tv Mac Arthur and Hirohito in Postwar Japan CSPAN March 18, 2017 4:43pm-5:44pm EDT
>> all day we have been live from ford's theatre and washington, d.c. with a symposium on abraham lincoln's life, career, and legacy. you can watch symposium highlights at 6:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span3 or our website at www.c-span.org/history. you can also find our tv schedule and upcoming previews on the website. to connect with us, find us on twitter and facebook. this is american history tv only on c-span3. >> author and historian richard frank talks about america's post-world war ii occupation of japan. he discusses general douglas macarthur's relationship with emperor eric ito --hirohito, and
setting up food for a population on the brink of starvation. this took place at the national world war ii museum in new orleans, entitled 1946, year zero, triumph and tragedy. >> we have a preview for next session. know the speaker or have heard him address museum gatherings before. richard frank is an independent researchers -- researcher and author and authority on the pacific war. i hope i do not embarrass them by state -- saying the authority. he is the award winning author of the definitive account of the landmark battle. a book that fascinated and moved me in equal measure. my father fought there in world downfall, an
authoritative look of the endgame, the very messy endgame of the pacific war. and more recently, macarthur. i asked if there was a subtitle and he said, no, just macarthur. it is a standalone. is currently working on a narrative trilogy of the asia-pacific war. let's give him our encouragement. historical consultant on the hbo miniseries on the pacific. richard will speak to us on the macarthur, hirohito, and ruling postwar japan. i give you richard frank. [applause] thank you, rob, for that generous introduction. i was particularly pleased that unlike the other introductions, he did not accuse me of being dignified. [laughter]
mr. frank: i was at a conference at sandhurst a couple years ago and at the end, the commandant made two remarks and explained that the british army trains its lieutenants and he told us how they have various tactical and other problems they give them. throw in aso like to moral issue into these problems. exercise showed a scenario along the lines of the famous drop on the fortified maryland battery the night before the day. it was heavily fortified with heavy artillery. the plan was for a battalion of paratroopers to capture for the landings. the scenario goes along to that point. you get to the rendezvous point instead of 700 troopers you have 60. and waiting at the rendezvous point, five french civilians
appeared. what do you do with them? one of the six lieutenants announces they are hopelessly deadlocked. three of them believe that to maintain operational security they could shoot the civilians. the other three are absolutely appalled. you cannot just take them and shoot them. it is much too noisy. [laughter] there is a moral thread in my talk today that has two basic elements, both i believe are very much connected as you will see. let me start with the first. the enormous literature on the occupation of japan from 1945 until 1952 generally treats it as a great triumph, or at least an overall success, if flawed. is that literature overwhelmingly concentrated on political, economic, and social issues. literatureent, that
conspicuously ignores or underplays what i think is the most critical moment of the occupation. that was the first year when occupation's fate hung by a thread in the face of two massive humanitarian crises. diseaseseadly epidemic and the other involved famine. the occupation was led by general douglas macarthur whose title was supreme commander of the allied powers, the acronym scape they were known by. the war had disrupted and graded japan's public health. malnutrition had rendered the entire population susceptible to diseases. and possibly 6.5 million japanese personnel and civilians were repatriated to the homeland. potential carriers of deadly infections. it created a perfect storm for rampaging, deadly epidemics. 650,000 people would contract
communicable disease during the first three years of the occupation, and about 1000 of them died. as sad as these numbers are they represent in small measure the perils acing the japanese. worked in close collaboration with japan's own medical personnel. the medical element of --upation was under officer neurosurgeons are near the top of the pecking order. he had been involved in extensive medical planning during the war, planning for the occupation of japan. his foresight in terms of stockpiling material would save the many japanese lives in the coming months. dynamic, authoritative, tactless, and hyper efficient. this collection of personal trait may not have made him your
first race for a dinner companion. of he was capable vanquishing catastrophic diseases, he was the man for the hour. arrived, o socko ground zero for the typhus outbreak. but it threatened to release typhus across japan. there were some 7000 cases and deaths. his firsthis as priority. he organized 80,000 personnel to confront the disease and 800 newly created medical centers. he's -- he swung into frenetic action, helping 500,000 people in four days. two thirds of the population and nearly with ddt 13 million and oculi did in the anti-typhus effort.
