by 西 鋭夫 May 5th, 2015
Tokyo, October 29, 1948.
PERSONAL and TOP SECRET
Further to my letter of October 26, 1948, I have now had an interesting conversation with General MacArthur on the subject of possible abdication by the Emperor. When I raised the subject, General MacArthur immediately stated that he was fully alive to the possibility that the Emperor might perhaps contemplate abdication, or under strong emotional strain arising out of the sentences in the major War Crimes Trial, perhaps even consider committing suicide. I agreed that these are possibilities, especially as the Emperor is both Oriental and Japanese.
The General said that in his opinion the judgment of the major War Crimes Trials is like blowing up a ton of dynamite ―― one cannot possibly foresee what might happen. He feels that the emotional effect of the sentences upon the Emperor might perhaps temporarily unbalance the latter's judgment, with the result that either of the two mentioned possibilities could happen.
On the other hand, however, he said that he has never had even the slightest indication that the Emperor was contemplating abdication, and that comments which have appeared to this effect in the press and elsewhere are fabrications and have no substance whatsoever. The General feels that abdication by the Emperor would be politically disastrous and that he would therefore do what he can to stop it.
He said that the Emperor intends to call upon him immediately after the announcement of the major War Crimes judgment and at that time, should the subject be raised, he would tell him that any thought of abdication is not only ridiculous and preposterous, but that it would result in a major disservice to the Japanese people.
I told General MacArthur that I was very glad to have his views as they agree entirely with my own, and that I furthermore feel that they are also the views of the United States Government. The General said that there could be no other views, and agreed with me that abdication by the Emperor would play directly into the hands of communism and chaos in Japan.