World War II in the News is a review of WWII articles providing thought-provoking collection of hand-picked WW2 information.

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Emperor Hirohito & Hideki Tojo: Japanese Leaders

Japanese Leaders: Emperor Hirohito and Hideki Tojo.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Japanese Atrocities, Japan vs China.

Emperor Hirohito sought post-WWII political input, expression of war regret
A trove of documents detailing the private postwar views and statements of the late Emperor Showa -- known in life as Emperor Hirohito -- not included in the Imperial Household Agency's official history of his reign has surfaced. The documents record exchanges between Emperor Hirohito and Michiji Tajima, the agency's first postwar Grand Steward. Among the revelations found in the handwritten texts is that the Emperor wished to speak about his regret over World War II in a public address at a May 1952 ceremony marking the end of the Allied occupation of Japan.

Hirohito wartime memoir sells for $275,000
A memoir by Japan`s World War II Emperor Hirohito fetched $275,000 at auction – more than double the expected price. The monologue is thought to have been designed to exonerate Hirohito of blame for the slide into war.

Only known war memoirs by Emperor Hirohito to go up for auction in New York
What may be the only existing copy of Emperor Hirohito`s account of World War II and the era leading up to the conflict is set to go on the auction block in New York next month. The 173-page, two-volume document — known in Japan as Showa Tenno Dokuhakuroku (Emperor Showa`s Monologue) — was dictated by the Emperor to several of his aides soon after the war and transcribed word-for-word by senior diplomat Hidenari Terasaki. It was published by the monthly Bungei Shunju magazine in 1990, causing a national sensation.

Japanese emperor cautioned against WWII: Reveals new 61-tome official history
Emperor Hirohito, the demi-god at the apex of the Japanese state when it waged bloody war across Asia, cautioned against conflict but celebrated military success, according to the long-awaited official history of his reign. The mammoth 61-volume set, which has taken 24 years to compile at a cost to the Japanese taxpayer of 230 million yen ($2.2 million) reveals little new hard evidence about one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century. But it offers a largely sympathetic view of the man considered by some to have played a pivotal role in Japan`s march to World War II, and by others as the helpless puppet of an out-of-control military state.

"The Emperor and the Army" documentary film explains the history of Japan during the war and postwar years
"The Emperor and the Army" - a documentary film on the history of Japan during the war and postwar years - was produced by Kenichi Watanabe, a Japanese resident of Paris who came to France in 1997 after directing documentaries in Japan. Critics have said the film should be used as a criterion for understanding Japan. The 90-minute documentary film combines footage of the war and postwar era he dug up at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Watanabe explores the relationship between Emperor Hirohito (known as Emperor Showa since his death) and the Imperial military, and then the Self-Defense Forces.

Wartime General Tojo stirs Japan in a TV special
Japan remembered World War Two at Christmas time as Takeshi Kitano starred in a tv epic as General Hideki Tojo. The special on the TBS network followed Tojo during the 3 months leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, which forced the U.S. into the war. Tojo is seen consulting on military plans with Emperor Hirohito, who is usually portrayed in Japan as a uninvolved observer with little responsibility for the war. The TBS special depicted Tojo as a reluctant leader who struggled to reach a decision and showed Hirohito as hesitant about war. Media comments on the show were mostly favourable.

Japan's PM Hideki Tojo wanted to keep fighting after the a-bombings, diary reveals
Hideki Tojo, Japan's PM for much of World War II, wanted to keep fighting after the atomic bombings because he thought surrender was a disgrace. Tojo, an army general, ordered the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, but was forced out as PM in 1944 as the tide of the struggle turned. He was hanged as a war criminal in 1948 by orders of an allied court. Now Tojo's diaries from the final days of the war are discovered. "Without fully employing its abilities even at the final moment, the imperial nation is surrendering before the enemies' propaganda... Japan will come off as a complete loser by accepting unconditional surrender, even if it makes a few demands," Tojo wrote.