for several months, there were no cases of highly lethal cholera. introduce the disease in 1946. cholera is an extremely deadly disease. there is an outbreak among 17,000 japanese repatriated to korea, which resulted in a 11,000 deaths. authoritiesmedical found most cases and port cities. sams saw to it that the population of japan was vaccinated against the disease and there were no more cases of cholera after december, 1946. against smallpox. s efforts touched 96% of the total japanese population.
no other element of the occupation personally touched so many japanese. sams second major front was public health. there was a major upgrade in the quality licensing and practices for physicians, dennis, pharmacist, and veterinarians. he demilitarize the hospital system and had improvements in multiple dimensions. uponny cases, he expanded early efforts by japanese health care providers. toeed, he worked rigorously work in collaboration with the japanese when japanese historians said american japanese cooperation during the occupation was at its zenith dealing with the medical smear. thecombined efforts of american and japanese health officials between 1946 in 1949 dramatically reduced the incidence of the following diseases: give you some idea of how effective they were.
tuberculosis had been prevalent but the death rate was among the highest in the world. it accounted for 12% to 15% of deaths in japan in the 1930's. the efforts of the health officials during occupation by 1949.t to 40% overall, his efforts at improving were dramatic. this is the metric of that success. between 1933 and 1940, before armed conflict with the u.s., 18.7 per rate was at 1000 person, reduced to 8.1 per 1000 persons, less than half. they would write that sams' efforts saved 3 million lives. this is probably the lesser of
the mass saving efforts during occupation. an 18-year-old american soldier arrived in japan as the occupation began. he was shocked to witness japanese fathers come to american facilities and try to changeer their children, custody to put them in the hands of americans that they might eat and live. he saw japanese assisting through garbage from american food services. gerhard weinberg witnessed similar scenes and g.i.'s finding ways to give food to starving japanese. a 19-year-old living in devastated tokyo, the family meals included grass. she was warned americans would rape or kill her so the first time she saw americans she ran. they caught her but proved kind.
they offered her strange food, and to assure her it was not poisoned, they aided them selves. she then took it and it was spam. she reports she still loves spam, which places her in a very low percentile of the world population. [laughter] mr. frank: a later well-known japanese scholar said they planted sweet potatoes on the lawns and later dug them up to eat stems, roots, and all. saturdays, they searched for grasshoppers to eat. for decades after the war, he and a large number of other japanese would recoil at the site of a sweet potato. these stories put a human face on words like hunger. the japanese nation faced not just hunger, they were starkly confronting famine. famine is defined as a shortage of food or purchasing power that leads to excess mortality from starvation and hunger induced diseases.
the connection between starvation and disease is close and intimate. american intelligence on japan had few indications of food problems, no indication it was a generalized problem. the most comprehensive of -- assessment in 1945 assumed japan's food supply was nowhere near collapse. the premise they faced no food crisis in form to the occupation policies. believed it was the job of the japanese to remedy it. calculations, directives issued to macarthur provided the japanese government, functioning and occupation, would have total responsibility for japan's economy, including feeding the population. the directives commanded macarthur there would be no gratuitous, that was the exact word, no gratuitous distribution of american food to the japanese. samsthur and crawford became aware of the food crisis.
