 suspected war criminals on account of crimes against peace, but it did not conduct the Tokyo trials. President Harry Truman had negotiated Japanese surrender on the condition the Emperor would not be executed or put on trial. SCAP carried out that policy; as soon as November 26, 1945, MacArthur confirmed to admiral Mitsumasa Yonai that the emperor's abdication would not be necessary. Before the war crimes trials convened, SCAP, the IPS and Shōwa officials worked behind the scenes not only to prevent the imperial family being indicted, but to slant the testimony of the defendants to ensure that no one implicated the Emperor. High officials in court circles and the Shōwa government collaborated with Allied GHQ in compiling lists of prospective war criminals, while the individuals arrested as Class A suspects and incarcerated in Sugamo Prison solemnly vowed to protect their sovereign against any possible taint of war responsibility.
As Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, MacArthur decided not to prosecute Shiro Ishii and all members of the bacteriological research units in exchange for germ warfare data based on human experimentation. On May 6, 1947, he wrote to Washington that "additional data some statements from Ishii can be obtained by informing Japanese involved that information will be retained in intelligence channels and will not be employed as "War Crimes" evidence." The deal was concluded in 1948. According to historian Herbert Bix in Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, "MacArthur's extraordinary measures to save the Emperor from trial as a war criminal had a lasting and profoundly distorting impact on Japanese understanding of the lost war." Above the political and economic control SCAP had for the seven years following Japan's surrender, SCAP had strict control over all of the Japanese media, under the formation of the Civil Censorship Detachment of SCAP. The CCD banned a total of 31 topics from all forms of media.
These topics included: Criticism of SCAP. All Allied countries. Criticism of Allied policy pre- and post-war. Any form of imperial propaganda. Defense of war criminals. Praise of "undemocratic" forms of government, though praise of SCAP itself was permitted; the atomic bomb. Black market activities. Open discussion of allied diplomatic relations. Although some of the CCD censorship laws relaxed towards the end of SCAP, some topics, like the atomic bomb, were taboo until 1952 at the end of the occupation. MacArthur was succeeded as SCAP by General Matthew Ridgway when MacArthur was relieved by President Harry S. Truman during the Korean War in April 1951; when the Treaty of San Francisco came into effect on April 28, 1952, the post of SCAP lapsed. Bix, Herbert P.. Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-019314-0. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-04686-1.
The Potsdam Declaration or the Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender was a statement that called for the surrender of all Japanese armed forces during World War II. On July 26, 1945, United States President Harry S. Truman, United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Chairman of the Nationalist Government of China Chiang Kai-shek issued the document, which outlined the terms of surrender for the Empire of Japan as agreed upon at the Potsdam Conference; this ultimatum stated that, if Japan did not surrender, it would face "prompt and utter destruction". On July 26, the United States and China released the Potsdam Declaration announcing the terms for Japan's surrender, with the warning as an ultimatum: "We will not deviate from them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay." For Japan, the terms of the declaration specified: the elimination "for all time of the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest".
On the other hand, the declaration offered that: "The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established." "Japan shall be permitted to maintain such industries as will sustain her economy and permit the exaction of just reparations in kind, but not those which would enable her to rearm for war. To this end, access to, as distinguished from control of, raw materials shall be permitted. Eventual Japanese participation in world trade relations shall be permitted." "The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there has been established, in accordance with the expressed will of the Japanese people, a peacefully inclined and responsible government."The mention of "unconditional surrender" came at the end of the declaration: "We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action.
The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction."Contrary to what had been intended at its conception, to disenfranchise the Japanese leadership so the people would accept a mediated transition. It did, insist that "the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest must be eliminated for all time". Allied intentions on issues of utmost importance to the Japanese, including the extent and number of Allied "occupation points", the fate of Japan's minor islands, the extent to which the Allies planned to "control" Japan's "raw materials", as well as whether Hirohito was to be regarded as one of those who had "misled the people of Japan" or whether the Emperor might become part of "a peacefully inclined and responsible government", were thus left unstated a blank check for the Allies; the "prompt and utter destruction" clause has been interpreted as a veiled warning about American possession of the atomic bomb, tested in New Mexico on July 16, 1945, the day before the Potsdam Conference opened.
