Imperial Palace On August 15, 1945
On August 14, the Imperial Government of Japan finally decided to surrender to the US military in a special meeting joined by the Emperor.
It was the Emperor himself and Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki, an ex-admiral of the Imperial Navy, that took the critical initiative in this supreme leadership conference of the Empire.
Accordingly, the Emperor planned to deliver by radio his message to the whole Japanese people on acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration that specified conditions for the surrender of the Empire of Japan. So, the speech was recorded into phonorecords in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo at night of August 14.
But some officers of the Imperial Amy were strongly against this decision. In the night of August 14, they actually took a violent action aiming to seize the phonorecords and occupy the public broad casting station in Tokyo. They tried to make the commander of the Imperial Division, in charge of protecting the Imperial Palace, join their plot. But the general of the Division refused to act against the will of the Emperor. Upset by this rejection, insurgent officers killed the commander and his aid. Then the desperate officers faked an order by the commander to lead some platoons of the Division.
The mad officers and the platoons being mislead forcibly entered the Imperial Palace. Though they did not try to find and put the Emperor under their control, they exhaustively searched the phonorecords to be broadcast at noon of the next day. They looked for it in offices of the Imperial Household Ministry situated in the Palace. They even got into some rooms of Palace staff members. But the grand chamberlain hid the records so exquisitely. The last mad officers of the Imperial Army failed to find them eventually. But still the Imperial Palace was in danger since the Emperor might have been taken prison by this desperate armed group.
Meanwhile the commander of the Eastern Army Corps got a call from some Imperial staff from the Palace through a radio phone. The commander, in his office near the Palace, realized the emergency situation happening around the Emperor. He hurried to the Palace and caught the platoons and put them under his authority. The insurgence failed. The mad insurgent officers committed a suicide. Misled soldiers were ordered to leave the public broadcasting station where the phonorecord containing Emperor's message was brought safely in the morning of August 15.
At noon, all the Japanese citizens and soldiers in the Japanese Archipelago and oversea territories and battle fields listened to the radio, as they had been given advanced notice, and heard the voice of the Emperor for the first time. Hence the Japanese understood that the war against the US and allied forces was over.
In this way, August 15 became the day to remember the war in Japan as WWII ended on this day in 1945 for the Empire of Japan.
On August 15, General Anami, the Minister of Imperial Army, committed a suicide, performing harakiri like a samurai.
On August 16. General Onishi, the Imperial Navy general who led kamikaze suicide attacks, committed a suicide, performing harakiri like a samurai.
On September 11, General Tojo, the prime minister of the Imperial Government when the Pearl Harbor Attack was carried out, tried to commit a suicide in vain. He was arrested and hospitalized by US troops having landed on Tokyo. General Tojo was tried in Tokyo Tribunal of War Criminals and executed in 1958.
Fumimaro Konoe, the prime minister of the Imperial Government before General Tojo, committed a suicide on December 12 as he knew that General MacArthur, the supreme commander of occupational forces, decided to arrest Konoe, a remote relative of the Imperial Family, for Tokyo Tribunal of War Criminals.
In this way, the year 1945 ended along with the Empire of Japan that looked like having been destined to fall through WWII.
One notable episode is that the prime minister of the Empire of Japan on August 15, 1945, was Admiral Kantaro Suzuki. The Emperor trusted PM Suzuki very much. Admiral Suzuki was a victim of the February 26 Incident of 1936.
The February 26 Incident (also known as the 2-26 Incident) was an attempted coup d'état in Japan on 26 February 1936. It was organized by a group of young Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) officers with the goal of purging the government and military leadership of their factional rivals and ideological opponents.Admiral Suzuki, Grand Chamberlain at the time of the February 26 Incident, was attacked by insurgent troops and shot four times. However, his wife acted very courageously and smartly to save the life of the Admiral.
Although the rebels succeeded in assassinating several leading officials (including two former prime ministers) and in occupying the government center of Tokyo, they failed to assassinate Prime Minister Keisuke Okada or secure control of the Imperial Palace. Their supporters in the army made attempts to capitalize on their actions, but divisions within the military, combined with Imperial anger at the coup, meant they were unable to achieve a change of government. Facing overwhelming opposition as the army moved against them, the rebels surrendered on 29 February.
As the Emperor was very angry at those rebels, he all the more trusted Admiral Suzuki. In addition, the wife of the Admiral had been a kind of nanny of the Emperor when he was an infant. This strong tie between the Emperor and PM Suzukui made the miracle come true on August 15, 1945, since die-hard Imperial Army had been already determined to fight US troops on Japan's mainland, though Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been already destroyed by US atomic bombs.
Indeed, some crazy officers of the Imperial Army planned to kill PM Suzuki even before August 15, 1945 and take over the Imperial Government so as to lead the nation to desperate battles in Japan's mainland. But PM Suzuki could skillfully avoid such a crisis for months before August 15 and realized the surrender of the Empire by using the absolute authority of the Emperor.
Soon after the broadcasting of the direct message of the Emperor intended to make the Imperial military unconditionally surrender, PM Suzuki resigned from the prime minister office within August 15, though he was chased by some remnants of crazy insurgents for a while. Admiral Suzuki could escape an attempt of assassination this time, too. General MacArthur did not arrest Admiral Suzki and, of course, the Emperor. Kantrao Suzuki died in 1948 as a free citizen around Tokyo.
It was 1989 the Emperor (of Showa Era) died in Tokyo, while General MacArthur died in 1964 in Washington DC.
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Mat 8:15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.