might's food supply break down in 1946 and endanger the whole mission of the occupation. macarthur took three immediate measures. first, he ordered a transfer of storage and equipment, including food that it been held by the imperial army and navy to japanese civilian authorities. had been of this looted by japanese before the american occupation began. second, he ordered the u.s. would feed its own occupation forces. this is significant because was that local areas had supplied food to the occupying armies. this had disastrous effects in many places, notably in vietnam where 1.5 million vietnamese starved to death in 1945. undoubtedly, the decision to
make sure we set our own troops saved thousands of japanese lives in the coming months. third, he cast aside the japanition by ordering to 3 million tons of food that it been stockpiled for the invasion. about theental facts food situation shaped macarthur's options. first, the crisis involved urban, not rural population. suppliers wereh satisfactory, if not doing well. most reveled on the urbanites that had previously scorned them. there was a lack of food, lack of solid data on the food situation and the fact that massive amounts of food were ported in world areas and being diverted into a black market. admit it impossible to arrive at a precise figure how much food was available in japan, especially during the first critical year of the occupation. macarthur turned to the japanese
fact, it helped pave the way for food imports. although harrison and hoover reports moved that the food situation was indeed very critical, there was an unwillingness to ship large quantities of food. there is a worldwide food shortage. the needs of allied nations and liberated areas for food. in addition, some of the allies were particularly concerned that the americans were favoring the japanese over some of the other liberated areas and their own peoples. that thee stressed official russian was not enough to sustain life. famously, a japanese judge disturbed about the economic , instructed his wife defeat him only the official russian. he died.
and he was not the only such case there was. the crisis require them to go beyond the official rations of the home production, family assistance, the black market, charitable organizations, emergency distribution, and imports. the government confronted the crisis, with respect to collecting the rice harvest. they held between 85% and 95% of the rice quota by february. farmers were suspicious of the government. the hoarding in fear of starvation before the next fall harvest led to hoarding and undermining the quota system. there is a black market offering far higher prices than the official rates. of 1946 the months rationing system teetered on the verge of collapse. distribution,od they started transfers from
dusted areas to surplus -- from surplus areas to deficit areas and to gain cooperation with importantthere was an appeal by the emperor himself and a warning by state that imports would not be distributed until the deficit transfer program had been completed. actions improved the situation. but in may of 1946, tokyo residents received a ration of only 700 75 calories in their daily distribution. food demonstrations erect a nationwide. by may 19, a quarter of a million people demonstrated in a rally before the imperial palace. it became most acute in august and most cities. sams feared they were near mass starvation. the evidence seems clear that ultimately, american food shipments proved crucial to heading off what would have been mass famine.
there seems to be no real dispute. when we get to the exact figures in american food aid, it is murky. i have been there a number of secondary and primary sources. i find it impossible to totally reconcile all the figures. had accumulated 3.5 million tons of american food, stockpiled for the final campaign. we know some of this went to korea, that was in a serious situation. some was held as a reserve against the catastrophic supply failure in japan. that mostome evidence of the food brought in from the stockpiles have been distributed by the time the summer was reached. when andt know exactly where this was distributed. we do know for sure that between may and october 1946, during the most critical months of the food crisis, 594,000 metric tons of u.s.were imported from the
in the form of cereal and canned goods. it may not seem like much, but bear in mind the entire crisis involved half the population, the urban dollars -- dwellers, 36 million people. and it fell on the second half of the rice year. if you know half went to the urban population in the period we look at is only half, that means a regular rice distribution between may and october should have been around 1.6 million metric tons. the imported u.s. food alone would have added 37% to the available food during this period. we do have figures that provide support for this. ,his indicates the percentage and the ration and tokyo. i would emphasize for those
figures june through september, overwhelmingly american food aid is going to the urban population. you figure if you double the percentage for that period, that is the percentage going to the urban populations. tokyo is a most totally dependent upon food, imported food. there were about to you -- 2 million people in tokyo during that period. it accounts for 60% to 80% of total food supply. japan's population remained without a fully adequate diet quantitatively in 1947 and 1948. from november 1946, they also addressed the nutritional inadequacy of the japanese diet. expanded on the school lunch program to improve nutrition of children. this involved 7 million youths.
