Japanese leader thought his country "weak" for surrendering after Hiroshima

Breaking News

General Hideki Tojo lashed out at his countrymen in his journal even after atomic bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The journal, found in the National Archives of Japan, covers the two-week period from Aug 10, 1945, a day after the second atomic bomb had struck Nagasaki.

"The Japanese government has accepted the notion that Japan is the loser and it appears to be going to accept unconditional surrender," Tojo wrote. "Such a position frustrates the officers and soldiers of the imperial armed forces.

"Without fully employing its abilities even at the final moment, the imperial nation is surrendering to the enemies' propaganda," he wrote. "I never imagined such torpor in the nation's leaders and its people."

Tojo ordered the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into the Second World War. But he was forced out as premier in 1944 as the tide of the conflict turned.

He was hanged in December 1948 as a Class-A war criminal after being found guilty at the Tokyo war crimes tribunal.

The journal, published in the Nikkei newspaper in the run-up to Friday's 63rd anniversary of Japan's surrender, provoked a strong reaction in Japan. Professor Tsuyoshi Amemiya, a military historian, said that Tojo's bitterness at the people and leaders aware that there was no hope of withstanding the Allies' onslaught was misplaced.

comments powered by Disqus