Imperial Japanese Navy orders to destroy papers linked with Emperor Hirohito
The Imperial Japanese Navy's orders to destroy wartime documents linked with Emperor Hirohito following the 1945 surrender have been discovered in UK by Hirofumi Hayashi. The discovery at the National Archives is important because it is the first time details of the orders from Japan's navy have been revealed, because as well as burning all the documentation and Imperial connections, military personnel were told to destroy the orders telling to do so. It has long been known that the military destroyed most of its wartime documents, but hard evidence of an organized plan had been lacking.

General Hideki Tojo's granddaughter Yuko Tojo runs for office
For the last 3 months, Yuko Tojo has prayed every morning at a war shrine for Japan’s fallen soldiers - including her grandfather, Gen. Hideki Tojo, the executed WWII premier who ordered the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Yuko will fight her own battle in July, when she competes as an independent in elections for parliament’s upper house. An ultra-nationalist, she wants to restore Japan’s honor by scrapping pacifist constitution and enacting a full-fledged military, giving the country the clout it deserves. "I cannot see Japan go on like this, with no confidence or pride. I do not think the war dead gave their lives for a country like this."

Hirohito not happy with Yasukuni's honoring Class-A war criminals
Japan's late Emperor Hirohito was discontented with Yasukuni Shrine's enshrining of Class-A World War II criminals and concerned about disputes with other Asian countries over history, diaries kept by his close aide showed. The diaries were kept by chamberlain Ryogo Urabe every day from Dec 1969 to Feb 2002. Urabe gave them to the Asahi Shimbun before he died in March 2002. The Asahi Shimbun distributed excerpts of the diaries to other media. On July 31 2001: "The circumstances about why his majesty called off his visit to Yasukuni Shrine... Directly, the emperor was not pleased with its honoring Class-A war criminals."

Emperor Hirohito regretted China invasion - Chamberlain Kuraji Ogura's diary reveals
Japan's emperor Hirohito regretted going to war with China, which he found to be an unexpectedly strong enemy. Researchers have discovered a diary by Kuraji Ogura, a chamberlain to the emperor during WWII, which offers rare insights into the thoughts of Hirohito who never spoke to the public until Japan's surrender in 1945. "I did not want to begin the war with China. That is because I am afraid of the Soviets," Hirohito said on a Dec 1942 visit to a shrine in Kyoto. Japan first attacked China in 1931, creating the northeastern puppet state of Manchukuo, and launched a full-scale invasion in 1937.

Film portraying "human" Emperor Hirohito to open in Japan
A film painting a "human" portrait of Emperor Hirohito, in whose name Japanese soldiers fought in World War II, is set to be shown in Japan for the first time despite fears of right-wing anger. Revered as a god until Japan's defeat in 1945, Hirohito is still such a sensitive topic in ultra-conservative circles that the identity of the actor was kept secret before the movie's release. Hirohito's role in wartime decision-making has never been fully pursued in Japan due to a decision by U.S. occupation regime to keep him on the throne and turn the emperor into a symbol of a newly democratic Japan.

Diaries contain private conversations with Emperor Hirohito
The diaries, kept by a former leader of the Imperial Household Agency, are said to contain transcripts of private conversations with Emperor Hirohito, the wartime leader who died in 1989. The emperor, whose role in the world war two is still debated, is recorded as saying that he stopped visiting the Yasukuni Shrine memorial, after it began honoring convicted war criminals in 1978. The news reports did not indicate the source of the diaries. Historians quoted said the diaries appeared to be authentic, and the Imperial Household Agency did not dispute their authenticity.

Family ties: The Tojo legacy - interview
Yuko Tojo, 66, clearly idolizes her grandfather General Hideki Tojo, who was executed as Japan's top war criminal in 1948. she insists the man who ordered the Pearl Harbor attack led a "war of freedom" in Asia. "Essentially he was a kind man who loved peace," she said. "He was defending his country against foreign aggressors. His greatest crime was that he loved his country."