the occupation authorities would claim that it saved 11 million lives. i think this is probably an overstatement but there can be no doubt the total number of lives saved was easily in the millions. macarthur's role in heading off the famine was fundamental. one japanese later called it the most noble and perhaps important achievement during occupation. whatever else one might say about douglas macarthur, this was his one shining moment. there is one further aspect about the dealings with disease and famine. from theok at figures war, you find disease control say 3 million lives and arbitrarily let's say the famine saved three to 5 million lives, maybe more. of japanese who died in asia-pacific war was 3 million. you have a rather astonishing fact that the u.s. occupation of double thejapan save
amount that was lost in the entire war. this background is very important to the next part of my talk. distributions the -- disposition of emperor hirohito. from 1926 until his death in 1989. his role included the everythingc war, perpetrated was done in his name. the core of this responsibility is mass death. here are some figures as best i can. i think using a fairly conservative approach, 24 million to 25 million died during the asia-pacific war, 6 million were combatants. that means somewhere between 17 and 18 million, noncombatants died.
japanese historians i know and respect that the number of atths of noncombatants 700,000. the number of noncombatants that died was around one million. even assuming one million is the you see thise, incredible disparity that for every japanese noncombatant that died during the war, something like 17 or 18 noncombatants died. by any measure, this is one clear measure of the moral responsibility of the war. arguments of been advance that an honor to secure japan's surrender, the u.s. either pledged a continuation of the imperial institution or the continuation of emperor hirohito on the throne. wasfinal fate of hirohito determined in 1945, they do not
withstand close scrutiny. nor indeed, later u.s. actions. made one formal , the proclamation of july 26, 1945, stated after japan's capitulation and period there are be a peacefully inclined and responsible government. that pledge was based upon principles set for his in the atlantic charter that envisioned they have their own government, which could improve -- include a democratic framework. the firstreceive authentic piece on august 10, 1945, the text of that communication had the caveat exception --nese , was that it does not
compromise any demand the prejudices the prerogatives of his magis the, the sovereign ruler. this language may seem innocuous, but constituted a recognizet the u.s. them for supreme, over the occupation commander, thus have a veto over occupation reforms. this of course was not acceptable. the response of the japanese communication became known as the burns note after secretary of state james burns. a set from the moment of be subjectthey shall to the supreme commander of the allied powers. the note then went on to reiterate the u.s. position of sdampot stamm -- pot declaration. recognized would be
on an interim status. that would be consistent with the allies who wanted to use the emperor's authority to make japanese comply. nothing in the note alter the that it rested in the hands of the japanese people. the note reemphasize that very point. there is debate whether the burns note offered prospect of survival of the imperial institution. they advise the emperor said it posed no danger. the very next day on august 13 note,laining his know, -- hirohito explained that if the japanese people no longer want the imperial house, even if the
united states allows it to continue, there are no use in trying to save it. some of the time of the not make a promise the japanese people would be free to choose their own form of government. that promise included continuation of the imperial institution. , thethe occupation began original plan was that the u.s. would conduct direct governments of japan just as it had done in germany. the initial post surrender directly to macarthur in august -- september 1945. they reverse this and ordered macarthur to have his occupation through the governmental machinery and agencies including the emperor, to further united states objectives. could not eliminate the imperial institution without
approval of washington. august 60 was told to take no action against the emperor, without explicit directive from washington. the occupation of japan was to be run through japanese local institutions, not direct u.s. rule. a principle that would be ignored later in afghanistan and iraq. there were some reasons for the from direct indirect role. the u.s. lack the capability to conduct direct government. the public demand to bring the boys home with swiftly declined from half a million to 200,000. that left macarthur with not enough they in next to enforce with power. critical, there was interest in japanese matters very swiftly declining. american leadership was highly eurocentric. the distances to asia were
