tv Mac Arthur and Hirohito in Postwar Japan CSPAN March 19, 2017 12:00am-1:01am EDT
. matthew and michael. his case is on appeal. convicted, butas his conviction was later overturned after an appeals court made a ruling and made it much harder to convict someone of insider trading. >> sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span q&a. author and historian richard frank talks about americans post-world war ii occupation of japan. mr. frank discusses general douglas macarthur's relationship with emperor hirohito, and set up food distribution networks for a population on the brink of starvation. ofs hour-long talk was part a conference at the national world war ii museum in new orleans, entitled 1946, year zero, triumph and tragedy.
>> we have a preview for next session. many of you know the speaker or have heard him address museum gatherings before. richard frank is an independent researcher and author and internationally renowned authority on the pacific war. i will embarrass him by saying the international re-nine authority of the pacific war. 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 war ii, the downfall, an authoritative look of the endgame, the very messy endgame of the pacific war. and more recently, macarthur. asked richard if there was a
subtitle and he said, no, just macarthur. it is a standalone. he is currently working on a narrative trilogy of the asia-pacific war. but so please give him our encouragement. he was a historical consultant on the hbo miniseries on the pacific. richard will speak to us on the emperor, macarthur, hirohito, and ruling postwar japan. i give you richard frank. [applause] mr. frank: 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 left tenants and he told us how
they have various tactical and other problems they give them. but they also like to throw in a moral issue into these problems. one recent exercise showed a scenario along the lines of the famous drop on the fortified maryville 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 160. 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] mr. frank: there is a moral thread that weaves through my talk today that involves 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. but that literature is overwhelmingly concentrated on political, economic, and social issues. in my judgment, that literature 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. one was deadly epidemic diseases
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 -- degraded japan's public health. malnutrition had rendered the entire population susceptible to diseases. and approximately 6.5 million japanese personnel and civilians were repatriated to the homeland. they were all potential carriers of deadly infections. the situation seems to have created a perfect storm for rampaging, deadly epidemics. about 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 facing the japanese.
authorities worked in close collaboration with japan's own medical personnel. the medical element of occupation was under colonel crawford w stands. he was a trained neurosurgeon and neurosurgeons are near the top of the pecking order. he had been involved in extensive medical planning during the occupation of japan. his foresight in terms of stockpiling material would save the many japanese lives in the coming months. he was dynamic, authoritative, extremely hard-driving tactless, and hyper efficient. this collection of personal trait may not have made him your first choice for a dinner companion. but he was capable of vanquishing catastrophic diseases, he was the man for the hour. sams arrived, o socko ground zero for the typhus outbreak.
but the epidemic threatened to release typhus across japan. there were some 7000 cases and 615 deaths. sams set this as his first priority. he organized 80,000 personnel to confront the disease and 800 newly created medical centers. he swung into frenetic action, and oversaw the ddt dusting of some 500,000 people in four days. all total about 50 million japanese or two thirds of the population were dusted with ddt and nearly 13 million and oculi -- in oculi did -- the anti-typhus effort. for several months, there were no cases of highly lethal cholera. but they introduce the disease in 1946.