Although the document warned of further destruction like the Operation Meetinghouse raid on Tokyo and other carpetbombing of Japanese cities, it did not mention anything about the atomic bomb. A major aspect relating to the Potsdam Declaration was, it is not clear from the document itself whether a Japanese government was to remain under Allied occupation or whether the occupation would be run by a foreign military government. In the same manner, it was not clear whether after the end of the occupation Japan was to include any territory other than the four main Japanese islands, i.e. whether the set or sets of islands satisfying the description "such minor islands as determine" included the empty set. This ambiguity was intentional on the part of the U. S. government in order to allow the Allies a free hand in running the affairs of Japan afterwards. The Declaration was released to the press in Potsdam on the evening of July 26 and transmitted to the Office of War Information in Washington. By 5 p.m.
Washington time, OWI's West Coast transmitters, aimed at the Japanese home islands, were broadcasting the text in English, two hours began broadcasting it in Japanese. American bombers dropped over 3 million leaflets describing the declaration over Japan; the Declaration was never transmitted to the Japanese government through diplomatic channels. Although picking up enemy propaganda leaflets and listening to foreign radio broadcasts was illegal, the American propaganda efforts were successful in making the key points of the declaration known to most Japanese; the terms of the declaration were hotly debated within the Japanese government. Upon receiving the declaration, Foreign Minister Shigenori Tōgō hurriedly met with Pri
Occupation of Japan
The Allied occupation of Japan at the end of World War II was led by General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, with support from the British Commonwealth. Unlike in the occupation of Germany, the Soviet Union was allowed little to no influence over Japan; this foreign presence marks the only time in Japan's history that it has been occupied by a foreign power. The country became a parliamentary democracy that recalled "New Deal" priorities of the 1930s by Roosevelt; the occupation, codenamed Operation Blacklist, was ended by the San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed on September 8, 1951, effective from April 28, 1952, after which Japan's sovereignty – with the exception, until 1972, of the Ryukyu Islands – was restored. According to John Dower, in his book Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor/Hiroshima/9-11/Iraq, the factors behind the success of the occupation were: Discipline, moral legitimacy, well-defined and well-articulated objectives, a clear chain of command and flexibility in policy formulation and implementation, confidence in the ability of the state to act constructively, the ability to operate abroad free of partisan politics back home, the existence of a stable, sophisticated civil society on the receiving end of occupation policies – these political and civic virtues helped make it possible to move decisively during the brief window of a few years when defeated Japan itself was in flux and most receptive to radical change.
Japan surrendered to the Allies on August 14, 1945, when the Japanese government notified the Allies that it had accepted the Potsdam Declaration. On the following day, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's unconditional surrender on the radio; the announcement was the emperor's first planned radio broadcast and the first time most citizens of Japan heard their sovereign's voice. This date is known as Victory over Japan, or V-J Day, marked the end of World War II and the beginning of a long road to recovery for a shattered Japan. Japanese officials left for Manila, Philippines on August 19 to meet MacArthur and to be briefed on his plans for the occupation. On August 28, 1945, 150 US personnel flew to Kanagawa Prefecture, they were followed by USS Missouri, whose accompanying vessels landed the 4th Marine Regiment on the southern coast of Kanagawa. The 11th Airborne Division was airlifted from Okinawa 30 miles from Tokyo. Other Allied personnel followed. MacArthur arrived in Tokyo on August 30, decreed several laws.
No Allied personnel were to assault Japanese people. No Allied personnel were to eat the scarce Japanese food. Flying the Hinomaru or "Rising Sun" flag was severely restricted; this restriction was lifted in 1948 and lifted the following year. On September 2, 1945, Japan formally surrendered with the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender. On September 6, US President Truman approved a document titled "US Initial Post-Surrender Policy for Japan"; the document set two main objectives for the occupation: eliminating Japan's war potential and turning Japan into a democratic-style nation with pro-United Nations orientation. Allied forces were set up to supervise the country, "for eighty months following its surrender in 1945, Japan was at the mercy of an army of occupation, its people subject to foreign military control." At the head of the Occupation administration was General MacArthur, technically supposed to defer to an advisory council set up by the Allied powers, but in practice did not and did everything himself.
As a result, this period was one of significant American influence, described near the end of the occupation in 1951 that "for six years the United States has had a freer hand to experiment with Japan than any other country in Asia, or indeed in the entire world." Looking back to his work among the Japanese, MacArthur said, "Measured by the standards of modern civilization, they would be like a boy of twelve" compared to the maturity of the US and Germany, had a good chance of putting away their troubled past. On V-J Day, US President Harry Truman appointed General Douglas MacArthur as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, to supervise the occupation of Japan. During the war, the Allied Powers had planned to divide Japan amongst themselves for the purposes of occupation, as was done for the occupation of Germany. Under the final plan, however, SCAP was given direct control over the main islands of Japan and the surrounding islands, while outlying possessions were divided between the Allied Powers as follows: Soviet Union: North Korea, South Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands United States: South Korea, the Amami Islands, the Ogasawara Islands and Japanese possessions in Micronesia China: Taiwan and Penghu It is unclear why the occupation plan was changed.