was lesseater in japan well known in the european states. macarthur had established a more distant relationship with washington and his superiors. the attention of the american people was diverted swiftly to fromrsion of the economy war to peace. in 1946, it is still the record for the most industrial turmoil the u.s. has experienced. what about the japanese side of this equation? circlethe japanese inner those he might have some say in the matter, the idea that hirohito could be tried as a war hero was unthinkable. but there was the idea that he should take responsibility for the war. voluntary abdication was one clear act to it knowledge is responsibility. on august 29, 1945 the emperor
himself brought the question of abdication to his advisor. as a means framed it of absolving his ministers and senior officers from their war responsibilities. he counseled against this. at the immediate postwar cabinet under the prince discussed abdication to take more responsibility with the knowledge of the emperor. the cabinet remained divided. the prince himself, hirohito's uncle, recommended he abdicated in october. the question of the emperor's abdication broke through the media in october 1945 and was raised until the early months of 1946. one further aspect about abdication must be noted, the principal advisor would be convicted as a war criminal at
the war crimes trial and was in the prison when japan regained its sovereignty in 1952. he passed on his view expressed in 1945, that the emperor should retire or abdicate, an act that would be viewed as an acceptance of war responsibility but the prime minister rejected that view and hirohito did not oblige. it was an issue both to the american public as well as to allied nations. an unpublished gallup poll in 1945 revealed 77% of the american people wanted hirohito severely punished. there was a resolution in -- introduced in the senate for trial for him as a war criminal. the state war and navy coordinating committee remained split between those who wish to
see him tried as a war criminal. numerous allied nations with the soviet union produced statements demanding the emperor be tried as a war criminal. macarthur had carried with him to japan and approached emperor developedthat he had --chological warfare, warfare experts, in 1944. from that time his command had avoided direct attacks on the emperor from a practical analysis, and considerations the emperor could provide indispensable assistance to obtain japan's surrender. they called it the spiritual jet -- change of the japanese people. drive a adopted to
wedge between the emperor and the people on the one side and the gangster militarists on the other. the japanese militarists were accused of deceiving the people and the training their emperor. with the status of emperor hirohito resolved, there occurred an event of seismic importance. september 20 7, 19 45 macarthur met for the first time with emperor hirohito. this is the famous photograph of that event, the most famous image of the occupation. a historian noted it shows the emperor was not a living god but more of a human being. he is standing beside a much older human that he was now subservient to. it exemplified the defeat of japan. japanese officials were horrified when they saw the photograph. but macarthur's staff insisted it be published and it was a sensation.
whatever the eventual fate of the amp or a might have been, this photograph demonstrated there would be a vast gap between what had gone before and what would come after. the ultimate resolution of fronts, was on two macarthur's headquarters in tokyo and washington. it was advanced not only by macarthur but another. there were visible lines of contact, but they exploited unofficial conduits. -- they had ties to the imperial court. another ran through his own cousin, who was married to a japanese diplomat. they were attached to the imperial court and the collaborated with him, giving the imperial court and unofficial and direct communications link to the highest levels of the occupation. they conveyed several messages by these contacts. one was an explanation of the
and the second was listening from the imperial court, testimony to establish what role the emperor had played but to exonerate him from war responsibility. fellas conducted investigations from september 1945 to 1946. these investigations served to provide japanese with expert guidance on how to present evidence to exonerate the emperor. communications prime the to take full responsibility for pearl harbor. washington got around to ordering an investigation of the emperor's responsibility. it is produced arguably the most important document on the u.s. side. 1946, thereresponse
was a secret cable to dwight eisenhower, macarthur firmed his belief in the emperors total innocence. based on a memo prepared three month earlier, macarthur that there was no specific and tangible evidence that have been discovered with regards to the emperor's exact activities that can him in varying degrees with political decisions of the japanese empire during the last decade. i have gained the definite as complete am research as was possible to me that his connection with the affairs of state up to the time of the end of the war was largely ministerial and automatically responded to the advice of his counselors. there was in fact, no meaningful investigation. stylehur in his own concluded the communication with the trial of the