cholera is an extremely deadly disease. a wild friar outbreak -- a ildfire topic of color --xg= cholera among 17,000 japanese repatriated to korea, which resulted in a 11,000 deaths. august 1946 medical authorities 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. so it was against smallpox. sams 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. under his direction there was a major upgrade in the quality licensing and practices for
physicians, dentists pharmacist, , and veterinarians. he demilitarize the hospital system and had improvements in multiple dimensions. in many cases, a must be emphasized he expanded upon , early efforts by japanese health care providers. indeed, he worked rigorously to 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. sphere.-- the combined efforts of the 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 concentrated efforts of the health officials during
occupation reduced it to 40% by -- between 1946 and 1949. 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., the death rate was at 18.7 per 1000 persons. it had plummeted 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 the occupation. an 18-year-old american soldier arrived in japan as the
occupation began. he was shocked to witness japanese fathers come to fences around the american facilities and try to pass over their children, change custody to put them in the hands of americans that they might eat and live. he saw japanese assisting ting 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 could tell she was hungry, they offered her strange food, and to assure her it was not ate some of it themselves. 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. but to be precise, 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 directly 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 assessment in 1945 assumed
japan's food supply was nowhere near collapse. the premise they faced no food crisis framed the initial occupation policies. the the premise that japan had created their own plight and it was the job of the japanese to remedy it. based on such 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 additionally commanded macarthur there would be no gratuitous, that was the exact word, no gratuitous distribution of american food to the japanese. macarthur and crawford sams became aware of the food crisis. by october 1945, japan's food supply might 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. the problem was that about 70% of this had been looted by japanese before the american occupation began. second, he ordered the u.s. would feed its own occupation forces. this is significant because japan's policy 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 prohibition by ordering to japan 3.5 million tons of food that it
been stockpiled for the invasion. two fundamental facts about the food situation shaped macarthur's options. first, the crisis involved urban, not rural population. most rural south suppliers were satisfactory, if not doing well. most reveled on the urbanites that had previously scorned them. the second problem was the lack of food, lack of solid data on the food situation and the fact that massive amounts of food reported -- hoarded 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 government for basic facts. rice was harvested in september and october. and november 1 at which the japanese called rice year. in 1945 the rice harvest was
devastated by cold weather, typhoon, flood and a lack of fertilizer. the japanese government reported the rice harvest was only 645 metric tons, which would be about 60% of the norm. it was the worst harvest since 1910. further food imports had completely ceased, these had provided at least 15% of the food supply. financenese minister of in october of 1945 publicly announced that 10 million japanese would die from starvation without food relief. insisted thates the japanese government work on maximizing production. the basic problem of food sort -- shortage was much aggravated. by additional impediments by population dislocation, transportation disruption and hoarding and diversion to the black market.
in september he announced that only 200,000 u.s. soldiers would be need for the occupation. it was very popped the with the americans back home, but it meant that staff absolutely had to rely on the japanese government for food collection and distribution. a lot of the scholarship maintained had no economic -- before 1947. the scholarship now emphasize that they had the food scholarship from the start and economic policy. it was the food policy. they recognize that feeding the fornese was fundamental humility is a should set by washington. the two cannot be separated. voice was louder than macarthur's and insisting that the united states had an obligation to feed the japanese. at first macarthur cast his request for food aid as something to prevent unrest and
disease. this produced only a tepid response so he went to plan b, which was scared the hell out of them. worst in 30as the years and warned that the urban ration of 1042 calories a day could not sustain the food situation. without food he asserted, it would be's disaster, poverty, hunger and disease, and uprising of the major character. he passed on the request at the end that they should be shown to the president. so that if the food was not provided, there may be no future for the chain of responsibility. macarthur was the only american officer who would send a message like that back to washington. washington did not immediately respond, but they did send what was called the harrison omission, a food investigation
mission to examine whether the situation was as dire as mccarthy had reported. asrison did not see this disastrous as macarthur did -- depicted. this was followed by the appearance of former president herbert hoover who was with a you and mission, and -- un mission. thatinted eight comment without food import the japanese would be in conditions like the concentration camps. maintaining economic recovery would be impossible. these two missions in what one of the recalled an irrefutable fact, it helped pave the way for food imports. although harrison and hoover reports moved washington to accept the food situation was indeed very critical, there was an unwillingness to ship large quantities of food.
these included a worldwide food shortage. a former any nation, 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. it must be stressed that the official russian was not enough to sustain life. famously, a japanese judge disturbed about the majority of prisons brought to them on economic crimes, instructed his wife to feed 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. the government confronted a --sis which was collecting 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. in the first months of 1946 the rationing system teetered on the verge of collapse. to equalize food distribution, they started transfers from dusted areas to surplus -- from surplus areas to deficit areas and to gain cooperation with -- there reluctant to
was an important appeal by the emperor himself and a warning by state that imports would not be distributed until the deficit transfer program had been completed. these actions improved the collection situation. but in may of 1946, tokyo residents received a ration of only 775 calories in their daily distribution. food demonstrations erect a erruptedd -- 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.
