On August 15, 1945, the emperor of Japan issued an imperial edict officially declaring unconditional surrender.
World War II, the cruelest war in human history, has ended, and the people of the world, including countries ravaged by aggression, can finally live a stable life.
When people celebrate this victory, they may not think that there are many shocking and dirty deals behind Japan’s surrender.
After more than a year of hard work, the US Army finally won the initiative of the war in the second half of 1943.
Especially in the battle of Mariana Islands in 1944, the U.S. military shifted from strategic defense to strategic attack.
This naval battle is a decisive battle between Japan and the United States in the Pacific, and it is also the largest aircraft carrier war in human history.
In the naval battle, the US Army successively captured Saipan, Guam and Tinian Island, and wiped out more than 70000 Japanese garrisons on the island.
The strategic defense of the Japanese army in the Pacific seriously collapsed.
Due to the loss of the core area, the “absolutely guaranteed national defense circle” stipulated by the Japanese base camp is facing collapse, and the US Army has basically controlled the sea and air supremacy in the central Pacific.
After the Japanese Navy lost its air support for ocean operations, the US military has a greater initiative in this field.
At this time, Japan is already at an end of its tether. U.S. bombers began to heavily bomb the Japanese mainland, and the war burned directly on the Japanese mainland.
On July 26, 1945, the Potsdam Proclamation signed by China, the United States and Britain was issued to the world, demanding Japan’s unconditional surrender.
The fall of the Mariana Islands and the bombing of Japan greatly shook Japan and exacerbated the internal contradictions of the Japanese ruling class.
With the release of the Potsdam Proclamation, the quarrel between the surrender faction and the war faction in Japan began and intensified.
Japan’s main subordinates are: the new prime minister Suzuki guantaro, marine minister Minai Guangzheng and foreign minister Toshiba Maude.
The surrender faction believes that although the surrender has left a stain on Japan’s national system, the public opinion in the United States and Britain has not mentioned the issue of changing the national system so far.
As far as surrender is concerned, there is no need to worry about the national system.
Japan’s main war factions are: land minister anawiki, chief of staff Meijin meizhilang, chief of Naval Command Toyoda Deputy Wu.
The main war faction believes that Japan has not been defeated yet, and there is still a chance to fight a decisive battle at home.
A decisive battle at home will give Americans a heavy blow and may turn the war around.
The Japanese cabinet held a meeting on how to respond to the Potsdam announcement.
At the meeting, foreign minister Dongxiang took the lead in speaking.
He said: “since the Potsdam Proclamation is the only basis for peace talks, I think it should not be made public to the people until the government can take one or another firm position.
” Immediately someone objected: “since the announcement has been broadcast all over the world, I believe the Japanese people will not miss it.
Therefore, the Japanese people should officially learn the news from their own government.
” “If the news about the Potsdam Proclamation is made public, the government must at the same time indicate his reasons for opposing the terms of the proclamation and the attitude he wants the Japanese people to adopt,” said land minister Anan Finally, the meeting adopted a compromise: the government neither completely ignored the announcement nor published it before defining its position.
Therefore, the cabinet decided to publish a message with vague wording.
The government did not make a statement and the newspapers did not exaggerate it.
It can be abridged but not commented.
However, because the Japanese hardliners had the upper hand, the “Potsdam announcement” was not only published in the original text in Asahi Shimbun, but also described the announcement as “a thing of little value”.
This result is very different from the decision of the cabinet meeting.
To Dongxiang’s surprise, Prime Minister Suzuki said bluntly at the press conference that the Potsdam announcement was just a repetition of the Cairo statement.
The government believed that the announcement was of little value.
We despise it at all, and the government is determined to continue the war until victory.
The first atomic bomb of Japan was bombed by the United States on August 8, 1945.
The bombing of the two atomic bombs hoodwinked the Japanese.
