AUTHORHatano, Sumio
CHAPTER TITLEThe Atomic Bomb and Soviet Entry into the War: Of Equal Importance
BOOK EDITORHasegawa, Tsuyoshi, Ed.
BOOK TITLEThe End of the Pacific War: Reappraisals
PUBLISHERStanford University Press
CITYStanford, CA

This chapter describes how the atomic bombings and the Soviet entry into the Pacific theater during World War II equally furnished the external pressure that motivated Japanese acceptance of the terms of surrender outlined in the Potsdam Proclamation. The chapter devotes extensive space to illuminating the intricacies of the internal debate that took place within the Japanese government concerning the Potsdam Proclamation, identifying the roles played by Emperor Hirohito and his staff and giving particular attention to the actions of Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal Kido Kōichi and the Big Six: Prime Minister Suzuki Kantarō, Foreign Minister Tōgō Shigenori, Army Minister Anami Korechika, Chief of the Army General Staff Umezu Yoshijirō, Navy Minister Yonai Mitsumasa, and Chief of the Navy General Staff Toyoda Soemu. Paramount to the Japanese acceptance of the Potsdam Proclamation was the U.S. and British approval of the single condition of preserving the emperor system. In disseminating news of the surrender, the Japanese government used the brutality of the atomic bombs and the Soviet entry into the war as justification to the populace of the cessation of hostilities. The chapter comes with extensive footnotes and relies on personal correspondences and diaries of the major players to inform the analysis.

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