as previously mentioned macarthur 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. there is some evidence that most of the food brought in from the stockpiles have been distributed by the time the summer was reached. we did not know exactly when and 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 rice were imported from the u.s. 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 dwellers, 36 million people. and it fell on the second half
of the rice year. if you assume that 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. i'm sorry. figures indicates the percentage, and the ration and tokyo. i would emphasize for those figures june through september, bear in mind that 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 are about 2 million people in tokyo during that period. you go through a list of large japanese cities and find where the imported food 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. sams 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. if you look at figures from the war, you find disease control save 3 million lives and arbitrarily let's say the famine saved three to 5 million lives, maybe more. the total number of japanese who died in asia-pacific war was 3 million. you have a rather astonishing fact that the u.s. occupation of japan save double the amount that was lost in the entire war. this background is very important to the next part of my talk. which concerns the disposition of emperor hirohito.
he ruled in japan from 1926 until his death in 1989. his rule included the asia-pacific war, everything 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 deaths of noncombatants at 700,000. the well-known to strongest american scholar says the number of noncombatants that died was around one million.
even assuming one million is the correct figure, you see this incredible disparity that for every japanese noncombatant that died during the war, something like 17 or 18 noncombatants died. other asians and probably 12 of them were chinese. by any measure, this is one clear measure of the moral responsibility of the war. arguments have 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. to the extent that these arguments maintained the final fate of hirohito was determined in 1945, they do not withstand close scrutiny. nor indeed, later u.s. actions. the u.s. made one formal commitment with regard to the institution.
the proclamation of july 26, 1945, stated after japan's capitulation and period of occupation, there are be a peacefully inclined and responsible government. that pledge was based upon principles set forth in the atlantic charter that envisioned they have their own government, which could include a democratic framework. when the u.s. receive the first authentic piece on august 10, 1945, the text of that communication had the caveat that the japanese acceptance, was that it does not compromise -- comprise any demand the prejudices the prerogatives of his majesty, the sovereign ruler. this language may seem innocuous, but constituted a demand that the u.s. recognize
the emperor 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 surrender, they shall be subject to the supreme commander of the allied powers. the note then went on to reiterate the u.s. position of the potsdam declaration. the emperor would be recognized on an interim status. that would be consistent with the allies who wanted to use the emperor's authority to make japanese comply. most especially japan's armed forces with a surrender.
nothing in the note alter the basic pledge that it rested in the hands of the japanese people. in fact, the note reemphasize that very point. there was considerable internal debate whether the burns note offered prospect of survival of the imperial institution. on august 12, the foreign the emperorised said it posed no danger. the very next day on august 13 in explaining his resolve to accept the know, -- note. -- note, 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 surrender did 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. when the occupation began, the original plan was that the u.s. would conduct direct governments of japan just as it had done in germany. that the initial post surrender director to macarthur in 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. macarthur was injected he cannot eliminate the imperial institution without approval of washington. august 60 was told to take no action against the emperor, as a work criminal -- war criminal without explicit directive from washington. the occupation of japan was to be run through japanese local institutions, not direct u.s. rule.
this was a principle that would be ignored later in afghanistan and iraq. there were some reasons for the change from direct indirect rule. 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 bayonets in next to enforce with power. one thing proved critical, there was interest in japanese matters very swiftly declining. american leadership was highly eurocentric. the distances to asia were vastly greater in japan was less 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 conversion of the economy from 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? within the japanese inner circle 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. at that time the emperor framed it as a means 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. the disposition of the emperor 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. in september 1945 there was a resolution introduced in the senate for trial for him as a war criminal. throughout the autumn of 1945, the state war and navy coordinating committee remained split between those who wish to use the emperor to further the occupational goals and 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
hirohito, that he had developed psychological 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. the might further search advanced the occupation goals, including, as they put it, the spiritual transformation of the japanese people. this was adopted to drive a 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 betraying their emperor. with the status of emperor
hirohito resolved, there occurred an event of seismic importance. september 27, 1945 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. two important degree, 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 hirohito was on two fronts, macarthur's headquarters in tokyo and washington.
it was advanced not only by macarthur but another. while macarthur's participation was visible lines of contact, but they exploited unofficial conduits. one grantor japanese quakers he had known during his tour 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 wedge theory, and the second was listening from the imperial court, testimony designed not 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 japanese 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. macarthur's response 1946, there 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
declared that there was no specific and tangible evidence that have been discovered with regards to the emperor's exact activities that might connect him in varying degrees with political decisions of the japanese empire during the last decade. i have gained the definite impression from as complete a 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. macarthur in his own style concluded the communication with the following, 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 on the international prosecution section of 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. in reality, we do not yet have, have not yet located evidence, assuming it exists, of all the nuances of american decision-making on this matter. particularly those that went on in washington. by any reasonable estimate, the american occupation of japan was not a particular access.