Common theories include the increased power of the United States following development of the atomic bomb, Truman's greater distrust of the Soviet Union when compared with Roosevelt, an increased desire to restrict Soviet influence in East Asia after the Yalta Conference. The Soviet Union had some intentions of occupying Hokkaidō. Had this occurred, there might have been a communist state in the Soviet zone of occupation. However, unlike the Soviet occupations of East Germany and North Korea, these plans were frustrated by Truman's opposition. MacArthur's first priority was to set up a food distribution network. With these
Douglas MacArthur was an American five-star general and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II, he received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Philippines Campaign, which made him and his father Arthur MacArthur Jr. the first father and son to be awarded the medal. He was one of only five to rise to the rank of General of the Army in the US Army, the only one conferred the rank of field marshal in the Philippine Army. Raised in a military family in the American Old West, MacArthur was valedictorian at the West Texas Military Academy, First Captain at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated top of the class of 1903. During the 1914 United States occupation of Veracruz, he conducted a reconnaissance mission, for which he was nominated for the Medal of Honor. In 1917, he became chief of staff of the 42nd Division. In the fighting on the Western Front during World War I, he rose to the rank of brigadier general, was again nominated for a Medal of Honor, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross twice and the Silver Star seven times.
From 1919 to 1922, MacArthur served as Superintendent of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, where he attempted a series of reforms, his next assignment was in the Philippines, where in 1924 he was instrumental in quelling the Philippine Scout Mutiny. In 1925, he became the Army's youngest major general, he served on the court-martial of Brigadier General Billy Mitchell and was president of the American Olympic Committee during the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. In 1930, he became Chief of Staff of the United States Army; as such, he was involved in the expulsion of the Bonus Army protesters from Washington, D. C. in 1932, the establishment and organization of the Civilian Conservation Corps. He retired from the US Army in 1937 to become Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines. MacArthur was recalled to active duty in 1941 as commander of United States Army Forces in the Far East. A series of disasters followed, starting with the destruction of his air forces on 8 December 1941 and the Japanese invasion of the Philippines.
MacArthur's forces were soon compelled to withdraw to Bataan, where they held out until May 1942. In March 1942, MacArthur, his family and his staff left nearby Corregidor Island in PT boats and escaped to Australia, where MacArthur became Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area. Upon his arrival, MacArthur gave a speech in which he famously promised "I shall return" to the Philippines. After more than two years of fighting in the Pacific, he fulfilled that promise. For his defense of the Philippines, MacArthur was awarded the Medal of Honor, he accepted the Surrender of Japan on 2 September 1945 aboard the USS Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay, he oversaw the occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1951. As the effective ruler of Japan, he oversaw sweeping economic and social changes, he led the United Nations Command in the Korean War with initial success. Following a series of major defeats, he was removed from command by President Harry S. Truman on 11 April 1951, he became chairman of the board of Remington Rand.
A military brat, Douglas MacArthur was born 26 January 1880, at Little Rock Barracks, Little Rock, Arkansas, to Arthur MacArthur, Jr. a U. S. Army captain, his wife, Mary Pinkney Hardy MacArthur. Arthur, Jr. was the son of Scottish-born jurist and politician Arthur MacArthur, Sr. Arthur would receive the Medal of Honor for his actions with the Union Army in the Battle of Missionary Ridge during the American Civil War, be promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. Pinkney came from a prominent Norfolk, family. Two of her brothers had fought for the South in the Civil War, refused to attend her wedding. Arthur and Pinky had three sons, of whom Douglas was the youngest, following Arthur III, born on 1 August 1876, Malcolm, born on 17 October 1878; the family lived on a succession of Army posts in the American Old West. Conditions were primitive, Malcolm died of measles in 1883. In his memoir, MacArthur wrote "I learned to ride and shoot before I could read or write—indeed before I could walk and talk."
MacArthur's time on the frontier ended in July 1889 when the family moved to Washington, D. C. where he attended the Force Public School. His father was posted to San Antonio, Texas, in September 1893. While there MacArthur attended the West Texas Military Academy, where he was awarded the gold medal for "scholarship and deportment", he participated on the school tennis team, played quarterback on the school football team and shortstop on its baseball team. He was named valedictorian, with a final year average of 97.33 out of 100. MacArthur's father and grandfather unsuccessfully sought to secure Douglas a presidential appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, first from President Grover Cleveland and from President William McKinley. After these two rejections, he was given coaching and private tutoring by Milwaukee high school teacher Gertrude Hull, he passed the examination for an appointment from Congressman Theobald Otjen, scoring 93.3 on the test. He wrote: "It was a lesson I never forgot.