emperor would unquestionably cause a tremendous convulsion among the japanese people, the repercussions of which cannot be overestimated. he is a symbol which unites all japanese. destroy him and the nation will disintegrate. it is quite possible that one million troops would be required, which would have to be maintained for an indefinite period of time. as macarthur was aware, a huge occupation force, was unthinkable in 1946. the final mile marker in this process came four months later section ofsecution the international military tribunal publicly exonerated the emperor of war crimes. i have only outlined a number of way stations on the path to keeping emperor hirohito as emperor. have,lity, we do not yet have not yet located evidence, assuming it exists, of all the
as a historian, my judgment has been tempered by my understanding of the humanitarian crises with the occupation phase at the beginning. regardless of macarthur's motives, i do not think they withstand scrutiny, i do not think any reasonable commander could have held his hand against we cannot know what would have happened without the emperor's plea for cooperation and embracing of stability his
retention provided. would be advised to take a chance in these circumstances. after a least a year, there would have been 20 time to deal with the emperor. wouldeve the best way have been abdication. trials are messy, subject to challenge. abdication which would seem to be in his own initiative would be seen to be a cleaner way to establish that he personally accepted responsibility. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, rich. there was a gentleman who had his hand up for the last round and i didn't get to him, so he gets it first question. the allies didn't really know about the food situation in japan whenever making their invasion plans in 1945, but in
your view, might that situation have made the invasion more feasible or less deadly? richard: if you buy a copy of my book -- [laughter] richard: actually, the food situation at the end of the war is really important, because the japanese leadership in june, 1945 conducted what they called an imperial conference. these are formalized rituals. what i was intrigued in and what i wrote was the staff papers that were prepared in preparation for this conference had a passage in them that i this is clearly saying that even if their plan to continue the war and fight the invasion works out and they get a negotiation at the end of the war, the leaders are still being told there is is going to be
mass starvation in japan in 1946. had to state that explicitly because i couldn't find what i thought was a connecting link to show that specific leaders understood that. we have found plenty of evidence that the military leaders clearly understood that, as horrendous as everything that a region -- that invasion battle might have been, there is this more charybdis -- more horrendous possibility for japan. factor, aa third domestic situation. what it was about was the campaign of blockade and compartment and this threat -- blockade and bombardment in the threat of mass starvation. certainlythat factor critical. joe --t book, "mercury emperor hero ito -- emperor
writes she thinks that's the most important reason to japanese quit. one of the side effects was it that was a powerful argument against the blockade and bombardment strategy, and why the invasion went forward are you there were a lot of elements to food. >> the next question here. >> those who made a decision to drop the first atomic bomb, why did they not include tokyo in order to cut off the head of the snake? richard: their assessment was that the head of the snake was going to be very important to get the japanese armed forces to surrender and the japanese
people to agree to a surrender. one of the aspects about this whole debate that is striking that gets fomented it is, in 1945, there had literally been no surrender of japanese government to a foreign party in their history. from our side of it, we were not aware of any organized surrender of any japanese unit, skirmish, or battle in the whole pacific war. basically, there was no guarantee that we were going to get a japanese government to surrender. secondly, he would be got one that would surrender, there was no guarantee the japanese armed forces were going to comply with the surrender. this whole issue of no organized capitulation was the ultimate american nightmare about what was going to happen in terms of ending the war with japan.
to the degree they believed the emperor could be utilized to convince both the japanese people and the japanese government and armed forces to surrender on it made no sense to kill him or attempt to kill him. >> in the back to your left, richard. betterwar was incredibly -- incredibly better -- incredibly bitter. can you tell us about the reaction of the japanese civilians to the conquering army? was their gratitude, bitterness and hatred? how did that progress? richard: the first thing a ran through a lot of japanese hearts was terror. and a generalanda belief the americans would come , have slaughter people their way with japanese women, and then the americans arrived.