While the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Japan, the Soviet Union also declared war on Japan and sent troops to Northeast China, making some waverers in Japan who still had illusions completely give up the idea of continuing the war.
At the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Suzuki, contrary to the usual meeting, was the first to speak.
He said: in view of the Hiroshima incident and the Soviet Union’s sending troops to Manchuria, it is virtually impossible for Japan to continue the war.
I think we have no choice but to accept the Potsdam Proclamation.
He swept around the meeting with his eyes and said he wanted to listen to the opinions of all present.
The meeting place was silent.
The silence was broken by the sea minister, who said, “if we keep silent, we will achieve nothing.
Do we agree with the enemy’s ultimatum, unconditional surrender or put forward conditions? We should discuss it here and now.
” Therefore, other participants expressed their views one after another.
Finally, in addition to agreeing that Japan’s monarchy must be retained, the participants had sharp differences on other views.
Suzuki, Minai and Dongxiang advocated accepting the ultimatum of the allies on the basis of retaining the monarchy.
Anan, Meijin meijiro and Toyota hope that other conditions must be added.
These conditions are: the occupying forces stationed by the Allied forces in Japan should be the smallest.
Japanese war criminals are tried by the Japanese side rather than both sides.
The Japanese side will demobilize the Japanese army.
Obviously, the main war faction cannot accept the idea of defeat and surrender.
Dongxiang retorted: “the current situation in Japan is precarious.
Even if Japan wants to put forward some conditions, the allies will not agree.
They may flatly refuse.
” Meijin argued: “Japan has not lost this war.
If Americans invade Japan, our army can still effectively stop them, and their casualties must be very heavy.
” Dongxiang replied, “even if the enemy’s first attack is repulsed, Japan’s defense capability will be weaker, and the enemy’s next attack on Japan is absolutely unstoppable.
In that case, it’s better to accept this announcement now, as long as it can retain the Japanese royal family.
” Minette continued, “yes, we doYou can win the first battle for Japan, but you can’t win the second battle.
The general trend is gone, so we should put aside our face and surrender as soon as possible.
We should preserve our country.
” Anan said unconvinced, “it’s too early for us to say that we have failed.
There is no doubt that if the enemy attacks Japan, we will bring them heavy losses.
Maybe this can turn the war around and turn defeat into victory, which is not impossible.
” At this time, several ministers of agriculture, transportation, industry and Commerce expressed their opposition.
They explained the reason why Japan could not fight any more from the perspective of Japan’s economy – the losses caused by the bombing and the reduction of crop production no longer have the strength to support Japan to fight.
The interior minister and several other ministers shouted that they were firmly opposed to accepting the Potsdam Proclamation and that Japan should continue the war.
The cabinet meeting could not resolve the differences for the moment.
Helpless, Suzuki had to decide to report the situation to Japanese Emperor Hirohito and ask him to make a ruling.
That night, Hirohito summoned cabinet ministers, Prime Minister Suzuki guantaro, marine minister mitsuke, foreign minister Toshio Maude, land minister anawiji, chief of staff Meijin meichiro, chief of Naval Command Toyoda Deputy Wu, and Baron Hiranuma to the palace for a meeting.
At the meeting, Suzuki first reported to Hirohito the main differences debated at the cabinet meeting during the day.
“The current situation is that the supreme war steering conference is divided into two factions and cannot reach agreement,” he said Dongxiang made a second speech.
After expounding his views, he said: “Japan should accept the Potsdam Proclamation as long as the allies can accept the guarantee on the retention of Japan.
” Anan stood up angrily and expressed his opposition: “Japan should fight on.
For Japan, the final contest has not yet begun and the outcome is uncertain.
If they accept surrender, they must accept four conditions: maintain the integrity of the Japanese monarchy, ensure that Japan has the right to demobilize its troops, try war criminals and limit the scale of the occupation army.
” Meijin listened to Anan’s words, nodded and said, “I agree that Japan should continue to fight.
Japan is still relatively strong.