Preparedness is the key to success and victory."MacArthur entered West Point on 13 June 1899, his mother moved there, to a suite at Craney's Hotel, which overlooked the grounds of the Academy. Hazing was widespread at West Point at this time, MacArthur and his classmate Ulysses S. Gr
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd president of the United States from 1945 to 1953, succeeding upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt after serving as vice president, he implemented the Marshall Plan to rebuild the economy of Western Europe, established the Truman Doctrine and NATO. Truman was elected to the United States Senate in 1934 and gained national prominence as chairman of the Truman Committee aimed at waste and inefficiency in wartime contracts. Soon after succeeding to the presidency he authorized the first and only use of nuclear weapons in war. Truman's administration renounced isolationism, he rallied his New Deal coalition during the 1948 presidential election and won a surprise victory that secured his own presidential term. Truman oversaw the Berlin Airlift of 1948; when Communist North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950, he gained United Nations approval for the large policy action known as the Korean War. It saved South Korea but the Chinese intervened, driving back the UN/US forces and preventing a rollback of Communism in North Korea.
On domestic issues, bills endorsed by Truman faced opposition from a conservative Congress, but his administration guided the U. S. economy through the post-war economic challenges. In 1948 he submitted the first comprehensive civil rights legislation and issued Executive Orders to start racial integration in the military and federal agencies. Allegations of corruption in the Truman administration became a central campaign issue in the 1952 presidential election and accounted for Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower's electoral victory against Democrat Adlai Stevenson II. Truman's financially difficult retirement was marked by the founding of his presidential library and the publication of his memoirs; when he left office, Truman's presidency was criticized, but scholars rehabilitated his image in the 1960s and he is ranked as one of the best presidents. Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri, on May 8, 1884, the oldest child of John Anderson Truman and Martha Ellen Young Truman, his namesake was Harrison "Harry" Young.
His middle initial "S" honors Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young. A brother, John Vivian, was born soon followed by sister Mary Jane. Truman's ancestry is English and less Scotch-Irish, German or French. John Truman was a livestock dealer; the family lived in Lamar until Harry was ten months old, when they moved to a farm near Harrisonville, Missouri. The family next moved to Belton, in 1887 to his grandparents' 600-acre farm in Grandview; when Truman was six, his parents moved to Independence, so he could attend the Presbyterian Church Sunday School. He did not attend a traditional school. While living in Independence, he served as a Shabbos goy for Jewish neighbors, doing tasks for them on Shabbat that their religion prevented them from doing on that day. Truman was interested in music and history, all encouraged by his mother, with whom he was close; as president, he solicited political as well as personal advice from her. He rose at five every morning to practice the piano, which he studied more than twice a week until he was fifteen.
Truman worked as a page at the 1900 Democratic National Convention in Kansas City. After graduating from Independence High School in 1901, Truman enrolled in Spalding's Commercial College, a Kansas City business school, he made use of his business college experience to obtain a job as a timekeeper on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, sleeping in hobo camps near the rail lines. He took on a series of clerical jobs, was employed in the mail room of The Kansas City Star. Truman and his brother Vivian worked as clerks at the National Bank of Commerce in Kansas City, he returned to the Grandview farm in 1906, where he lived until entering the army in 1917 after the beginning of the Great War. During this period, he courted Bess Wallace. Truman said he intended to propose again, but he wanted to have a better income than that earned by a farmer. To that end, during his years on the farm and after World War I, he became active in several business ventures, including a lead and zinc mine near Commerce, Oklahoma, a company that bought land and leased the oil drilling rights to prospectors, speculation in Kansas City real estate.