very quickly, although american contact was by no means spotless , it was astonishingly good compared to the standards the japanese had set themselves. secondly, when the gis arrived in japan, they were all struck devastation, of because most of them were in urban areas, and by the destitution of the japanese people and the sheer hunger. gerhart points out that, when he arrived with his unit in japan, he got the word that this was something any large bureaucratic organization had. you have the informal policies conducthow people themselves, and the word his unit had was, no one will go out and buy food off the japanese economy because the japanese
people are so desperate. it was hard for them to look at this, and when there is no overt act of resistance, to basically feel anything but compassion. americans were roaming around with no weapons, unlike what is going on in germany, where people are still. weapons and there are still incidents. to me, is fascinating. he thought this war with the japanese, and without a doubt, .here was a white-hot of rage i think race was an element, but there is also conduct. the japanese seemed to be absolutely off the chart of our common humanity and terms of how they fought the war. surrendered,nese what stops? did they stop being a member of another race? no. it seems like there is an
obvious lesson there. >> here in the front. >> thank you. another very informative talk. it seems to me the way the united states quickly, and both europe and asia, went from fighting a war to trying to help the people that they defeated, i was particularly interested in your chart that talked about the food that was supplied to the japanese people. i know we were the suppliers, but the you have information on what the ultimate source was? did it come from america, regional? where was the source of this food? richard: i should point out, the importance of food continued into the occupation. it was not just in 1946. that was just under 600,000 tons from u.s. agricultural output. out that source points
nearly 600,000 ton figure includes almost 50,000 tons of canned goods, but the difference was there nutritional value was much higher than 50,000 tons of wheat or something. andeffectiveness of that those items was much higher. a historian who interviewed all of -- a lot of japanese prime minister's after the war noted that, through the 1970's, he remarked that all of them had been teenagers during the occupation, and each one woman bring that the americans came and said the japanese people. that is a cornerstone to our relationship. >> just a quick follow-up. that placed no difficulty with
the american public in our consumption needs? >> -- richard: that's a good point. first of all, there is a wonderful book called "the taste of war," which i highly recommend. it talks about the food in world war ii. she goes to length about how well said the americans were, but notes that we should a lot of food to a lot of places during the war, particularly the food that once the soviet union probably saving a couple million soviets from starving to death during the war. we had enough food around to ship out. the bigger issue with the american public would have been the animosity of the war. like i said, i think what clearly happened was the toention shifted swiftly getting the boys home and getting everybody back to work. that tended to keep public attention off of what was going on in japan. don leslie in ask the front row on the very right,
could you stand? lecture wednesday on the mercy week program, which he is very passionate about. if you want to learn more about food in world war ii, especially the post war world, talk to don. thank you for giving a lecture earlier. [applause] kim has the last question in the back. >> dr. frank, after the second atomic on was dropped, did not hirohito stepped into a ruling war council and say, this is it, it's over? that, how many more a-bombs were we willing to
use had he not stepped in and said it's over? >> let me on another 45 minutes. [laughter] richard: on the basic facts, you are correct. it does take intervention by the emperor to bring the japanese. the legal government in japan never on its own initiative agrees to any terms and -- any terms to end the war. their terms they were still insist young -- insisting on included no occupation of japan, for instance. the emperor's intervention was clearly decisive. after thegly enough, official announcement on the 15th of august by the emperor about the surrender, we're still intercepting traffic showing japanese commanders saying they were going to comply -- they weren't going to comply. there is this message put out by
the naval industry in tokyo to explain what happened. expressly described how the end were intervenes. that we weren't entirely sure what was going on behind the curtain among japanese leaders. be thet message seems to solid gold evidence that the emperor did indeed intervene, and his intervention was ending the war, which and reinforced the policy to keep the emperor to achieve occupation goals, at least not try him as a war criminal. about what of bombs happened, i'm going to have to take a pass on that. we can use that her further conference -- use that for further conference. >> thank you very much, richard. give them a round of applause. [applause] announcer: this weekend on
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