it is usually quoted to the political social and economic -- but the prevention of the mass humanitarian catastrophes involving famine should only secure position on my list that much -- must take privacy. the moral authority would've been destroyed. the whole occupation reform program would have been undermined. in terms of significant failures of the occupation, without a doubt, not having the emperor take war responsibility is at the top of the list. it deserted the manner in which the japanese came to understand -- asian neighbors to leave that japan has never estimated the remorse of wartime activities that it should for mass death and devastation. there are two methods for dealing with his war responsibility. the lawyer in me would generally
tend to favor a trial, one that would produce a lot of evidence. in my answer a lot of questions about the other aspects about the asian pacific war. 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 hirohito in 1945, 1946. we cannot know what has happened without the emperors plea for cooperation and turning in food and the general pricing of stability he provided. i the only be advised to take a chance in the circumstances after at least a year or perhaps too. there have been plenty of times to deal with the emperor. i believe, in my judgment the best would have been abdication.
trials are messy. abdication would seem to be in desk cleanernal way to clearly establish that he personally accepted responsibility. thank you. [applause] >> there was a gentleman who had his hand up and i did not get to him so he gets the first question. obviously, the allies did not know about the food situation in japan when they're remaking their invasion plans in 1945. in your view, might that situation have made the invasion more feasible or less deadly? if you buy a copy of
my book -- [laughter] mr. frank: it is really important because the japanese leadership in june of 1945 conducted -- these are all formalized rituals. these are things they do before they paraded in front of the emperor. weretaff papers that prepared in preparation for this conference had a passage in them that i was looking at. i said this is clearly saying that even if there plans got -- were able to work out, the leaders were still being told that there is going to mass starvation in japan in 1946. i hesitated to say that explicitly because i could not find a connecting link to this show that the leaders understood that. since then, others have found evidence that the military leaders clearly understood that
as horrendous as everything we ever thought about that invasion battle would begin, there is the uneven worse prospect for the japanese population of mass death. even though we debate about what ended the war, there was a domestic situation. but it was about was the campaign of blockade and bombardment and the threat of mass starvation. starting with the beginning of the new rice year in november 1945. i believe that that factor is critical. a recent book by a really excellent historian -- i know that because she agrees with me she thinks that is the most important reason why the japanese quit. the food situation, besides the shock of when we got there, one of the side effects was a
powerful argument against the blockade and bombardment strategy. it was why the invasion strategy went forward. there are lots of elements to food. >> i have the next question here. audience member: those who made a decision to drop the atomic bomb -- why did they not include tokyo in order to cut off the head of the snake? mr. frank: their assessment was that the head of the snake was going to be important to get the japanese armed forces to surrender and the japanese people to agree to a surrender. when the aspects about this whole debate that to me is striking that gets omitted is in 1945, there had been no surrender of the japanese
government to a foreign power in the history of japan. that was 2600 years. from our side of it, we were not aware of any organized surrender of any japanese unit in any battle or campaign of the whole pacific war. the joint chiefs of staff wrote in 1945 that there was no guarantee that we are going to get a japanese government to surrender. secondly, if we got a japanese government that would surrender, there is no guarantee that the armed forces would comply with a surrender. this 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 believe they ever could be utilized to convince the japanese people, government, and armed forces is rendered, then it made no sense to kill him or attempt to kill him. >> in the back to your left, richard.
audience member: the war was incredibly bitter. american forces were coming in and helping save everyone from famine and disease. can you tell us about the reaction of the japanese civilians to the conquering army. from their perspective, was their gratitude? was there bitterness and hatred? how did that progress? mr. frank: the first thing that ran through japanese hearts was terror. wartime propaganda and a general belief that the americans would come in and slaughter people and have their way with the japanese women. then the americans arrives, and very quickly, although american conduct was by no means spotless, it was astonishingly good. compared to what was going on in germany and the eastern zone at that time.
secondly, when the gis arrived in japan, they were old struck by the amount of devastation. most of them were in urban areas. many were struck by the destitution of the japanese people because they were all hungry. when gerhart arrived with his unit, he got the word that this is something that causes people to govern themselves with informal policies. no one will go off and buy japanese food off of the japanese economy because the japanese people are so desperate. it was hard for them to look at this, and when there was no overt act of resistance, to feel anything but compassion. in short order, americans were roaming around with no weapons at all, unlike what is going on
in germany where people are still carrying weapons. there are a few incidents. just a totally different kind -- to me, it is fascinating at other levels. we fought this war with the japanese, and without a doubt, there was a white-hot heat of rage. there is a lot of literature on it that talks solely in terms of race. but also conduct. the japanese seemed to be off the chart of common humanity in terms of how they fought the war. when the japanese surrendered, what stopped? the japanese stop being people of another race? did they stop the conduct? there is an obvious lesson there. >> right here in the front. audience member: thank you. another informative talk. it seems the united states quickly, in 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 talk about the food that was applied to the japanese people. i know we were the suppliers, but do you have information on what the ultimate source was. did it come from america? regional things? where was the source of this food? mr. frank: the imports of food continue into the occupation. it was not just in 1946. it was just under 600,000 tons that came from u.s. agricultural output. also, one source points out that nearly 600,000 tons includes 50,000 tons of canned goods. the canned goods had nutritional value that was much higher than
then 50,000 tons of wheat or something like that. the effectiveness of those items was much higher. a historian remarked that all of them have been older adults during the occupation, mentioned that american people came and fed the japanese people as a cornerstone of our relationship. audience member: just a quick follow-up. that placed no difficulty with the american public and our consumption needs? mr. frank: that is a good point. two things. there is a wonderful book called "the taste of war." she goes on
about how well fed the americans were and how much food there were. but she also notes we shipped a lot of places. particularly she mentions -- and i was not aware of this, the food that went to the soviet union probably saved a couple million soviets from starving to death during the war. we had enough food around to ship out. the bigger issue within the american public would have been the animosity of the war. like i said, clearly what happened with the attention shifted very swiftly to getting the boys home and getting everybody back to work. that kept public attention off of all was going on in japan. >> i would like to ask the man, don leslie, in the front row to the right to stand. don, will you please stand? he gave a lecture on wednesday to the locals on the mercy wheat program. when she is very passionate about and the museum. if you want to learn more about
food in world war ii, especially in the postwar world, talk to this man. thank you for giving that lecture earlier. [applause] >> kim has the last question in the back. audience member: actually, i'm in the center. >> after the second atomic bomb was dropped, did not hirohito step in to the ruling war council and say, this is it. it is over? and getting into counterfactual ism how many more atomic bombs were we willing to use had he not stepped in and said, it is over? mr. frank: let me have another 45 minutes and i can answer that. [laughter] mr. frank: it does take the
intervention by the emperor to bring the japanese. the legal government of japan never on its own initiative agrees to any terms to end the war that they u.s. and its allies would have found acceptable. the terms before included no occupation of japan. the emperor's intervention was decisive. another historian made the point that after the official announcement on august 15 about the surrender, we were still intercepting traffic from japanese commanders saying they were not going to comply. there is a message put out by the navy ministry in tokyo explaining what happened. it describes how the emperor intervenes into the war. the historian argues that we were not entirely sure what was going on behind the curtain among the japanese leaders.
that message seems to be solid gold evidence that the emperor did indeed intervene and his intervention was vital to ending the war. that seems it would strongly reinforce the policy of keeping the emperor to achieve the occupation goals. at least, not try him as a war criminal. on the number of bombs, what would've happened, i want to take a pass on that until we have a further conference. [laughter] >> thank you very much, richard. give him a round of applause. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] hours of american history on c-span3. follow us on to her at c-span history for information on our schedule. and to keep up with the latest history news.
anyone working at any hedge involved in short-term trading, meaning every day they are coming trading in and out of stocks, all of those people want hedge. that is a common term in the industry. useless fordge is their purposes, there is the grave zone, then there is black average, which is clearly insider information. sunday night on q&a, new yorker staff writer talks about the insider trading case against hedge fund manager stephen cohen and his firm sec capital in her book black edge. money information, dirty and the quest to bring down the most wanted man on wall street. >> the two central characters at the heart of the story, they are central characters in my book. it are two former portfolio managers for the fund. matthew mark toma and michael