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Partners for DemocracyCrafting the New Japanese State Under MacArthur$
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Ray A. Moore and Donald L. Robinson

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195151169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019515116X.001.0001

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“This Fundamental Problem”: MacArthur Saves Hirohito

“This Fundamental Problem”: MacArthur Saves Hirohito

(p.36) 2 “This Fundamental Problem”: MacArthur Saves Hirohito
Partners for Democracy

Ray A. Moore

Donald L. Robinson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Describes how MacArthur in late 1945 and early 1946 saved Hirohito from trial as a war criminal. Contacted by imperial advisers, MacArthur became convinced that Hirohito would cooperate in democratizing, and perhaps Christianizing, Japan (MacArthur believed that Christianity was essential to democracy and encouraged American missionaries to fill Japan's “spiritual vacuum”). The emperor's New Year's statement supported this view. When Washington signed the Moscow agreement, which gave the Allies control over political reform in Japan, and warned that Hirohito might be indicted, MacArthur defended the emperor in a long telegram to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and ordered his staff to draft a “model constitution” for Japan with the emperor at the head of the state.

Keywords:   “model constitution,” emperor at head of state, American missionaries, democratizing and Christianizing Japan, Emperor Hirohito as war criminal, emperor's New Year's statement, General Douglas MacArthur, imperial advisers, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Moscow agreement

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