Now accepting unconditional surrender can only humiliate Japan’s heroes who died in the war.
To surrender, we must adhere to these four conditions.
” Toyota also agreed to continue fighting.
Later, Prime Minister Suzuki said, “obviously, we can’t reach an agreement now.
In view of this situation, I think it’s better to ask your majesty to make an appointment.
” Emperor Hirohito, who has been silent, spoke at this time.
He said: continuing the war can only cause the destruction of the Japanese people.
Obviously, Japan is unable to carry out the war, and it is doubtful whether it can continue to defend its own land.
Yuren’s tone became very low: Needless to say, it was unbearable to see my loyal army disarmed.
But now we need to bear what we can’t bear, what we can’t bear.
Therefore, I intend to accept all their terms.
After Yuren finished his speech, the members of the Supreme Committee were covered with tears and bowed.
The land minister Anan broke the silence and shouted, “please don’t surrender!” Yuren turned and walked out of the door slowly.
In accordance with Yuren’s instructions, the members sent a telegram to Sweden and Switzerland and transmitted it to China, the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union.
The message was that the Japanese government was ready to accept all the provisions put forward in the joint statement issued by the heads of government of the United States, Britain and China in Potsdam on July 26, 1945 and later signed by the Soviet government, If the Japanese royal family and national sovereignty are not damaged in any way, Japan will unconditionally accept the Potsdam announcement.
How should an official note notifying the Allies be sent? If you send a telegram and the military news prosecutor knows that it is the content of surrender, it may be detained, which will delay the event.
Finally, it was decided to send the English version of the note to the United States and several major European countries through the international news editor of the news agency and Morse code.
At 7:33 a.m. on August 10, the United States received the code.
Truman convened a meeting of secretary of state Berners, Secretary of the army Stimson and others.
He asked, can it be considered that Japan has accepted the Potsdam Proclamation? If so, do you want to keep the emperor system? Stimson suggested to Truman that the Japanese emperor could be retained because it was useful for the United States to retain the emperor.
The United States needs the help of the emperor to make the scattered Japanese troops surrender as soon as possible.
Forrester opposed the reservation, believing that it was a retrogression from unconditional surrender.
At 14 PM, Truman read out a reply drafted by the Secretary of state at the White House: the ruling power of the emperor of Japan and the Japanese government over the country should be subordinate to the supreme commander of the Allied forces.
The final form of the Japanese government will be established according to the freely expressed will of the Japanese people.
After studying the palindrome, Japanese Foreign Minister Dongxiang believed that Japan should accept the palindrome.
He believed that according to the terms of the note, Japan’s monarchy would be retained.
If the note was rejected, Japan would be finished.
At the same time, the young and strong officers of the army province expressed their firm opposition after learning the reply of the Allied forces.
They rushed into Anan’s room and asked Anan to refuse the reply.
The spokesman of these young officers was nakzo Takeshita, Anan’s brother-in-law.
In a cold and vicious tone, he announced: “the proposed surrender must not be implemented, otherwise, the land minister must have a caesarean section.
” Anan stared straight at his brother-in-law with his lips closed.
He knew in his heart that he could oppose Suzuki and Dongxiang, but he could never oppose the emperor.
So Anan decided to visit the emperor’s third brother to persuade him to change his mind.
However, the prince let Anan very disappointed.
The prince said to Anan bluntly and impolitely: “since the war, the actions of the military headquarters have been disobeying the will of the emperor, and it is still the case now.
The situation has developed to the current stage, and it is very inappropriate to continue to fight.
” On the morning of August 13, Yuren held a pre imperial meeting in the palace attended by cabinet members, members of the supreme war guidance conference and several of his senior government officials.
After everyone sat down, Hirohito said slowly in a low voice: I have carefully listened to the reasons against Japan’s acceptance of the alliance palindrome.
However, I still hold my view that it is useless to drag on the war.
I also studied what was mentioned in the reply of the allies.