Truman derived some income from these enterprises, but none proved successful in the long term. Truman is the only president since William McKinley not to earn a college degree. In addition to having attended business college, from 1923 to 1925 he took night courses toward an LL. B. at the Kansas City Law dropped out after losing reelection as county judge. He was informed by attorneys in the Kansas City area that his education and experience were sufficient to receive a license to practice law. However, he did not pursue it. While serving as president in 1947, Truman applied for a license to practice law. A friend, an attorney began working out the arrangements, informed Truman that his application had to be notarized. By the time Truman received this information he had changed his mind, so he never sought notarization. After rediscovery of Truman's application, in 1996 the Missour
Emperor of Japan
The Emperor of Japan is the head of the Imperial Family and the head of state of Japan. Under the 1947 constitution, he is defined as "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people." He was the highest authority of the Shinto religion. In Japanese, the Emperor is called Tennō "heavenly sovereign". In English, the use of the term Mikado for the Emperor was once common, but is now considered obsolete; the Emperor of Japan is the only head of state in the world with the English title of "Emperor". The Imperial House of Japan is the oldest continuing monarchical house in the world; the historical origins of the Emperors lie in the late Kofun period of the 3rd–7th centuries AD, but according to the traditional account of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, Japan was founded in 660 BC by Emperor Jimmu, said to be a direct descendant of the sun-goddess Amaterasu. The current Emperor is Akihito, he acceded to the Chrysanthemum Throne upon the death of his father, Emperor Shōwa, in 1989. The Japanese government announced in December 2017 that Akihito will abdicate on 30 April 2019.
The role of the Emperor of Japan has alternated between a ceremonial symbolic role and that of an actual imperial ruler. Since the establishment of the first shogunate in 1199, the Emperors of Japan have taken on a role as supreme battlefield commander, unlike many Western monarchs. Japanese Emperors have nearly always been controlled by external political forces, to varying degrees. In fact, between 1192 and 1867, the shōguns, or their shikken regents in Kamakura, were the de facto rulers of Japan, although they were nominally appointed by the Emperor. After the Meiji Restoration in 1867, the Emperor was the embodiment of all sovereign power in the realm, as enshrined in the Meiji Constitution of 1889. Since the enactment of the 1947 Constitution, he has been a ceremonial head of state without nominal political powers. Since the mid-nineteenth century, the Imperial Palace has been called Kyūjō Kōkyo, is on the former site of Edo Castle in the heart of Tokyo. Earlier, Emperors resided in Kyoto for nearly eleven centuries.
The Emperor's Birthday is a national holiday. Unlike most constitutional monarchs, the Emperor is not the nominal chief executive. Article 65 explicitly vests executive power in the Cabinet, of which the Prime Minister is the leader; the Emperor is not the commander-in-chief of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. The Japan Self-Defense Forces Act of 1954 explicitly vests this role with the Prime Minister; the Emperor's powers are limited only to important ceremonial functions. Article 4 of the Constitution stipulates that the Emperor "shall perform only such acts in matters of state as are provided for in the Constitution and he shall not have powers related to government." It stipulates that "the advice and approval of the Cabinet shall be required for all acts of the Emperor in matters of state". Article 4 states that these duties can be delegated by the Emperor as provided for by law. While the Emperor formally appoints the Prime Minister to office, Article 6 of the Constitution requires him to appoint the candidate "as designated by the Diet", without giving the Emperor the right to decline appointment.
Article 6 of the Constitution delegates the Emperor the following ceremonial roles: Appointment of the Prime Minister as designated by the Diet. Appointment of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as designated by the Cabinet; the Emperor's other duties are laid down in article 7 of the Constitution, where it is stated that "the Emperor, with the advice and approval of the Cabinet, shall perform the following acts in matters of state on behalf of the people." In practice, all of these duties are exercised only in accordance with the binding instructions of the Cabinet: Promulgation of amendments of the constitution, cabinet orders, treaties. Convocation of the Diet. Dissolution of the House of Representatives. Proclamation of general election of members of the Diet. Attestation of the appointment and dismissal of Ministers of State and other officials as provided for by law, of full powers and credentials of Ambassadors and Ministers. Attestation of general and special amnesty, commutation of punishment and restoration of rights.
Awarding of honors. Attestation of instruments of ratification and other diplomatic documents as provided for by law. Receiving foreign ambassadors and ministers. Performance of ceremonial functions. Regular ceremonies of the Emperor with a constitutional basis are the Imperial Investitures in the Tokyo Imperial Palace and the Speech from the Throne ceremony in the House of Councillors in the National Diet Building; the latter ceremony opens extra sessions of the Diet. Ordinary sessions are opened each January and after new elections to the House of Representatives. Extra sessions convene in the autumn and are opened then. Although the Emperor has been a symbol of continuity with the past, the degree of power exercised by the Emperor has varied throughout Japanese history. In the early 7th century, the Emperor had begun to be called the "Son of Heaven"; the title of Emperor was borrowed from China, being derived from Chinese characters and was retroactively applied to the legendary Japanese rulers who reigned before the 7th–8th centuries AD.
According to the traditional account of the Nihon Shoki, Japan was founded by Emperor Jimmu in 660 BC. Modern historians agree that the Emperors before the possible late 3rd century AD ruler known traditionally as Emperor Ōjin are legendary. Emperor Ank
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo